It started out as a joke. A Japanese spoof advertisement for a baby outfit with a mop attached so that parents could send little crawlers out to clean their floors. "Saturday Night Live" took the joke to the next level when they ran this commercial for “Swiffer Sleepers.”
But then -- poof -- the Baby Mop became a real thing. For $40, you can buy a onesie that doubles as a cleaning tool from BetterThanPants.com.
Mike Parker, director of operations for BetterThanPants.com, told TIME’s NewsFeed that sales have taken off -- “like crazy double digits.” And considering that he says the Baby Mop was indeed inspired by the Japanese spoof (“They have something called Chindogu, which are like useless inventions," he told ABC News.com), news reports are unsurprisingly comical. Parents are skeptical. "SNL" fired back with a mention on Weekend Update. (Admittedly, we are flummoxed too and have ordered our own Baby Mop to check out.)
But some consumers are clearly on board with the concept. Their complaints go way beyond real or fake and focus on execution. Without further ado, we've sorted through the commentary in the highly controversial Baby Mop debate to find the most serious concerns, questions and, yes, even praise for the invention.
1. How to troubleshoot
"I just gotta say that I absolutely love these! I bought a dozen of these for my day care. All my kids wear them and my floors are very clean by the end of every day. They aren't spotless since these mops aren't wet and can't clean up dried up liquids. You can experiment with spraying the kids with water when they crawl to see if that helps." -- Pat, BetterThanPants.com
2. And if that doesn't work ...
"We're going to have to use one of those leash things and swing the baby around a bit so it doesn't miss a spot. We'll see what happens." -- Larry, BetterThanPants.com
3. Still not getting the desired results?
"This would be much more effective if the mop parts were saturated in a Murphy's oil soap solution. Then, change the toddler into a dry one so it can dry the floor also. For added effectiveness, don't feed the toddler the day before, then place tiny pieces of chocolate in strategic places on the floor--- especially the corners, to make sure the whole floor gets clean. Have a bucket of Murphy's solution to dip baby in periodically." -- J.Bird, MSN.com
4. A few more things to consider before "adding to cart"
"I have a few questions before I buy one though and would be grateful to anyone that can help me. I noticed the sizes are listed as lengths of time. Does the time refer to how long the product lasts? How many square feet a day can Baby Mop cover? I also noticed that Baby Mop only comes in 'blue' and 'pink' colours. Is skin tone customizable as well or just eye colour?" -- Little Jackalope, BetterThanPants.com