Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

Little Padded Seats: A Resource for the Community and How You Can Help

Little-Padded-Seats-logo-150x150If you haven’t heard of Little Padded Seats before, we are excited to share this amazing local resource and storefront with you! If you have heard of them, you know they are THE place to go for all things baby and mama! From pregnancy and nursing products, baby carriers, and cloth diapers to toys and home goods, they have it all!

We encourage you to check them out, tell your friends, and help us support this amazing local business!

About Little Padded Seats

Little Padded Seats is owned by Tommy and Lauri Ericson. If you have ever known local small business owners who live, breathe, and pour every ounce of energy into their business, it is this couple.

I first met Lauri five years ago when I was embarking upon the cloth diapering journey. If you’ve ever considered cloth diapering, you know that the beginning research is daunting. I was overwhelmed and wondering where to start, but luckily found Lauri. Lauri patiently explained everything I needed to know to help me on my journey and was there every step of the way to answer my questions. They have a true heart for community and do everything they can to support and educate moms on all things pregnancy, nursing, teething, and beyond! They are your “go to” people for answers or education.

Little Padded Seats has served area families since 2009. Beginning small on Elm Street, they quickly outgrew their space. They moved to a storefront in Valley Junction, but again outgrew that space! They moved their store to Valley West Mall in December of 2012 and continue to offer products, education, resources, and community for our area families.

Products for Moms & Babies

little padded seats productsLittle Padded Seats focuses on products to support moms through pregnancy and the first two to three years of baby’s life. Their products are environmentally conscious, re-usable, thoughtful, made in a non-exploitive manner, alternative, and economical. Their goal is always to include a higher proportion of locally made – and especially made in USA – items. Their products are all competitively priced, and the customer service is superb. They feature

  • cloth diapers,
  • ergonomically correct and supportive baby carriers,
  • breastfeeding support,
  • teething products,
  • potty training aids,
  • Gift Registry,
  • home products,
  • menstrual solutions and more.


little padded seatsEqual to their products is their goal of education for moms. Whether you need resources or education about cloth diapers, babywearing, or more, Little Padded Seats is where you find that. While you might be able to purchase some of the same products they carry online, they won’t come with the education or the community that Little Padded Seats can give you.

Some of Little Padded Seat’s education efforts include the following:

  • Cloth Diaper Bank: (for the needy) FREE DIAPERS.
  • Cloth Diaper 101: educating people who are new to cloth diapering.
  • Demonstrations: at local hospitals, events, and vendor fairs.
  • Carrier Education: regardless of where you purchased your carrier, they want all children to be safe.
  • Cloth Diaper Garage Sale: allows the community to resell their cloth diapers and carriers at the store six times a year.


Whether you call yourself a natural mama, a crunchy mama, or something in between, you know you’ll be loved and cared for by the community of Little Padded Seats. There are so many ways they nurture and support our area families:

  • Community Room: free-of-charge room for local non-profit groups to use.
  • Little Free Library: so kids read and read and read! (Going in soon – just needs a little paint.)
  • Play Area: for kids to play while shopping or just passing by.
  • Nursing Station: for mothers in the mall to stop by and feed their babies in a quiet area.
  • Changing Table: for anyone to use.

At a Crossroads

With growth and expansion comes growing pains, and this small local business is certainly facing some of those. They have offered so many things for FREE in the community that they are needing to refocus on their core products and reevaluate the current operations, classes, and outreach. In doing that, they need your help to spread the word about them, how they are a huge asset to our community, and how we need to SHOP LOCAL to support this small business! We all have a strong desire to support our local businesses, but now is the time to do that for Little Padded Seats.

How You Can Help

1) Spread the word.

Word of mouth has always been their best marketing tool. Tell your friends about them. Tell your neighbors, co-workers, moms groups, church groups, and anyone you meet at the park, too. When you’re out and about and someone notices your cloth diapered baby is rocking an amber necklace while you’re babywearing, be sure to mention LPS. Even though they’ve been located in Valley West Mall for a year and a half, they constantly hear people walk in and say they haven’t ever heard about them. Let’s change this!

2) Reconsider co-ops and buying online.

little padded seats storefrontThere’s nothing wrong with participating in a co-op or buying online. However, if there is a local source like LPS for the same product for maybe a dollar or two more, consider what benefit that local source provides to you and what impact your purchase will make one way or the other before you make your decision. That extra money is staying in our community, supporting local families and our local economy.

3) If you’re benefiting, pay it back!

If you’re benefiting from the resources and community LPS provides, support them before going elsewhere to buy just because it’s cheaper. Let me explain a little concept of ”Showrooming”: This is when customers come in to a store and use the sales staff to get educated about a product, helping them make their decision of whether and which product they want to buy, but then they walk out of the store and buy the product elsewhere.

For example, diapers and baby carriers both require substantial education. Don’t go to LPS and ask for education and help, but then go online to buy your Ergo or Rumparooz. LPS wants more babies in cloth diapers and being worn in an ergonomic and supporting fashion, but they do that as a service for you as a customer. Getting help from them but not buying in return both deprives them of sales and ties up their time and energy for the customers who do support the store.

I strongly encourage you to rally around this amazing local business and show them your love. Let’s show Little Padded Seats how DMMB followers value our local businesses and families!

Connect with Little Padded Seats

Go see them in Valley West Mall (lower level by food court) between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. today!

Like them on Facebook, and shop, find resources, and learn online.

Contact Lauri or Tommy at 515.557.0947 or [email protected]

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for writing this post or endorsing this local business. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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