The device that allows you to bottle feed and use your phone at the same time

The Swipe & Feed in action.
The Swipe & Feed in action.  Photo: Kickstarter

As a mother of three, I have plenty of memories of feeding my babies.

At night, I would stumble into my daughter's room, look at her soft, downy hair in the hazy darkness, her cheeks billowing with milk, and just absorb the stillness and beauty of that time.

I felt so lucky to be with her, just the two of us nestled together.

That said, I also remember that feeding a baby isn't always idyllic.

When you do it for what feels like billions of times, day after day, night after night, it loses its shiny allure. It can even feel frustrating to be 'stuck feeding' when you know you have a zillion other things you need to do.

Now Tim Causa, from Northern Virginia, has come up with a potential solution to that 'problem': he's designed a device that allows you to use your phone and bottle feed your baby at the same time.

He came up with the idea after feeding his baby, Jack, in the middle of the night.

Tim told the Daily Mail that baby Jack would wake every two hours to feed, and then would "nearly fall back asleep" once being fed.

"For 25 minutes at a time I was in a dark, quiet room feeding my son. It dawned on me that I could do some catch-up work while he fed, but I needed something to help me hold a bottle and my smartphone."

Advertisement

He says he searched online for solutions, but that there was nothing on the market. 

"That's when I decided to seize the opportunity and solve the problem myself."

Thus the 'Swipe & Feed' was born.

Tim says he and his wife now use it when feeding their baby, and the device is seeking investors on Kickstarter. For US$21 you can support the business and receive your own Swipe & Feed. 

Commenters on Daily Mail have been divided, with most being critical of the device.

One person said: "That's a statement of one's priorities ... Anyone who buys or replicates this device should have to take mandatory parenting classes." (Or, as one person put it: "No. Just no.")

But one commenter, who mentions he is a father of four-month-old twins, says that feeds happen so frequently in his house that "each one is not 'quality' time spent with your child".

"When you feed for 8 x a day (16x because of twins) you will kill for something to occupy your mind while your baby is half-asleep slowly drinking down a bottle and you are staring at a wall."

He goes on to say that most people who are criticising this product probably had no problem feeding with the television on.

"This is seriously no different," he says.

But midwife Amanda Bude says it actually is different, for many reasons.

Firstly, she's worried about the potential effects of having a mobile phone so close to a baby's growing brain.

Also, she says mobile phones emit blue light. She says this kind of light exposure can then disrupt both a parent and child's melatonin secretion, which can affect sleep.

She's also afraid about the effect it would have on the parent-baby relationship.

"This would absolutely disrupt bonding," she says.

Clinical psychologist Kirstin Bouse admits she's a "little horrified" at the whole idea.

She says it's completely normal to do other things, like be on the phone or watch TV, while feeding, "but to have a means of doing this so easily is a worry".

"My gut feeling is that it makes forming the habit of distracted feeding too easy, and that mothers will end up doing this more than being present with their babies," she says.

She says it also takes away from a mother's ability to just sit and be present, which in itself is "psychologically and physiologically nourishing".

Besides, says Amanda, if you choose to focus on your phone rather than on your baby when you feed, you may need to evaluate your priorities.

As she notes, "Connection with my children is more important than my relationship with my phone."