And other things I learned the hard way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Boppy Bop

I know...I've been lonely. But hark! An update! Let's get to it, shall we?

Boppy(n) - a U-shaped pillow that can have a variety of uses for parents and their babies. Common uses include - support for holding/cradling the baby, feeding, tummy time and supported sitting. Greatest invention. Ever.

**Actual Warning Tag Found on Boppy**
Possible suffocation hazard.
Never ever allow baby to fall asleep on Boppy pillow. Do not allow baby to lie face down on a Boppy pillow. Do not use in crib, cradle, bassinet, playpen, play yard or bed. Do not use for sleeping. Only use on floor. Do not leave baby unattended. Improper use of this product could result in serious injury or death.


Wow. So I am going to preface everything I am going to say with this: I love my Boppy pillow. Singularly the most useful infant tool ever. But seriously, if I had read this warning BEFORE hearing from other parents how great it was, I probably would have gone running and screaming in the opposite direction. Is it just me, or does this warning make the pillow sound REALLY dangerous. So let's explore this warning a little bit closer...

First off - it's a pillow. They call it a pillow on the package. Kids, what do we use pillows for? Bingo! Sleeping! So then why, pray tell, if you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT want this pillow used for sleeping, would you call it a "pillow"?

I've come up with a few alternative titles for this product, if you don't want to confuse the parents:
Support Pad
Positioning Wedge
Parental Aid

Because, lets be honest. It's basic word association. Pillow = sleep. Why confuse us by then telling us that you can't use this pillow for sleep? It's like saying "Okay, here's a baseball. Go play golf with it."

Secondly - WARNING. In all capital red letters. Well if you didn't have my attention before, you sure as hell do now. I'm going to lump a few phrases together here...WARNING. Possible suffocation hazard. May cause serious injury or death.


Okay, I'm going to take the "pillow" away now and throw it into the trash because ZOMFG IT MIGHT KILL MY BABY!!!1!

Remember when plastic bags started getting that warning? And if you were anything like me you looked at it and said "Right, who the hell would give their baby a bag to play with anyway?" To me personally, that warning seemed pretty retarded but yeah, you actually CAN choke to death on a bag. So I guess it's warranted. But a pillow?? A freaking pillow DESIGNED for babies?? Why even have the pillow in the first place? Why even give it to your child? They make it sound so dangerous that your best course of action would be to lock the Boppy in another room and call 911.

"Yeah hi, I think my baby's pillow is trying to kill us all. Yeah...I'll hold..."

Okay, thirdly - where to use the Boppy. Man, they don't leave you many choices do they? Use on the floor only.

I'm sorry. NO.

I have two dogs. Have you seen my floors?

Not saying that my house is a pig sty...but let me give you a run down. I am currently sitting on the couch in my living room. The baby is asleep on my chest propped up with the Boppy (oops, I'm going to parent jail) and from my seat I can see on the floor:
two dogs
a dog bed
a raggedy filthy yet very loved dog "woobie" ie - it's Penny's lovey. She loves it. I can't take it away.
*counts* five dog toys
a rogue clump of hair (and I even vacuumed yesterday and yeah, there is STILL hair on the floor)
and a random kibble of dog food.

Now, if I am a new parent, all spastic about cleanliness...WHY is God's name would I EVER think to place my child on the floor in the middle of all this??

"Here honey, chew on the doggie toys while Mommy takes a nap."

Plus, on just a logistical note...I have TWO dogs. Dogs that are bigger than my baby. Dogs that have teeth and claws. Penny alone is 65 pounds. Charlotte has neither teeth, nor claws and is currently only 13 pounds. Hell, even my daschund has 20 pounds on her. Now, I know my dogs and I know they would never bite or hurt me or the baby in any way. Would I ever in those first few weeks just set her on the floor with them? Absolutely not. Because nothing in life is ever 100% predictable. I think it's actually more dangerous on the designated floor than it is in any of the other illegal places.

Like for instance, the bed.

The (illegal) bed, which is California king, so if I place her in the middle she won't fall off the edge. The (illegal) bed which is free of debris. And if she's on the bed then so am I. Could someone please explain to me how my big safe bed is more hazardous compared to my dangerous dog filled floor??

Fourthly - No sleeping on the Boppy. In the Boppy. Near the Boppy. In fact, don't ever even think of the Boppy while you might just be tired...

What a load of horseshit. Seriously.

It's a newborn. What do newborns do all day? BINGO! Sleep!

Now there are parts of this warning that I agree with: Don't leave your baby unattended. Duh. Even I follow that rule. But this no sleeping thing is so lame. As is the face down part. The company says RIGHT on the packaging that the Boppy is great for tummy time. How am I supposed to get tummy time if I'm not allowed to lay her on her stomach?

So, as always my dear readers, you know I enjoy being helpful...I've come up with what I consider to be a more logical and compassionate approach.

Caution. Improper use of Boppy Support Pad may result in suffocation or serious injury. Do not leave child unattended. Make sure Boppy is placed on a firm supportive surface before placing child into it. Always maintain open face and airways for child, do not place support pad over face or mouth.

I like this better. First of all - caution still grabs attention, but doesn't instill the wrath of Khan into your blood. Improper use is a GREAT phrase because it's kind of like saying "if you use this properly, no one will die. Not properly, well, good luck bro." As for the suffocation - I revert back to my post on SIDS. Most of those rules are in place to scare you into not being a total dumbass. And the same applies here. Don't let your baby suffocate, keep the pillow off their face. DUH! There is no need to scare people into thinking that simply placing their child into the pillow can result in death. That's just absurd. No wonder we have so many over-reactive whack job parents out there!

So now that I've corrected some of Boppy's more literary offenses, let's take a look at Charlotte's personal favorite uses for the pillow :)

On the couch, face down for tummy time. But, notice the 100% supervision. Todd on one end of couch and me on the other. Common sense here people.

Once again on the couch, this time asleep. Notice the lack of imminent death.

I can't even tell you how many DOZENS of pictures I have of her in the Boppy looking healthy, safe and not dead. So what's the point of all this?

A.) Once again, major corporations are trying to scare parents.
B.) The Boppy is not the big bad killing machine it advertises to be.
and C.) Sometimes, again, rules are made to be broken.

So Bop on my fellow parents.