Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pricey parenting

As we celebrate April fool’s day, why not take a look at how the baby products industry manages to fool parents into thinking they need things they’d probably be better off without. Here is a quick little interview on Salon.com with Pamela Paul, author of "Parenting, Inc.," a book aimed at exposing the madness behind modern parents’ desires to buy “the best thing for my child” – including flashy “educational” toys that do more to thwart learning than enhance it; posh $800 luxury strollers; and baby classes that Paul said should really be dubbed “child classes for parents” (since they’re unnecessary for the child but a fine way for moms to connect).

And speaking of spending a lot on your little ones, the latest government estimate as to how much you’re likely to spend feeding, housing and schooling a child born in 2007 from birth until their 18th birthday is $204,060. That’s before college tuition, of course. So it probably wouldn’t to hurt to cut some of the fluff out of your baby budget anyway. See the full story here.


shannon said...

Oh boy! At a recent baby shower I, who have a 2 year old, was asking, what's that? again and again. There was a bottle nipple steam bag to put in the microwave (my physician father laughed when he saw me boiling pacifiers and reminded me that babies need germs for their immune systems) and there was a. . . I don't even know what it was called but it was this BIG arm cover that you could heat in the dryer and then hold your baby with. It had compartments for pacifiers and a clip for a diaper cloth and more. The giver was so excited with it and did a wonderful job of "selling" it; she made it sound like there was no way to stop a baby from crying without it.
And the first time I saw a bouncy house at a birthday party I felt like, oh, gosh, am I supposed to be doing this, too?
My sister-in-law has the $800 Bugaboo and would not have accepted any other stroller as her baby's ride.
I swear, good food, books, songs, a yard and a hose. . . that's all you need!
And television-- is so bad for our babies! If I let my kids, when they were babies or now, watch tv, they would be so grouchy after and whine for it, like it's a drug, later. But when they are free of it, they occupy themselves and engage me and each other in fun activities and forget about the stupid tv all together.
p.s. the hose is for them to play in water. . .

Annie Addington said...

I've got to see that arm cover. It sounds downright bizarre. And I was just thinking... somehow the Bugaboo seems aptly named to me given it's ridiculously high price. So I checked Websters for an official bugaboo definition and got this: "an imaginary object of fear; something that causes fear or distress out of proportion to its importance." And since this stroller's price tag is surely out of proportion to its importance, and since it would distress me to spend so much money on a stroller, I do at least like its name.

vbacwarrior said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know that April is Cesarean Awareness Month (CAM).

Annie Addington said...

Good to know. I'm actually just getting started trying to do a story on cesarean rates in Columbus. We'll see if I can pull something together before April's come and gone.

vbacwarrior said...

Great! GA's cesarean rate for 2006 was just a tad above the national average (avg. 31.1% and GA was 31.3%) according to the CDC, which is AT LEAST twice what the World Health Organization says it should be (10-15%).