Every year the EPO runs a major competition to identify and reward the most outstanding inventors, both in Europe and beyond. I have had the privilege of being on the jury for a second year. Reading the submissions truly is an uplifting experience.
18 Feb 2015
Today’s dads are very hands-on. They share the load, change nappies, pace the boards at 3 a.m. and want to be fully engaged with their newborn. But, when it comes to feeding, this remains firmly the mother’s domain.
Breastfeeding is undoubtedly best for baby and in the UK all new mums are encouraged to give it a go. When mum is breastfeeding, dad will find himself side lined.
Expectant couples typically plan to breastfeed and many want their partners to help out and share the experience. In principle, a mother can express her milk and put it into a bottle. However, this can be problematic. Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are two very different activities. Many breastfed babies simply refuse to take a bottle. Those that accept a conventional vented bottle, find it so much easier to feed from that they quickly become lazy and reject the breast. This is frustrating for women who have worked so hard to establish breastfeeding in the first place!
Sometime around the year 1610 tinsel was invented. It was made from tiny threads of real silver. My goodness what a long way we’ve come in the 400 years since the decadence of being able to drape a Chistmas tree in precious metal. Nowadays it seems we can buy enough tinsel from the local pound shop to adorn an entire Lapland forest!
Being a mother is hard work. Parenting comes as a huge shock to the system and renders you exhausted and emotional. Little wonder then that mums try to streamline the process, availing themselves of handy gadgets to save them time, and organising mundane tasks into slick routines. Brands have long capitalised on this need for efficiency by developing products which promise to transform a new parent’s life. But I saw an invention this week that had me questioning whether companies are behaving ethically in their aims regarding vulnerable new parents.
A recent Daily Mail article says that the latest baby doll toy has sparked “outrage amongst Mums.” The breastfeeding baby doll by Berjuan Toys has already won awards for its innovation, and is set to become the most controversial – if not the most popular – girl’s toy on Christmas present lists this year. The doll comes with a bib, which the child wears; holding the doll close to two flowers on the bib alerts sensors which then cause the baby to make suckling noises, and simulate breastfeeding.