Design Direction

Approaching the phase of design development concerned with the movement feature of this design, I have found myself at a crossroads.
Do I go down the route of mechanical electric movements that can be switched on and left on giving rise to the unattended movement of the newborn? Or do I go down the route of manual movements that requires an adult's intervention to provoke and maintain the movement?

When talking to Christine the midwife she was mostly concerned about having the mattress being able to move unattended. This was a concern for her when considering all types of parenting - good and bad. The concern being the feature would be abused as an easy option for parents rather than promoting the mother baby relationship the NHS would hope for.

In the same vein when I was discussing the same feature with Kate and Jacqui the two new mums they personally felt this feature would not be relevant to them personally "why would I put my baby on a mattress to rock them when I could pick them up and rock them to sleep myself?"

These two elements of research bring forward this design direction crossroads, the mums that this product is aimed at are 'busy mums' who are keen to be able to put the baby down during the day so they can continue their lives while also being a mum.  This product is aimed at mums who have other commitments besides being a mother, Women who need a solution that will enable them to maximise their time during those 2 - 4 valuable hours of sleep.

So it would appear from my research and current level of understanding of the target audience shows that a non-manual option would be appropriate, having an electronic, unassisted movement feature would be beneficial.
The questions still remaining to be answered are:

  • "Would my target audience 'mum' be happy to sit, rocking their baby to sleep while getting on with something?  
  • "Would a rocking feature that requires mum to be 'beside' the baby inhibit or put off mums?"
  • Would this still be a problem if you can rock them to sleep with you, then gently carry the mattress and sleeping baby into another room?"