Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Thanks for joining us for another part of our interview series! We were so pleased to get the opportunity to catch up with Susan Bortone, founder of the MCA award-winning product, Snuggy Buddy! Some fun facts about Susan’s brand, it is officially called Snuggy Buddy, By Roc & Oli. Roc & Oli stands for Susan’s kids Rocco & Olivia, who are the inspiration behind her brand. Susan’s company also donates fabrics to Project Linus, a charity that makes blankets for babies and children in need, because we believe that every child deserves a chance to sleep sound and dream big. Snuggy Buddy is meant for babies 6-12 months and is the first of its kind to solve the problem of not being able to leave a loose toy in the crib with your baby to help soothe them safely while they sleep. Keep reading to find out more about Susan and the award-winning Snuggy Buddy!
MCA: Hi Susan! Thank you for speaking with us today and congratulations on your Mom’s Choice Award! Snuggy Buddy is such a big help for all new moms and has been receiving rave reviews for how much it helps with improving the sleep of infants. I want to first start the interview by finding out more about the face behind Snuggy Buddy!
Susan: I live in Northern NJ, with my husband, 2 kids, and a dog. We enjoy hiking, cooking, playing soccer in our backyard, and spending time with friends and family (which we hope to be able to do again in 2021!) I spent the past 15 years in sales and creative recruitment working in NYC. I created this product as a mom who saw a need and followed my instinct when it came to finding a way to help my kids find the comfort and safety they needed. I am thrilled to now be able to share that product with others and help them as well.
MCA: That was a great instinct to follow! Can you elaborate more on how the creation of your company, Snuggy Buddy By, Roc & Oli, came to be!
Susan: Snuggy Buddy was born out of necessity. I needed to find a way to keep my kids safe while they slept and get them the comfort they needed, to sleep through the night as babies. After searching high and low for something that would help them and never finding quite the right product, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a solution for them. And the Snuggy Buddy was born!
Susan: I was trying to create safety and comfort. I was determined to find a way to safely keep a lovey in the crib to help soothe my babies, so they could sleep through the night. The Snuggy Buddy is the first Wearable Blanket to accomplish that. It blends the plush butterfly wings for a soft tactile element, along with the gently weighted butterfly body to help mimic the gentle feel of a parent’s soothing touch, all while keeping it safely and securely attached to the Snuggy Buddy Wearable Blanket. It also features all the other things that I wanted as a parent. Including: adjustable snaps on each shoulder to grow with your baby, ample length to accommodate even the taller babies, and zippers down each side, for easy middle of the night diaper changes and to get a sleeping baby in and out with ease.
MCA: How did your experience as a mom trying to help your own kids sleep safely and soundly at night help create the Snuggy Buddy?
Susan: Both of my kids love to snuggle, but when it came time for bed, I struggled with them as babies, because they needed the comfort of a lovey, but it wasn’t safe to leave in the crib with them at night. They would wake 4 or 5 times a night. I literally tried every product out there, but nothing worked for them. I thought there has to be a way to get them the comfort they need of the lovey and the safety I needed for them. I started designing and came up with the Snuggy Buddy! The first night my daughter used it, she slept through the night! Something she had never done before! That was when I knew I was on to something, and that I could not only help my own babies but help other parents struggling to find that same mix of comfort and safety for their little ones.
MCA: An infant sleeping through the night is truly a great feat for new moms! Tell us about the research that went behind the product’s unique features, and describe these features!
Susan: Safety is key to us. I created this when my daughter was 6 months old, she just turned 3, so we have been working on perfecting the Snuggy Buddy for 2.5 years before we released it! We went through rigorous testing including focus groups, fit sessions, designing, refining, and testing. For example, we didn’t stop with testing just to CPSC guidelines, we tested beyond that. We tested our product at 30 washes vs the required 3 because we know safety is everything with a baby and our product has to stand up to that.
MCA: I’ve read some of the great reviews Snuggy Buddy has been receiving, can you elaborate on what some of the reviews have been saying?
Susan: People are seeing results with their babies even the first night! With their little ones sleeping up to 11 and 12 hours and having to wake them from naps because they are so rested! One of the most common things people say is their baby loves holding the butterfly lovey while they are falling asleep! We are hearing how much they love the fabric and how soft and soothing it is! And that they are so relieved to finally have a safe way to give their babies a lovey, for the comfort they need at night.
MCA: What is next for Snuggy Buddy By, Roc & Oli?
Susan: We are currently working on a Non-Weighted Tummy Sleeper and a 12-18 Month Version, which will be released at the beginning of 2021. We are also working on getting Buddy the Butterfly some additional character friends! Stay tuned! :)
MCA: We will definitely be on the lookout for that, please keep us posted on its release!
You can learn more about Susan Bortone and her award-winning product, Snuggy Buddy by visiting her MCA Shop pages.