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As you can guess by the photo, we are well versed in all things baby and toddler. Our first child was born in 1999 and our last in 2015, so we've had a fairly steady flow of pregnancy, breastfeeding, babies, and toddlers in our home for the last 20 years or so.
The baby and toddler stage of life can be exciting, fun, exhausting and difficult. Japoodah was created out of one of the difficult times. Pregnant with child number 8 and fatigued like never before, standing up and walking became a massive effort. At the same time our 12 month old was just starting to self-feed. We're no strangers to messy mealtimes, but this time around the clean-up was too much for the older, once-again pregnant body. They say necessity is the mother of invention. In this case, desperation was the major player; desperation to avoid cleaning up a massive mess.
Experimentation began to find a way to contain the mess. Out came some old cloth nappies and our little seamstresses helped sew together our ideas until one day we found the solution. The mealtime mess changed instantly. No more mess on our toddler's lap or clothes, no more mess in the highchair seat, no more mess on the floor, and no more mess on the highchair tray. It was like a little miracle within our own home.
The bib wasn't designed with sleeves to begin with, but along came winter and our lovely little mess maker figured out that the sleeves of his jumper were the perfect place to wipe his grotty face as he was eating. So, some more experimentation began with some sleeve designs and the problem was soon solved. The apron was an after thought and, to be honest, there is no recollection of how that came to be. Even though are little ones are old enough to not need the bibs anymore, we still, to this day, use them as aprons. They have become part and parcel of home accessories that we will continue to use.
The name of our bib probably seems very unusual. That's because it's a made-up, nonsensical word. In fact, it was a nickname our daughter made up for our little mess maker; the one for whom the bib was made. For the first couple of years of his life he was "Japoodah", or sometimes just "J-Poo". So, it seemed fitting that the bib should be named after him.
As parents of eight children we have found over the years that there are baby items you get that just sit in the cupboard, and there are items that you use all the time. The Japoodah bibs were one of the items we used every day, several times a day, with our last two children. Now, we hope they can be as useful to other parents as they were for us.