Final year Design student Tim Dunkley has created a vibrating baby harness which can calm babies and help stop them crying.
Tim admitted: “I was one of those bystanders who got irritated by hearing the sound of infants crying, but then I realised that mothers are stressed enough by their lack of sleep and a crying child, without the added worry of us getting annoyed with them.”
The result is the Portable Baby Calmer, a vibrating baby sling designed so that infants face their mother or father. A vibration device in the baby’s waistband is adjustable to its preference. In addition, the harness gives support to the baby’s spine and keeps its legs in the position that a baby naturally adopts when it is picked up.
For the parent’s comfort, a hip-band takes the baby’s weight. Tim explained: “A lot of baby carriers aren’t very easy to wear because they don’t have a hip and waist strap. Normally the waist only takes the load. This hip-band can be adjusted for pregnant women, large women or small women.”
Instead of arm straps, there is a single, contoured strap on the breastbone that is curved so as not to press on the mother’s breasts. “I found that even the best slings had arm straps but these restrict arm movement and compress the bust. The shaped strap down the middle will stay in the correct place when the wearer sits down or rises up, and it’s comfortable.”
Tim used his mother’s sewing machine to make the soothing baby carrier. “I enjoyed using it. It’s quite therapeutic,” he said.
“I started the project as an annoyed member of the public who didn’t like to hear babies crying but I turned that around to help babies and mothers.”
Tim Dunkley’s Portable Baby Calmer is on show at Made in Brunel, the final year exhibition for Brunel’s Engineering and Design students. The exhibition will be held at The Bargehouse, London, from 9-11 June.
Visit the Made in Brunel website for more details.