“The baby had an upset stomach this morning. She was completely covered and I literally handed her over to the nanny and ran out the door,” she said, with her arms outstretched like a zombie, demonstrating how she ungracefully passed her 16-month-old to her nanny, hoping not to get any stomach ick on her.  “I felt kinda bad, but I was already dressed!”

I laughed. We’ve all been there. I’m sure I was wearing some version of baby spit-up or toddler blech myself. Just hadn’t found it yet.

I fiddled with my iPhone, setting up the camera shot, suggesting we take care of business first so we didn’t have to worry about it and could just chat. We tried a few angles, moved a trash can out of the frame. I let her flip through the images on my phone to make sure she approved.

“I believe that karma can be a real b*tch,” I said. “So I never put unflattering images of people on the website.”

She full-belly laughed — not the nervous, small talk laugh with a hand over her mouth. 

That’s the moment I knew I’d like Becky.

Meet Becky Miller, co-founder of Tinyhood.

She’s a fan of whole milk lattes at The Corner Pantry. Never misses an O’s game and plays paddle tennis with her husband, Bill. {I’ll be honest, I had to look that up!} Starts every Saturday morning with a family outing at Stone Mill Bakery. Loves a date night at Magooby’s Joke House. Is searching for a great Spanish-immersion playgroup for her daughter.

And like many of us, Becky felt completely overwhelmed when she started the whole parenthood gig.

“I remember texting a random person I had met about where I should find a doula… or where I should deliver,” she said, laughing. “She probably thought I was crazy!”

I confided that I didn’t even know what a doula was when I was pregnant with the Bug.

“That’s right! I should have probably started with what is a doula? Do I need one?”

Without any other local friends who had young families or who were starting their families, she had no idea where to find a pediatrician or playgroup. Stumbling upon a neighborhood parent listserv was like striking gold.

“I just don’t want any mom to ever feel overwhelmed like I did. That’s what inspires me to go to work every day.” – Becky Miller, TinyhoodBut finding the listserv was serendipitous, as we all know.

With her background in user interface design and a newfound passion to connect moms, Becky wanted to find a way to make communicating and meeting easier. Working with her longtime colleague and friend, Susan Beaudry Blinn, they developed a new concept: Tinyhood.

It’s the neighborhood parent listserv reinvented.

Tinyhood is an easy and personalized mobile app for parents to connect with each other locally or via common interests. It allows users to get recommendations from other parents in their area on everything from pediatric dentists to where to go for first haircuts. You can buy, sell, or swap baby and kid gear in the Tinyhood marketplace. There is even a place to list local events or set-up playdates.

What began as a kernel of an idea last winter came to fruition in September when Tinyhood launched in the iTunes store for iOS. Recently, the app became available on Android.

Becky works from a home office in Ruxton while the rest of the Tinyhood team works from a small corporate office in Boston. Which means she spends a good deal of her day on Facetime and meeting with Baltimore-area partners.

“We’ve really streamlined the process for moderation,” said Becky, a boon for Tinyhood over existing technologies like email listservs or even Facebook. “Group moderators are usually volunteers. No one wants to spend hours moderating comments or granting access.”

Several Baltimore-area lists and groups have already established communities in Tinyhood. While the groups are mostly location-based at this time, Becky and Susan are looking into the possibility of special-interest groups.

“I just don’t want any mom to ever feel overwhelmed like I did,” said Becky. “That’s what inspires me to go to work every day.”


Coffee With is a new series on (cool) progeny that highlights moms in Baltimore doing (cool) things. Know a mom we should have coffee with? Email Heather at heather AT coolprogeny.com.