Great ideas often are born from chaos, or in Grace Welch's case - from a single chaotic diaper change. In the space of time it took her to locate her supplies and wrangle a squirrelly baby, her professional background, the influence of her entrepreneurial parents and her desire to go back to work on her own terms came together and the world was gifted with the first circular changing pad. And what a gift it is.
Practically speaking, the Patemm Pad itself is well sized and easy to open. It contains internal pockets to hold the most essential supplies. I managed to fit a travel-sized container of wipes, a tube of arnica and some homeopathic teething tablets, an extra set of clothes, a toy and about three of my diapers. I use pocket cloth diapers, and found that it was a better fit to keep the inserts and covers separate until use. I also managed to squeeze in a cloth bag in which I carry my soiled diapers and/or clothes. If you use disposable diapers, you will definitely have room for more.
My favorite part of this pad's function is that it eliminates the need for a dedicated diaper bag. By all means, there are stunning diaper bags out there on the market in every shape and color, but I find many of them overly expensive and one dimensional. The beauty of a self contained changing station is that I have been able to throw the pad into a variety of bags - from designer to beach - without having to relocate every item.
And then there's the original idea that makes this pad unique: you can change your baby in any position on the pad with anything you might need right at hand. This convenience alone saves not only time but frustration. More than once I have been searching for something in the bag only to have baby flip over and crawl off, usually in a state of undress and unwiped. Not any more! Hah!
In fact, I have found another use for the Patemm pad as well - as a play mat for public places. I recently used it to entertain my daughter on the floor in the back of the room at a conference. The one she was supposed to sleep through. In any case, there she was, playing happily and seeking the toys I had hidden for her in the pockets. I love the idea on the website for continuing the use of the Patemm Pad after your child is out of diapers by using it as a portable art station.
Patemm Pads come in a variety of gorgeous eco-friendly prints, are PVC-free and are entirely made in the USA. I had the opportunity to visit Grace Welch at her Patemm office in San Francisco and see the workshop where all the pads are made, and was delighted to note that not only does purchasing a Patemm pad support a local green business, but it also supports local workers. She understands the balance of raising children and needing to work, and is committed to maintaining a family friendly workplace.
Indeed, one of the benefits of owning her own business is the flexibility and opportunity to remain consistent and close to her own children. Patemm Pads may get rave reviews by celebrities, and deservedly so, but it was the promise Grace makes to the community, to families, to her children and to the environment that made me an enthusiastic fan.
Patemm Pads can be found at Patemm.com or in select stores (limited prints), and run $55.00- $88.00.