I’ve seen a lot of pregnant women out and about lately during my normal weekly shopping trips. I’m not complaining or anything. In fact, I think it’s a great thing that more people are having children. The only thing I could probably do without is the constant advertising campaigns I’m bombarded with, as a parent blogger, geared toward new mothers.
I get that the ads have to reach the expectant somehow, but a big issue I have is a lot of the baby shower gift ideas I see advertised are for things no new parent really needs. Such as:
Baby Shower Gift No. 1: Pee-Pee Teepees
This is one of the dumbest ideas on the market today. Even as a gag gift (which I hope it is because no one could actually be trying to use these, could they?), it’s just an awful idea. Every experienced parent knows that the trick to changing little boys is to be quick, and keep that part of the baby’s anatomy covered as much and as quickly as possible. It’s not like you spend an hour changing a diaper. If you’re doing it right, it’s a job that lasts less than a couple of minutes. Being a parent of twins, and changing eight to 12 diapers per day for the first couple of years, I’d like to think that I could give the guys in Jeff Gordon’s pit crew a run for their money.
Do you know who buys pee-pee teepees? People that don’t have children. People who have changed three diapers their entire lives. People who have gotten squirted one time.
Do you know what I think of when I see these things displayed on an endcap in Babies R Us? This:
Baby Shower Gift No. 2: Maternity Lingerie
Buying intimate apparel for a friend, or worse yet — a friend’s wife, is just wrong on way too many levels.
Also, the woman spends half of the day sick to her stomach. She just spent the last two hours crying because she wanted to meet you for coffee, but she feels fat, bloated, and unloved and isn’t allowed to have coffee anyway. And you’re going to say what? “Here is something to make you feel sexy for your hubby!” Remember who she is holding partly responsible for the way she’s feeling right now.
Baby Shower Gift No. 3: Baby Pod
This goes a step waaaaaay beyond singing to your unborn child or putting headphones on your belly. This is a speaker (waterproof, I’m assuming) that a woman inserts in her you-know-where so she can play music to her bun in the oven.
First, I can only imagine it would be really loud in there for the unborn. The baby would come out with the same hearing as a roadie from Alice Cooper. The only thing I keep thinking of is how most songs would sound underwater, as basically that’s where the baby is – swimming around in a pool of amniotic fluid. The only music that might sound better in a pool would be Justin Bieber, but only if someone held his head underwater. For a long time.
The other issue I see is: Who gets to pick the music? Mom is dialing up a little Enya or Kenny G and all Dad wants to play is, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” (Probably literally since no one bought his Mrs. any maternity lingerie.)
Gift Idea No. 4: Belly Casting
This is where the mother goes and gets a plaster cast made of the front part of her body. From her neck to just below her outstretched belly – or in other words – the part that has changed the most during this whole process.
The biggest question I have for people who have this done is: Now what? What do you do with it? Do you hang it on the wall? Do you stick it in a closet and forget about it like the two extra boppy covers you bought and the $70 bottle warmer you regretted buying when you realized that a cup of warm water does the same thing?
Do you put it on the dining room table when company comes to hold chips and dip?
The only purpose I see for this is to use it when your kids are older to remind them how much of an inconvenience they were even before they were born … or maybe having a daughter wear it to see why it’s important to not have sex until she’s 30.
Gift Idea No. 5: Placenta Encapsulation Services
Go look this one up because it’s really a thing.
I don’t get it.
I don’t think I want to get it.
It’s just my opinion, of course, but I truly think people need to stop for a second and remember what the placenta is actually for. What the purpose really is.
This is from MedicineNet.com, but pretty much the same description is on any medical site you go to online:
Placenta: A temporary organ that joins the mother and fetus, transferring oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the fetus and permitting the release of carbon dioxide and waste products from the fetus. The placenta is roughly disk-shaped, and at full term it measures about 7 inches in diameter and slightly less than 2 inches thick. The upper surface of the placenta is smooth, and the under surface is rough. The placenta is rich in blood vessels. The placenta is expelled with the fetal membranes during the birth process; together, these structures form the afterbirth.
I think the most important words here are “permitting the release of carbon dioxide and waste products from the fetus.” That’s why it also says the organ is temporary and considered part of the afterbirth.
Some say that it helps curb postpartum depression, enhances the mother’s production of breast milk, and it might potentially help spur the growth of more red blood cells. For as many stories of how these “miracle pills” have helped people, there are just as many stating the opposite. To me, it’s just snake oil.
But hey, what do I know? I’m just a man. It’s by the grace of a higher power that my wife didn’t kill me when she was pregnant.
What product do YOU think is a waste of money for new parents?