Inventors and Their Inventions
Pacimals, a huggable pacifier
For Williams, a physician by training, inspiration started with her own infant daughter. "She loved her pacifier but kept spitting it out," she says. "That's natural, most children will thrust their tongue forward, which means the pacifier comes out. But they still want the pacifier and they don't have the coordination to replace it. So I started by just sewing the pacifier onto a bunch of stuffed animals." Williams then designed a stuffed animal pacifier in a size that's easy for a child to hold. As the child gets older, the pacifier can be converted to a teething ring and then removed completely, leaving the child with a comforting doll.