Melissa Gersin thinks Tranquilo, a vibrating baby mat she invented, is the cure for fussing infants. She worked as a maternity nurse for six years and found low-level sounds and constant motion calmed infants. The reason for this is infants spend nine months in the womb and move constantly with their mother. There are also near constant low-level sounds from mother's breathing and other bodily functions.
Nobody can put infants back in the womb, but she believed creating a vibrating baby mat would help sooth fussy babies and help their parents get needed rest. She sells the mats on Amazon and reviews are mixed. People like the way it calms their babies, but there seem to be issues with battery life.
Design issues aside, the mat calms babies down, which is what it's made to do. When she pitches the Sharks on Tranquilo in episode 816, one of the things she may need guidance on is design and manufacturing. Will a Shark want to get into the business of helping babies sleep?
My Take on the Vibrating Baby Mat
I was a lucky dad. My kids, for the most part, slept soundly as infants (a trait they've carried into adulthood). There were occasions when the babies would fuss and, no matter what we did, they wouldn't sleep. More than once, I put a kid in the car and drove around the neighborhood to get them to sleep. The motion of the vehicle and sound of the engine seemed to calm them. Tranquilo operates on the same principle.
I know many parents who had fussy or collicky infants. A vibrating baby mat, if it works, is a Godsend to these parents. If Tranquilo works as advertised, Melissa could charge three or four times what she asks for her mats (a small mat is $65, a large is $85). There are enough things to keep new parents awake at night. A baby that won't sleep adds to the stress. If Tranquilo works, I'm in.
Do Sharks go to the Mat?
Baby products are lucrative, but they face a lot of scrutiny in the Tank. Some go on to big success, others just fizzle. The concept behind Tranquilo is good, but there has to be execution. Reviews about poor battery life lead me to believe there are either design or production issues lurking behind the scenes. There's also the issue of the science behind the product. Melissa built the product based on her experience – not any real data. The Sharks will sniff those issues out if they exist.
That said, it is a good idea and many parents would gladly pay to get a good night's sleep. If she offers a good valuation and shows she's committed to the business, there could be interest. My gut tells me the Sharks pass on this, but I could be wrong.