Wednesday, December 14, 2005

baby market

No not a place where you buy babies.

I mean the crap they try to sell people who are expecting a child or have a child.

I was out to lunch the other day with a couple moms and one was telling me about these "must have" little leather booties that only cost 25 bucks that absolutely wont fall off the kids feet, and they were supposed to be the best thing to help with little walkers. It gets into your head, you know, this idea that you can afford such idiotic expenses for the littlest love of your life. And I have to keep saying "no, no, no, we don't spend that much on things the baby will outgrow in months."

When we were expecting, and we had to start thinking about stuff like cribs and changing tables, we thought about "What's really important here? Where should the big dollars go?" We came up with a general philosophy that we would pay for good care, with me being part time and Jeff working from home, we pay to have someone come to the house once or twice a month. And according to what other folks pay, we do pay some decent dough. The idea being that the person would want to stick around. However we did decide that baby accoutrements, short of safety related items, would be purchased clean and in good shape but used.

When I mention though, the possibility of buying, say, a used crib or changing table to other new parents though, it's almost ubiquitously poopooed as being sort of a declasse way to go. "I would never do that to my kid," My thought being, so you are going to buy your kid everything new under the sun, and yet not be able to spend the time with him or her because you have to work all the time (to make the money the kid is going to cost you).


The idea of spending 3, 4, 500 on a new bedroom set the kid will outgrow in a year seems properly nuts to me, but hey "It's our bayby!"

Parents do things I don't really understand. They prop their kids up in front of these "Baby Einstein" brand videos so they can I dunno, go clean the house --thinking that this video is going to make their kid smarter? Jeff was telling me about this story on All Things Considered about such products. The same woman that told me the "Robeez" were a must have, was also quite happy about the video that she set up her kid to watch. The thought of propping Addy up to watch a video that was going to make her smarter just seemed to fly in the face of common sense. Since when was education contigent on the TV you watched? The article brings out the truth, there is no connection. Babies who watch TV only have trouble concentrating later on in life, was what the study they were reporting on said.

They did say that interaction, eye contact, reading with the child was a good idea and could help mental development.

One young mom in my group who was all about the "rage" of Infant potty training (this is more like parent training, when the kid teaches you to rush him or her to the toilet), bio diapers and cloth diapers, shee shee hand made blankets and other spendy items also didn't seem to find any inconsistency with leaving her child in the swing for 4 hours a day regularly. Holy mackeral.

Is it just me or do some of these things just seem kinda out there? That a mom who on one hand spends bucks on the latest eco conscious thing for her kid would also leave her kid to swing for 4 hours seems just nutso. I believe she is a good mom, I believe her kid will be normal fine and all well, but to know that she really valued these other tactics of providing for baby above just the handling and time with him--how insidious this baby marketing is. they play on what mom wants--for baby to be smart and healthy and do the best, and we think that we can buy that for baby. When really the most important thing baby needs is free.

1 comment:

M said...


what she said!