This Baby Business

Do babies need a high-tech feeding bottle? (Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu)

By Anthony O. Alcantara
A few years ago, the thought of becoming a father occurred to me. It was just a random thought. There I was holding a baby in my mind. It was a very hazy vision. I knew I’d become a father someday, but it seemed too far away, much like the second coming.

But that particular second coming is just a few months away now. I realized that when my wife Em and I recently went to the baby section of SM.

I knew that department stores had spaces for baby stuff somewhere. But I didn’t realize it could occupy almost half of the 2nd floor of the SM Department Store at the SM Mall of Asia. This is definitely big business.

So we stop over to look at some feeding bottles. There’s a brand called Dr. Brown. Quite expensive–P2,399 for a pack of two 4-oz. bottles and two 8 oz. bottles. The bottles look hi-tech. According to the text on the package, the bottles retain vitamins A, C and E longer during feeding times compared to other brands.

They also prevent colic and are BPA-free. BPA, I later learned, means bisphenol A, an ingredient in plastic that is harmful to babies. The “claims” list is quite long. I think they’re working on cancer- and AIDS-preventing versions, too.

There are tubes inside the bottles. I imagine the milk going through a roller-coaster ride through the tubes and finally reaching the mouth of my baby, who then screams “Wheee!” in delight.

These bottles would make very happy babies indeed. I tell my wife put it in her list for consideration.

Then we come across this brand Avent that my wife was telling me about. It is even more expensive than Dr. Brown. A cool P2,799 for a similar pack of four bottles. I look at the box, expecting to read similar claims by Dr. Brown. I’m impressed. This brand claims to be better than all the others.

But something catches my eye. The brand is made by Philips, the same company that makes lighting equipment, television sets and other electronics. Wow. I imagine my baby drinking her milk as I push a button that lights up the bottle. Perhaps some mutli-colored dancing lights, or drinking lights in this case.

I am a little disappointed to find out there are none. But I think it’s a cool idea. Maybe I should make a patent and sell it to the highest bidder.

We also check out the cribs. There are those made of wood, those made of plastic and those made of metal. One interesting crib made by Chicco had a vibrator. It’s supposed to sooth babies by simulating human contact. But I suppose some parents will find them stimulating and pleasurable, too.

Next we check out an array of strollers. One stroller impresses me. It looks sturdy enough for a car crash, which will justify its P20,000 price tag. It comes with a car seat and 5-star amenities, too–a beverage holder for the stroller pusher, and compartments for other stuff. Thank goodness this one doesn’t have a vibrator.

After surveying the strollers, we go to the baby slings. We’ll need one, too, when we take baby out to the mall. There’s this baby sling made of very colorful and fashionable cloth but they look too feminine for me.

There’s one that I really like. It’s made by Maclaren and it looks like a knapsack. Initially I thought it’s the same company that makes F1 racing cars, but that’s McLaren without an “a” between “m” and “c.” Nevertheless, it looks hi-tech enough and, considering the P5,800 price tag, it should.

On the box are images of a father and a mother with babies in their baby slings. Such pictures of security and happiness. They look ready to go bungee jumping or sky diving.

I then check the material of the baby sling and feel it in my hands. It feels impregnable. It’s probably made of Kevlar. This, I conclude, is just perfect for taking baby for a walk in Iraq.

And just to make sure I’m not missing any cool features, I check if there are any dancing lights or vibrators. There are none.

This baby business is becoming interesting indeed.

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