Posts Tagged ‘consumer baby’

While writing a guest blog post for My Zero Waste it struck me again how having a baby has become such a huge consumer and marketing event over recent years.Expensive baby?

Even 14 years ago when I had my first baby, the range of products was tiny compared to those that new parents are bombarded with now.

The undesirable side effects of this at first thought are pollution, waste and the financial burden on families at what is already often an overstretched time.  However, dig a little deeper and another worrying idea emerges.

Every time new parents see a ‘vital’ piece of equipment such as a playpen, nursery swing, pushchair, steriliser or baby monitor does it chip away at the value of the parent?  Here is a piece of equipment that only costs X amount, yet will do the job of nurturing, feeding or being with your baby as well as you can.

Is it any wonder that the role of full time mother or father is so undervalued?  Apparently we can replace them so easily and so relatively cheaply.

We see women who have no money spending what precious little they do have on the newest pushchair or designer clothes for their babies.  Instead of pointing the finger and criticising, maybe we should look again with a caring eye at the reasons why.

These mothers are so often criticised for not being ‘good enough’, for having children too young or without the money to support them.  When we as a society value ‘things’ over ‘parents’ then it is not too difficult to see why anyone struggling with money would buy ‘things’ to show that their baby is not going without, despite what people think.

If we valued the role of mothers and fathers sufficiently then maybe everybody could see this stuff for what it is – a marketers dream.  An unnecessary mountain of items that no baby would choose over their parent’s loving arms and a smiling, interested face.


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