Going grocery shopping with a baby in a car seat requires a lot of ingenuity. Most car seats don’t fit easily or securely into the small upper area (where an older child would sit). Putting the car seat into the cart itself creates another problem—not much room left for the groceries!
Lindsey Fleischhauer, of Naperville, Illinois, faced this common dilemma and came up with a creative solution—Totes Babies. A hammock-like device is held by clamps across the top of the cart, the baby seat is placed on it and then securely fastened by a belt. Groceries (or other merchandise) can be placed underneath in the shopping cart as usual.
Lindsey knew she would need some expert help and advice to make her idea a reality. She had the perfect source in her father, Stanley Valiulis. Valiulis owns two companies, Subsource, Inc. and High PSI, Ltd., and is listed on more than 40 patents.
Lindsey’s father and one of his friends who is an engineer worked with her on a design. The initial prototype was made with repurposed curtain rods! When Lindsey started using the prototype during her shopping trips, people would ask about it, and she knew it was an idea that was worth developing further.
In 2017, she and her father went to a baby show in Chicago with their idea in mind, determined that by the following year they would have the product to display themselves. And they did!
Since developing the initial Totes Babies, two related items have been created and patented: a mounting device for cell phones and one for a tablet. There are other product ideas in development.
The daughter/father team promoted their products at various baby shows and through local news outlets. In 2020, due to Covid restrictions, they did so online at the Parenting 101 Virtual Event last July.
Lindsey’s husband was the one to suggest they try out for Shark Tank, and they are extremely excited about the opportunity. Of course, they can’t reveal the outcome yet, but as they told Rafael Guerrero of the Naperville Sun, just being on the show will be good for business.
Totes Babies has been tested and certified to comply with US and Canadian safety guidelines. It has a 75lb weight limit and is compatible with shopping carts at most major stores, including Target, Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, Publix, etc.