Our Story

CozeeCoo's CEO and Inventor, Jennifer Stelmakh pictured
with her husband, Michael, and their two children, Andrew and Anthony.
 

Our Story:

Anthony came into the world a few minutes after midnight on November 29th. Just like his brother, Andrew, he was perfect and we were absolutely in love. 

We first realized something was wrong when Anthony was about nine weeks old. I noticed that his chin looked like it had been badly burned. His pediatrician said the rash on Anthony’s face was minor and that it would go away. 

But it didn’t go away.

Almost overnight, it spread across his cheeks and neck. It was horribly itchy and he could not stop scratching for a single moment. No matter how short Anthony’s nails were, he still scratched until he bled. He rubbed his face raw with mitts on. He wriggled out of swaddling blankets. Other products just held his limbs down tight, which caused friction and heat. This made his skin worse.

Nothing helped. Pretty soon, Anthony's face was one big open wound and he even had hair loss. We physically had to hold his hands down for hours at a time. Sleep was unmanageable.

The children's hospital told us that since Anthony’s life wasn’t at risk, it would be two months before we could see a dermatologist. It was easily the worst time in my life. I just kept thinking, ‘My baby is suffering because I can’t figure out the cause!

The breakthrough happened in a moment of utter desperation.

I am a professional dressmaker, and I remember thinking to myself: ‘If I can’t at least help my baby with a garment, then who am I?

I had to figure out a way to keep Anthony’s hands away from his face.

I brainstormed the idea of a lightweight, sleeve that held Anthony’s hands away from his face yet still allowed for movement in the arms and legs. I ran to my sewing machine and I had never sewn so fast. I then slipped the garment on Anthony and slowly lifted my hands off of him not yet believing he wouldn’t wriggle free. Instead he just smiled at me because I could not stop smiling.

It worked!

Anthony stopped waking himself up to scratch. He slept better through the night  and then began eating better. This allowed us to sleep better—and to find the answers we needed. We learned that Anthony has eczema food triggers and food allergies that came through my breast milk. Fragrances in detergents and diapers were also culprit ingredients for his eczema flares. My invention kept Anthony from causing injuries to his face and gave his medicines the chance to work without being rubbed off.

CozeeCoo was born.

One day when we were out, a woman stopped to ask me what Anthony was wearing. I was surprised and then she said “How can I get one?” I was speechless. People kept asking questions about it, and then our allergist saw it and said "I've never seen anything like this. You should really sell it". Then Anthony’s dermatologist made the same comment.

That's when we realized this is bigger than us; that we had to share it.

After doing our research, we learned that Anthony is one of 26,000,000 babies each year who are diagnosed with eczema worldwide. This garment, which we named the CozeeCoo™ has even gone beyond what it was originally intended for. By restricting the ability to touch the face yet still support arm and leg movements, CozeeCoo™ helps babies to not tamper with medical devices and/or healing sites yet can still support muscle and motor skill development. CozeeCoo™ is a safe and comfortable embrace when the urge to itch or touch is strong. It's especially beneficial at night when those reflexes can disrupt sleep.

CozeeCoo™ was the absolute turning point in getting Anthony’s skin condition under control.

My mission is to help babies and their caregivers thrive beyond their medical journeys. CozeeCoo™ was that support for my Anthony and I hope it can be that support for your little one.

 

Sincerely here to help,

Jennifer Stelmakh

Mother of two, wife, CEO, Founder and Inventor at CozeeCoo™