Monday, January 8th, 2007
Three Unusual Baby and Toddler Products, Volume 2
1. PlatePal is a small platform clamped to the edge of a table, with two pieces of Velcro you attach to bond a feeding bowl to the table. I looked at the front page of the PlatePal web site a long time,
thinking, "I don’t get it. Is that really what this product is about?" I guess if junior wants to throw his bowl, he will have to settle for scooping the food out of the bowl with his hands and flinging it.
When my daughter would toss her bowl, we told her in a stern voice not to do it. She learned that throwing her bowl meant her beloved pureed peas were goneâ€”and more food wouldn’t be coming until Mom or Dad cleaned up the mess. We let her look at her lost peas for a while before doing anything. It was a self-correcting problem.
I own one of the third-party bowls shown being used with PlatePal. That blue-green bowl by The First Years / Learning Curve is sold with an attachable suction cup so that, you know, a table clamp probably isn’t necessary.
Not to sound completely jaded, I confess that just yesterday a friend lasted only 10 minutes with her baby in a restaurant highchair before germ-fearing disgust forced her to hold her baby in her lap for the rest of the meal.
Maybe PlatePal makes sense to some parents. There are many options in this realm, including portable placemats, suction baby bowls, non-tip learning bowls and stay-put cutlery (it’s like using a bank pen).
2. Thingamareader Carrie reports that her husband returned from a Japanese business trip with this little gem costing $10. A diagram on the package shows Mom sucking a tube connected to her baby’s nose.
The only English phrases on the product package read, "Nasal Mucus Aspirator for Sucking with Mouth" and "Mama Hanamizu Totte." I found a blogger who translates the second phrase to mean "mama snot pluck." (If someone reading this post understands Japanese characters, shoot me an e-mail.)
An aspirator is used for sucking mucous from a baby’s nasal passages. My labor and delivery nurse wife reports that she uses a similar device, called a DeLee Catheter, to remove meconium from the back of a newborn’s throat. The DeLee consists of a tube inserted into the nose or mouth with the other end of the tube leading into a container "trap" for capturing the meconium. The tube then heads to a filter, and then out to a suction machine. So, one would hope that Japanese parents have a trap and filter and aren’t sucking mucous into their mouths.
Far more docile electronic baby nasal aspirators are sold in America.
3. Tubsider by Infantino is a seat for washing your baby. Let’s be clear on this point. Tubsider is a seat for the parent, not the baby. While your infant bobbles about in the tub, your legs are conveniently restricted in this contraption. Oh, but who cares? Your spine is in proper alignment and stress has been reduced on your elbows, knees and lower back, or so the manufacturer says.
I just have to think though… if your body is so worn that you need a special seat for bath time, maybe bath time should not include play time. Get the baby clean and get out. What’s so wrong with kneeling on a rolled up towel? Or sitting in the tub with your baby? How did we survive before the invention of this device?
See also: Three Unusual Baby and Toddler Products:
- Volume 1: High Leg chair extender, nursing bracelet, Clever Coverz.
- Volume 2: PlatePal, Mama Snot Pluck, Tubsider parent seat.
- Volume 3: The Zoo animal storage, Sneeze Sleeve, The Potty Song.
- Volume 4: Yellow pages booster seat, My First Zamboni, Solar System Travel Bag.
- Volume 5 Japanese edition: shampoo hat, nursing bottle scissors, Pooh bedpan.
- Volume 6: Doll playground, baby cologne, foam receiving blanket.
- Volume 7: Horse chariot, leather-like baby gear, Babywunder Deluxe.
- Volume 8: Fropper, safety tattoos, Snow Bear sled.
- Volume 9: Birthday Suit Bear, Wooden Train Chandelier, Pink Lego Bucket.