Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Friday

wileycoyoteThis week’s toe dip into furniture purchasing had me turning to two respected sources: ConsumerReports.com, which lets you know which high chair won’t burst into flames if you spill applesauce on it, and Baby Bargains, a book akin to the Bible for parents trying to figure out whether they must spend $700 on a baby monitor. (Turns out, you don’t need one that delivers continuous feedout on oxygen levels in the baby’s room and the current status of the stock market. Who knew?!) Included on Consumer Reports and in Baby Bargains are tips for first-time parent shoppers–a demographic characterized by their glazed eyes, fear tremors, and the buckets of cash they hold out to anyone who approaches them touting a product’s ability to prevent their child from ever getting a cold or having to attend a gamblers anonymous meeting.

A few tips that offer succinct proof of WtBIHU:

* On cribs — “Some stores purposely loosen the screws on the floor models of less expensive cribs so that when you’re checking them out they seem more rickety than their pricey counterparts.”
Do they teach this move in Looney Tunes Sales Academy? Apparently if you walk into a store and hear “nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,” or see the salesman twirling his mustache you should turn tail and get back in the car.

* On mattresses — “Some baby stores are trying a new tactic to sell their pricey in-house brand of crib mattress: scaring the pants off new parents. We’ve heard all the stories–only OUR mattress fits OUR crib, a simpler foam mattress is DANGEROUS for your baby.”
Apparently the, “ain’t my problem if you buy something that kills your kid, ‘cuz I warned you” is a classic. Special place in Hell for anyone employing this tactic.

* On furniture pedigree [italics emphasis theirs, not mine] — An important point: don’t assume you are getting a crib made in Italy because the brand has an Italian name.”
OK, on this one I’m actually going to side with retailers. If you’re mentally feeble enough to walk into the store with this notion then you deserve the finest Bambino di Napoli Piccolo Principessa Crib slapped together by Chinese child laborers that money can buy. That the Baby Bargains folks felt the need to emphasize this concerns me, as it seems to indicate that the American public might just be that thick.

Of course the American public also makes the Olive Garden the top-selling “Italian” restaurant in every town in which it is located.

6 Responses to “Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Friday”

  1. I-66 Says:

    Who needs to be told the current status of the stock market? That the baby is crying is all we need to know. You’d cry too if you had the stock market in your diaper.

  2. Phil Says:

    I will say a baby monitor that transmits not just sound but video surveillance of your baby will provide a great deal of entertainment – I encourage the extra couple of bucks to get one.

  3. Jaime Says:

    I get so confused when I start reading about this stuff – Should the kid sleep on his back, side, tummy, upside down? Should there be a crib bumper or not? Blanket and risk suffocation, or no blanket and risk frost-bite? Fancy crib or bassinette or cradle? Do I have to check on him personally every 2 minutes, or is pressing the monitor to my ear the entire time he’s napping sufficient? My head is swimming.

  4. RCR Says:

    You best not mock the Olive Garden.

    PS- I just became aware of this. The site and its subject matter, that is.

  5. babybird Says:

    I-66-I think the stock market is in the metaphorical diaper so it seems fitting.

    Phil-I’ve waffled on that. Seems like it would be nice to be able to peek at baby without removing my fanny from a sitting position, but then I also hear that some parents become distracted by them and can stare at nothing else. I also hear that some parents are nuts so this may be the same group.

    Jaime-Ooh it’s like a pop quiz for everything I’ve been reading! Let me see if I’ve retained. Baby should: sleep on his back on a firm mattress that fits the crib snugly (no gaps on edges), with no blanket just in a sleep sack or onesie that keeps him warm but not overly warm, and no bumpers because they’re just an added suffocation risk. Phew, I think I got it all. And I think on the monitor thing that at first you’re in there all the time to make sure they’re breathing anyway but that’s just because you’re a nutty new parent.

    RCR-I hear when you’re there you’re family.

    And yeah, I haven’t seen you since the wedding. So this happened. Which would explain my absence at the various watering holes of our fair neighborhood.

  6. Chapa Says:

    This post reminds me of something my Uncle Rick once said…

    if a sweat shop factory had air conditioning would it still be called a sweat shop?

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