a minor design flaw

Dear God:

I’ve been a customer of your baby department for the past eleven years, and I am currently on my fourth go-around of raising a baby. Overall I’ve been pleased with the design and delivery system of the product, but I wondered if you might like some feedback. There appears to have been a minor design flaw in your infant human model.

To wit, they should be born with teeth but no opposable thumbs.

Teething babies experience intense pain in their mouths as the teeth cut through the gum tissue. The baby becomes cranky and awakens several times a night, resulting in a cranky mother. And cranky mothers talk to one another, resulting in bad word-of-mouth for your product.

It would be better PR if babies came with a full set of teeth, or at least enough to get them through the preschool years.

The obvious objection, that teeth and breasts shouldn’t be anywhere near one another, isn’t necessarily valid. Babies can and do nurse with teeth. You did design them such that if they’re properly nursing with their tongue forward over the lower gums, they cannot bite the breast. Since they can do it later, we can assume it’s possible earlier as well.

Now for my second point: newborns keep their hands curled into fists. It would be a very simple matter to modify the design such that they do not have a differentiated thumb at all until approximately two years of age. Then, at the time they ordinarily would have their molars come in, instead their thumbs can come in.

Working thumbs are a nuisance in beings who have infinite curiosity but no common sense. If you’ve ever been standing in line at a crowded Dunkin Donuts and turned to find your baby has grabbed two Drink Holder Thingie packages off the rack beside the counter, you will agree. Or, to go back to the nursing issue, a baby who wants to nurse and tries to grasp the nipple to shove it into his mouth. I’d rather be bitten five times!

Again, I’m very pleased with your product and consider myself a good customer. I highly recommend babies to all my friends who ask about them. But if you will take the time to look over my suggestions, I think the product could be vastly improved.




  1. cathrl

    Owww! Nooo! (Says the mum who had to give up breastfeeding because her daughter drew blood every time once she had teeth top and bottom.)

    I have an alternative suggestion: remove nerves from the very top of the gums. Once the teeth come in they are pushed aside anyway, and I don’t see why a baby needs sensation somewhere a person with teeth has none.

  2. philangelus

    Yeowtch! I’ve only had babies bite me when I tried to unlatch them while they were only half-asleep. They’d clamp down to keep the breast from moving away; I learned real fast to keep a finger there until the all-clear. 🙂

    No nerves there is a good idea!

  3. CricketB

    My son used to move his jaw sideways while nursing, especially near the beginning or end, but learned soon enough that it was counter-productive. I do like the no nerves thing, though. I let my son stay on too long the first day — ouch!

    Do you think I should ask about a refund for Vesuvian bladder and explodo-poop?

  4. Pandu das

    Cute, but these bodies are made to be troublesome on purpose.

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