Thursday, October 23, 2008

The price of babies

What is it about having babies that makes people lose all their critical faculties? There seems to be more nonsense spouted - and sold - relating to pregnancy, babies and children than pretty much anything else. Maybe I'm biased, Mrs Norbury is after all almost due to drop Mini Norbury so I've been exposed to a fair bit recently. It's very serious sometimes, especially when people think there are conflicting messages coming to them from science about stuff like vaccinations, or when they actually believe homeopathy can cure anything at all and so give a sick child magic water instead of medicine. However there is also a less serious side to getting people's brains to melt.
Selling you stuff you don't need, or selling you stuff which is like the stuff you need but that bit more expensive is particularly common.
Have a look at this cot mattress for example. That's right, £135 for a cot mattress you'll use for maybe a year or two. Where do you draw the line of more money than sense? I also think it's brilliant that they're describing it as non-allergenic. It's made of latex. There are many people in this world who are sensitive to latex and will develop dermatitis as soon as look at the stuff.  One of the ways you can develop dermatitis in the first place is through repeated contact with a substance, such as latex. I'm not sure if this counts as an allergy, but it's pretty unpleasant and can be very serious.
I must admit though, like all prospective parents I've bought some stuff which I probably won't need and which was probably too expensive, so I don't have much room to criticise those who do buy this kind of thing.
But £135 for a cot mattress? Jesus.

And don't get me started on the whole "Your children are precious so you must buy the best stuff you can for them" line of thought. Which cynical advertiser* came up with that meme?

*see Bill Hicks for why this is an insult.

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