Imagine the feeling of finally solving a problem that has been frustrating you for years. Read on to find out how new mum Natalie turned her child’s strop into a product that has sold in John Lewis! ‘Sockatoos’ are fab quality cotton trousers with unique built-in socks for babies and toddlers up to 4 years. It all started while Natalie was getting her youngest son dressed…

The Outcome

Sockatoos have now got a significant range of products and sell across the UK.

Since the product launched, it has won prestigious awards, been sold in John Lewis and Partners and other premium retailers in the UK and worldwide, expanded its range and appeared in mainstream publications.

Natalie says: “Nursery staff love Sockatoos as they are the only socks left on little feet at the end of the day!” Sold in Britain’s leading and largest nursery retailer and fantastic reviews from childcare professionals – a great result from an idea born out of necessity.

The Story

Picture this: you’re trying to dress a wriggling baby, and their socks keep falling off. Frustrating, right? That’s what happened to Natalie, a determined and resourceful new mum. She searched high and low for toddler and baby trousers with attached socks, but to no avail. And so, the seed for ‘Sockatoos’ all-in-ones was planted.

At D2M, we specialise in all manner of bay equipment design, and so we were thrilled to partner with Natalie and turn her vision into a reality. As parents ourselves, we understand the struggle of losing countless socks while out and about with your little one. We knew that creating a successful product for toddlers would require a deep understanding of the needs and preferences of parents, as well as the latest certification requirements. But hey, we’ve been there, done that, and got the onesie to prove it!

Our fabric product development team worked tirelessly to ensure that ‘Sockatoos’ not only met our client’s expectations but exceeded them. We explored different design concepts, created multiple prototypes, and sourced the right manufacturer to ensure top-notch quality and efficiency.

Our experience of designing and launching our own pushchair product taught us valuable lessons about the intricacies of baby equipment design. We bring this knowledge and expertise to every project, helping our clients avoid common mistakes and pitfalls.

We worked closely with Natalie to ensure that ‘Sockatoos’ not only looked great but also met her standards for quality, durability, and ethical considerations. We kept her informed throughout the product development process, providing regular updates and involving her in every step. Trust and transparency are key to our process.

‘Sockatoos’ not only met our Natalie’s expectations but also became a hit among parents. It even
garnered fantastic reviews from industry experts!

If you have an idea for an innovative piece of baby equipment or toddler product idea that needs designing, we’d love to help turn it into a reality. With our expertise and knowledge, we’ll guide you through every step of the product development process, from concept to launch. Don’t let frustration win – contact us today to bring your vision to life.

Related Case Study


Baby Equipment Design: The Unique Challenges and Considerations 

Designing baby products is definitely not child’s play! As a seasoned product design company with a wealth of experience in designing baby equipment, we can attest to this fact! Baby product design, like with Sockatoos, comes with a unique set of challenges and considerations that differ from conventional industrial design in a variety of ways. If you’re considering developing a new baby product idea, then read on to learn about what is required. 

The Challenges of Baby Product Design 

Baby products have to meet the highest standards of safety, functionality, and durability. This is not easy, and with Sockatoos, this required working with a highly experienced and specialised manufacturer and also an international recognised test house. It was critical that the trousers must not only be safe and easy to use but also comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. When designing baby equipment, designers have to consider the specific needs and preferences of both the babies and their caregivers, alongside safety standards, and very few designers have experience in this.  

Let’s dig a little deeper into the necessity of designing baby products with extensive knowledge of safety regulations and certification requirements. Innovators must ensure that their products comply with the latest safety standards and regulations to protect babies and toddlers from harm. In our experience these standards can kill projects and so our unique process minimises this risk using our team’s in-depth knowledge and partner expert test engineers where necessary. 

User Research in Baby Equipment 

One of the most critical aspects of designing baby equipment is user research is gaining detailed market insight. We conducted extensive focus groups, surveys and interviews with industry experts as part of our development process of the Ark Pushchair. At one stage, we even soft launched to 30 leading experts at an international trade-show! The feedback about the product was great but the branding was wrong. It was definitely best to find this out pre-launch! Even then certain elements were missed and so we’ve updated and improved our processes for new projects. 

Our development process builds this in to allows us to design products that meet specific needs and preferences. Take our word for it – no-one can fully anticipate the reaction of their target market – it is much better to ask to your prospective customers. We’ve seen too many products launch that proved to be white elephants because of a lack of early stage market research. Natalie, from Sockatoos, did plenty of informal market research to ensure her project was on track and that the colour and style range she was development was going to be an instant hit with new mums. 

Sustainability in Baby Equipment Design 

Sustainability is another critical consideration in baby product design. Innovators ideally need to ensure that their products are eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethically produced whilst also being competitive price wise. This is really difficult balancing act rather like walking a tightrope. Sustainable thinking includes using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste, and ensuring that the products are recyclable or biodegradable. 


At D2M, we are committed to sustainability and ethical considerations in our baby equipment design and development processes. We worked closely with our clients to ensure that their products met their ethical considerations while also ensuring the sustainability of the products. We’ve also carefully selected a small group of manufacturing partners who share our values whilst being prepared to produce small initial batch sizes. This includes the manufacturer of Sockatoos! 

In Conclusion 

Designing baby products is a complex and challenging field that requires a deep understanding of the needs and preferences of babies, toddlers, and their caregivers. It requires extensive knowledge of safety regulations and certification requirements, as well as a commitment to sustainability and ethical considerations.  

As product designers with personal experience designing and launching our own range of baby equipment, we are uniquely placed to support you in the development of your new baby product idea. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help bring your vision to life. 

From idea

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