Unitasker Wednesday: The Nuvo Ritmo Pregnancy Sound System

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Being a new mom, I spent a number of weeks being a lot more aware of the massive marketing efforts directed toward first-time pregnant women and parents. I specifically mention “first-time” because my eyes are already starting to go back to glossing over these advertisements — the same way I no longer see bridal or cigarette ads.

The stuff being marketed to first-time pregnant women and parents is about 1/4 necessary, 1/4 might-be useful to some people, and 1/2 scams and clutter. As proof of the scams and clutter category, I present the Nuvo Ritmo Pregnancy Sound System:

From the Manufacturer’s description:

The Ritmo advanced sound system by Nuvo is the most advanced and complete system for delivering quality and safe sound to prenatal listeners.

I wanted to know if this was true, so I asked my friend’s unborn daughter what she thought. Her response:

It may deliver “safe sound” but I have to disagree with Nuvo’s claims about quality. I find the system to lack the mid-range fullness I’m seeking for my womb. I also dislike the inability to adjust the bass, treble, and playlist from anywhere inside the placenta. Who chose this crappy music? I’d love to rock out to some Rammstein.

How any of us grew up to be functioning adults without our mothers using the Nuvo Ritmo Pregnancy Sound System, I shall never know.

(Special thanks to reader Wobagi for this unitasker, via Engadget.)

39 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: The Nuvo Ritmo Pregnancy Sound System”

  1. posted by Brandon on

    Umm…wow. There is really no other response to this.

  2. posted by BG on

    What’s missing for the unborn while listening to music while in utero, why something to read, how about Baby Einstein?

  3. posted by Pete on

    It’s so fashionable too.

  4. posted by Layla on

    LOL!!

    This is hilarious!!

    I always roll eyes at too-much-marketing over preggie women/babies too!!

    I used to think eg baby wipes or baby disposable diapers were somewhat-appropriate gifts for a new mom (‘something she can really use’, said my Mum!) but now I know better!!

  5. posted by Karyn on

    Rammstein???

    By any chance does this little gadget come with a subliminal suggestion CD to help the baby-in-progress develop better musical taste? :P

    As for marketing Useless and Worse crap to naive, vulnerable first-time parents, well, you already know my views on that one! No doubt some marketing genius will be quick to prey upon parental fears of Doin’ It Rong by not-so-subliminally suggesting that their child’s only hope for decent brain development is to listen to music transmitted directly from skin to womb.

    Meanwhile, all the music lovers in my family seemed to pick up the vibes just fine via ordinary stereos playing through ordinary airwaves. My niece has loved music from the time she was born–though she seems to be partial to the Mozart arias I was playing for her a couple of weeks ago on YouTube. ;-) Sorry, Rammstein.

  6. posted by momofthree on

    EGADS–what they think of next??
    I have been told that a fetus cannot hear anything outside of the womb.
    Once the babes arrived, i would spend ALOT of time with them doing the “mom sway”.
    I played good old rock and roll most of the time, so it’s no surprise that my kids can ROCK with the best of them.

  7. posted by schmei on

    You’ve overlooked a second task this item can accomplish: it allows first-time moms to get a head start on embarrassing their children by looking like total dweebs. Can you put a price on that?

  8. posted by NancyV908 on

    I thought Erin’s post was hilarious, but schmei, I think your comment may be even funnier.

    Oh yeah. The product itself is pretty hilarious too. In a sad, sad way.

  9. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @schmei — I agree with NancyV908, that’s hilarious!

  10. posted by Anita on

    I wonder if the thought process behind this included “hey, if the pregnancy thing doesn’t work out, we can always market it as a weight loss belt. We’ll say the vibration of the sound waves activates muscles or something.”

    I’m also amazed at how many of these belly speaker things there are out there. Wonder if anyone’ll come out to say they used one and what the outcome was :)

  11. posted by Karyn on

    @Anita – I’m wondering how anyone could possibly test “what the outcome was”!!! :D

  12. posted by Suzyn on

    I’ve got to admit, I stuck cheap earphones down my pants so my little guys could listen to Mozart in utero – didn’t require any equipment I didn’t already have, and hey – couldn’t hurt!

  13. posted by Jack on

    From the reading I’ve done, babies can hear the outside world well enough to know their mother’s voice after they are born. If music is that important, just crank it up a notch or two more on the radio.

    My wife and I have three small kids and when my wife’s sister got pregnant, my wife was able to tell her what was necessary and was unnecessary clutter or useless.

    There IS way too much “stuff” marketed to first time parents. Every time I go to Babies R Us for necessities, I’m mentally looking at things and categorizing them: useless, clutter, maybe useful and useful.

    BTW, babies are attached to the placenta and live inside the uterus. ;)

  14. posted by deb on

    Too funny! We went to see a live performance of “The Nutcracker” shortly before my son’s birth – what fun! He was kicking and squirming all the way through. I used to stick my headphones on my belly too. Now he’s 16 and has an ear for both classical and contemporary music.

  15. posted by L. on

    I honestly wonder if this is a harmful product. The womb is protective for a reason, and actually it’s not that muffled anyway. (http://www.babycenter.com/0_mu......bc?page=2)

    My personal opinion: evolution has made the womb exactly the environment it needs to be; there is no need to try to “enhance” pregnancy with a purchased product–even though we as a culture seem convinced that buying something always makes things better. If you want your baby to hear music, just play it on the radio.

  16. posted by Dawn F. on

    My grandmother would have cracked up with this one!

    There really are so few things that a mommy, daddy and a baby actually NEED (not want, but NEED) to have a happy, safe and healthy pregnancy, delivery and then upbringing.

    Seriously, major, major clutter in this particular area of life… that only continues on into toddler years, school age years and teenage years. Stuff, stuff, and more stuff… Ugh.

  17. posted by Alix on

    Too funny!

  18. posted by Ashley on

    I agree with “L.”. That doesn’t sound like a good idea. I named my daughter after a Rolling Stone song and played that song several times a day along with many other songs on my laptop (no earbuds or headphones) while I was pregnant with her. I don’t know if she heard much or not, but I do know that every time she hears “her” song or anything by the Beatles, she turns her head toward the music and smiles.

  19. posted by Queen Lucia on

    When I was 8 mos. pregnant with my daughter I tripped and fell down a few stairs. To be safe, I called my doctor’s office to report in and say she hadn’t moved since. The nurse said she was probably just asleep – to feel better, I could bang a couple pan lids in front of my stomach and wake her up. Feeling foolish, I did. After several hearty bangs she finally prodded me unenthusiastically, clearly saying, “WHY are you waking me up?!?”

    Think of how not-foolish I would have felt if I’d just used the Nuvo Ritmo! Oh wait….

  20. posted by Fred E. on

    I saw this on Engadget the other day. This is horrifying. Babies in the womb need to sleep a lot, this is torturing them. How would you like it if somebody did this to YOU?

  21. posted by klutzgrrl on

    I’m dubious about the wisdom of subjecting unborn babies to a barrage of sound waves – both in terms of their tiny developing cells, nerves and hearing – and psychologically for both them and parents.

    There’s a good reason they spend 9 months well cosseted from the onslaught of the outside world – why try to breach nature’s defences?

    And what does it say about your parenting that you need to start ‘accelerating’ your child before it’s even born?

    What is wrong with a little peace and quiet?

  22. posted by a random claire on

    No Rammstein? I guess my unborn son will just have to put up with having the headphones put on my stomach every now and then.

    PS – He prefers AC/DC anyway.

  23. posted by Rachel on

    Wow. My sister just had her first kid and this beats all the absurd things people bought for them. She skipped the whole playing music for the baby and just had the dog bark at her stomach. Seems to have worked, the dog can be standing right next to the baby barking her head off and he sleeps though it.

  24. posted by Linda on

    I always thought that your heartbeat, stomach and other intestines provided enough ‘music’ so that the baby wouldn’t annoy itself..

    So sad that we feel the ‘need’ to entertain our kids even when they’re not yet born! Children under one year of age really don’t need anything besides food, clothes and LOTS of kisses ;)

    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  25. posted by Sophia on

    the first unitasker no one defends???

  26. Profile photo of

    posted by henave on

    EEEEkkk!! This is on sale for $125! One of the customers who purchased this said it is a “life changer”…I remember being out of it when I was pregnant, but not that out of it.

    I love the image on amazon of the baby in the womb listening to the music.

  27. posted by Sheryl on

    “we love the beatles personal favorite fool on the hill”

    Part of the second comment on Amazon for this ridiculous thing. I could say so many things about this but I’m not even gonna go there…

  28. posted by Amandine on

    Oh, this is perfect! Thanks for a good laugh today!

    I love the happy look on the woman’s face too, haha!

  29. posted by mata on

    This is really repellant, I think. And given how little support there is for all this pre- and peri-natal learning system marketing (that is, NONE), it staggers me that people will spend money on these. And I agree with L, and others, I think these may actually be harmful.

    “Primum non nocere.” (First, do no harm.)

  30. posted by Kelly on

    This is hilarious. I’m so glad I didn’t get sucked in to all the ‘you HAVE to have this’ hype when I was pregnant… I had a woman at work look at me appalled when I said I didn’t need a wipe warmer because ‘cold wipes build character’ :) C’mon what’s wrong with warming it up with your hands if it’s a bit chilly. There are so many things they market to first time parents and so few things you truly need. I guess the cheapskate in me helped sort those things out. My baby is a happy/healthy 10 month old who’s done just fine without this ridiculous product… although he IS a huge fan of all music in spite of missing out ;-)

  31. posted by Shalin on

    so odd I have no words… :-%

  32. posted by Sabrina on

    This is the first unitasker I’ve seen that hasn’t had at least one supporter! I can’t even play devil’s advocate on this product. It is just ridiculous!

  33. posted by Casey on

    Erin, I’ve always liked your writing, but the Rammstein comment takes the cake! Thanks for a good laugh!

  34. posted by Jill on

    lol Rammstein, what a good choice in music that baby has! :)

  35. posted by Jess on

    I always used to sing counting scales to me and the bump when I went for walks – and the first time I felt my son “flutter” was in the middle of the orchestra rehearsal for Carmen. Can’t blame him – what a marvellous racket!

  36. posted by Unitasker Wednesday: Formula Mixer on

    [...] me with its ability to prey on new parents. This week’s Unitasker is right up there with the Nuvo Ritmo Pregnancy Sound System as being a totally useless gadget. Introducing the Formula [...]

  37. posted by Petra on

    I’m a first time preggo and super excited about it.

    But, I’m remembering what my grandmother always used to say…

    “All a baby needs is a flat surface, mom’s breast milk and a lot of love”

    I’m going with that… and saving any extra money for a college fund.

  38. posted by LMR on

    The “Mozart effect” that the manufacturer mentions, which claims that children who listen to classical music as babies do better in school, were flawed studies and the results have been debunked because they didn’t take into account that people who play classical music tend to be intellectuals who will have smarter kids anyway (well, usually). These people also give their kids more books and either send them to better schools or are more involved in their education.
    You can’t just swap out violent rap or redneck country music for classical without making other changes in the child’s environment and expect your kid to be a genius. Helping a child grow intellectually takes years of time and hard work, but people who would buy this don’t want to hear that.

  39. posted by LMR on

    Okay, I was a bit harsh with my last comment. I’m sure most people who would buy this are well-meaning and caring parents, but the money would definitely be better spent on books or musical instruments and lessons later on.

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