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Dressing newborns is one of the daily battles seldom discussed in the parenting handbooks.
We’re handed a pile of pastel hued, tiny clothes and a wriggling, often screaming, wet human noodle and expected to combine the two without breaking them. It’s not an easy gig.
For Aussie celebrity mum, Erin Molan there was one item of baby fashion that quickly became her nemesis: The singlet.
In true Erin-style, the 36-year mum-of-one took on the challenge and won, creating a world first baby product that she’s now sharing with the world.
Born from necessity, the very first accessible baby singlet, the Babi Burrito is changing the game for parents everywhere and it’s all thanks to Erin and her baby Eliza.
Dressing baby Eliza was always a struggle, so mum Erin Molan came up with a genius solution, the Babi Burrito.
In a blink and you’d miss it post to her social media on Wednesday, Channel Nine presenter Erin Molan just casually dropped the announcement that she’d invented and patented a world first accessible baby singlet, called the Babi Burrito.
“I’ve got three or fours jobs already,” Erin laughed as she chatted with Bounty Parents. “I’m not doing this to make a huge business out of it, it’s just genuinely about helping people with something simple that made a huge difference for us.”
As we spoke, the busy mum apologised for the noise of the happy chatter of two-year-old daughter Eliza playing in the background.
“It was supposed to be a daycare day, but she’s worked out how to con her mum already!”
It’s this exact love and dedication as a mother that saw Erin go the journey that led to her inventing a product that it’s almost impossible to believe didn’t exist already – a baby singlet that didn’t need to be wrestled over the head of a reluctant baby.
“Eliza hated us putting singlets on her from the moment she was born,” shared the popular Sports Presenter.
“She’d be calm, then we’d try to put the singlet on her and she’d lose it. It would sometimes take us hours to settle her back down after getting her dressed.”
Looking for solutions, Erin and fiancé Sean Ogilvy would try to wriggle oversized singlets up over Eliza’s legs, but the result would be ineffective as the singlets were simply too big.
“We battled it for a month or so, and I was just thinking, ‘This is a pain in the arse'”, laughed Erin.
She sought the advice of friends and fellow mums online who also confessed to struggling with the same issue.
“I even looked on the Government website to read up about dressing kids and the advice there is not to put clothes over babies heads as they find it distressing! But how else were you supposed to put a singlet on?”
The Babi Burrito is so simple it’s unbelievable to think it hasn’t been around forever.
“I thought there had to a product on the market that let you put a singlet on a baby without struggling to get it over their heads and potentially dislocating their little arms, but I searched everywhere and couldn’t find it,” Erin told Bounty Parents.
Unable to find what she was looking for, and not prepared to do the battle with Eliza anymore, Erin took a dozen singlets to a local tailor at Randwick and asked her to modify them.
“I didn’t know what I wanted, I had no idea what would even work,” Erin explained. “The tailor was even explaining that because the fabric was so thin, there’d be issues with the seams but we ended up doing three with zippers, a few with press studs in one area, a few with them in another, I just needed something different to what I had.”
The finished products weren’t perfect, and “a bit dodgy” but they allowed Erin to open up the singlet, lay Eliza down and pop her into it without it going over her head.
Erin just wants to make life easier for other parents and carers so they don’t have the same singlet battle she went through.
Thinking that surely she couldn’t be the first person to think of this, Erin returned to her search to find a supplier of accessible singlets as an improvement for the crude make-shift ones she’d had made.
Finding none anywhere in the world, Erin went through the process of having a patent for her idea created.
“I’m not a business person,” laughed the Nine Network star. “I had no idea about samples and testing and all of that stuff. I didn’t even really know where I would be putting the press studs.
“I took my idea to a few of the bigger producers of baby clothes and they didn’t really show any interest, which is when I remembered that the beautiful midwife, Cris who helped deliver Eliza had a small babywear company.”
Reconnecting with her midwife, Cris helped Erin take her idea to production.
Cris was blown away by the idea and was happy to be a part of helping Erin with product development and manufacturing.
The pair tested prototypes and asked friends to try them and offer feedback as they went through version after version to get it just right.
“It’s been a process over the past two years, and now we’re happy and ready to share it with other parents. It’s really special that Cris, who was there when Eliza was born, has been a part of it all.”
The Babi Burrito comes in sizes: Premmie, 0, 1 month and 3 months and will be available in three designs: Plain white, teddy bears and sweet love hearts.
Erin’s older sibling Sarah, who went through the unimaginable pain of giving birth to a stillborn daughter before winning a battle with bowel cancer, inspired Erin’s passionate ambassadorships for charities including Bowel Cancer Australia, and stillbirth support ride Sydney2Camberra.
Erin will be donating a percentage of the profits from Babi Burrito to those two charities alongside two more that she is an ambassador for: metastatic cancer support service, Dreams2Live4 and the infant care assistance legends at Tresillian.
“Tresillian only has two ambassadors, me … and the Queen!” she laughs.
The Babi Burrito will available for purchase from 6pm this Sunday night at babidream.com.au.