by Susan Shinn
Jennifer Stevens loved cuddling with her two boys when they were infants. What she didn’t love was when they pulled on her long hair and necklaces.
So the inventive mom developed CuddleTug, a stretchy, colorful necklace made of ribbon and loops that keeps baby entertained and mommy’s hair yank-free.
Stevens, 40, unveiled the new product to moms at her first craft show at St. Mark Catholic Church in Huntersville on Nov. 20. She’s also in the process of contacting specialty shops that cater to moms and children that may be interested in the product.
“Most people who see them just think they’re neat and fun,” she said.
Courtney Whittington, who purchased a CuddleTug, said she uses it with her 10-month-old son. “Like most babies, he loves to pull on hair, clothing, or jewelry while I am holding him, feeding him or rocking him to sleep. The CuddleTug gives him something to hold on to and ‘tug,’ for lack of a better word, rather than me.”
It’s taken Stevens most of this year to come up with her prototype. She came up with the idea when her three-year-old son, William, was an infant. Stevens cuts all the patterns and her friend, Kim Hotchner, sews them for her.
The necklaces come in many colors and patterns, including black-and-white polka dot, traditional boy and girl colors, and patterns with monkeys, owls and frogs. Stevens chooses patterns and colors that are bright and fun.
“It’s a very nice baby gift that will get a lot of use,” she said. “It fits with the economy right now.”
Stevens noticed that her sons, William and one-year-old Benjamin, started grabbing when they were between three and five months old.
“Before that, the CuddleTug is just eye candy,” she said. “It’s fun for them to look at.”
When they get older, Stevens said, “babies just go right after it.”
Stevens and her husband, Rob, live in Huntersville.
“He’s very supportive and a good sounding board,” she said. Stevens works part-time as a pediatric speech therapist. The rest of the time, she’s taking care of her boys and shopping at stores like Hancock’s and Michael’s and ordering ribbon online.
For more information about CuddleTugs, visit www.cuddletug.com. or see the CuddleTug fan page on Facebook.com.