Mom Confessions

Cafe Steph
*UPDATE FROM PARENTS* Is it irresponsible for parents to let their baby ride a Roomba?
January 3, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Parents Who Put Baby on Spinning Vacuum Need an Infant Safety Refresher Course (VIDEO)

Posted by Mary Fischer on January 3, 2013 

baby on roomba

You know those little circular Roomba vacuums that scoot back and forth across your floors to clean them up so you don't have to do it manually? Yeah, they're pretty cool, and they're major time savers.

But (call me crazy) -- something tells me they aren't supposed to be used as a mode of transportation for infants.

The parents of a baby girl named Aria thought it would be cute and funny to sit her down on top of their Roomba and let her take a spin around the living room and help tidy up the pine needles left over by their Christmas tree. Yes -- they let their baby ride their Roomba.

And of course, they caught the whole thing on video. Sure, it's kind of cute. But I couldn't help but gasp and want to hide my eyes throughout the whole thing. Watch the clip below, and then we'll discuss my paranoia.

 

OMG! Um, can you say dangerous -- not to mention pretty darn stupid?!?

Yes, I realize the thing is going very, very slow, and it's obvious that little Aria has mastered the art of balancing on top of spinning vacuums.

But the one thing that kept popping out at me was that perfect little head of hers -- and the hardwood floor beneath it. One sudden jerk or shaky move and that little girl could've toppled over and banged her head on that hard floor -- a thought that made me cringe over and over again.

When my son was a baby, I constantly worried about him smashing his head into something. I remember not even wanting to sit him on a floor that wasn't carpeted without some sort of padding beneath him out of fear that he'd hurt his poor little noggin.

And yes, I realize I was probably a bit overprotective and extreme (what new parent isn't?), but isn't that better than sitting him on top of a moving household appliance because you're too naive to think anything will go wrong?

What do you think? Were these parents being irresponsible in letting their baby ride the Roomba?

*UPDATE FROM PARENTS*

I’m both the person filming the video and also Aria’s dad. I don’t normally make a habit of jumping into internet debates, but since there are over 500 comments about our parenting (the most I’ve seen regarding our video on any website), I thought I would add a few cents to the conversation.

First, my wife and I have really enjoyed reading most of the comments in this thread. It is always great to get feedback, even if it only covers a small sliver of life. 

Second, our parenting style is about exposure both physically and mentally. The video shows one small slice of life where Aria is riding a Roomba. That slice of life by itself doesn't add up to much more than a silly minute, but summing her exposure to lots of different activities over months and years gives Aria confidence in different situations and makes her a more well rounded person. The video was taken ~3 years ago and Aria will be 4 in April. I’m confident in our parenting style because I can see the amazing little girl she has become and a glimpse of the adult she is becoming. Aria was walking at 11 months, riding a bike without training wheels, ballet classes, and zip-lining when she was 2, rock climbing outdoors, caving (she calls it looking for bears) and skiing when she was 3. Not only are we proud of her for these accomplishments, but she is proud of herself. She simply loves trying new things and has confidence in herself (and us) that she will always be reasonably safe. We do science project Saturdays, take her to the museum, build volcanos, shoot model rockets, and do color experiments to expose her mind to new things as well. The more we can expose her to the better, even crazy Roomba rides at 7 months as long as the danger level is acceptably low.

Could she have fallen off the Roomba? Sure, it is possible, but we had confidence that she would be able to stay on and we were nearby to help prevent a fall. Does the Roomba ride look pointless? Yes, if viewed as a single slice, but it is just 1 small experience amongst a myriad of others that collectively expose her to new things and build her confidence and abilities. Were we having fun making the video? Absolutely, just like all the other crazy things we do with Aria, although I’m a little embarrassed by my “woooooing.”  :-) This whole viral video thing is a new experience for her as well. Just last night we were talking with her about how she has become “internet famous.” She seemed to get a kick out of it. She got a big smile when her aunt called to tell her that she saw her on the internet.

But ultimately, the people to best asses what a specific child can or cannot do is the child’s parents. Other parents should absolutely raise their children in the best way they see fit. For us, we feel successful in the way we have raised Aria and are proud of her. Most importantly, she is proud of herself.

I intended to throw in 2 cents but I ended up throwing in 10, I guess that is because I’m her dad.

--Jon Reberry

Replies

  • emilyelephant
    January 3, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I think it's adorable. put a little back on it and straps and no one would think twice. I really think they could have caught her before she fell over. at that age they don't just uncontrollably throw themselves back. and they probably had done it for shorter times more cautiously before they filmed it. I'm sure you could find wayy worse videos really easily

  • matofour
    January 3, 2013 at 12:19 PM
    I want a roomba


    Just for baby rides!

    Fun for baby and a clean house at the same time. Sounds like a win win to me!
  • notjstanothrmom
    January 3, 2013 at 12:20 PM
    Lol That is funny. I'm an overprotective parent in.most peoples eyes and I think that was totally fine! They were both right there.
  • Firenygirl180
    January 3, 2013 at 12:20 PM
    A slightly older baby a sure, one who just learned to sit not so much. My son would love it if he's stay on long enough to ride
  • emilyelephant
    January 3, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    http://youtu.be/M3opqOyKwcA

    Case and point. Almost more safe, until it starts tipping...

    Quoting emilyelephant:

    I think it's adorable. put a little back on it and straps and no one would think twice. I really think they could have caught her before she fell over. at that age they don't just uncontrollably throw themselves back. and they probably had done it for shorter times more cautiously before they filmed it. I'm sure you could find wayy worse videos really easily


  • mybabytristan
    January 3, 2013 at 12:21 PM
    Seriously???? Time to park that helicopter you are parenting with! She is fine and her parents were right there...good lord people need xanax
  • The_Doodle
    January 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    I think it was cute. It's not like the parents just walked off...the mom was even there to make sure it didn't bump into anything that could throw the baby off balance. And that thing was moving way slow. She would get hurt more by falling backwards while learning to walk.

  • moosesmom
    January 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM
    This exactly!

    Quoting Vhx:

    Eh. They were right there and the thing goes like 0.1mph. No more irresponsible than letting them ride around on one of those infernal noisemaking ride-ons.

    And banging her head? Really? She probably bangs her head a dozen times a day learning to walk. And from a lot higher up too, given that she has her legs under her when that happens.

    Overprotective nonsense.

  • moosesmom
    January 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM
    This as well!

    Quoting mybabytristan:

    Seriously???? Time to park that helicopter you are parenting with! She is fine and her parents were right there...good lord people need xanax
  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous
    January 3, 2013 at 12:23 PM
    I hate that my dds very uncommon name has been used by a stupid Disney tv show and now people are all over it! They probably don't even know the meaning. As for the video, eh, not my kid.

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