As any new dad will tell you, that first year is a tough one. Lots of changes, lots of compromises, not a lot of payback and even less sleep. But then the walking starts, you get those first few words, a little personality and things get better….until you have another one and you’re right back in the soup.
So that’s where I was in February of 2012. My oldest was about 2 ½ and my youngest was about 7 months. It had been a long time since I was conscious of having much “fun”. I was at a birthday party for the son of some good friends. Their son was 2 and there were a bunch of other kids around the same age for my oldest to play with. He was off entertaining himself with the other kids. 1 down.
The 7-month-old was strapped to my chest in a BabyBjörn®1.
(A quick aside: Both of our boys loved the ‘Björn…once they could face outward. Facing inward not so much, but as soon as they were old enough to turn around and see what was going on they were happy. I loved the ‘Björn also; it kept me mobile, my hands free, the baby happy and I am big enough that the weight of the little one wasn’t uncomfortable even for long stretches. There was just one little problem…)
I was talking with a few friends I hadn’t seen in a while, hearing some great stories. I had a beer in my hand. Both kids were taken care of so I could actually focus on the conversation. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I was actually having fun! My little one was having a great time also. Each time someone laughed, he giggled, waved his arms and kicked his legs vigorously…pounding me in the balls with his feet. Aaaaah, fatherhood.
This happened often, unfortunately, and I am far from the only one so afflicted. It’s a major problem with the ‘Björn; the forward-facing body position keeps the little one entertained for long periods, but for too many dads it’s really rough on the old “family jewels”. I did a quick straw poll at the party and about half the dads there had shared the same painful experience. I knew a bunch of other dads who had as well. Many had actually stopped using the ‘Björn because of it.
After I left the party, I Googled for a solution and came up empty. I was pretty surprised. With a problem this acute and widely experienced, I expected that someone would have solved it already. Not so. As it happened, I had left my job a couple weeks before the birthday party so had some free time. Opportunity was knocking and I had the bandwidth to answer.
I got connected with David Gonzalez and Bruce Eng at Sozo Design and within a few months we had a design that was simple, effective and unobtrusive. After a focused project with Master-McNeil, the new product had a name and The Kiccup was born! It took a while to iron out sourcing and distribution logistics, but now we’re ready to go. We couldn’t be more excited to officially launch the product and our new online store!
The Kiccup is the perfect solution to a painful problem – and the perfect gift for a new dad. We hope you enjoy the product and that it works as well for you as it did for me.
Here’s to more hands-free, pain-free, happy baby time for dad!
1 BabyBjörn is a registered trademark of BabyBjörn AB, which is unaffiliated with Kiccup, Inc.