Over the weekend, Lisa Hyde, a former contestant on ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelor in Paradise’, shared a video of her month-old baby daughter in a bassinet with her 140,000 Instagram followers.
The bassinet, aka, “SNOO Smart Sleeper” is the first bed ever made that keeps babies from rolling over onto their stomach. According to Hyde, it’s “the perfect soothing machine for newborns”.
It also induces the sensation of being coddled – simulates the sounds, sensations and movement of being in the womb. It comes with a built-in swaddle and, oh, of course – there’s also an app to control the contraption remotely.
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Myja-Jae loves her SNOO smart sleeper, and we do too! Out of everything I post on instagram the SNOO is definitely the most asked about so I thought I would give you an update. If you aren’t familiar with the SNOO, it's a smart bassinet with built-in microphones that sense when Baby is crying and will automatically rock and play white noise to help Baby get to sleep. We use the SNOO day and night, but mostly at night as the white noise & rocking motion gets MJ back to sleep so fast. We have tried a few different beds however for longer, deeper sleeps (4-5 hours between feeds) it’s always in the SNOO. It's the perfect soothing machine for Newborns! 💤 💤 @happiest_baby #SNOOnation #SNOOpartner
The product promises to boost a baby’s slumber by one to two hours, which means it improves the sleep of the baby’s parents too.
You know where this is going though? Hyde, of course, has been criticised for her choice of bassinet.
I say of course because it is predictable. Women making decisions that alter traditional ideas and ideals particularly around motherhood often come under fire.
Comments attacking Hyde came from folks claiming the sleeper to be an ‘extravagant piece of nursery furniture’ and a ‘waste of money.’
So what seems to be the controversy? The sleeper costs $1700.
On the Youtube ad for the product, the comments are also overfilled with snark:
(all of whom came from accounts who identified themselves as men)
“Now machines are replacing mummy’s lap”
“Pick up your kid, you monster”
“Worst parents…..don’t have kids if you cant take care of them”
Judgement. Judgement. Judgement.
Parenting is not a one-way transaction. Mums and dads also need to take care of themselves. Must I remind you of the airplane high altitude instructions? Put the gas mark on yourself before you put it on your dependent? How can you care for your infant if you can’t care for yourself?
But that doesn’t factor into the minds of the digital faultfinders coming out to judge a woman.
I often wonder why the unpaid job of mothering is the role people feel most comfortable and ready to criticise. I’d go as far to say that it’s not even a parental issue. It’s the fact that she’s a woman. It provides an opportunity to attack a woman for not fulfilling her role as a mother.
It’s a product that, according to many of its users, makes life easier for parents. Products that make life easier are popular in many facets of modern lives and yet we don’t criticise adults who wear Fitbits? Or iPhone watches? Foldimate? Coffee Machine? Robotic Vacuum Cleaner? Dishwashers? Washing machines? Slow cookers? Alexia. Siri. Where are the critics there?
These are technologies that make our life easier. Evidently, the technologies I listed above are not precisely the same as the bassinet in question but there is certainly a faint but distinguishing line I’m drawing that connects them together.
What is wrong with making a woman’s life easier? (And I say woman because we know nine times out of ten, it is a woman who will be getting up with a newborn.)
There’s no need to tell me the bassinet might be at risk of replacing a human intimacy or physical touch. How about your iPhone? You probably look at it for more minutes in an average day than you look at your partner, child or spouse.
Technology and the internet has already replaced human intimacy and splinted and contracted our ideas of what human connection means. Let’s think about the ways we have changed and redefined relationships before we criticise mothers and women who decide, if they have the means (ie. money) to acquire a piece of technology that allows them to operate on a more level playing field.
This is not a promotion for the bassinet. I’m not unequivocally pro-technology. I’m not classist. I’m aware that the price of this technology puts many people outside of this luxury. I’m saying – if a woman wants to do something for herself and her child, let her do it without judgement.