Thursday, April 1, 2010

Baby Gear for Fools

. . . April Fool's, that is!

Okay, readers, it's that time of year! I love April Fool's pranks when they're creative and original - maybe it's due to having an April birthday myself. In the age of Photoshop, hilarious fake products are more realistic than ever!

Here's a fun activity we can all participate in. Can you guess which of the following products are April Fool's jokes?

The Zaky® is the award-winning bonding, therapeutic, and positioning pillow, ergonomically designed to help the baby feel comfortable and protected while assisting parents and their children feel closer to each other.

It is a soft but weighed pillow, partially filled - so that it comforms to the baby's body - that imitates the look, feel, weight, scent, and warmth of the parents’ hand and forearm. It assures proper positioning, helps with pain management and sleep, provides a sense of protection, and assists with the physical and psychological development of the child.

HILARIOUS! They describe the benefits of co-sleeping so perfectly, and then create a product to use while the baby sleeps in isolation. ROFL! Those pranksters.

Whoa, that one's really twisted, right? If I were a formula company, I'd be pretty pissed off about this joke. Because no company would be this unethical, right? And if someone took this seriously, they might think that formula companies don't care at all about children's health and the obesity crisis, and actually want kids to get hooked on sugar and chocolate as early as possible. I bet the creators of this joke get in some serious trouble!

From the instructions:: "Angle the bottle towards baby’s mouth, and let your baby enjoy nursing from the Bottle Genie." They call it 'nursing'! Bwahahaha! My favorite part, though, is the last instruction: "NEVER LEAVE CHILD UNATTENDED". The very idea that someone would bottle prop and then actually remain there with the baby - hysterical!

This one doesn't seem so bad, compared to the Bottle Genie above, since at least with this one's suspension design, baby might be able to move the bottle away when they're full (unlike the Bottle Genie which holds the bottle steady in one position, pouring it down baby's throat like a beer bong). Ha ha, I know, how weird to be saying that about bottle-propping at all, but that's the beauty of the joke, right? And the fact that it's a officially titled a "Bebe Bottle Sling by Ergo"? Makes it sound like it's created by the makers of Ergo, those awesome soft pack carriers that are beloved by many attachment parents. That's some subtle, devious humor there!

And this one even went so far as to create a demo video! Look!

OMG, the very idea of taking babywearing and integrating a car seat! Like, We WILL make our kids bucket babies no matter what, arrr! I mean, who would do that? LOL! Unbelievable. *wipes tears from eyes, tries to catch breath*

Okay, you're probably on to me. Yup, the joke is that there IS no fake product. They're all real. Every one of them.

Now, remember what I posted just yesterday about "The Happiest Baby on the Block". Though I have reservations about the method, I don't think it's inherently bad, and the individual tools can be quite useful in individual situations. As I wrote there, despite being an attachment parent who loves babywearing, I did use a swing at times, and now sometimes use an umbrella stroller, too. Despite media portrayals to the contrary, AP parents are by and large not inflexible, intolerant demagogues who insist that everyone subscribe to one golden checklist of practices in order to be considered good parents.

And as I was writing, there's no one tool that I consider to be categorically bad, wrong, unacceptable. Yet, when I wrote that, I was thinking more along the lines of Bumbo seats, monitors, harnesses, and car-seat centered travel systems: Overused, they can all have negative effects, and latter especially does start to edge into Bucket Baby territory. But that doesn't mean that can't be used within reason, and I think we all need to check ourselves when we start to make snap judgments about other moms based on one snapshot of their life, like the classic tough moment in a grocery store.

I'll never forget being an overwhelmed new mom who could hardly think about anything but nursing. I had my Maya Wrap and was anxious to use it, but found the DVD instructions so incomprehensible even after several sessions that I literally threw it across the room in exasperation and decided to try it later - maybe a few days, maybe a few weeks. But I just couldn't figure it out by myself. So, soon after that I headed out to an appointment, always a big production, but even bigger now, where a lot of other similarly crunchy-ish moms that I loved would be. By the time I arrived, Lily was slumbering away. I decided not to disturb her, and carried the car seat inside.

One mom that I adored (and still do), Maude bless her, looked at us as we got settled and said, "Where's your sling?" I know she didn't mean anything harmful by it, but in that moment I felt SO judged. I mean, I was right there with them all in spirit and principle, but the circumstances were just plain different in that moment. I felt defensive and hurt and misunderstood as I stammered out my explanation. We eventually got it down and still use it daily (after using the mei tai as about primary carrier for a while instead), but I'll always remember how I felt in that moment, where I think my situation was taken out of context, and I try to keep that in mind when I witness other parents' choices and practices.

POINT BEING, I really try to avoid condemning any one product or practice, especially without understanding the individual dynamics involved. I really, really do. Yet when I look at the above products, I must admit I go a little . . .


  1. The chocolate formula may be bad, but this is worse...

    I sure hope that really is an April Fools joke.

  2. I think it should be pointed out that the Zaky, was created by the parents of a preemie who simply couldn't be with their baby 24/7 but understood the importance of touch to a baby's development. Of course it's ridiculous for a full-term healthy child but for a NICU baby it does serve a valid purpose.

  3. Laura, that is a PERFECT example of individual circumstances being key. I can understand that - I would hope that it wouldn't come at the expense of kangaroo care, since we're constantly learning more about its amazing benefits, but I can certainly see it being used in combination.

  4. What's sad is that I've actually seen some of these advertised! (People are really too lazy to hold their child's bottle???) =(

  5. @Brittany Bacon flavored Infant formula?!?

    Its "for sale" for 19.99 but I think its fake :) - read the description at the co's website:

  6. This is a really fantastic post. Seriously brilliant idea! You need to edit your blog so that people can Stumble, Digg, Kirtsy, etc. straight from the post! All kinds of awesome.

  7. I was so pissed off abou the Bebe Bottle Sling by Ergo that I called the bottle people, who claimed they were in the process of changing their name - months ago! I also notified Ergo Baby (the carrier makers) and encouraged them to have their counsel look into it. I got a call back from the EA to the CEO promising they would investigate. Blech.

    But, definitely funny post - and nice counter point at the end :D

  8. Aww, thanks so much Elita! Confession, though: I'm like a functional illiterate when it comes to anything but the most basic bloggery, on top of being bashful about self-promotion. But I should get the heck over that already, right? Any suggestions for good instructions on how to do the Stumble and Digg and so forth?

    CaroLynn, I'm glad people are calling them on that, right on - though I also sadly suggest you not hold your breath . . .

  9. Oh my Goodness I can barely believe most of these exist at all. There are too many all kinds of wrong going on here and for someone to think that any of these were a good idea for making profit, well... they are sadly probably right. Just the fact that these exist make most parents feel this is okay. I HATE that!

  10. I had seen advertisements for everything but the chocolate formula....I don't know why I'm surprised that it exists.

  11. Had to share Hathor the Cow Goddess' response to the Zaky. Part one and part two.