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May 06, 2009



The big problem with design for infants and parents is that it's not necessary. Babies don't need "sleep training" or gadgets or products. They need their parents and not objects to substitute for the care and love provided by skin-to-skin touch and their caregivers' voices. So being a mom and designer, I have to say none of these products are beneficial to a baby.

Gretchen Anderson

While it's true, babies thrive on the love of their parents, we're product designers! So we thought we'd talk about baby and parent products. We're no parenting experts, for sure!

So, if you're interested in hearing about our dilemmas about sorting out what we need, and what the world thinks we need, listen in. But by no means consider this to be parenting advice.
- Gretchen

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Seems like the first commenter is picking the most limited view of "need" - an aesthetic need is a valid one, so is an ergonomic need, or an economic need, or a need to shift the work between multiple members of the household, or a need to multi-task (see economic, above). Denying that those needs exist is why products fail. And parents are not parents in a bubble, they live in homes, with other items and with other activities, and baby products will succeed better when they better integrate with those things.

You only have to take a look at the wide availability of KISS (etc.) logo onesies to acknowledge the large amount of projection that goes into children products. No, the infant doesn't know who KISS is, and doesn't necessarily like KISS, and didn't purchase the garment, but the parent did and does and uses it regularly and has their own emotional engagement with it.

Anyway, this is a great podcast, there's a lot of good info about the state of the art, and the situation that parents find themselves in, and how they approach the problem solving. Fascinating stuff, thanks!

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