Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Positive Babywearing in Commercials

I'm not sure if you saw the Motrin commercial that negatively portrayed babywearing as a "painful" trend. One that needed Motrin as an aide in order to deal with the pains of the wearing your child. If you haven't (and I won't actually show the ad here) you can find it on YouTube.

I remember the time I saw it, and I only saw it once. My jaw dropped open, my eyes bugged out of their sockets. I couldn't believe what I had just seen! I was upset at the idea behind the advertising ploy and wondered if they writers behind this commercial understood what a firestorm they had created!

Of course baby wearers across America were outraged! Protests and boycotts ensued, stocks and profits of Motrin plummeted....oh wait, perhaps that never happened, but that was the only time I saw that commercial! I am guessing the voices of the many made their concerns heard and loudly at that.

As Baby wearing becomes not just a fad, but a revisiting of history and a way of life, I find images and talk of Baby wearing not only on a few blogs and sites dedicated to the practice. But also in mainstream media and magazines. It's becoming a social norm to see slings of all kinds whether you are a fan of the Bjorn, the Mei Tai, the Ring sling, Pouch, Hybrid, or wrap! Bought at Wal-mart, Target, online or made your self, Baby wearing is now a way of life.

A little proof of that is found in another commercial I recently viewed during an NBA Basketball game. Surprisingly Volkswagen showed a Dad wearing his baby in a pouch sling, bottle feeding the baby! I made my husband rewind the video and I listened closely wondering if there would be any anti-baby wearing sentiment. I was pleased to hear none of that! About the commercial series the writers say,

“We’ve drawn upon more traditional values and imagery for this campaign, particularly in the given economic climate. We want the people to know how well Volkswagen meets the needs of today’s drivers and families, especially when it comes to value, safety and reliability,” added Ellis.

Traditional values and imagery? Could it be that baby wearing IS becoming part of the idea of current imagery that is common in today's family? Hmmmm. I find it very interesting and quite wonderful that a new way of life, including using baby wearing in an Ad campaign can highlight a turn in what is becoming the norm.

It should be celebrated that what started as a unique, uncommon practice by a few who noticed and believed in the benefits and bonding that baby wearing provided both parent and child, has past the point of a trend or fad, and turned into a social norm. This can only mean great things for baby wearing! Positive benefits for babies, parents and companies! I particularly loved that they showed a father wearing his baby. SO many times at Expos and online I hear the idea that baby wearing is for Mom's to do, but it's not true! My husband was quickly sold on the practice when he found it was the only way he could comfort our second baby without me!

What do you think?


  1. Yay, Tia! I love wearing my babies, but don't do it as often as I could. I also don't wear them after about age 2 (because I always have the youngest on.) I wish I had a friend like you nearby that could help me with getting used to different slings. I only have 1 that I like, and it isn't worth the effort to put on if Baby isn't happy in it...I have to use the sling at the grocery, though. With my 3-yr-old and 1-yr-old in the double cart, I would have nowhere to put the baby and the food if I didn't have my sling!

  2. I wish I was closer as well! That gives me an idea to do photo posts for each sling! Hmmm.....maybe you could "follow" this blog and learn some new slings! Which ones do you have??



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