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To think people may like baby play subscription boxes

(43 Posts)
Bytheseamummy Wed 13-Mar-19 20:39:47

Hello!
I am a SAHM to 2 daughters and used to be an Early Years teacher and Early Years advisor. I am thinking of starting a business focussing on baby play subscription boxes and wonder if it's an idea that people think could work?! There seem to be lots of boxes around for children aged 3+ as well as pregnancy boxes and baby care boxes, but nothing focusing on baby play.

I was thinking of something that included sensory items, instruments, etc. as well as ideas for how to use them with baby and other ideas using items from home. The boxes would be aimed at baby's specific age so the items and ideas would be age appropriate and subscribers would build up a collection of sensory items, instruments and ideas over time.

Am I being daft thinking this might be an idea people would be interested in?! Would love to take the plunge and start my own little business smile

keepforgettingmyusername Wed 13-Mar-19 20:42:07

It's not a daft idea and I imagine there is a market for it (the market being first time mums who feel guilty for not stimulating their baby every second of the day even though baby is completely stimulated by their natural home environment)

Sunshinewithshowers123 Wed 13-Mar-19 20:43:17

I think that sounds like a great idea!

hidinginthenightgarden Wed 13-Mar-19 20:44:41

To be honest people probably would do this for their first child. It is really hard to interact with babies sometimes if it doesn't come naturally. Not sure how big the market would be for having specific age related ones though.

Catmum26 Wed 13-Mar-19 20:47:18

i have a 4month old and on days where we have no groups on i’m at a loss as to what to do with him. i think something like that is a great idea as i’m sure he probably gets bored of me waving the same toys in front of him all the time

DeltaFlyer Wed 13-Mar-19 20:48:22

I think this is a fantastic idea op

Twickerhun Wed 13-Mar-19 20:48:49

As with all things it would be dependent on cost and quality

SleepDeprivedCabbageBrain Wed 13-Mar-19 20:48:51

Did you see the company Kidly? I liked their toy selection, as it's already curated into good quality stuff. I can see the appeal of having a limited selection these days.

How about having videos explaining how the toys tie in with baby development?

You'll need a good mobile site for all us parents ordering in the wee hours on our phones.

Neverender Wed 13-Mar-19 20:49:11

One piece of advice...go for high end and top earners. You're not picking a demographic which typically has a lot of disposable income.

DrWhy Wed 13-Mar-19 20:49:33

I can actually see this working well, I ended up buying a book called ‘baby play for every day’ because I just had no idea what to do with my first! You could include music CDs with booklets showing actions as well as toys and things. Would be nice to have it month by month with a bit about typical development at that stage and the ability to join the subscription at any month.

TulipsTulipsTulips Wed 13-Mar-19 20:50:16

I had this idea when I had my first DD too! I think it’s a great idea but I didn’t do anything about it. It would especially work for those who are short on space and don’t want to store toys long term. Good luck!

Fiveredbricks Wed 13-Mar-19 20:50:26

They already do them... Market research helps.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 13-Mar-19 20:50:48

What would be even better is some find of toy hire scheme so you can get age appropriate toys without filling your house.

Neverender Wed 13-Mar-19 20:51:13

And could get old pretty quickly if you can't list 100's of items - beauty boxes work because of the wide variety of items they offer; skincare, eye stuff, lipstick, toner etc etc...

Neverender Wed 13-Mar-19 20:52:38

Monthly/3monthly might work as then you could include higher priced items for a 'stage' but monthly, no. (IMO)

Narya Wed 13-Mar-19 20:56:06

They already do them... Market research helps

Well it's not something I've seen anywhere before and I probably would have gone for this type of thing on mat leave with dc1 as I wasn't very inventive with amusing a baby at home. So even if they do exist there are clearly people they aren't currently reaching!

I'd go squarely middle class and definitely push the sensory aspect rather than just play.

DrWhy Wed 13-Mar-19 20:56:12

Yes, as someone above said, go high end, nice wooden toys etc. Look at shops like myriad, babipur, conscious craft, Adams attic etc.
How about including bits related to weaning too?
Please no videos, they disturb a sleeping baby if I play them on my phone! A link to a subscribers bit of a website where you can read the development bit or put it in an e-mail as well as a booklet with the toys - ooh, you could even have them so they go together like a good old fashioned magazine part-work.
Get on social media, have a FB group and generate some hype! Why didn’t I think of this...?!

kaytee87 Wed 13-Mar-19 20:58:01

I'd have bought this when ds was a baby. Possibly only 1 toy and 1 activity per box though or your house ends up over run with toys.
Make them good quality toys.

SquigglySquaw Wed 13-Mar-19 21:03:07

I have a 5month old and I would subscribe to this. Especially if it had ideas of how to play with the toys imaginatively. We have lots of toys but I just wave them in his face because I don't know what else to do and it can get tedious. Go for it!

HoustonBess Wed 13-Mar-19 21:06:43

Wouldn't be keen. Could just find something in the kitchen or head to the charity shop for that. No need to fork out for expensive mail service.

Whatsername7 Wed 13-Mar-19 21:10:09

I would have liked something like this. Also, little cards or an app with suggestions of what to do to interact with the baby. When dh and I bought Dd7 home, we literally sat and stared at her going "now what?"

MammaMia19 Wed 13-Mar-19 21:11:37

I don't think a baby needs a box of stuff every month so It wouldn't appeal to me. I think first time mums from middle/upper class backgrounds would be a good target market though

keepforgettingmyusername Wed 13-Mar-19 21:12:25

'have lots of toys but I just wave them in his face because I don't know what else to do'

There's nothing else you can or should be doing with a baby that young tbh. Toys for babies are pretty pointless. Carrying them about and talking to them is all they really need. I hate this pressure on mums. You don't see many dads making sensory boards out of swatches of material from the curtain shop for 4 month old babies.

Cookit Wed 13-Mar-19 21:14:11

It would depend for me on how much plastic was going to be in them.

EgremontRusset Wed 13-Mar-19 21:17:44

I’d do this on a rental basis - there’s a company called Whirly (I think) advertising to me on fb as toy rental for older kids. But I wouldn’t do it as a subscription where you keep the things.

HennyPennyHorror Wed 13-Mar-19 21:20:53

I think this sounds nice too. Especially if there was no plastic crap in them.

Also like ^Whatshername's* idea of the inclusion of cards with information or milestones etc.

user1471426142 Wed 13-Mar-19 21:30:12

I wouldn’t have gone for a box of toys. I had plenty of age appropriate toys and wouldn’t have wanted a random selection in a box. Also if you go for a richer demographic, they are probably already doing lots of baby classes and getting ideas for play so I think you’d need to do some really careful market research to see what your ideal target market would be and what people would actually be prepared to pay for.

Bytheseamummy Wed 13-Mar-19 21:40:57

Some really interesting points... thank you smile

I wouldn't be going for toys as such, more items for using with baby and ideas for play developing all the senses. I agree about it needing to be high quality items and lots of ideas for play being included. First time parents would be the target. I realise it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea but it sounds like some people would have been interested when their babies were little. I had PND after my first daughter and remember feeling a bit lost but finding some joy in those moments one to one with my baby sharing this kind of play smile

Catscakeandchocolate Wed 13-Mar-19 21:43:29

Sassybloom do these types of boxes. Did them with DD1. I didnt love the amount of plastic in them and would have preferred less toys but better wooden ones

BertieBotts Wed 13-Mar-19 21:46:56

I wouldn't personally buy it as I rarely buy baby toys brand new, but I think it's a good idea and would sell if you stuck to maybe one decent quality thing, some developmental info, (I would keep 2-4 weeks behind average, as that covers the majority the most fairly) and ideas for activities to do. Definitely on paper/printed on the box, not a video. If there is room in the budget for some extra, cheapy small things then great - but one quality toy would be fine. You'd obviously get the toys wholesale - price the boxes a couple of £ more than the toy costs at an average shop, so it doesn't feel hugely overpriced as you're also paying for the information, convenience, surprise factor and the fact that someone has tested and selected the toys based on actual babies. (It would really help if you had some kind of focus group you tested the toys on, but I know that might not be possible.)

You could rotate some of the toys based on the season as well.

If it's successful it might be worth offering a guarantee of no duplicates if someone signs up for a subsequent child.

Bytheseamummy Wed 13-Mar-19 21:56:15

Really useful thoughts, thank you.

It seems like there's a leaning towards non-plastic items too so maybe this could be a feature that would appeal to some parents.

Ceebs85 Wed 13-Mar-19 22:49:56

I have a 4 month old and wouldn't be able to afford it but would subscribe if I could. I know I'm in the minority as other mums seem to be able to afford endless lovely groups and lunches out (not bitter at all grin) Focus on sensory element, include good quality info re development, zero or very little plastic and I think you could be onto a winner.

Get on Dragon's Den.

wishingyouluck Wed 13-Mar-19 23:00:29

I think I'd have used this. I agree, minimum plastic but some is ok if it's good for sensory development or a bath toy etc. Maybe including a few montessori type items, silks that can continue to be used for a few years! smile

3in4years Wed 13-Mar-19 23:03:37

Not for me. Babies will play with anything. It would seem like a waste of money and a bit patronising. But I know some people who would do this I think.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Wed 13-Mar-19 23:05:42

It would seem like a waste of money and a bit patronising.
This

3in4years Wed 13-Mar-19 23:07:43

What happens if you don't let babies develop their senses by the way? Aren't they doing this all the time, naturally? I expect you know a lot about this but I never understood 'baby sensory' stuff. My kids just played with all sorts of stuff without me having to think too hard about it.
Also, this makes me think of toy libraries which are very cheap or free and allow you to rotate toys without having to buy everything. Less money and better for the environment.

Mammylamb Wed 13-Mar-19 23:13:48

Sounds like a good idea OP! Perhaps just a general “baby subscription service” with wee baby gifts would be a great idea too

Mammyloveswine Wed 13-Mar-19 23:21:13

In theory it's s nice idea however as an early years teacher and mother of two it's bit "twee". Much like the hype for the grimms rainbow... singing, stories, peek a boo, narrating your day, bubbles, blocks to build and rings on a peg are all perfectly good activities for babies that are easy but will make a difference.

Maybe focus on "milestone boxes" so a weaning box with Lolly moulds, recipe cards, reusable pouches etc.
A "first Christmas/Halloween/Valentine's day box with a onesie in (various ages) and addiciated props?

Mammyloveswine Wed 13-Mar-19 23:22:36

Associated props that should say xx

DrWhy Thu 14-Mar-19 10:06:02

In theory it's s nice idea however as an early years teacher and mother of two it's bit "twee". Much like the hype for the grimms rainbow... singing, stories, peek a boo, narrating your day, bubbles, blocks to build and rings on a peg are all perfectly good activities for babies that are easy but will make a difference.

I agree with this but note that the hype for the Grimms rainbow means that you can’t get hold of it for love nor money in the month before Christmas despite it costing over £50, also see the fact that Yes Bebe have a waiting list for their Holztiger subscription - you could absolutely embrace the wooden toy hype! Plus yes, all those activities are great so you can include say one or two more expensive toys in each box and things like bubble mixture and wand, music cds and lyrics, chiffon scarves, finger puppets, balls, sensory bags with very cheap everyday items but already selected for you and bagged up nicely. To make them seem more. I wouldn’t pay a monthly subscription just to have someone select a single toy for me, I’d want to think ‘ooh I hadn’t thought of that’ when I opened the box.

yumzy Thu 09-May-19 01:26:31

Did you end up creating the box?

Bytheseamummy Thu 09-May-19 05:03:35

I haven't progressed any further with this yet as I found out I am expecting baby number 3! So the idea is on the back burner for now smile

Creas35 Thu 09-May-19 05:55:03

I think it’s a good idea also and have a newborn. Have a look at these www.eastcoastnursery.co.uk/activity-toys.aspx

Baby sensory branded just thinking they do glove puppets and wrist and ankle rattles just small things.

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