RYE, N.Y. -- A luxury baby/toddler sleepwear line based in Port Chester has a drafty room in Brooklyn to thank for its inception.
Mom of three Dominique de Bourgknecht was on maternity leave with her first born son, Adrian, now eight, and found his nursery to be the coldest room of the house. The Rye resident -- she moved from Brooklyn in 2015 -- quickly began a search for a sleep sack/pouch like the ones she saw growing up in France as a way to keep him warm.
She said she grew frustrated because all the ones she found were expensive European brands "with impractical designs and lower end micro-fleece products which were not warm or durable enough."
With the company she had been working for about to go under, she took this turn of events as a "career calling" and set out to make her own baby sleeping pouch. After traveling to India to find the best fabrics with an array of rich color prints, she created her first sleep sack.
That was in 2009 and she soon found, among her mom friends and friends of friends, that her invention -- with quick and unique buttoning offering an easy in and out ability -- was a huge hit. Baby deedee was born, much of it based on personal experience and trial and error.
de Bourgknecht, who has a background in business, said she's quite proud that she personally tested each of the Baby deedee designs in her own home. As a concerned mom, she also hand-selected the designs, fabrics, and quality of construction.
"I knew what was going into each product," she said. "These are the little details that make parents lives easier -- when you rely on others to test your products a lot can get lost in translation."
What also makes the product unique: it's designed with light sleepers in mind, again born from personal experience. de Bourgknecht said Adrian had a hard time falling asleep on his own in the crib which made her realize the importance of having a product that made it easy for babies to make the arm to sleep sack transfer without waking.
That’s how the shoulder snap and central zipper design of the sleep nest came about. de Bourgknecht also put a lot of thought into making the sleep sack breathable. "Through my research, I found that if a fabric doesn’t breathe it will make babies and toddlers sweaty and then cold. Our loose quilted filling is both comforting and breathable," she said.
The aim, said de Bourgknecht who now operates out of an old garment factory on Port Chester's Westchester Avenue, is to keep developing new items that make parents' lives easier. After the success of the sleeping sacks, the Baby deedee was extended to include quilted pajamas with a zipper stretching from one side of the leg to the other for quick overnight diaper changes.
"I found that most warm pajamas were made out of polyester fleece I wanted to offer a warm cotton alternative," said de Bourgknecht.
There is also a Baby deedee quilt comforter (one of the entrepreneur's personal favorites) for babies making the jump to toddler beds. The quilted blankets are also great to throw in your travel bag for flights or long drives, she said.
The next big launch will be Baby deedee baby booties later this summer which de Bourgknecht said are "incredibly, warm and comforting for babies, not to mention cute and affordable."
Go to www.babydeedee.com/ for more information.