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.

Marketing photo showing the PlatePal and a blue-green bowl attached to the edge of a table.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 gone—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).

Photo of the package of a Japanese product called a Nasal Mucus Aspirator for Sucking with Mouth.

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.

Marketing photo showing the Tubsider seat.
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.



10 Responses to “Three Unusual Baby and Toddler Products, Volume 2”

  1. Mark says:

    My son laughs at your feeble attempts to make him keep his food on his tray or even eat at all. He heaves the suction cup plates until they come apart, and then stands up in his high chair Incredible Hulk style (yes, that includes ripping up the straps) and then demands removal from his wooden prison. From our previous correspondence, do you get the idea I’m going to have an interesting life of parenthood? ;) (At least I hope you’re not just getting the idea that we’re horrible parents!)

    January 9th, 2007 at 9:17 pm

  2. dee says:

    Hmm, that snotsucker looks strange…. I have a better aspirator, it’s called Nosefrida, it’s from Sweden and you can actually buy it here in the States, online. It really works, I wasn’t sure at first but our pediatrician recommended it and it works great, far better than that bulb thing.

    January 18th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

  3. Kathy says:

    It’s no snot-sucker, but … a friend of mine brought our baby a foam “hat” with the middle cut out from China. The idea is that you can wash your baby’s hair in the bath, but the brim of the “hat” will protect her from getting water on her face. This would be ideal if a) you didn’t want to wash your baby’s face and b) your baby didn’t insist on putting her face in the water and trying to drink her bath each night.

    We ditched the funny little hat at bath time. Sometimes our baby, now a toddler, puts it on her head to be funny, but only for a few seconds because hats really suck (she has indicated this to us clearly).

    April 1st, 2007 at 11:42 pm

  4. Ruth says:

    I can read Japanese.
    What would you like to know about the snot sucker?

    June 3rd, 2007 at 5:56 am

  5. Sandra says:

    I actually got that snot thingie from a coworker who got it from Japan, and used it a couple of times with my son – it actually works pretty well, esp. when he had a cold, and seemed like he had a running nose forever.

    It was easy to clean, and much better than the bulb. Kinda weird, but it works!

    July 23rd, 2007 at 3:35 pm

  6. Will says:

    Hi everyone, I got the Japanese snot sucker and it’s the best little sucker in the world. The tubing is silicon and feels very soft. I use it for the dry mucous that forms every otherday. It’s really safe to use and the one end that goes to the childs nose is shaped like a onion, it makes a good seal around the nose. You can’t tell from the picture but it’s really chld friendly to use. You don’t really need a filter for this unless you can suck really hard, the little container can hold alot. The only problem is finding a place that sell it in the U.S. To me this little sucker is worth more than gold.

    October 9th, 2007 at 1:07 pm

  7. Candy says:

    We love our Tubsider. We have the old version, before the inventor was bought out by Infantino. With the literally hundreds of baths we give our children, the importance of their safety and need to stay close, this thing consistently saves our backs and knees. It is ergonomically sound and very sturdy. I won’t give baths without it and even my husband is a convert. Particularly great with I had to get down to bath my 3-year-old while pregnant with my next child. I hunted one down on eBay (between the buy out when they were very hard to find) for my best friend, a pediatrician. She and her pediatrician husband love it too!

    October 12th, 2007 at 10:16 am

  8. Ken says:

    I do have the Japanese aspirator and I brought it in Canada. But that store is closed and can’t buy it anymore. It’s the 2nd best things that the Japanese made (other than Wasabi) to clear baby nose. Cheers.

    March 17th, 2008 at 4:19 pm

  9. Denae says:

    That sucker thing is all the rage in Sweden. It has a filter on it so you don’t such the boogers down your throat. They say it’s better than the bulb booger getter.

    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:00 pm

  10. Beth says:

    The Japanese booger remover says “Hanamizu totte “clean the runny nose” It’s one of the most useful baby items I received when my daughter was born. Works wonderfully.

    January 10th, 2011 at 10:41 am

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