Interview with founder and CEO of CleanBeeBaby, Jennifer Beall
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to create Tot Squad?
My name is Jennifer Beall and I am the Founder & CEO of Tot Squad (formally known as CleanBeeBaby), an eco-friendly cleaning service for strollers and car seats that partners a different neighborhood retailer or preschool every day. I created Tot Squad to help busy moms. I saw firsthand when my sister had her first child how busy life can get and how easy it is to not have time for cleaning baby products. She worried about the cleanliness of her baby products, and had an especially hard time with the car seat. It was such a hassle to get it in and out of the car, disassemble it, wash it, wait at home with the baby for hours while it air dried, and then drive back to the police station to have a safety technician ensure the proper re-installation. The stroller was no easier with all of the nooks and crannies where ickiness would accumulate. She is one of the many reasons why I am passionate about helping moms save time and frustration by leaving the hard stuff to the professionals!
Why is it so important for mom’s to keep their baby’s strollers and car seats clean and properly set up?
Given that 85% are incorrectly installed and the number one cause of death for children under 14 is car accidents, it’s important to keep your car seat and strollers clean because there are all kinds of germs, like e.coli and strep, lurking. Little ones have a tendency to grab things and can be digging up leftover snacks in their car seat or stroller that can be six months old, and not even know it!
What advice do you have for busy moms who are trying to maintain clean environments for their children?
My best advice would be to clean often. If you take care of the little messes more frequently, you don’t end up with big giant stains that are really hard to get out. Keeping a small portable hand vacuum can also help clean up the snack messes. Call a professional, like Tot Squad, to clean your car seat or spot clean as needed.
How often do you recommend car seats and strollers be cleaned?
We recommend that you clean them every three months. For car seats, this also lets us adjust the straps for your growing little one.
Do you have any tips for how to use car seats and strollers safely? What are the most common errors in set up and installation that you see?
The most common error we see is a car seat that installed too loosely. We’ve also seen cases where the car seat is installed correctly, but the child is secured incorrectly. You definitely need to make sure that both the car seat and the child are secured. Remember: as your child grows, the seat needs to be adjusted every 2-3 months to make sure it still fits correctly! Another error is that a lot of cars don’t allow you to use the seatbelt and latch system at the same time, it’s one or the other and they can work against each other in a crash. Some parents try to secure it correctly but they overdo it to the point it’s incorrect. Read the instruction manuals of both the car seat and your vehicle manufacturer. Be sure to check that your installation is correct according to both manuals. If you need help, visit www.SafeKids.org or www.NHTSA.gov where you can search for your local Certified Passenger Safety Technician.
What is a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and where can mom’s find them?
Please refer to Safe Kids website here. Tot Squad has a knowledgeable staff of Certified Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST) that can professionally re-install and/or provide instructions for reinstalling your car seat to ensure the highest standards of car seat safety for your children. CPST’s complete a 5-day long course to troubleshoot any kind of car seat issue you may have.
What is your favorite stroller and car seat?
I always recommend the UPPA Baby Vista and UPPA Baby Mesa together. They are designed by parents for parents and they are easy to assemble and disassemble. The fabric is also easy to clean, especially when it is a darker fabric. Any car seat or stroller fabric that is black is always easy to maintain!