Swaddling clothes? Not a bad solution if you’re away in a manger. Papoose? Perfect for the nomadic lifestyle, but it’s tough to find decent buckskin these days. So what’s the best way to tote a 21st-century tot?
Danville mother Shelley Hunter may have found the answer. Hunter always loved walking around Lafayette Reservoir carrying her daughter, Ally, in a baby sling strapped to her chest. But the sun beat down a little too hard for mom’s comfort. So Hunter invented a sling with a shell-like sunshade. Fellow moms showed interest, and Hunter made a prototype.
Two years later, the sun cover in which Hunter carried her middle son, Matthew, was a hot item at the shop at the John Muir Women’s Health Center. "When I developed the sling for my daughter, it was a convenience," says Hunter. "When Matthew came along, it became a necessity. I needed to keep him covered, but I had a toddler that was heading for the streets. I needed my hands to hold her hands."
Last year, when Michael, her youngest, came along, Hunter sold her invention to Gold Bug, a child-product company, which has released an updated version made out of UV-protective fabric. "I get a lot of responses when I wear it, but this is my third child, and I’m done," she says. "I’m out of demo babies." Available at www.goldbug1.com.