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*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?


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


  • othermom
    January 3, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    I think it is prettystupid, but not extremely dangerous other than if she fell off. It goes really slow and it not very high and they kept her pretty close to them

  • Vhx
    by Vhx
    January 3, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Yeah, tell me about it. Now kids can't do anything without their parents up their ass, except sit on the floor and watch television shows that repeat the same stupid lessons "1... 2... 3!" 500 times.

    I say on the floor because couches are way too dangerous for children. They could fall off them and hit their head. Or climb on the back of them. Or be smothered by the cushion. Can you say deathtrap? How do parents live with themselves knowing they're endangering their child's life by selfishly keeping furniture!?

    Quoting Anonymous:

    Things were way easier when I was little climbing trees w/out my mom hovering over my shoulder when I was little.

  • ErikaRobin
    January 3, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    I think what would be irresponsible is to set her loose on the streets with that thing.  ;)  This?  Not a big deal.

  • jbirdsladie27
    January 3, 2013 at 12:02 PM
    She is adorable.
    And we'll agree to disagree.
    The End :)

    Quoting ErikaRobin:

    Quoting jbirdsladie27:

    I saw this on this mornings news... if she would have fell backwards......

    ...she would have cried.  I don't know that that would be enough of a fall to really injure her though.  They obviously know their child well enough...I'm betting this wasn't her first ride.

    I thought it was pretty funny.  She's adorable.

  • audreesmama
    January 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I think it's hilarious and if I had one, I would totally do it. 

    People are oversensitive. 

  • irocksocks
    January 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Her parents are right there, and its not going too fast.. if she were to start to fall off, I think they would grab her

  • ErikaRobin
    January 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    That's acceptable.  ;)

    Quoting jbirdsladie27:

    She is adorable.
    And we'll agree to disagree.
    The End :)

    Quoting ErikaRobin:

    Quoting jbirdsladie27:

    I saw this on this mornings news... if she would have fell backwards......

    ...she would have cried.  I don't know that that would be enough of a fall to really injure her though.  They obviously know their child well enough...I'm betting this wasn't her first ride.

    I thought it was pretty funny.  She's adorable.

  • nerdymom28
    January 3, 2013 at 12:04 PM


    Quoting Vhx:

    Eh. They were right there and the thing goes like 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.

     I agree completely. Falling off that thing wouldn't hurt anymore than losing her balance while sitting directly on the floor. I don't think it's something I would do, simply because I don't see the point, but I don't have a problem with it.

  • MrsRi
    by MrsRi
    January 3, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    I laughed.  I thought it was hilarious.  Yeah... It was stupid... But we all do stupid shit from time to time.  Hopefully they wont do it again, but yeah... I laughed.

  • LucyHarper
    January 3, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    It is not a big deal. The worst that could happen is the child falls over, and what child hasn't fallen over when sitting at some point. It's not like she's up on something, she's two inches from the ground. The thing is moving very slowly, the child is able to sit up and support herself, and her mom is right next to it the whole time, making sure she doesn't run into any walls and is right there if she starts to fall over. As soon as she starts to scootch to one side, the mom takes her off of it. It's a cute video and the baby is hardly in danger. Kids will fal down, they'll clunk their heads, they'll scrape their knees, they won't die from it.

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