Inspired by caressing a baby with a feather, Yoee Baby makes it fun and easy to play, connect and bond from Day One.
“My son never lets go of it!”
— Andrea Lavinthal, People.com
Yoee Baby encourages and empowers you to interact with your baby in fun and unexpected ways. Babies react and respond to it, and to you. While playing with a Yoee, baby may stare into your eyes, kick their legs, giggle, smile or coo. This causes us to smile, talk, laugh and look at our baby. Science says, we know as humans, that this kind of back-and-forth interaction is where strong bonds start to form. Bringing joy to your child is a powerful bonding experience, and we believe Yoee Baby delivers on this promise. This is why we guarantee that it'll be your favorite baby toy or your money back.
...Baby Duster? Cat toy? Call it what you want. We've heard it all. But, dusters and cat toys aren’t meant for playtime with a baby. Though, the idea began with a real feather, we quickly realized feathers aren’t baby safe (and gross when wet). Babies are, of course, wet by nature—but that's another conversation. We support using tools of your choice, if safe, for this kind of interaction. You don't have to use a Yoee Baby to play and bond. But, know that our goal was to create the world's best baby toy. We know it looks weird. We don't care as long as you and your baby are having fun together.
As parents, we learned that if you want to use premium materials, work with the best factories and test to the highest international safety standards—the price gets high very quickly. The more we learned, the more we realized that many toys are not what you think they are.
We have seen toys that claim to be organic, but are not, and we have seen the cut and sew facilities where many of your toys are made. It's disheartening. Why are some toys so much cheaper? You may not want to know.
Here is another way to think about it. What does a food-grade silicone teether cost? Now add a rattle, a cool sensory toy, a cute stuffed animal with crinkle paper, onsite factory supervision and oversight that exceeds the strictest international safety standards? We have all these things wrapped up in one, simple toy.
Or, just compare it to what a couple bottles of wine cost, good beer, or a dinner out—Isn't the experience of playing with your baby priceless? One awesome toy, baby! That's how we see it, and hope you will too.
Why would a Mom want a tool to bond with a baby? Shouldn't she know how to bond instinctively? Sure. We all feel the love instantly, but think about the practical aspects of having a new baby.
If Mom is super-extra lucky, she lives in a mysterious tribe of generous nurse-maid sisters who help her all day, every day—and the fun and frivolity never ends. Now, imagine your new baby is in your own home; friends and family have gone, feeding is done. The diaper has been changed. Naptime is over—and baby is looking at you....and it's 9am.
You totally want to play and get that giggle, and you know you should be doing something for their development. But, mothering instincts don’t come as easy as they should. You’ve read Goodnight Moon five times already and though you hate to admit it, you don’t know what to do next. We just want to get this Mom thing right, and those giggles, smiles and coos help show us we're on the right track.
This is why we created Yoee Baby. Through joy and laughter, we find the bonds we crave. It's not the only way to play and bond. But, like a book or a bike, it's okay to use tools and toys while interacting. It's not that Moms can't bond, but why not get a little help finding a truly joyful way to play?
Many dads say that Yoee Baby allows them to participate more naturally in those vital early developmental interactions—Dads naturally begin the practice of eye tracking (no idea why, but we see it when we hand them a Yoee Baby). We’re not saying Yoee Baby is the only way for dads to bond and connect and play. That would be silly. It’s just another tool in the toolbox—but it's a particularly good one.
Half the Yoee Baby team are dads, so we know some fatherly things. We put an illustration of a Dad and baby on our packaging for a reason. But, guys do have a harder time connecting in those early days, weeks and months. They don’t have the same facilities as a mom. They haven't been physically connected for 9 months, they probably didn't do as much baby sitting growing up and many just aren’t as comfortable around tiny infants—But, they still want those early connections.
Dads want desperately for new baby to stare in their eyes longingly—and then ride a bike on day 5. But, mostly fathers do great. They are gentle and loving. So, when a dad gets the first chortle, the first smile, the first belly-time successes it’s a serious proud-papa, mind-blowing moment. Dads are buying it for their friends. We can wrap it, and ship it where you want, with a note from you.
This is an amazing sibling toy. How amazing? Super amazing! Why? Mainly, it's soft. But, more interestingly, older siblings want to please Mom or Dad. They are understandably competing. So, they often model their parent's behavior. This means gentle caresses on baby's body. The result is that new baby will respond with eye contact, giggles, cute kicks, whatever. Even the most hardened older sibling, who was ready to give new baby away to the first passerby, is not immune to these magical interactions.
It may be the first time new baby looks into the eye of older brother or sister. But, before you think it's a panacea for all the craziness that comes from having two mini humans, remember, these are still siblings. So, make it mellow, make sure nobody is hungry, and try some sibling bonding.
Jillian was looking for a toy to play with her 3 month old daughter, Yoella. She quickly found that baby toys are useless for infants who can’t yet sit up, grab things, or move around. She read about an activity that said caressing a baby with super soft material was good for sensory development and body awareness. She tried it with a feather and WOW! Little Yoe smiled and cooed and Jillian loved that she was doing something good for her baby’s development. It was such a joyful experience that they played with the feather all the time. The more they played, the more she felt them bond. She quickly realized that a feather wasn’t baby safe and that’s where the idea was born.
Jillian’s buddy Bill is a designer, filmmaker and storyteller. Jillian shared her idea and they were off to the races. There are no employees (unless you count their spouses). This is not some big brand, and learning how to manufacture a toy was really (really!) hard, but they finally did it, so now parents can find joy and feel empowered in those crazy, early confusing days with a new baby.
They go to the cut and sew facilities. They oversee every part that goes into a Yoee Baby. They know every aspect of their supply chain because they have babies, too. If you have any questions, have something to contribute or want to invest, please reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, it's machine washable. Wash it like any expensive delicate thing, and dry it on a no-heat setting. It will come out looking bright and fluffy, like it just came from the interactive, developmental baby toy salon.
From the Center on the Developing Child (Harvard University): "One of the most essential experiences in shaping the architecture of the developing brain is “serve and return” interaction between children and significant adults in their lives. Young children naturally reach out for interaction through babbling, facial expressions, and gestures, and adults respond with the same kind of vocalizing and gesturing back at them. This back-and-forth process is fundamental to the wiring of the brain, especially in the earliest years."
Yoee Baby represents the first toy to truly lean into this research. A baby's brain is developing at an unprecedented pace in the earliest weeks. While we designed the toy to encourage the kind of joy we all expect with our little ones—the amount of data that is pouring in from around the world regarding how neural connections are formed, and exactly how the brain develops, shows that it's vitally important to get playtime right.
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