This northern Virginia dad might have solved this new-age parenting dilemma many Generation Z parents face: do I feed my baby or do I catch up on work using my mobile device?
Inspiration came to Tim Causa, a recruiter from Reston, Virginia, out of necessity. His newborn son, Jack, was dealing with acid reflux and had to be bottle fed every hour - doctor's orders. Causa's shift was night feedings.
Sitting in a dark room feeding his son during one of the twenty-five minute sessions in the wee-morning hours, inspiration struck and the Swipe and Feed was born.
"What if I could catch-up on work while he fed? But I needed something to help me hold a bottle and my smartphone. I searched online for solutions, but nothing was on the market. That's when I decided to seize the opportunity and solve the problem myself", Causa writes on his Kickstarter page.
Then Causa, an eagle scout, created a prototype using his MacGyver-like creativity and money from his own pocket to purchase items from a local hardware store. After he sought out a patent attorney and an engineer to iron out the important details, he was ready.
Essentially, the Swipe and Feed is a plastic device that attaches to a mobile phone and a bottle to allow parents to browse while their child feeds, allowing parents to catch up on emails, news, sports, and social media.
Most importantly, however, Causa's Swipe and Feed is baby-safe, durable, and tech-friendly, fitting most mobile devices either naked or in-case.
What are Causa's future plans with this project?
Fundraising. The new inventor visualizes bringing the Swipe and Feed to the parenting masses.
To achieve this objective, Causa set a $12,000 fundraising bench-mark by October 31st, which has since been surpassed thanks to donations from 112 backers. He plans to use these monies to complete the Version 1 manufacturing process and plans to sell his product directly through his website and several affiliates. While the inventor of the Swipe and Feed hasn't officially settled on a fixed retail price, he says it will be around mid-twenties.
What is the Internet saying?
Of course, in a social media-driven world, everyone has an opinion. And this invention has brought out opinions from both sides.
On one side, critics argue the invention takes away from infant-parent bonding time, which before you know it, flies by. Proponents, however, respond by saying what difference would zoning out for fifteen or twenty minutes here or there have when feeding occupies countless hours per day? Or perhaps state it is a rehashed conversation had decades earlier about watching television while bottle-feeding.
"Feeding time is such a special bonding time with your kid and to have your phone right there with you is distracting and unnecessary. Time is precious and what little time you have to feed your baby from a bottle and watch them enjoy a meal should not be shared with your phone," said mother Rita Hoyng.
"Admittedly I'm sometimes guilty of playing on my phone while I feed [my son]. When he was first born that was my only time to "connect" with an adult community and I understand the convenience of the product," said Julie Yang, mother of two. "However, I want my child to know that he's more important to me than my phone and that he has my full attention. If anything, seeing this product has challenged me to put my phone down and spend more quality time focusing on my kids," Yang added.
Regardless of where one stands, this new dad's invention gives parents the option to choose, something they didn't have before.