Hillsborough Woman Reinvents the Baby Bottle
Posted July 21, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
HILLSBOROUGH — If you've spent much time around toddlers, you know they're always on the go. Half the time they have a bottle in their mouth. A local woman didn't think that was safe, so she invented a way for babies to drink and keep focused.
WRAL'sDebra Morganhas the story of a Hillsborough woman who combined her background as a nurse, mother and grandmother to create a "Capital Idea" unlike you've ever seen before.
The shape of baby bottles may have changed over the years, but the nipples really haven't -- until now. Bernice Simpson of Hillsborough invented the Flexineck Baby Bottle. She compares the nipple on the bottle to a flexible straw.
Eight-month-old Kiondra is the first to try it. Bernice says it makes her feel wonderful to see the baby drinking from her invention.
Bernice's unique design enables babies to tip up the bottle, instead of their head, so they can drink juice and see what's going on in front of them.
Bernice says rings of latex act as protection.
"It's a little safety for the baby's mouth and teeth... to protect [them] in case if they bump up against something or fall."
The nipple is strong enough that it won't stop the flow of juice if it's bent.
Bernice has been a nurse for 31 years, mainly taking care of elderly patients. Her son and grandchild are way too old for baby bottles, but that hasn't stopped her from pursuing her Capital Idea.
"I'm always looking around to see where things can be improved for the betterment, you know. And when the idea for the baby bottle came up, people were really floored with that because they know that I'm dealing with senior citizens, but I came up with something for a baby, you know."
Bernice is serious when it comes to using her invention to try to keep children safe. That's her goal, but she says it makes her smile when she sees a child enjoying her idea.
"I'm really happy she took to it the way she did because it gives me the idea that all children, or the majority of children will respond to it that way."
Bernice has been working with a marketing company to try to get the word out about her baby bottle nipple. So far, she's received a response from Gerber and Evenflo saying they're interested.
If she can't get a big company to buy her idea, this Triangle inventor may just find a way to manufacture them herself.