Baby Elephant Ears have been sitting on my desk for weeks. It’s a Minnesota company, created by an enterprising mom with a great personal story – three big selling points when I’m looking for Cool Products to feature for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. But I can’t bring myself to declare this one “cool,” because, well, I think it’s sort of silly. The Elephant Ears, $21.95, are pillows intended to keep baby’s head, neck and spine aligned in the stroller, swing or car seat. Alicia Overby created the pillow after talking to a chiropractor about her infant son Finn’s apparent discomfort, which the chiropractor said was due to a sore neck. Now, I do recall worrying my firstborn’s neck would snap when his head dropped to his lap in the stroller. I made various attempts, in vain, to prop him up. But I quickly learned how resiliant babies are – and how adept they are at sleeping in a wide variety of contorted positions that appear ridiculously uncomfortable to adults. So while I think this pillow is cute enough – provided it is kept out of the crib, of course – I can’t help but relegate it to that category of baby goods that play to anxious parents rather than infant needs. What do you think? Tell me I’m wrong -that Elephant Ears are a smart invention – and I’ll make it a Cool Product Alert in the coming weeks.
Good question. So, in the interest of transparency and full disclosure, I have to be honest and say that Alicia Overby, the creator of Baby Elephant Ears is a friend of mine. However, I think this personal knowledge of Alicia also gives me some insight into your quandary regarding whether BBE is a product that panders to over-anxious parents rather than infant need. Alicia is one of the most laid back and the least anxious parent I have ever met. She is the kind of practiced laid back parent who, when one of her kids falls down, doesn’t gasp and hold her breath. She smiles gently until they can decide for themselves whether they’re really hurt or not.
Before Baby Elephant Ears was Baby Elephant Ears, it was just something she created because one of her kids, her son, was really hurting, and it had to do with his spinal alignment. What she created worked for him and seemed to make common sense. The creation of BBE was really meant to bring together form and function. I guess when I think about it, what seems kind of silly to me is continuing to use those rounded bumpers that come with some car seats and carriers that frame your baby but do nothing to support her. You’re right about babies being resilient, but I don’t think that has to mean they should be uncomfortable. With BBE, resiliency can be, well, supported.
I don’t know about other parents desire to buy Baby Elephant Ears, they are definitely cute and support babies heads, but I do know that my daughter was born at 5lbs 4oz and left the hospital at 4lbs 13oz. And while she passed the car seat stress test at the hospital I found this product so helpful in keeping her head up and stable since she was nowhere near “fitting” in her seat, she was so tiny the car seat MUST have been SO uncomfortable for her! Now she is almost 3 months old and seems to love her Baby Elephant Ears, she uses them as a pillow in her seat and swing and sleeps so much sounder with them! I’m sure we would have “lived” without them, but life has been a lot better WITH them, so for us this product is a necessity! =)
I have an online business in New Zealand, and amongst other things we sell the Baby Elephant Ears. I receive emails and phone calls on a weekly bases from happy customers raving about their new BEE purchase, thanking me for bringing them into NZ as there is nothing similar on the market here, only those rediculous U shaped head supports that do absolutely nothing but push baby’s head forward.
Just this afternoon I sold one to a lady who said it was her husband begging her to get a second BEE so that they don’t have to keep moving it between vehicles. And this morning another two BEE sold to a lady who had seen her friends baby using them and was convinced this was the answer to her newborns comfort/safety in the capsule, as her head always flopped forward and she was concerned about her daughters airways being kept clear. She had seen this being completely avoided by the use of the BEE.
In all the time of selling BEE, I have never ever had any negative or even neutral feedback from our customers. Only rave reviews and additional purchases or referals. To me that speaks a thousand words.