Moms of colicky babies will be the first to tell you why a simple video of a baby lying in a chair is garnering millions of views despite the fact that said baby isn’t doing anything wacky or hilarious and is accompanied by exactly zero puppies. It’s because the baby in the oddly shaped, gently-rocking mechanism is happy. And quiet.
It’s called the Babocush, and the weird “chair” resembles a gymnastics horse more than your standard papasan-style baby chair fare. The promises it makes are many, a list of cures like “colic relief” and “avoiding flat head syndrome” trails off underneath this oddly mesmerizing video titled “Baby Daniel Settling on the Babocush.” Take a look for yourself:
The chair, which promises to make your baby feel just as they would if you were holding them (you can purchase one with or without a rocker, vibration and “heartbeat simulation”) sells for £99, which means it would set moms in the States back about $142 (plus shipping from Ireland). Still, if it does all that it says it can, that’s small potatoes in the world of baby gear. And really, who can put a price on soothing colic?
That’s what the chair was designed to do. Invented by mom Kerry Nevins, the whole concept is this: The warmth, vibrations and womb sounds that the chair is claimed to provide mimics for the baby the feeling of being held against a parent’s chest. That’s important, because as most moms know, babies tend to stay pretty happy in that position. It’s when you put them down to pee/try to shovel food into your own mouth/do literally anything that isn’t holding your baby to your chest that they start to cry. Usually as soon as you have the buckles fastened on a regular baby chair.
Of course, not everyone has a colicky baby to contend with, which is where this thing could come in handy for tummy time. Mats, special pillows and play gyms are all great in theory, until you plop your baby into one and wait for the magic of muscle strength and cognitive development to begin. Usually in lieu of all that, you get a red-faced, shrieking baby and a deepening sense that your pediatrician might be a sadist for recommending such a thing.
In all seriousness, it seems like a pretty cool product, but there’s a predictable amount of tut-tutting in the comments about how babies must be held forever all the time until the end of days and painfully condescending explainers about what baby slings are. But the fact is, not every baby takes to a sling or carrier, and not every mother subscribes to the stringent tenets of attachment parenting, either by choice or necessity.
That probably explains why all the concerned tutting is drowned out on the thread by ordering questions and apologies from the company that the website is down due to an exceptionally high volume of orders.
The truth is, until you’ve tried literally every trick in literally every book in the extensive parenting section of your local bookstore to soothe a colicky baby, you have no idea how tempting something like this is. It’s easy to say to someone, “Well, your tummy time will go better or the colic will subside if you do [thing that mom has tried thousands of times already].” It’s far and away much harder to be the person on the receiving end of that “helpful” advice.
The makers of the Babocush do go out of their way to make it clear that the chair is not a replacement for a crib but more of a “few moments of peace” solution, since SIDS is a risk anytime a baby is left on their tummy for an extended period. Like all baby gear, you don’t want to just pop your kid in and walk away. But chances are, if you get one and your kid is as gurgly content as little Daniel up there, you’ll be too busy gawking at them to even entertain the idea.