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Daddy’s Little Bundle of Joy by Jenn Hughes

Table of Contents Problem Space What I’ve Heard

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In Utero Bonding Concepts and Research After Birth Bonding Concepts and Research Resources 30

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Problem Space

While mother’s have a physical and hormonal bond with the baby that is/was growing inside her, the father doesn’t have the same kind of connection.

“The truth is that many fathers find it difficult 1 to bond with their newborn baby”


How can we use personal informatics to help improve a father’s bond with their child by recording personal information?


What I’ve heard... To get the inside scoop of what the father feels about the pregnancy/newborn and what mothers feel the father is missing out on, I talked to dozens of expectant mothers and fathers, mothers and fathers of newborns, and even a mother of 3 grown children.* *When quoted, they will be identified by the due date, weeks pregnant, or how old their child is.

“I generally feel like a spare part at the moment” -Expecting Father, 14 weeks pregnant

“[The father] does admit that it took a few weeks to fully connect with [the baby] as he felt he was watching me to see what I was doing and learning from me”.” -Mother of a 4-month-old


“. . . it's harder for the partners to feel excited/connected as they aren't feeling the baby move inside them . . . so it's important to find other ways to get them feeling more a part of the pregnancy.� -Expecting Mother, 27-weeks-pregnant


In Utero Bonding

“Fathers who concentrate on bonding with their baby in utero may be able to make the adjustment to fatherhood after the baby’s 2 birth a little easier.”

Baby Kicker Jealous that your wife gets to feel the baby kick inside her? Well, now you can experience something like it.

Simply put a transmitting belt around the mother’s stomach and a receiving belt around the father’s. When the baby kicks in the mother’s stomach, the belt will pick it up and the movement will be sent to the father’s belt so he can feel a similar sensation.



wishes he could feel the movement more. My son tends to stop "My husband

moving when hands are on my belly. I got to feel him all the time because he moves a lot, but my husband does not have the patience to sit there and wait.” -Expecting Mother, 35 weeks pregnant

“[A] helpful milestone is once the fetal kicks or movements are strong enough for the father to feel by placing his hand on the mother's belly.” -Expecting Mother, due April 4th, 2012 We can look to apps that let you manually record baby kicks, such as the ‘Baby Kicker Counter’, as exemplars.


Bump Schedule Always know what your little baby is doing in Mommy’s stomach.




The mothers will record all the movements and activities (kicking, hiccupping, rolling) the baby is doing inside her on her phone and it will automatically sync up with the application of daddy’s phone

"Being informed on the

movements [in the belly] keeps [me] going." -Expecting Father, due April 4th, 2012

There are several examples of apps for mothers to record their progress, but none for them to show the father their baby’s progress. We could look at apps like ‘I’m Expecting’ as exemplars.


Baby Heart Beat Monitor Bring the sense that you have a living baby growing somewhere by bringing his heart beat with you.


“Before [our son] was born, being able to hear the heartbeat helped [the father] make a connection.” -Mother of a 2-month-old Exemplar: ‘My Baby’s Beat’ is an app that will record the babies heartbeat just by putting the phone on the mother’s stomach.

“[My husband] got very emotional seeing the heartbeat last week, more emotional than me, really . . .

. . . Prior to seeing the heartbeat, he barely acknowledged I was pregnant.” -Expecting Mother, 8 weeks pregnant


Daddy Heart Beat Monitor Feel like your unborn child is at one with you by letting him listen to your heartbeat, too.


Bum Bum

Bum The father wears a heart monitor and the data is collected on his phone.



It is then sent to a belt like device that is wrapped around the mothers stomach where it lets out the sound of the father’s heart beating.

“I just want the baby to feel in tune/connected with me. As it hears its mother’s heartbeat and is already creating a bond with the mother, it would be nice to start a bond from baby to daddy in the womb.” - Expecting Father, 21 weeks pregnant


Ultra Sound Collection Relive all the moments you’ve seen of your child so far as you wait to welcome your little bundle of joy into the world



“My husband didn’t seem to grasp that I was pregnant, with an actual human child, until he saw the mid-pregnancy ultrasound. Once he saw those images on the

screen, it seemed to become real to him.” -Mother due April 4th, 2012


Go Time! When it’s time for your child’s birth, don’t ruin the moment by freaking out about the logistics. Use Go Time! to plan things out ahead of time and fully prepare you for the birthing process. It will do everything for you from what route to take to the hospital, to what items need to be brought to the hospital.

Without Go Time!



With Go Time!

“Brendan felt he really bonded with Luka when he decided to take part in the whole delivery . . . Doing all that bonded him to Luka forever.” 8

“I think one of the biggest bonding things [the father] did was assist in the birth . . . I think that was a really special moment for him.” -Mother, baby 8-months-old

“Studies show that fathers who are at their baby’s birth, and hold their little one shortly afterwards, have very similar feelings of attachment to those experienced by mothers for the first few weeks.” 1

Part of the “Expecting Baby” app has a Go button the starts to tell the father how to do his job during the birth, we can look at this application as a starting point.


After Birth Bonding

“Some people say women become mothers while pregnant, and men become fathers after birth.� 9

Baby Schedule Make sure you are spending enough time caring for your baby by using this application on your smart phone to create a scheduled family routine with your significant other.



“A sure way to improve bonding opportunities is to develop a family routine. For two-parent families, this means designating who will take care of the child at which times” 11

“[The father] said being thrust into the role of ‘primary carer’ like that really helped in the bonding for him.” - Mother of a 1 month old

Exemplar: ‘All That Baby’ allows one of the parents to record how the baby is doing and when it does things. Reversing it can help us design our schedule app.


SlingTime Set a target amount of time you want to hold your child in a day, or week, and then make sure you get to that target by timing how long you hold your baby throughout that time period. Simply put your baby in the SlingTime, and the weight of the baby will activate the timer. Its syncs this information with the SlingTime App on your phone, so you can see how you are doing and how close you are to your goal! 12


“The more time dads spend holding their new babies, the

more their paternal instinct is activated, and the more comfortable they feel comforting and caring for their newborns.” 13

“‘Baby wearing’ is an easy way to help out with caring for his sweetie pie while forming a bond” 13

“Go shopping for a sling-type carrier, which puts a baby close to her dad . . . Exemplar: ‘Baby Logger’ is a simple way to keep track of when you care for your baby. Simply push the button when something is done.

this physical closeness is a very natural way for them to bond”



GoodReads: Baby Edition Keep track of the books your read your baby.

15 Record how much they liked the book . . . . . . What was their favorite parts . . . . . . And even the little details, like what voices you made to make them laugh.


“Whether it’s a board book about the abcs or the latest headlines from Wall Street, babies love to hear the sound of Daddy’s voice when being read to.” 13

Exemplar: ‘Goodreads” is an application that allows you to record all the books you’ve read over the years.


Baby’s Firsts with Daddy Make the memories of your time with your baby last forever by using Baby’s Firsts with Daddy to record all those special firsts, how you remember it.

A simple smart phone application that utilizes the camera on the phone so you don’t miss a single special moment!



“You’ve convinced yourself that parenthood is not for you and are even beginning to resent your new family member.

And then your baby smiles Maybe it’s because we’re shallow and easily pleased, but the emotion of making your child laugh is one of the most incredible you will experience.” 1

“Several times [the baby] would do something new and I’d think ‘I’ve got to write that down!’, but I never had the book with me and was always so busy and couldn’t do it.” -Mother of 3 grown children, while looking through their old baby books (see image)


Resources 1. 2. 3. -280x300.jpg 4. 5. 6. 7. /s533/r-beesley.JPG 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.,1 15. 16.


iPhone Template:


Daddy's Little Bundle of Joy  

A design workbook looking into the space of helping a new father connect with their unborn or new born child.

Daddy's Little Bundle of Joy  

A design workbook looking into the space of helping a new father connect with their unborn or new born child.