Dad-Inventor Creates New Baby Care Product

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Engineer turned stay-at-home-dad creates a simple tool to help tired new parents remember the basic details of baby care.

When a new baby arrives, mom and dad's brains seem to turn to mush; lack of sleep makes it challenging to remember the simplest things. Greg Sheldon learned this two years ago when he and his wife Kris became parents for the first time. He found that they were asking each other the same questions over and over: "How long has it been since his diaper was changed?", or "How long ago did you feed him?" Sheldon, an engineer turned stay-at-home-dad, decided there had to be something more effective than scribbling on a notepad at 2:30 in the morning, so he invented the ITZBEEN Baby Care Timer™.

When Sheldon's son was three months old, he decided to put his engineering career on hold to be more involved with his new baby. However, it wasn't long before his inventive nature had him looking for ways to make the job of parenting a little easier. Sheldon created a simple, cell phone size device with four timers that allowed he and his wife to recall how long ago they changed a diaper, fed the baby, put the baby down to sleep, or gave the baby medication. Whenever they performed a task, like changing a diaper, they simply pressed the correct [diaper] button; that timer would reset to zero and start counting up again. At anytime, day or night, they could look at the display and always know how long ago something was done.    His timer proved to be so useful, that he filed for a patent and turned it into a real product.

The ITZBEEN™ (pronounced "it's been"- as in it's been two hours since a diaper change) turned out to be more than his original four-in-one timer. Sheldon and his wife worked together to come up with the best combination of features that would make it a genuinely useful parenting product. He added a reminder alarm to each of the timers; parents can set reminders for themselves or others watching their baby, for example: "change the diaper every 2 hours" or "give the baby medication every 4 hours". If the elapsed time reaches the reminder setting, the correct button lights up and an alarm can briefly sound. He also added a soft flashlight that allows parents to see around the nursery in the dark without waking the baby. Other features include: a clock, illuminated display, belt clip, and a left/right nursing reminder switch that provides breastfeeding moms with a simple way to remember which was the last side they fed the baby from.

Sheldon's new company, Coast Innovations, introduced the ITZBEEN™ to the juvenile products industry last September at tradeshow in Las Vegas, NV. "We were very happy with the industry response," says Sheldon. "We were told by more than one retailer that the ITZBEEN™ was the best new product at the show." The ITZBEEN™ hit the shelves in January, and it is now available in over 65 stores and websites across the US, Canada, Australia, and Panama. Suggested retail price for the ITZBEEN™ is $24.99. Visit their website itzbeen.com for more information.

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Greg Sheldon
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