CryingBaby -Long Video (5 min 20 sec )
Raising a newborn, especially a baby less than 28 days old, is a challenging task that involves feeding, changing, bathing, and putting the baby to sleep, among other things. Newborns also cry frequently throughout the day and night, making it difficult for parents to get enough sleep. Additionally, new parents, particularly mothers, often experience physiological and psychological stress that can lead to postpartum depression and childcare neurosis. While expectant mothers can prepare themselves by anticipating potential challenges, first-time mothers with limited experience may find it difficult to identify and address issues, leading to anxiety.
Some municipalities offer classes for parents that utilize newborn dolls to simulate hands-on learning before the birth of the baby. Participants learn how to support the newborn, including washing, feeding, and changing its diaper, under the guidance of midwives. However, most of the instruction is given using soft vinyl newborn dolls that do not offer a realistic experience. To address this, some are using RealCareBaby, a simulator controlled by an electronic device, that cries randomly for milk, diaper changes, burps, and swaddling like a real infant. However, the effectiveness of using simulators such as RealCareBaby in preventing teenage pregnancy has been questioned.
The authors propose CryingBaby, a robot that imitates a real newborn baby, feeds it real milk, colors the milk, and allows it to defecate. By experiencing the difficulties of practical newborn childcare, including feeding, changing diapers, holding the baby, and putting the baby to sleep, before the birth of the baby, it is expected to reduce anxiety about how to treat the newborn and childcare. Additionally, by experiencing the difficulties of newborn childcare in advance, fathers are expected to be encouraged to use the childcare leave application system.
Generally, making milk for a newborn involves boiling water, measuring the amount of milk needed, mixing the milk with the boiled water, and allowing the milk to cool to the appropriate temperature. The experience with soft vinyl dolls and RealCareBaby does not involve actually making and feeding milk, but only holding a toy bottle close to the mouth. CryingBaby cries out for real milk, allowing the user to experience the difficulty of making milk. Additionally, CryingBaby allows the user to experience the difficulties of changing diapers and wiping the baby.
In Japan, the health condition of a newborn baby can be determined by the color of its feces. To detect diseases such as biliary atresia and congenital biliary dilatation early on, a "stool color card" is included in the "mother-child handbook." Parents can compare the color of their newborn's feces with the stool color card to detect diseases at an early stage. CryingBaby can color the aspirated milk and excrete it, allowing the user to adjust the amount of colored ink injected and change the color of the feces.
Overall, the authors hope that CryingBaby will offer a more practical and realistic experience of newborn care that can reduce anxiety and improve preparedness for new parents.
And we aim to change the awareness of users. The rate of childcare leave in Japan has changed from 2007 (1.56% for men and 89.7% for women) to FY2020 (12.65% for men and 81.6% for women), and although the rate of men taking childcare leave is increasing, the rate is still overwhelmingly lower than that of women. One of the reasons for this is the persistent awareness rooted in the gender role division of labor that "childcare is a woman's role. Compared with other countries, Japan has a strong awareness of the gender role division of labor, which is reflected in the short amount of time men spend on childcare. It is hoped that the CryingBaby will help men take childcare leave and understand...Read more »