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Teddy seat, improve the consultation experience of low-aged cleft lip patient

Teddy seat is an assisting seat designed for cleft lip and palate patients around one-year-olds. It enables the medical team to check the baby efficiently, makes the baby patient comfortable during long consultations.

# concept design   # healthcare

Group research and

individual design

Sep 2018 -

Feb 2019

Collaborated with VUMC

(Amsterdam University Medical Center)


Special thanks to my teammates: Marek Torbus, Tina Ekhtiar, Hosana Morales, Jip Spijker, and the coaching team: Marijke Idema, Marijke Melles



Cleft lip and palate is a birth defect that occurs when a baby's lip or palate does not form correctly during pregnancy(Dixon, 2011). Treatment of this disorder begins after birth and continues past the child’s 18th birthday. In VUMC, the multidisciplinary medical team consists of plastic surgeons, dentists, orthodontists, and nurses, give consultations to the patient and family members.


The consultations were conducted in the orthodontic department. The dental examination booths are not well prepared for children. To help improve the consultation experience, the design team conducted the research together and each proposed a solution targetting on a different age group. My solution is designed for baby patients aging around one year old. 

Define the problems and needs collaboratively

The direct stakeholders are young patients, parents, and medical specialists. By interviewing the medical team, our designer team learned about how the consultation contributes to the treatment from a professional perspective. Based on the field observation, we generated a journey map and corrected it with the doctor. By facilitating role-playing games with the young patients, we looked through the consultation from children's perspective.


Problems in the low-aged consultation

The problems are various in different age groups.

For the baby patient group, the typical problems are:

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The baby pesters frequently

The dental chair doesn't fit the baby's body dimension, thus the baby has to lie on a mattress or sit with the parent during the whole consultation, which is not a suitable posture for oral check.

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The baby feels stressed

The long duration and uncomfortableness are far beyond the baby's tolerance. The baby gets bored easily, sometimes stressed out during the invasive examinations. 

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Communication is limited

The parents and doctors have to take care of and comfort the baby, this leads to limited time on communication.

To add value to the consultation

  • the examinations should be more smooth and effective;

  • the baby patients should be involved with less stress and more cooperation;

  • the communications between doctors and parents should be more efficient.


Offer suitable tools for

baby oral check



Make the baby comfortable


Distract the baby with toys


Help the baby ‘cooperate’


Make the baby more involved



& Gamification



& Gamification


Make oral examination  convenient


Baby-friendly consultation environment


Dental tools exclusively designed for baby


A dental seat fits the low-aged patient


The baby pesters less


Reduce workload from parents


Doctor focus on checking and communicating


Sth helps comfort the baby


Free parent & doctor from comforting the baby

Concept development

Morphological Chart

Break down the overall product function into sub-functions. 

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Refer to baby seat products for different usage.

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Research on dental chair

Understand the dimension and manipulation of the dental chair

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Final solution - Teddy Seat

Teddy Seat is an assisting seat for cleft lip and palate patients around one year old. It improves both patient cooperation and comfort. It is fastened to the standard dental chair and follows the movement, enabling the doctor to conduct dental checks conveniently and efficiently. Teddy Seat works as a buddy, it embraces the baby with the comfortable seat and comforts the baby with playful elements. With its help, the baby patients can sit independently and comfortably during the long consultation.

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Seat fits the baby

The seat made of silicon rubber shapes around the baby's body, enables the baby to sit for long comfortably. The cute appearance and cozy tactile make baby relaxed. 

Fasten mechanism

Teddy Seat is fixed on the backrest of the dental chair by bolts. The embedded metal brace supports the backrest, which leans on the backrest of the dental seat.

The backrest and seat are connected by a bearing system, which enables the Teddy Seat to follow the movement when the dental chair is changing its angle.

Bearing system

The playful elements comfort and distract the baby. These elements can be replaced as the users like.

Playful elements

Product logo

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Safety belts protect the baby

The safety belts are made from sponge, cotton, and nylon. The belt length is adjustable. The horizontal belt surrounds the baby's belly, and two straps surround the baby's arms, together prevent the baby from falling. 

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Wheel feet support

The seat is supported by two ABS wheel feet, which enables the seat to move on the dental seat with low friction.



The small table could rotate around the seat bottom. The fixed components located on the seat bottom and seat gap keep the table stable.

Using scenarios

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Attach the seat

Fasten the bolt and rotate the table into the horizontal position.

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Baby sits on Teddy Seat

Check the seat, put the baby on,

and fasten the safety belt.

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Conduct a series of examinations

While adjusting the height and angle of the dental chair, the Teddy Seat follows the movement. The doctor can always find a suitable viewing angle with little effort.

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Comfort the baby

Put the playful component into the slot on the table. The baby could play with the colorful small toy by himself. 

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Doctors communicate with parents

The dental chair doesn't fit baby's body dimension, thus the parent has to hold the baby during whole consultation, which adds challenges to the oral check.

Product dimensions

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