While these images are often very beautiful, we can’t help but wonder about the behind-the-scenes work required for this kind of trendy photo shoot. Does the photographer bring the milk? Or does the eight-months-pregnant mom-to-be lug the milk? How many litres does it take to fill a bathtub, anyhow? And is it healthy to marinate your most delicate body parts in that much dairy? Never mind the fact that most bathtubs just aren’t that photogenic. (A photo shoot involving the tub at my house would require some serious re-grouting. Or Photoshopping.) Maybe some pregnant women truly enjoy floating around like a fertility goddess in milky water, wearing a lace dress and a flower crown, but it’s really not the best use of your limited, pre-baby free time. It is, however, a semi-accurate preview of postpartum life, when waking up in a pool of leaked breastmilk becomes totally normal.
It might look like a harmless play fort or cozy reading tent, but this popular interior-design trend is a prime example of cultural appropriation. If you must have one, buy it from an Indigenous maker to avoid a non-Indigenous person profiting by copying and co-opting a traditional design.
We’ve seen it all in the past few years: umbilical cord-stump pendant necklaces, rings and lockets made out of preserved breast milk, lockets containing your children’s old baby teeth. The Internet is brimming with creative ways to repurpose human tissue and bodily fluids. While we totally understand wanting to hold onto a lock of your baby’s soft curls from their first haircut, or tucking away the very first tooth they lost, it really doesn’t need to be incorporated into an accessory you wear around your neck for all to see.
This is the modern baby trend that just won’t disappear. Having a baby shower isn’t enough anymore—you have to host a pricey gender reveal party, too. (And post the video on Facebook, of course.) The staying power of the gender reveal is particularly odd considering the progress our culture has made over the past year, re-thinking the gender binary and adopting they/them pronouns. It now seems downright old-fashioned to celebrate the sex of an unborn baby with trucks or tutus, or pink versus blue balloons. And it can also be dangerous: this elaborate gender-reveal-gone wrong in Arizona caused a 47,000-acre wildfire and $8 million worth of damage.
It all started with baby peach-butt pics from Japan, and then morphed into the wildly popular #pumpkinbutt hashtag on Instagram. While we found it cute at first, it’s also a little…over-share-y? You always have to be careful with naked baby photos you post publicly on the Internet. I wonder what kind of produce will go viral in 2019? Strategically placed pears? Parsnips? Pineapples? (Ouch!) In all seriousness, I would like to ask the parents who successfully bribed their toddlers to pose for pumpkin-butt pics just how they did it. I can barely get my baby to stay still long enough for a diaper change and a couple quick dabs of Desitin. So how do they paint an entire pumpkin without bum-smears of orange body paint getting all over the place? TELL ME YOUR TRICKS.
When I was pregnant with my second baby, it seemed like you couldn’t be a mom on Instagram unless you had a trendy letter board on which to broadcast your baby’s age, weight and recent milestones, posed amid a few stylish succulents. So I went on Etsy and bought one, for way too much money. Fast-forward to maternity leave and the impracticality of this social-media prop became clear to me: the letters are choking hazards for babies, and whatever you were going to painstakingly write out on the board, letter by letter, could just as easily be the caption you type right into your phone before sharing your post. Look, this poor woman even lugged her letter board to the hospital so she could pose with it during labour! It’s gone too far, everybody. Too far.