It’s a issue familiar to most mums and dads with weaning children – how to stop your kitchen turning into a food-splattered mess at mealtime.
Local mum Jennifer Unsworth found the constant cleaning so stressful she decided to do something about it – and her invention, The Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit, has just hit the shelves of the newly re-furbished JoJo Maman Bébé store on Ashley Road in Hale.
The portable weaning aid removes the gap between baby and highchair tray, keeping clothes, highchair and floor food free.
Jennifer, 36, started developing the product while on maternity leave with daughter Chloe five years ago. She’s also mother to Tom, 2, and four-month-old Sam.
Jennifer with children Chloe, Tom and baby Sam
She said: “As a new mum I found weaning incredibly stressful. If I wasn’t worrying about what my daughter was eating, I’d be stressing about how much of it was ending up all over my floor, down the sides of the highchair and all over her clothes.
“In a desperate attempt to save my sanity, I set about making a solution to the mess problem myself!
“Going from ‘idea’ to finished product has been an incredible journey, and I’m proud to say that there is not one part of Tidy Tot’s design that hasn’t been tried, tested and improved by parents and their babies. One of the best compliments I’ve been given is ‘well, you can tell that’s been invented by a mum!’”
Trading for just over 12 months, Jennifer admitted running her business has not been easy while juggling the demands of three small children.
The Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit
“The last year has been unbelievably hard work,” she said. “I started with a local manufacturer making a small quantity of stock that I stored in my garage and sent out to customers buying from my website.
“In just 12 months, I have an overseas supplier and UK distribution partner to supply my growing number of retail stockists. There is also huge interest from international retailers who want to help me expand my business overseas.
“To see Tidy Tot on the shelves of top-end nursery retailer JoJo Maman Bébé makes me feel incredibly proud. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity.”
The Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit works with most highchairs and has already won a number of industry awards, including Gold in the Mumii Best Baby and Toddler Gear Awards 2015.
It retails at £24.99 with additional bibs and complementary products available to buy from the company website.