Local mom successfully expands innovative products that help parents
By Steven Hoffman
Laura Toto is a very busy woman these days.
Her company, Diaper Diva Designs, has been working on developing Naked No More, a garment specifically designed for toddlers or older children with special needs who find a way to undress when they are taking a nap.
In November of 2018, Toto launched the Naked No More one-piece garment on Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon), and the first 1,000-piece run is now nearly sold out.
Laura is not surprised by the demand for the product. She has six children, and experienced firsthand how frustrating it is to have a young child who wiggles out of their diapers. While they avoided the issue with a few of their older children, when Leeah Toto was still a toddler, she was what her mother likes to call a “diaper ditcher.” Whenever Laura would put Leeah down for a nap in the crib in their Lincoln University, Pa. home, the sweet girl would wiggle her way free of her clothes and diaper. A toddler, once diaper-less, can unintentionally create a big mess in the crib in no time.
In 2015, Laura was searching for a solution that would keep Leeah and her crib clean. One of the first places that she checked for a garment that could do the job was Amazon, but she didn't really see any kind of product that would fit her needs. One day, while thinking about the problem, she was struck by inspiration: she took a pair of footed pajamas and cut the feet out. She turned the pajamas around and she put them on Leeah backward and the clothing was securely fastened on her daughter. There was no way for the toddler to slip out of her diaper and make a mess.
Laura recalled saying that Leeah could get “naked no more” when she discovered that using the footed pajamas backwards prevented her daughter from undressing during naps and at bedtime.
“It was a triumph,” she said. “The day was so amazing. It’s gave me complete peace of mind knowing that I wouldn’t have to clean the crib up.”
Before she found a makeshift solution to the problem, Laura read about numerous parents on online forums who were struggling with the same issue that her family had been dealing with.
“This is a more common problem than I even realized,” Laura explained. In fact, it wasn’t just the parents of toddlers who needed help. Many parents of older children who have special needs face the same problem, with no end in sight.
Toto set out to come up with a piece of clothing that would help bring some relief to parents and caregivers dealing with the issue, relying on her own experiences. Before long, she had some very specific ideas about the clothing, and how it should work. What Laura came up with is a simple one-piece that slips over pajamas and diapers. It has arm holes that are slightly tighter than normal so the toddler can't slide out of it on their own. It is mid-thigh length, slightly longer than normal, so that the child can't get out of it from underneath. The neck line is also higher in the front than the back, which also keeps the clothing securely in place.
Once she had a firm concept for the design of the Naked No More garment, she set out to learn as much as she could about taking the product to market. She formed Diaper Diva Designs, and incorporated “Naked No More”—the expression that she used the first time that she figured out how to clothe Leeah to keep her clean—as the name of the product. She was able to obtain a patent for the piece of clothing.
Over the last year, Laura has been very busy marketing the product. She has been advertising online to get the word out about the products, as well as connecting with bloggers and various autism organizations.
She explained, “the ads have opened up conversation in the threads about one of the very common yet rarely discussed problems that can happen when kids are able to undress during their naps and bedtime, and that is "smearing," or "scatolia," which affects families of toddlers through older, special needs kids. It's been such an amazing feeling to know my product is helping families dealing with this in whatever degree they may be experiencing it.”
Laura said that she is currently working on having the next run of inventory manufactured. It will include reinforced stitching. She is also working on the next level of the Naked No More brand of escape-proof clothing.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Carrie Carnes, a former designer for Gerber Childrenswear and Children's Place, on daywear and pajama options that will turn this into an entire sanity-saving line,” Laura explained. She noted that the daywear options, while still a backwards and zippered one-piece, will resemble other two-piece and pajama options that are available. The daywear styles will include short- and long-sleeve outfits, as well as footed and non-footed options.
Currently, the Naked No More products are only available on the Amazon.com marketplace in the U.S., but she is working on plans to expand to Amazon.ca (Canada) and Amazon.mx (Mexico) and eventually the European sites.
“I have had Canadian sales, even on the Amazon.com marketplace, through the “International Shopping" tab that is an option for out-of-country shoppers,” Laura explained.
She is also hard at work on the prototypes for the soon-to-be patent pending “stay put” changing pad cover. She explained that the pad cover is designed to be that “extra hand you need when diaper changes turn into wrestling matches.”
She explained, “The design deters the twisting and sitting up that can make changing a growing child's diaper quite a chore.”
Leeah Toto doesn’t get the credit for inspiring this new product.
“This time,” Laura explained, “I have my youngest, Kaden, to thank for the newest sanity-saver.”
Laura has also had the opportunity to pitch both Kevin Harrington, the original “shark” from “Shark Tank” and the “As Seen On TV” founder, on Pitch Investors Live, as well as his son, Brian Harrington. She has also entered Diaper Diva Designs LLC in the Fed Ex Small Business Grant Contest. The goal has been to get the product in front of as many people as possible to make people aware of its benefits. The product won’t be useful for every family, of course, but for those that do need it, Laura expects it to have a very positive impact.
To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email email@example.com.