Japanese Invention Allows Men To 'Breastfeed' Their Babies Because Why Not?

May 26, 2021

The South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) is a space for innovators. Every year, inventors come from all over the globe to show how their technology could change the world. This year, a Japanese company is looking to innovate in the childcare space with a wholly original idea.

Moms carry much of the childcare burden.

Unsplash | Jordan Whitt

This isn't necessarily because dads don't want to help, or aren't willing to share childcare responsibilities. One key area where dads just don't have the equipment to help is breastfeeding.

Dads can help, somewhat.

Sure, they can always give mom a night off by strapping their passed-out baby to their chest and attending an NBA game. But when it comes to feeding time, all dads can really do is offer up a bottle.

Every dad has dealt with this.


Babies instinctively start trying to get at the breast when they're hungry. If you're a guy who's ever held a baby, you've probably experienced a baby looking in vain for a source of milk.

Inevitably, the baby wants to go to Mom.


When a baby is accustomed to breast milk, sometimes the bottle just won't do. So what can a dad do? It basically amounts to handing the baby off to Mom so it can be fed.

A Japanese company has a possible solution.


The Dentsu Group came to SXSW 2019 with a full arsenal of intriguing inventions. But it's possible that the most intriguing one is the one that looks to solve this age-old parenting problem.

The idea is elegant in its simplicity.


Called Father's Nursing Assistant (I'm sure they'll come up with a catchier name when it hits the market), the device basically simulates breasts. Dads can easily put it on using the attached shoulder strap.

It gives the baby a target.


Once the device is loaded up with milk or formula, it's ready to go. Since babies tend to find the breast by its shape and location, this places the milk source right where the baby's looking for it.

It's designed to help moms sleep.


Dentsu notes that moms face a significant burden when it comes to childcare. "Focusing on breastfeeding, we aim to decrease the amount of burden on mothers and increase the amount of time infants sleep by enabling fathers to breastfeed," they write.

It was done with expert advice.


The breastfeeding device was designed with advice from pediatricians and babysitters in mind. Noting that the softness of their mom's breast can be soothing to babies, the device is intentionally soft and rounded.

There's an app for that.


It doesn't seem entirely necessary, but people do love apps. So Dentsu's device can be connected to a smartphone app that offers all sorts of granular details on what's going on.

It's hands-free.


Because it attaches to the chest using straps, both of Dad's hands are free to comfort and soothe the baby. In other words, it creates as much of a mom-like experience as it possibly can.

The design is simple.


One side (Dad's left) has the breastfeeding system. The other side contains a tank for milk or formula, which is fed across the chest to the breastfeeding apparatus on the left.

It's still a prototype at this point.


SXSW is a proving ground for new designs, so there's no timeline yet for when this device could hit the open market. It'll likely go through a few tweaks and revisions before it does.

It could be great for moms and dads.


Many dads want to share equally in childcare duties, but sometimes it just isn't possible. This device looks like it could be the key to a true 50/50 split of responsibilities.

Dads, would you rock this?


True, it isn't the most stylish looking thing ever. But when it comes to childcare, every little thing helps — and this looks like it could help a ton. What do you think? Tell us in the comments!

h/t: Dentsu