Hailey Stevens is the founder of Loui Baby, a baby accessory company that specializes in beautiful, hygienic pacifiers. As a mom of two who recently moved from Australia back to the United States, she has great advice to share for traveling with little ones!
Can you give us a brief description of what Loui is?
Hi, Colugo friends! Thanks so much for having me! I always love working with other parent-owned brands. Practical, but beautiful baby products are my jam and the Colugo fam makes some of the very, very best out there! So I’m very excited to be included in the mix.
Okay, so a little background on our shop. Loui is a (small!) baby and children’s accessory company that makes really safe – and darling! – baby pacifiers. We launched in the Fall of 2020 with six pacifiers in our collection – three in a timeless, round shape called the “Classic Paci” and three in a fun new floral shape called the “Scallop Paci". They come in beautiful, muted colors and most importantly, they’re made of a premium medical-grade silicone.
What inspired you to launch Loui?
I actually started thinking about pacifiers back in 2016 – well before I even had a baby of my own! At the time, I had a corporate job, which left me missing my artistic upbringing. (I grew up drawing and painting in a family of artists.) So, in an effort to stimulate my creativity, I began sketching ideas for new products. In the end, I landed on the concept of a safe and stylish baby pacifier.
At the time, everything on the market seemed purely functional. Their aesthetics were good, not great, and I was surprised parents didn’t have better looking options. After all, this is something that sits right in the middle of your baby’s face! The idea was simple enough – to create a terrific, super safe product, that’s a complement rather than a distraction.
What makes Loui unique?
I like to think that our pacifiers have it all. We offer a classic, round shape as well as a fun new scallop. They come in beautiful, sophisticated colors, and a tiny gray gift box that makes them feel like a special treat. Most importantly, they have a hygienic, single-piece construction (so there aren’t any cracks where dirt and bacteria can hide) and they’re made of 100% medical grade silicone (which means they’re BPA, phthalate, PVC and latex-free).
Colugo’s goal is to help parents feel confident taking on the adventure of parenthood. When do you feel most confident as a parent? Any advice to share?
Oh gosh, parenthood is such a rollercoaster! There are days where I feel like I’ve finally gotten the hang of it and so many others where I feel completely in over my head.
That said, I think I feel most confident when I reflect on how far I’ve come. When my first little boy was born, I was basically an open nerve. My husband Dave and I used to fret about every little detail. “Did we put two extra milliliters of water in his formula!?... Are those normal hiccups?... Should we be worried about that poop?” And now, even though we certainly still worry about our kids, we’ve sort of found our rhythm. I think with time you get your feet under you a bit and it’s easier to see where to focus your energy and what really matters.
If I could share one piece of advice with a new parent I think I’d say, “Don’t worry – it’s hard for everyone. You’re not doing it wrong and neither are your kids!”
Everyone’s situation is so unique so there’s no need to stress about comparing your family to anyone else’s. The one thing that unites all of us is that we’re learning as we go – it’s a process!
We heard you’re a big fan of our Compact. What features do you like best?
Here’s the truth, I genuinely LOVE Colugo’s Compact. You guys have seriously thought of everything!! We’ve had three other strollers and not one of them holds a candle to it! I could go on and on but here are a few of my favorite features: It’s shockingly easy to fold! There’s nothing worse than trying to juggle little kids and wrestle a massive, clumsy stroller into the car at the same time, and the Colugo Compact is so slick! It collapses down really easily and I can lift it into the trunk with one hand. YEESS!! It’s the perfect size.
Dave is 6’3” and I’m 5’7” (so not super tall…but tall-ish). We’ve tried other compact strollers before and they just weren’t comfortable to use because they were almost too small! Colugo’s Compact is the perfect height and weight – you’ve found a real sweet spot and it’s just so nice to push! Every little detail has been considered!
I mean, the incredible rain cover, the cup holder, the TRAVEL CASE!? Even those little Velcro pieces on the straps that hold the neck pads on are genius! We’re always finding those floating around our house from other strollers so it’s nice to have a way to keep them attached. (Is that a weird feature to love? Maybe. But I stand by it!)
It’s such a pretty little thing! People are always commenting on how cute it is! From the leather detail on the handle to the nice, thick material of the hood – it’s truly such a gorgeous stroller! The color and pattern options are really fun and sophisticated and the shape is so classic.
With summer travel right around the corner, do you have any tips for traveling with little ones?
Oh man, we actually just moved back to the US from Australia about 6 months ago so we’ve (unfortunately, ha!) done a number of extreme, long-haul flights (like 15+ hours) with our boys…it’s always an interesting experience! I think my advice would be this: pack lots of snacks, a change of clothes, and leave as much behind as possible.
I think the key is to keep things as simple and light as possible (cue the Colugo Compact…) so you’re not stuck schlepping around piles of stuff everywhere!
Beyond that I’d say just expect both highs and lows and embrace all of it. Traveling with kids is exhausting but the memories really are worth it. (And maybe build in an extra day at home to recover before you get back at it!)
Thanks so much for having me, Colugo!