Parenting Advice from a PJ Entrepreneur

When Tara Saltzburg’s son, Trey, was almost a year old she started thinking more about his nighttime needs. “I found many companies that had great clothes for babies and toddlers, but none of them focused on sleepwear. Most of the pajamas I ended up buying were made of an itchy cotton-polyester blend,” she says. The poor fit and irritating tags were getting to be a problem for her son’s severely dry skin. So she set out to design more comfortable sleepwear for him, recently launching Westyn Baby, a collection of gorgeous and breathable pajamas that looks as good as they feel. We talked to Tara about launching her own line, parenting a toddler, and establishing a rock-solid marriage.


“There’s always a bit of unease when starting a new business. I think having the experience with Bretton [medical device company] has given me confidence in myself and my ability as a businesswoman. Throughout my entire professional career, my husband’s been supportive, so I was never worried that starting this business would affect our family life or our marriage, except in a positive way. In fact, he encouraged it.”

Trey and Tara

Photo provided by Westyn Baby

“I would consider us both very authoritative parents. We do establish rules and guidelines that Trey is expected to follow, but we aren’t overly strict. We’ve found that allowing him to feel like he has some control in decision-making is imperative. Sometimes he’ll stay up late, decide he’s tired and walk to his bedroom saying ‘night night!’ Other times take more convincing, but I allow him to choose a toy or two to take to his crib. He usually plays with it for a few minutes before nodding off, and he’s happy because he feels like bedtime was on his terms. We believe too much rigidity and too many restrictions can lead to battles, and we try to save those battles for things that are worth it.”


“My least proud parenting moment occurred recently. Trey is currently in the hitting stage. I usually keep my cool, gently grab his hand and tell him ‘no, it hurts when you hit,’ but I guess my patience was on the fritz that particular day. As he continued to hit, my voice became louder until I was screaming at him in a decibel I hate to admit. He burst into tears, quickly hugging me and saying “Sorry, mama.” It was heartbreaking. I felt horrible since hitting at his age is normal and often a result of over-stimulation and lack of impulse control. I’m sure many parents can relate to this story, but it’s not exactly an effective way of defusing the situation.”


“We still do most of the things we did before having Trey. We have wonderful babysitters that we trust to take care of him so we can enjoy nights out as a couple. We go out to dinner, and this past summer we attended a few concerts with our friends. Because of our schedules, we usually get lunch together at least once a week, and it’s our time to just chat and catch up.”


“I also think having individual time is imperative. My husband enjoys golfing with his friends and I fully support it. I enjoy tennis and sometimes just getting things done without carting a two-year-old around. We both understand the need for individual time so we work together to make sure we both have the time we need.”


“My son recently learned who Cookie Monster is (sort of). I had just finished preparing dinner in the kitchen when Trey walked in, looked at the cookies sitting on the counter, and yelled ‘Cookie Monster!’ He still couldn’t discern the difference between a cookie and the monster himself, but he did learn some new words! I grabbed a cookie and he bit into it with the biggest smile on his face. It could’ve been a battle trying to convince him that he could eat the cookie after dinner, but toddlers don’t grasp the concept of time. Telling him he could have it after dinner is no different than telling him he could have it next week. So, he had chicken and broccoli with a side of chocolate chip cookie.”

Whitney Harris

Whitney C. Harris is a freelance writer living in Westchester, NY, with her husband and toddler daughter. Find her online.