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Archive for the ‘Infants’ Category

If you’d like more information about why Disney is evil, check out the documentary, Mickey Mouse Monopoly.

For more information on media awareness, look at the resources in the Unbranding section of this blog.

This is for all y’all who might think I’m a potential tinfoil hat society member for my thoughts on protecting my children from marketing ploys. According to this New York Times article, representatives of Disney’s new “DisneyBaby” line have been making the rounds at maternity wards. Here are some choice quotes and snippets:

“This is taking advantage of families at an extremely vulnerable time,” said Jeff McIntyre, director of national policy for the advocacy group Children Now.

“If ever there was an opportunity for a trusted brand to enter a market and provide a better product and experience, it’s this,” said Robert A. Iger, chief executive of Disney. “I’m extremely excited about it.”

How do you spell evil? I say I-G-E-R.

…the company gains access to the maternity hospitals through a company called Our365, a business that sells bedside baby pictures. Our365 pays hospitals for exclusive access, and companies like Disney pay Our365 to promote their own products. Our365 also has Fisher-Price and Procter & Gamble as clients. It is unclear whether mothers know of Our365’s financial ties to these companies.

No – they don’t – I know this for a fact because both times while I’ve been in hospital having babies, this junk has been passed off to me under the premise that it’s related to healthy baby raising.

A representative visits a new mother and offers a free Disney Cuddly Bodysuit, a variation of the classic Onesie. In bedside demonstrations, the bilingual representatives extol the product’s bells and whistles — extra soft! durable! better sizing! — and ask mothers to sign up for e-mail alerts from DisneyBaby (link removed ~ Mamá Leche).

Apparel is only a beachhead,” said Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products. Also planned are bath items, strollers, baby food and an abundance of other products — all pushed with so much marketing muscle that Disney Baby may actually dent operating margins in Mr. Mooney’s division in the near term. But this is a long-term play, and it could have its greatest value far beyond the crib.

To get that mom thinking about her family’s first park experience before her baby is even born is a home run,” Mr. Mooney said, adding that a surprisingly large number of families do not become consumers of Disney products until their children reach preschool age, when they start to watch Disney Channel programs like “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.”

Really? A surprisingly large number? We are well into preschool age with our children and have seen hide nor hair of Disney in our house. Sadly, even Winnie the Pooh has been compromised. I really like that f-ing bear.

How do you spell evil? I also spell it M-O-O-N-E-Y.

Rachel Bernstein, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who is pregnant herself, said she was concerned about marketers using hospitals as customer hunting grounds. “But Disney is a nice company,” she said, “and I think my patients would actually be thrilled to get free Disney stuff.”

Can you say “Stockholm Syndrome?” Hello Patty Hearst! You are completely inculcated into the cult of Disney. The mass media assault works.

Elizabeth Carter gave birth to her daughter Olivia on Jan. 19 in Piedmont, Calif., and was given a Disney Cuddly Bodysuit as part of an Our365 photo package. “It surprised me that Disney was in there promoting something right as the baby was born, but we figured as new parents we weren’t in a position to turn free things down,” she said.

Mrs. Carter put the garment on her hours-old baby immediately. “And I have to say Olivia looked fabulous, much better than the rough, bulky thing the hospital had her wearing,” she said.

Piedmont, for those of you not in the know, is an extremely affluent area. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I equate affluence with education and education with awareness. Shame on the parent with no excuse to be so blind to this blight.

As for me, I’m happy to wear a tin foil hat, if that means keeping my family away from this stuff.

For more info, check out the section on Unbranding.

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I’m sure this has been all over the interwebs for days now, but I’ve just come across this lovely blog by a new mother in Helsinki. The photographs are unbelievably sweet. I really hope she does turn this into a coffee table book, or at least a calendar. They would also make beautiful cards.

When my daughter was a wee one, I took tons (thousands, literally) of photographs of her, but never once came as close to something as creative as this. The closest I got was putting her in a basket on Halloween night when she was about a week old. The end result isn’t nearly as appealing as Adele’s. She looks more like a freshly hatched chicken still covered in yolk than a delicate, flowering little person like Mila!

When my son was born, I was lucky to get a few shots here and there in between chasing a 22 month old and tending to a colicky newborn. Perhaps if we have another child I can nail down some shots half as sweet as Adele’s. For now, I’ll just look at hers and sigh at their wonderful sweetness.

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You can learn more about the subject of leaving the house with small children and fathers here.

If you have nowhere to go and no particular time to be there, you will successfully have everyone out of the house in fresh diapers with snacks, spit-up free shirts, sunhats, water bottles and sunscreen in eleven minutes.

If you have somewhere to be, even if it’s somewhere that the children would like to be, such as gym class, accomplishing the aforementioned feat will take one hour and eleven minutes. Add forty minutes if you are feeling particularly stressed for time.

Exception: If you have somewhere to be at a particular time, but are being very, very, very zen about it, wearing life like a loose garment and accepting the scattering of time that herding toddlers and babies requires, you can make it out of house in thirty minutes.

Exception to the Exception: Don’t bother trying to fake yourself into being in a state of super-zen to get out of the house on time. Children can sense disingenuous lackadaisicality the same way they’ll refuse to eat even a cupcake if they think you really want them to eat it. If you opt for faux-zen, you are guaranteed to experience one (or all) of the following:

  • Getting out of the house one hour and thirty seven minutes later.
  • Having a complete conniption fit that puts your toddler’s worst tantrums to shame
  • Giving up on leaving the house altogether because —- whoops! —- so much time has been wasted tying shoes back on that were just put on four minutes ago, second and third potty runs have had to be taken, one blow-out poopie diaper (and outfit) have had to be changed, and spit-up has had to be hosed off of mommy’s one last “clean” shirt, that we’ve rounded the clock right back to another nap or meal time. It’s a veritable “Do Not Pass Go.”

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During one of my recent forays into finding birth announcements that don’t suck, I came across a faux announcement displaying a toddler. Sure, it was just meant for display purposes, but the my inner sense of schadenfreude popped up and I sneeringly thought to myself (about this completely fake announcement), “Well now, they really ARE late about getting their announcements out!’

Why the judgment? Because yours truly here has a four-month old son and still hasn’t even ordered the announcements, that’s why. And, if I can find someone else who’s waited longer, all the better in my book, even if it is a fake announcement.

As it turns out, this display announcement was actually for an adoption, so it makes sense the kid in the photo wasn’t some spaced out, slightly alien-esque newborn, but a full-fledged, stinky-poop dropping, racing-around-the-playground toddler. And, in the end, when I realized it was for an adoption, I felt A) lame for still being the most delinquent announcement sender ever B) lamer still for having been snarky about finding the toddler announcement C) lamest of all for being so un-hip (may the Jolie be with me!) that I didn’t even think of the notion of adoption announcements when I saw the fake one in the first place!!!

This got me wondering… am I about to send out the latest birth announcements ever, at 5 months? What is the cut-off on announcements being too late?

I decided to ask Amy of Amalah.com at her advice column at Alpha Mom. We’ll see if she picks up my question. I really want to know!

If anyone’s reading this, what do you think?

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Newborns have a reflex called the “moro reflex.” This causes them to startle. Often times, because they lack mastery of their arms, they end up smacking themselves in the face. The moro reflex kicks in a lot when the baby is just drifting off to sleep. That’s one of the reasons people swaddle. There are many ways to swaddle a baby – via a regular blanket, using a swaddle version of the Halo Sleep Sack, the Miracle Blanket, or, my new favorite, the Cozy Cocoon.

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A Fantastic New Way To Swaddle

The Cozy Cocoon: A Fantastic New Way To Swaddle

We got two “cozy cocoons” as a gift when our son was born. I initially thought they might not work well, since it seemed the baby could get out of it as soon as you put them in, but I gave it a try anyway.

I am so glad I did!!!

The cozy cocoon is AMAZING. It’s essentially a baby sock. What’s wonderful about it is that the fabric is slightly stretchy, which allows the baby to actually MOVE around a bit – stretch their arms and legs – when they’re in it. This is so much more womb-like than a normal swaddle via a blanket, which is very restricting.

The second thing that’s great about the cocoon, besides the baby being able to stretch a bit, is that they can get their hands out of the top, around the neck. Therefore, the baby can access his or her hand pretty easily and self-soothe. They’re so used to thumb-sucking or hand-chewing while in the womb, yet, once they encounter the real world and their movements are so challenged, it’s hard for them to master their arms and hands. The cocoon allows for the baby to be able to continue to self-soothe. Also, since they’re using their hands throughout the night or naptime, they’re also getting more practice time to help prepare for when they won’t be swaddled.

This is hands-down my new go-to baby gift.

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