"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure." Psalm 71:14-15

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baby Industry Soap Box

**WARNING** This post is likely to offend you if you are now, or have ever been, pregnant. I love all of my friends with kids, and most of this blog post is driven by the industry not you. However, please read with caution.

If any of you have had a friend or TEN go through the pregnancy/registry/shower/baby process, you will know what I'm talking about. With new technology that allows us the opportunity to discover the sex of babies before they are born, the baby industry has gone over the deep end. I call it the baby industry*, because that's what it is.

*It's very similar to the wedding industry, making brides feel like they HAVE to have this and that for their wedding. It is exactly the reason that the average wedding in the US now costs between $21,000 and $24, 000!

But I digress. Admittedly, I do not have children, and have never been through the pregnancy/registry/shower/baby process. I do have some sort of idea that babies need a lot of stuff. However, I don't think they need as much stuff as some people are convinced that they need!

Like I was saying before, the baby industry has gone nuts with gender specific baby gear. I can understand wanting to know the sex of a baby before it is born. You are able to buy gender specific clothes and decorate a nursery. I get that part. What I don't get is the compulsion to get everything you "need" for a baby in gender specific colors.

I have a family member who is expecting their first child, a girl. Everything on their registry is pink, DOWN TO THE BABY BATHTUB! What will they do with the bouncy seat, highchair, bathtub etc that they could have used with their next baby if it happens to be a boy? I've seen people out in public with a pink stroller and car seat (and it was obviously a first child)! REALLY?!!?!! Those are big ticket baby items that could be reused with a second baby if the parents hadn't lost every sense of practicality that they previously possessed before being handed a scan gun in the baby store!!

Of course, there are always exceptions. If you are having multiples of the same sex and your hubby is going in for the snip-snip the week after you deliver, fine. Buy/register for all the pink or blue crap that you want. But I just don't understand not wanting to, or having some understanding that you could, reuse some things from one child to the next. It's more crap you have to buy (which I guess is why all that stuff comes in pink or blue). I understand that some things wear out and can't be reused, and I get being excited about your baby. But I really don't understand wanting everything in your house to be pink/purple or blue! I'm sure even if your gear is gender-neutral, that people will know what sex your baby is by the pink/purple or blue clothes they are wearing!

Although I have heard from many moms that this is not always the case and people are totally oblivious when saying how cute "he" is when "he" is wearing a pink shirt with purple flowers all over it!

Clothes are a whole different matter all together. I've heard from the older generation that baby and children's clothes were much cuter 15-20 years ago. Baby clothes were all in soft colors of yellow, green or white with baby type designs. That may or may not be your taste. But apparently the older kids' clothes were much more diverse in color, not just pink/purple or blue. Because parents get so used to buying pink or blue for their infants now, clothes makers aren't even trying anymore. I know parents who get excited if they can find clothes in any other color (and I'm sure I'll be one of them some day)!

So there you have it. I've finally owned up to my #1 baby industry pet peeve. Maybe it's the hippy in me not wanting to over-consume or be wasteful. Maybe it's the frugal wife who sees all the other things that can be done with money that is spent replacing every piece of baby gear between children. I don't know. But it is my absolute NUMERO UNO pet peeve about the baby industry.

If I've offended any of you, I am sorry. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, or piss anyone off. If you bought a pink car seat, that's your prerogative. It's just something I don't understand.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Colors don't have genders. People are the ones that have engendered them and THAT is what pisses me off. For serious. You're kid's going to be gay if they are going to be gay and it doesn't matter if you dressed them in "gender appropriate" colors or not. And what should you care if a stranger calls your baby the wrong pronoun? Does it really matter? I'm pretty sure your infant won't know the difference. So, world, dress your kid in whatever color you'd like! Get any color accessory or household item and be done with it. Also, bring rainbow motifs back! Just because The Gays have claimed the rainbow doesn't mean it has to be off-limits for the rest of us!

(Thanks Jill!)

...just a little patience said...
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The Laney Family said...

I am RIGHT there with you sista! It is really silly...give me a grey stroller/carseat...gender neutral all the way...except for those things like clothes, room color and such...

Ashley @ The Hagaboaters said...

I'm not pregnant, and I don't have kids. I'm neither a hippy, nor particularly frugal when it comes to materialistic crap, but I am also annoyed by all of the things you said.
I am most annoyed when said pregnant lady complains about being broke but registers for tons of expensive crap and then spends a fortune on decorating the nursery. WTF. The nursery is mostly for the parent, not the baby. The baby doesn't give a crap what color the walls are or what the sheets look like.

*Jill* said...

Well, this wasn't a gay/straight post, although anna b makes some good points. I can imagine that it would bother me if I went to a lot of trouble to dress my son or daughter in obviously gender specific clothes when they are infants in that non-descript stage if someone called them the wrong pronoun. But truly I don't understand the lack of awareness of parents that happens when gripping that scan gun!