Japan has a falling birth rate. The lack of babies isn’t quite at Children of Men levels yet but it does have serious implications for the future. Who will burden the cost of the pensions and care for the elderly? With fewer young people, it means fewer people working and propping up the economy.
Due to the lack of kids, Japan’s toy makers have also seen their sales fall, along with increased competition from digital toys. This also affects Japan’s baby goods industry, to the extent that Japan does not have much of a reputation when it comes to products for new mothers or for infants.
But if you search around there are some pretty awesome ones out there. Like this Mama’s Womb Sound Memory Recorder, a “sound diary device” for pregnant mothers and babies.
It was partly developed by Dr. Toshiyuki Shiomi, an expert on infant care. How it works is it helps you document the sounds of your baby and what they are hearing. You make recordings in 30 second sessions.
But these aren’t just an aural nostalgia trip for sophisticated parents. No, these records then become a practical tool to combating the trauma of the first weeks after birth when you babe is crying its lungs out.
You can play back the recordings to your newly-born child and this will work to clam them down when they are upset. They will be taken back to the most protected environment we have ever known, drying their tears as they remember being back inside the womb.
Pretty neat, huh?