Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Auto Diaper Change

Some of my classmates have had offspring. (Yes, I know this is an awkward tense. I don't have the same classmates every semester.) I don't. Quite a lot of people really want to have babies, but it seems like so much work. Which is another opportunity for making something insane, again, to save new parents from the massive workload.
Diaper changing is a simple task that a new parent must do several times per day. I did it exactly once while helping one of my parent's friends. It smelled, but wasn't terribly difficult. Mostly I was afraid of screwing it up, because we were using the old fashioned pin-diapers. (Velcro diapers seem to be the rage now.) Baby would not like to be poked with a pin, I'm sure of it.
Okay, so place baby on a table. Table has scale, to detect presence of baby. Articulated arms lift baby's legs, remove old diaper, and provide powder, in case of excessive moisture. (Probably better to overpowder than underpowder. Diaper rash is sure to make the baby miserable, which makes the parent miserable.) New diaper is taken from compartment, and baby is slightly lifted. Place diaper under baby, and close flaps to attach new diaper to baby. Place old diaper in old diaper compartment. Parent should now remove the cleaner and slightly better smelling baby.
Machine should track diaper usage to keep supplied, and should at no time ever mix new and old diapers, because, yuck. Old diapers should be dealt with by material. There are cloth diapers that can be washed and reused (but are often too thin to be effective, so you want to double up), there are disposable diapers that should be sealed and thrown away, and I think there's a third kind at this point, but not being a parent I am not familiar with it. Rather than identify diapers mechanically, I think diaper disposal should be the machine owner's (ie: the parent's) job. Disposal should be made in such a way that the parent need not actually touch the diapers to dispose of them if possible.
Since the machine can diaper faster than a human, this will lead to a slight increase in baby-hugging time, which is good for the baby's development. I also imagine hospitals enjoying this invention. You know, the maternity ward that current changes hundreds and hundreds of diapers by hand?

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