Thesis #1 Beginning

As a father of a toddler, I know that life before and after having a baby is totally different. It’s because parents have the responsibility of taking care of a child’s life completely. There are especially so many unexpected things that can happen until babies start to communicate with their parents. They might eat something they shouldn’t, fall down, or get seriously injured.

What a disaster it could be if there wasn’t the guardian!

Babies start to talk between 18 months and 24 months.[1] My daughter has just started to speak basic words such as hello, yes, water, and food. She can also understand what my wife and I say to her. For 1 year, before she could communicate at all, it was almost impossible for my daughter to be careful about what she does. In other words, my wife and I had to consciously pay full attention to her when she wasn’t sleeping. This means that being alone with a baby takes a lot of energy and it’s highly possible to make the guardian feel lonely. In the worst case, parents may get a depressive disorder. Experiencing and learning these difficulties, I wanted to make toddler care experience better for parents.

1. Community

Since toddler care is a lonely journey, I realized that building a community where people can help each other can actually be a great solution. In Korea, people tend to become friends in similar age groups. However, my wife’s best friend is now a 70 year old neighborhood lady who also cares for her 1-year-old grandson. In addition to that, my wife and I have a very good relationship with another couple who has a son that’s in a similar age group as my daughter. I found that a strong bond can easily be made with parents who are also experiencing toddler care since we could empathize with each other and share knowledge about babysitting. Actually, building a community is one of the most common treatments for postpartum depression.[2]

2. Products

There is a moment I always want to avoid when I bath my baby. Washing her hair. Babies don’t know how to breathe under water until a certain age. So my daughter also suffers and cries when she drinks unwanted water. And it is really hard not to make her drink it. But last summer, I found a mind-blowing product when I visited my brother and my sister-in-law, who take care of three children. The product was a baby shampoo cap.

Shampoo cap (Source: homedit.com)

If I knew about this product before, I could have washed her hair without making her cry, which I couldn’t help but do for more than a year. There are so many good products out there that can help make parents better. But the thing is, it’s not always easy to find products with good ideas. So, I thought that making these good products easily accessible to parents could be a good solution.

Topics with my interest
1. Connecting parents with similar toddler’s age groups
sub 1. Community platform where parents can share knowledge or information
2. Supporting parents with products
sub 1. Service that recommends optimized products for different situations of parenting.
3. Other random ideas
sub 1. Designing a better kitchen experience for people who have a small living space
sub 2. Solving the water shortage problem
sub 3. Recipes for babies
Questions/Doubts about the thesis
1. Will the main topic(#1, #2) eventually help parents become better parents?
2. How will I use my strong skills, mobile UX, UX/UI design for digital product, and UI design with micro interactions to solve the problem?

(Updated 1/25/2017)

Reference

[1] document. (2013, July ). Delayed speech or language development. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from http://m.kidshealth.org/en/parents/not-talk.html

[2] Shaw, G. (2005). Postpartum depression and relationships. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from WebMD,http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/postpartum?page=1