A few years ago, Travis Hendricks of Portland, Oregon, noticed his daughter, 3-month old Mathilda, wanted to hold her own bottle but couldn’t get her little hands around it.
“I thought, well, I should make some little handles for it,” Hendricks recalled. “I took one of her existing toys and fashioned it to make a bottle fit into it, and handed it to her and it became her bottle.”
Like a lot of kids just learning to talk, she called it her “ba” (pronounced “bah”). Everywhere Hendricks went with Mathilda other parents noticed it and asked where they could get it. It was a businessman in a Starbucks in Seattle who was really serious about where Hendricks got it, and after talking to him he realized if he didn’t make this for people, then the businessman would take his idea and profit from it. He had to act fast.
Travis formed a company, called “The Original” with two partners and the “ba” was born. It was hitting shelves about a year ago both locally and online. And it’s become very popular.
Fellow dad and friend of Hendricks, Ray Gordon, is a fan. He said it was a milestone for his child when he started using it. “It’s like sitting up or anything, or walking, a big moment – you’re like, WOW!” he said. “He definitely started learning how to use his hands a little bit more, because of it.” Gordon also said the ba has given him a small measure of freedom. “It liberated one hand,” he said with a laugh.
The ba, which costs $15, is available at Canoe in Portland, Chuck’s Place in Lake Oswego and online at Amazon.