I’ve been meaning to write about this awesome super futuristic gizmo for some time now. It’s a cutting edge, state of the art, robotic baby swing created by 4moms…. Or as we like to call it here in the Freeman household, “Robot Mom”.
At around two weeks old, Tessa had her first encounter with gas, and she was convinced a demon was attempting to escape her innards. Her pitiful wails – more from fear than from pain it seemed – would only be alleviated if she was safe in momma’s arms, being rocked and cooed at. I would pace the floor, singing to her, soothing her, and feeling like an awesome super mom. She was especially soothed by being held tight in the ring sling, pressed up against my chest.
But then I’d have to shower. Or use the restroom. Or make dinner. Or do something best accomplished whilst not holding an infant clinging to you like an adorably gassy koala. So I’d set her down…. and the wails would start up again.
Now, a baby swing was filed in our B list of “things to get baby”. As long as she’s content in my arms, or the ring sling, or sleeping snugly in her bassinet, we saw no need for a swing. But after a couple of days with floor pacing – often going well into the night – I finally decided we needed to get a swing.
We were browsing the aisle at our local Babies R Us, eying the various swaying chairs and buggies that were all pretty much the same thing with only slight variations in color and size and yadda yadda yadda – when we suddenly saw it.
The MamaRoo, I imagine, is what would happen if Ikea and Apple products made a baby. It is a smooth – almost creepily smooth – gliding robotic swing that offers 5 motion patterns: Kangaroo, Car Ride, Tree Swing, Rock-A-Bye and Ocean Wave. The manufacturer basically studied how parents move while holding their baby, and created the MamaRoo to move in the same ways.
If you know me, you know I am fascinated and slightly fearful of advancing robotics. Remember when I freaked out for days over those Japanese dancing robots? First it’s dancing robots grooving to da music like so many fancy geishas, next it’s robotic baby swings violating the three laws of robotics and enslaving mankind. But I digress.
We ended up buying our potential robot overlord, even though it was way out of our price range, and even though we had a broken TV, Xbox, PS3 and camera lens to fix / replace. I’m sensing the dawn of a new age of never having new toys for ourselves. All our things are belong to Tessa now.
So! This chair! It reclines to any position along the curve underneath the seat, it takes up FAR LESS space than just about every other swing on the market, and it was laughably easy to assemble. Seriously. I decided to take a couple of pictures of Jon putting it together, and by the time I snapped a few, it was already done. Oh! and it plugs into the wall, so there’s no need to worry about batteries. With how often we run this thing, that’s a win.
While there are nature sounds built in to the base (crickets, running water, waves, white noise, etc.) they all suck so I don’t really care for those. But what is awesome is that is has an MP3 dock with speakers! So I can play all the classic Baby Einstein music to my sweetly slumbering genius, just like I did when she was in the womb!
The only, only, ONLY downside to this swing is that is would be significantly more effective if it moved just a tad faster. Tessa is a bit of a motion junkie and the MamaRoo doesn’t move fast enough to soothe her out of a full on hissy fit. Of course, I have never owned any other swing, nor tried to soothe any other babies with a moving piece of plastic, so I’m not even really sure if it works like that. Besides, when she is upset, I firmly believe she needs her MOM, not a chair. So the chairs inability to soothe her when she’s frantic is really a moot point with me.
But I can say that I can put her in it when she’s already asleep and she’ll stay that way. And if she’s drowsy she’s happy to doze off with her robot mom. And if she’s calm and awake, she’ll be happy in the chair long enough for me to get some simple chores done.
It seems the older she gets, the more she is content with her Robot Mom. For instance, when we first got the chair I thought the mobile was really lame. It doesn’t move. It’s just some oval balls with funky designs. Big whoop. But now, Tessa LOVES those things. Seriously, they’re her first genuinely loved toys. We’ve actually taken to calling them, “Her friends.”
She’ll stare at them, coo at them, talk to them, bust up laughing in squealing giggles as if they are just the most clever, entertaining companions on the planet. Jon and I will watch her hold actual 2 month old babbling conversations with these things, and more than once I’ve found myself genuinely asking, “What are they saying to her?!” Her imagination is already so active, and I’m immensely grateful for the stimulation those static cloth balls provide her.
Another unexpected plus? My cats love the chair. As I type out this blog post, little miss Fae Fae is curled up it. The chair is LITERALLY never empty. Ever. I’ll barely pull Tessa out, and one of the cats will jump in as it’s still moving. I’ve found that the cats are partial to “Car Ride”, but aren’t overly fond of “Kangaroo”. Hm. The more you know.
So overall, would I recommend this chair to new moms? Abso-freaking-lutely. It’s awesome. I want one for myself. And I hate to say it, but after Tessa and any future kids are done with this chair, I’ll probably keep it as a bed for the cats. Yes. Crazy cat lady just got taken to a whole new level.