If you are a parent, chances are you have at least a hazy memory of those round-the-clock feeding sessions with your baby. Whether you breastfeed or are using a bottle, feeding time with an infant is an amazing time for snuggling and building a strong bond with your little one. But let's face it, it can also be rather mind-numbing, especially during those growth spurts when your baby may want to eat every hour on the hour no matter if it's day or night.
I'm clearly dating myself here, but when my girls were little, I did not have a smartphone or other gadget to occupy my mind during feeding time. Nobody did, because — brace yourself — they did not exist. But I did have a television (I'm not that old!), and I will admit to spending many early morning and late night hours watching TV while my daughter got her fill.
These days, multitasking new parents may see feeding time as a chance to use their smartphones to catch up on email, peruse the news or see what their friends are up to on social media. But apparently it's not as easy to juggle a smartphone as it is a TV remote. So one innovative dad, Tim Cause, has come up with a solution that you will likely either find genius or ridiculous.
The Swipe & Feed is a contraption that holds both a baby bottle and a smartphone so parents can easily check out their phones while they feed their babies. The device is genius, because it solves a dilemma: If you have one hand holding baby and another hand holding a bottle, you can't hold your phone, too. It was invented by a new dad who had enough presence of mind while caring for his newborn to try to come up with a solution. And with more than 78 backers and $7,000 raised thus far on Kickstarter, Causa is clearly onto something.
But it's also ridiculous, because once the baby can hold her own bottle, the need for the device goes away. I mean, imagine a baby whipping a bottle around with glee and your phone is going right along with it! At this point, why can't you just hold your phone in your hand? Or prop it up on the armrest of your chair? The Swipe & Feed is about as necessary as the Laser-Guided Pizza Cutter or the Solar-Powered Bikini/Phone Charger. (Yes, these are actual gadgets). Nifty? Maybe. Necessary? Not really.
The Swipe & Feed has also sparked outrage from commenters who think new parents should be spending that time bonding with their babies, not their smartphones. As one Facebook poster noted, "This is ridiculous, I mean if you don't have the time to feed your child and bond for that little bit of time maybe you should rethink having children."
She may have a point, but I would argue that with new babies spending about six to eight hours of every day feeding, new parents shouldn't be judged for spending 20 minutes here and there zoning out on their phones.
As MNN editor Angela Nelson noted, "I occasionally use my phone while I feed my 18-month-old, and we’re very, very bonded." She added, " In those early days when she was an infant and nursing every 60 to 90 minutes around the clock, I would have gone crazy without my phone as a distraction."
This makes perfect sense to me. Sure, it's lovely to gaze into your baby's eyes and watch her take those little sips. But it's also fine to occasionally look away and zone out to the TV or some music or your smartphone. Do you really need a gadget to help you do that? It's a question only you can answer.