This post was written by Nicole Johnson, Founder and Lead Sleep Consultant of The Baby Sleep Site®
This new baby product came across my desk called the Babocush, and the concept alone is dividing parents once again. The product is designed to simulate a baby being held on your shoulder and rocked back and forth, with vibrations, and all with a heartbeat sound. The company says it’s perfect for babies with colic and/or reflux.
But, some nay-sayers are asking the question whether this is really a good thing. What about bonding? What about actually being close to your mom (or mum, given this is a U.K. company)? A couple of comments went so far as to say that if you don’t have time to hold your baby, don’t have one! Ouch!
And so the mommy wars rage on, with moms on both “sides” claiming, “Do it my way or you are a terrible parent!”
Nicole’s Take on the Babocush
So, in the interest of contributing positive voice to this, Let me ask you a question: thousands of years ago, did our ancestral moms not have a village? If you were gathering berries, perhaps another woman in the village held your baby. Yes, there’s historical evidence for baby-wearing, but I’m sure babies were passed around and around and doted on. And, for goodness sakes, we used to have wet nurses who breastfed babies!
Nowadays, many of us are lucky to even have grandma come over for a week or two after the baby is born. What’s more, many of us are cooking, cleaning, working, and/or chasing after toddlers.
Add to that the fact that today, we know far more about temperament, and we know that all babies are not necessarily “easy”. Some are spirited and high-needs. What about the babies who literally must be held 24/7? (And yes, they do exist; we have had their parents as clients!)
Do moms really think parents are trying to replace themselves with a product like the Babocush? Do people really think you’d carry a baby to term for 40 weeks of pregnancy and then plop them into a machine all day, every day?
Like many baby products such as the pacifier, swaddle blanket, or stroller, isn’t the Babocush just another tool for your toolbox? You use it when you need to, which is almost certainly NOT all the time. And, you make sure it’s safe. As one of our sleep consultants pointed out when we were discussing it internally, it may be difficult to keep the baby safe from older siblings or things being dropped, but just like any other tool, you take precautions. And, just like you wouldn’t put your stroller in the unlocked position at the top of a hill unattended, you wouldn’t leave your baby in the Babocush unattended either. And, most importantly, the Babocush is NOT being sold as a sleep space. To guard against SIDS, babies should be placed on their backs to sleep.
I think we can all agree that all of us moms want the best for our babies and to love on them much of the day after we’ve carried them for 9 months. But, when you have a high needs baby for one reason or another, sometimes having a few minutes to breathe is all you need to regroup. And, don’t we all need that sometimes?
As I wrap this up, I think it’s appropriate to let Kerry Nevins, creator of Babocush, share this:
“When we mum’s give a bit of love and attention to ourselves, we have so much more to give to others and from a more calm and relaxed place. Never feel guilty for wanting a few moments here and there to yourself, it doesn’t make you an uncaring parent plus some of us don’t have as much support from family and friends to be there and hold the baby or help around the house etc as others do. Parenthood can be a lonely place and the stress of a baby crying can play havoc with our emotions. Nothing however can or should replace the love, care and attention a parent can give. xx”
I, for one, couldn’t agree more. When you have a high needs baby as I did, sometimes you just need a break to be a better mom. And, with that I will end with saying #endmommywars.