TummyTub. You’ll pardon our cynicism but here we have one of those things that come along in life with perfectly reasonable logic to justify their existence yet still manage to creep us out.
Here’s the logic. According to the TummyTub web site, the shape of the TummyTub is intended to mimic the feeling of being in the womb. “The shaped form conveys a feeling of reassurance and security to the baby.” We buy it. No, really, we do. It makes perfectly good sense, though some of us think babies need to get over the womb thing and move on with their lives.
Our problem is not so much the product but the web site. Actually, not. To be honest, we do have a problem with the product. After all, it’s a bucket, and while the TummyTub people had the forethought to deny the usefulness of a household bucket (check the site’s FAQ) we can’t help but think a good quality bucket would likely get the job done anyway.
But that’s still not what’s got us creeped out. This is. The site has a bath time photo gallery. You know the scene in The Simpsons where baby Maggie is left at a day care centre and she engineers a “great escape”? Before the escape sequence, there’s a scene where all the babies are sucking on their pacifiers. Got it? Well, the photo gallery reminds us of that. And the hatchery in Alien. The original Alien. Brrr.
There’s also a section of the site labelled thus: How do I bath my baby in an original TummyTub? Well, er, let’s see... baby, bucket, water. Put the baby in the bucket. But not head first. There, we just saved you reading that page. Thanks, Gizmodo.
Seriously, if you need directions for this, you just failed your parenting permit. Oh, that’s right. Parents don’t need permits. Which is how we end up with this.
Linking through to local resellers, we discover this womb-like plastic baby receptacle will run you $49.95. That’s a pricey bucket. But that’s not all. You’ll need a purpose-built stand, because the TummyTub people had the good sense to design the TummyTub with a narrow base. For extra stability on a tiled floor, we presume. Because when your baby is resting neck deep in warm, soapy water, the last thing you want is for the bucket to tip over. The stand will cost you $79.95. We’re now talking about $130 for some shaped plastic so your newborn can simultaneously bathe and reminisce about life on the inside.
Come on, now, do any parents out there actually own one of these? Is our cynicism horribly misplaced? Are we being unfair? You know what to do. Comments below, please.