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Wahoo and Happy 6th Birthday to Tot Squad!!! Time flies when you're having fun and I can’t believe it has been 6 years since our very first event, at Giggle in Pasadena (back when we were known as "CleanBeeBaby"). The business has been through quite the evolution since then!

I’ve always known I would be an entrepreneur – it is in my blood. I started mulling over business ideas my first year at Kellogg in 2008 and 3 years later, CleanBeeBaby was born. I moonlighted while working full time at The Wonderful Company to pay off my tuition sponsorship and after quitting, spent 6 months driving the van every day and doing the cleaning and installations, myself. Scrubbing vomit-coated car seats in 100 degree heat – those were some of the hardest, most humbling days. However, I can now say that I’ve done every job at this company and there is immense value in that.

Shortly after nailing the logistics and pricing in Los Angeles, we opened our doors in...

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4 Tips For Flying With Kids

What do a root canal and running a marathon have in common? Both are easier and a bit more pleasant than flying with kids. In all seriousness, air travel with kids isn't for the faint of heart, but here are a few tips that just might help a little....or a LOT!

TIP ONE: PACK ONLY WHAT YOU HAVE TO

Sometimes it feels as though you need an entourage just to transport all your children’s gear...car seat, stroller, portable crib, diaper bag, feeding supplies, etc.. But when you travel, bring only what you absolutely need for the actual flight and purchase/rent/borrow everything else at your destination. Most hotels, even many economy class hotels, provide cribs or pack n’ plays free of charge. There are also services such as Babierge or Travel Babees that actually will deliver gear to your hotel or condo. They will bring car seats, cribs, high chairs, strollers, even toys right to you so you don't have...

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One of the most common questions asked of our team of Child Passenger Safety Technicians is if their child is ready to switch to a booster seat. Rather than switch your child when they meet the minimum to sit in a booster (roughly 3 years old AND 30lbs), we prefer for children to make the leap once they have outgrown their 5 point harness, front-facing convertible seat.

At this age, with your little one outgrowing his or her clothes and shoes so quickly, you might naturally think you need to move up to a booster car seat, but your child is safest in a 5 point harness as long as they are within the seat's height and weight limits AND your child's shoulders are not higher than the top harness slots. (For example, a child might be within the height limit of their 5 point car seat, but if they have an unusually long torso and their shoulders are above the top harness slots, it's time to change seats.)

Some parents are eager to switch seats because booster seats are often more portable and easier to install/use or because their children complain about having to sit in...

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In this mom’s book, lice is not only a four letter word, but a word that taps into my deepest, darkest fears: Creepy, crawly, itchy bugs that cannot be eliminated with a mere swat or can of Raid. Rather, getting rid of those buggers is a tedious and time-consuming process that takes diligence and can be a social stigma for children and leave parents feeling paranoid and unsettled, long afterwards.

Lice is nothing new and unfortunately with their ability to develop resistance to certain drug treatments over time, we are not likely to be rid of them anytime soon. In fact, the CDC estimates that 6 to 12 million children in the United States get lice, annually! Children ages 3 to 11 are most heavily affected.

So, what’s a parent to do? For starters, don’t rest on your laurels by assuming that lice are the result of neglect or poor hygiene and that it won’t affect your child. Lice are equal opportunists and anyone and everyone are susceptible. Don’t...

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Dirty stroller? Grimy car seat? Struggling with installing that car seat? Let our experts come to the rescue with our cleaning and safety super powers!

Every Saturday from 10am to 4pm, Tot Squad is at buybuy BABY Torrance and Mission Viejo offering car seat installations and baby gear cleaning at amazing savings: Get 20% off a service with your $75 same-day, in-store purchase. Simply present your receipt to a Tot Squad associate onsite for your discount. If you have an additional discount with a code, you can enter that when you book online.

Book now as appointments fill up fast with these incredible savings! You can also ead more here about our services.

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In these chilly winter months, you just want to keep your little ones toasty warm, but when you are buckling them in their car seats, be sure to remove their bulky winter coat, first!

Why? Bulky coats can add inches of insulation to their frames, which will cause you to loosen straps and harnesses that are designed to work most effectively when flush to their bodies. Loose straps can lead to head and chest injuries, or even death, in the event of a car accident, as this scary TODAY show video demonstrates.

So what do you do when the temperature outside is frigid? Obviously it helps to heat the car slightly ahead of time, but that isn't always practical. We recommend dressing your child in layers, such as long underwear and a thin fleece jacket under their bulky winter coat. Remove their bulky winter coat, buckle them in and then place their winter coat or a blanket OVER them. For newborns, you can...

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Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. Buckling up your child in their car seat is obviously the most important thing you can do, but a shocking 3 of 4 car seats are incorrectly installed,

Car seats can be tricky and frustrating, so Tot Squad is on a mission to help improve car seat safety with our team of certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians. We can educate you on how to properly install your child's car seat or check your DIY installation. Check out our car seat installation services or book an appointment today.

Read the California Office of Traffic Safety brochure below so you know ALL the California car seat safety laws that apply to your children from birth to their teenage years.

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Did you know that babies can start learning to swim at 3 months, but can be taught water skills even earlier? There’s no better way to introduce your child to water than in a bathtub at home. It is not only a comfortable and secure setting for your child, but also a controlled environment for parents. By filling up the bathtub, you can promote water comfort and introduce different exercises that will make your child more comfortable in the water.

Here are 4 bath time activities that will help your baby learn-to-swim!

1. Practice getting baby’s face wet

There are many adults who are afraid of submerging their heads fully under water, so it’s hard to blame a toddler for being apprehensive. That’s why it’s important to get your child comfortable with water on their face ASAP. You can do this by first wetting different parts of their face. Move on to a slow trickle of water over your baby’s face and down the back of the head.

2. Teach unassisted floating in the tub

Bath time is a...

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Ensure your child is in the right seat at every age and stage with this simple guide.

Rear-Facing Car Seats

Rear-facing seats include both infant seats (consisting of 2 parts; base + bucket seat with handle) and a convertible car seat. Children should be in a rear-facing car seat until at least age 2, but ideally until they outgrow the height and weight limit of their specific car seat, as rear-facing is safest for toddlers’ developing spines

  • Position the harness straps at or below your child’s shoulders

  • Position the chest clip at the child’s armpit level

  • Ensure the seat is installed at the correct angle. Refer to seat manual.

  • Using an infant seat? Make sure the handle is locked in the travel position. Be sure to check your owner's manual to determine the correct travel position.

  • Worried about your child’s legs? DON’T BE! Your child can cross their legs, prop them up or leave them hanging on the side and they will be safe.

...

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Tips on Spring has sprung and with it comes the cleaning bug. Many of us have the urge to rid our attics and garages of our outgrown hobbies or to pass along those once-essential baby items that are now just taking up space. Those pieces have been accumulating dust and dirt, so why not make room for new adventures?

But how do you go about cleaning everything? I recommend tackling the “hard stuff” first. Your belongings that are physically hard, that is. Metal, wood, and other smooth surfaces can easily be wiped down with a damp cloth. Rough or plastic surfaces can be hosed down, if they are especially dirty. However, avoid hosing down metal items as it might cause rust in those small crevasses. Items stored in the garage seem to have a habit of ending up with grease stains. (It’s a mysterious phenomenon that my husband swears has nothing to do with his tools.) Not to worry though. If there is something especially dirty or stained with grease, my “go to” is blue Dawn dish soap combined with a lot of elbow grease. I like to scrub with a toothbrush which is...

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In honor of Earth Day, which is celebrated worldwide on April 22nd, we wanted to address the question of recycling or reusing car seats. Here are some of the most common questions (and answers to them) that we receive at Tot Squad:

Q: Can I use a car seat after its been in a car accident?

A: There is a lot of confusion about this. If the accident was moderate to severe, such as damage to the car, injury to occupants, air bags deployed, etc. then absolutely the car seat must NOT be used again. The force of a car crash could cause damage to the integrity of the car seat, even if it is not visible.

For minor accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and some car seat manufacturers will say it is okay to reuse the seat if the accident meets certain criteria, while others will say it must be replaced, regardless. Make sure to check with your car seat manufacturer for specific information related to your seat.

State laws also vary,...

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We interviewed our in-house safety expert, Bethany Reel Lovings, about her passion for child safety and her best safety tip for parents.

BETHANY, TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF?

MY name is Bethany Reel Lovings and I am Tot Squad’s in-house Child Passenger Safety Advocate and Operations Manager.

WHAT IS A CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY ADVOCATE?

My role is to educate both our staff and parents on all matters involving car seat safety. I attend conventions, webinars and am active in the child safety community in order to stay up to date on new legislation, recalls, safety updates and product technology. It’s a lot to keep up with, but the greatest challenge is keeping families informed and helping them to understand what these changes may mean for them.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME INVOLVED IN CHILD SAFETY?

I attended the University of Wisconsin where I received my degree in Community Health Education/Public Health. I always knew I wanted to be in the health field and help...

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Oftentimes, as mothers we feel the need to be prepared for everything. Like Mary Poppins, we should be ready to pull literally anything and everything out of our “magic bag”. I have found the key to diaper bag organization (and my sanity) is to compartmentalize. I always select a diaper bag with no less than 4 large pockets inside: one for diapers and wipes; another for a change of clothes (including extra socks); a miscellaneous pocket for items based on where I am going that day (i.e. a grocery list and a pen, a spare phone battery pack for a day at the zoo, etc.); and the “emergency pocket”. The emergency pocket is a catch-all for those “uh-oh!” moments. This is where I keep the Tide pen, hand sanitizer, bandages, hair bands, etc. Basically, anything else you can think of to be prepared for those little, life emergencies. It’s also a good idea to store these items in a zip top bag. It helps to prevent stains inside the pocket, if anything explodes.

Compartmentalization doesn’t stop at the pockets in my bag. I also like to utilize...

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Franchising has a branding problem these days. In the age of high-tech start ups, franchising can seem...well...a little old-fashioned. The reality is, however, that the franchising industry is growing faster than other businesses. For the last 5 years, franchising has outpaced the economy's growth and will contribute 3% to the total U.S. GDP - an increase of 5.1% from last year.

Have you thought about starting a Tot Squad franchise, but been unsure if you have the financial resources to do so? We recently partnered with Benetrends Financial, which specializes in small business financing, to help potential entrepreneurs launch their dreams. Offering a comprehensive suite of financing options, they have helped more than 10,000 people finance their franchises.

Visit our franchising page to find out more about the financing products Benetrends offers and start a Tot Squad franchise - the business that CNBC has dubbed a...

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Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Control. Work/life balance. Flexibility. FInancial independence. Job security.

Owning a Tot Squad franchise gives you all that, but also the reassurance of an established, nationally recognized brand with a proven track record and the tools, processes and systems to be profitable from Day 1. And the support of the Tot Squad family to guide you every step of the way, because your success is our success.

Named one of the hottest new franchise concepts of 2015 by CNBC, Tot Squad takes the guesswork out of owning your own business. A cash business with little overhead, Tot Squad is poised to turn the franchising world upside down.

We are very excited to also now offer financing options through Benetrends Financial. Fill out a simple form on our franchising page to view our virtual brochure and learn more about joining the Tot Squad family!

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We are thrilled to announce the kickoff of our partnership with Orbit Baby as their first authorized stroller repair provider!

Orbit Baby rolled on to the scene years ago with a revolutionary idea in baby travel systems. The “Smart Hub” technology for the car seat, base and stroller system allows you to never wake your sleeping baby during the transition from car to stroller and permits your baby full 360-degree rotation. The stroller is lightweight, compact and can fold easily with ONE hand. Combine all this with its futuristic styling and Orbit made a huge impact on the car seat/stroller market.

We have long admired Orbit for their commitment to customer service and eye towards innovation and design. We are so proud to be offering stroller repairs on all their amazing models.

So if your stroller alignment is off, if your brakes aren’t as tight as they should be or if you need help converting your stroller with a Double Plus Helix kit, then make an appointment to see us. We will check your stroller’s repair needs, order any relevant parts and provide...

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So you are expecting your second baby....congratulations!! You have so many exciting things to look forward to, such as introducing your older child to their new sibling, watching them become best friends, taking adorable pictures of them in matching outfits, and if they are born within three or four years of one another, strolling around with them in your double stroller.

Wait. What's that you say? You haven't decided on which double stroller works best for your new growing family? No problem...you came to the right place! Let's talk double strollers.

Double strollers are broken down into two main categories: tandem and side-by-side. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of my favorites in each category and what you need to know about each.

TANDEM

Tandem strollers, or in-line strollers, are strollers where one kid sits behind the other, not beside each other. Tandem strollers are generally the same width as a single stroller so they are easy to fit in doors and narrow spaces, such as ramps. The con is their length....

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FREE GIFT With Purchase: Bugaboo Fabric Sets

This is an amazing and limited time offer! Help keep your stroller rolling along & looking like new! Book ANY service at our Tot Squad office in Culver City and receive a free fabric set (sun canopy and bassinet apron) worth $90+ as a gift.

Quantities and colors are in limited supply, customers must make their selection at our Culver City office on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Book now to reserve a space!

*RULES: One set per purchase. Limited colors & quantities of sets for Cameleon, Cameleon3 and Donkey models available, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Selections must be made at our Culver City Office between 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday. Only valid from 8/25/15 to 12/31/16. No rain checks, extensions, or price adjustments. Not valid with any other discount, promotion, voucher, or deal. Must purchase $100 stroller tune-up package to receive one complimentary fabric set. Appointments required.

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Is your stroller looking worse for wear? Good news! We are teaming up with Nordstrom on a series of exclusive events. Head over to the closest store near you for a *FREE stroller cleaning! Schedule your appointment by calling the Baby & Kids department at the store numbers listed below.

Saturday, 8/29 | 11am - 5pm

Nordstrom Fashion Valley - 6997 Friars Rd., San Diego, CA 92108

(619) 295-4441

Saturday, 9/5 | 11am - 5pm

Nordstrom Brea - 500 Brea Mall Way, Brea, CA 92821

(714) 529-0123

Saturday, 9/12 | 11am - 5pm

Nordstrom South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(714) 549-8300

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With Summer winding down and school starting back up, many parents are opting to carpool with other families. While carpooling is a super smart and convenient option, here are 5 tips to ensure all your precious passengers stay safe.

1. HAVE A SAFETY DISCUSSION WITH YOUR CARPOOL

You may do all the right things when it comes to kids and cars, but what about the other parents you are entrusting your children with? Do they always make sure safety seats are being used properly? Do they always keep kids ages 12 and under in the backseat? Do they always refrain from using their cell phone while driving? Have a frank discussion with each driver and make sure you are all on the same page...the safest page.

2. REMEMBER BASIC CAR SEAT SAFETY

In a nutshell, kids should remain in their five point harness seats, as long as possible. Once they reach the maximum weight and/or height requirements for their five point harness seat (check your seat’s manual), they can move to a booster seat. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics...

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Dream of owning your own business or know someone who wants to? Tot Squad is now offering franchises nationwide, with some predesigned territories right here in Southern California.

Tot Squad comes to the rescue of busy parents by offering:

- Car seat and stroller cleaning

- Car seat installations

- Stroller repairs

We bring our grime-fighting super powers to different retail locations daily and also make house calls. We are the only major baby gear service that offers car seat installations by certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and are an authorized service repair center for Bugaboo, Orbit and Maclaren strollers.

Enjoy being your own boss and coming to the rescue of other busy parents. Tot Squad's business is booming - join the revolution!

Know someone else who might be interested in starting a Tot Squad franchise? We are offering a $500 referral bonus* if you introduce us to a prospective candidate who ultimately buys...

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If you are planning on registering for your new baby any time soon, first, CONGRATULATIONS! And second, you are not alone...many expectant parents these days register at one or more stores in preparation for their new baby. When I'm purchasing a baby gift off a registry, I love knowing exactly what they need for their new addition. But, for some, the process of registering can be a little overwhelming. Here are some tips that will help even first-time parents register like a pro.

1. REGISTER IN PERSON, NOT ONLINE

When you are pregnant, anything you can do that doesn't require you to leave the house (or the sofa, for that matter) can be extremely appealing, but if possible, try to register in person. Not only do you get a first-hand perspective on the customer service of the stores you selected, but you also get to physically touch/handle/see what you are registering for. Remember, things can look very different online and may not be exactly what you thought you were getting. Plus, it's a fun experience for new parents to have together.

For big...

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An exclusive event presented in partnership with Tot Squad, Urban Sitter, and beGLAMMED...

Trunk Club

8886 Venice Blvd., Culver City

Sunday, 8/23 | 12 - 3pm

Trunk Club, the personal styling service for men, is debuting their new service for women. Join us for the afternoon of your dreams with these complimentary services:

- Stroller & car seat cleanings from Tot Squad

- Stylist consultation from Trunk Club for Women

- Hair & makeup mommy makeovers plus gift cards from beGLAMMED

- Supervised play area by Urban Sitter

- Mimosas and great door prizes!

Space is limited! - RSVP to lamanager@thetotsquad.com by Aug 20th

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You don't have to be a supermodel to feel glamorous pushing the new Bugaboo Runner stroller. It's sleek, smart and sophisticated design, coupled with the name “Bugaboo”, no doubt makes it one of the most stylish jogging strollers on the market.

After months of anticipation it's finally available for purchase! The question: Was this fashion-forward jogging stroller worth the wait? Let's take a closer look and see....

Here are some of the features of the Bugaboo Runner:

- Running frame is compatible with the seat of any Bugaboo stroller, giving your child the same comfortable ride he or she enjoys in their Bugaboo Cameleon, Donkey, Bee, or Buffalo

- A reversible seat, enabling your child to ride on his/her earliest jogs either facing mom or dad (and keeping bugs or wind out of his/her face) OR facing out to enjoy the sights before them

- Air-filled rubber tires and built-in suspension for a smooth push and a smooth ride

- A comfortable seat recline, allowing kids to relax or nap while you jog

- Big wheels! 16” rear-wheels and a 14”...

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Be careful this July 4th weekend, it is one of the deadliest American holidays due to drunk driving. Click here to see the whole infographic with valuable safety tips. Please share this with your friends and make sure they drive safe this holiday!

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To say that kids are messy is a huge understatement. If your children are anything like mine, you would probably agree they can be disasters! In fact, I often say that I live with four little forces of nature that leave nothing untouched in their paths.

Fortunately for moms like me, there are some amazing cleaning products on the market to provide some relief for our cars and homes. Here are my top picks AND a little bonus all-natural DIY cleaner at the end.

Favorite Stain Remover

I love the stain remover by The Honest Co. This awesome product is especially effective at removing the toughest of stains (ketchup! grass! juice!) AND it is safe to use on carpeting, car seats, upholstery, linens...pretty much any washable fabric. PLUS, it contains no harsh bleach, vapors or questionable residues so it's safe for our babies. It's also biodegradable and non-toxic so it's safe for our environment. Just what you need to clean up after...

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Got summer travel plans with the kids? Have no fear...this mommy is here to save the day with some awesome car activities for you!

Earlier this year, our family took a trip to visit my in-laws. The thought of being trapped in a car for a minimum of six hours with four kids under the age of six got me a bit tense...okay a LOT tense. So, I did what any savvy mommy would do....I opened my Pinterest app and started pinning!! Here are my TOP FIVE favorite activities I found to entertain the kids while traveling.

1. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

This is super fun and really helps pass the time. Simply download a fun, printable checklist like this and have the kids keep their eyes peeled for each item on the list. The first family member to get all the items gets a prize!

2. Cookie Sheet Activity Tray

I love this idea. You just need a metal cookie sheet and various magnets. You can use magnet alphabet letters, magnet paper dolls, magnet tiles...anything magnetic works!...

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Mommy confession time. Up until a year ago, I had never installed a car seat by myself. Basically for five years, I always had my car seats professionally installed or relied on one of the men in my life to make sure the car seat was secured properly. I avoided carpools where I had to remove my seats, I cringed at the thought of needing a rental car, and the thought of letting one of my kids go on a field trip in another parent's car terrified me. That was until the day I entrusted my car (and car seats) to an overzealous car wash attendant and was forced to face my fears and quickly learn how to install those seats.

The car wash attendant met me and my three kids at the check out counter with those dreaded words, "We have a little problem." As I looked over at my parked car, I noticed my car seats sitting off to the side. He went on to explain that he had wanted to clean under the seats, so he removed them, but then couldn't figure out how to get them back in.

I tried to play it cool, but how was I going to get my kids home safely? I had to learn fast. If you find...

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Infant seats, convertible seats, booster seats, OH MY! It's enough to make this mommy's head spin! We love our babies desperately and we know how important it is that they are in the correct car seat, but those guidelines can be pretty confusing! As a mommy of four, I consider myself pretty well versed on all things baby-related, but in the past, I often found myself stressing a bit over my kids' car seats. I can't promise that this article will help you stress less (that's just what we parents do, right?), but it will hopefully help you to make informed decisions.

Remember, if this is all too overwhelming or if you just want help to evaluate or install your child's car seat properly, Tot Squad's team of certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians can help you - just book an appointment here.

Now before I break this down, some reminders to keep in mind...

*Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions (check height and weight limits) and to see how to...

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VOMIT. PUKE. THROWUP. UP CHUCK. All words that strike fear in the hearts of pretty much every mom out there. And the only thing worse than your kid puking everywhere is your kid puking everywhere in the car. Trust me...I know.

A few weeks ago as I was driving along, the kids and I were jamming out to our favorite Taylor Swift song when out of nowhere my three-year-old starts puking....everywhere.

My six-year old who was sitting next to him starts gagging, my one-year-old starts screaming to get out of his seat and all the ruckus wakes up the baby who immediately starts crying. Pure chaos erupted....and all the while, my son is still throwing up. I pull over and start frantically searching for a bag, a bucket, something....but all I can find quickly is my hands. (I know...so gross!!) Oh, if only I was better prepared...you would have thought I would have learned my lesson from the last two times this happened....but sadly, I didn't.

After that experience I made a plan...a plan that I'll share with you, but first...let's talk about what steps to take to clean...

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Tot Squad Baby Gear Cleaning

CleanBeeBaby is all grown up and is now TOT SQUAD! When I started CleanBeeBaby four years ago with the mission to help busy parents, I could not have imagined the positive response we would receive. We have expanded from Los Angeles down to San Diego, across the country to NYC and plan to be in 10-15 more cities next year. To date, we’ve helped upwards of 12,000 moms, dads and caregivers with the cleaning and care of their baby gear. We have established partnerships* with some of the most significant brands and retailers in the baby and mom world and we have been recognized by numerous national publications as an entrepreneurial up and comer to look out for.

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