Sweden has a long tradition of supporting parents, from education to allocating parents 480 parental leave days that can be used by either parent during the first eight years of a child’s life. Still, the country felt it could do more. What if, in addition to helping support parents, it helped parents build a connection with their children? What if it could help partners of the pregnant experience their child kicking?
Sweden's solution is Baby Buzz, a free wearable available to Swedish parents while they’re expecting. Here’s how it works: Both parents wear a special bracelet that is connected to their mobile phone’s Bluetooth. When the mother experiences the baby kicking, rolling, or wiggling in the womb she can send a signal to her partner’s bracelet that causes it to vibrate. These vibrations allow both parents to experience the awareness of the pregnancy together in real time, even when they’re apart.
Set up by Libero, a leading diaper brand in Sweden, this project was designed to help non-pregnant partners get more engaged in the pregnancy itself, helping them experience more awareness of what it is like. After all, you can be aware of what your partner is experiencing but not actually know what it’s like to constantly be reminded something kicking or spinning inside you.
The bracelets are available for free to parents. They simply register for the program and are loaned the Baby Buzz bracelets until their child is born. The bracelets are then returned so that other families can use them.
According to Libero’s research, this is an ongoing issue among parents in Sweden. These studies show 27 percent of pregnant women feel alone in their pregnancy and 68 percent feel they get asked all the questions about their upcoming parenthood. These tiny buzzes are a daily reminder for new parents that they’ve both got a surprise on the way. You can see the bracelet in action in this video.