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Invasive baby-product obsession?

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Elli

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If I ask, 'Does anyone else have an obsession with baby items?' on an AB forum, that might seem a bit of a no-brainer, but I mean...Who else has a fascination such that they almost dislike the subject because it causes them difficulties and hardwork? Allow me to explain:

I am almost like a human encyclopedia with baby products and toys sold in the UK. If I were to work in 'Mothercare' or 'Babies 'r' Us' I'd be in my element. Thing is though, everytime I see a new product I 'have' to upload it into my mental bank of knowledge on the subject. There are two times of year when this is particularly poignant; when the summer catalogues are released, and when the winter catalogues are released. These are like newpapers with newsflash worthy news, I get them and study every new item. I love to see a new product or new design, but at the same time it's harder work fitting it into my mental inventory.

I also notice every pram and stroller in the street. I'm not interested in the child, just the product design and I actually don't mean to notice them, I just find myself noticing! The obsession could easily, and has on times, got the better of me. I have to keep it in check. It can alienate or confuse people who know me. I own a few products and over the years I have painstakingly scrap-booked every baby item pic I could get my hands on, even picking up two catalogues in case there were pics I wanted on both sides of the same page. I am really interested in the design of the products and how they compare and have developed.

I could say more about my exploits, but I fear a zero reply count if I go on much more! But to summarise; baby products have always been an strangely deep interest, even through childhood, but it took off into an all out obsession until it became a sore subject and I pulled it back and now keep it under control. Anyone else relate? Am I talking about a different issue to ABism here? Or do many people here manage this sort of thing? :confused:
 

GundamMeister7

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as with any compulsive behavior (if you think it is. it sounds like it is)you need to ask yourself:
first: am I happy with my life?
second: is this causing disruption in my life?

if both those are no than you dont really have a problem? we all have our little kink and that is especially true for our community.

but if it is a disruption and you find yourself wanting to stop this compulsion which you almost hinted to you may want to try to divert yourself when you come into contact with the said items.

I, like you, like baby stuff and wish I had the guts to do what you do in even getting the catalogs and I have looked at items like strollers like you wishing I could be the kid in them. i am more than happy to discuss this with you if you need someone to talk to

bottom line can you still function in society tho the extent that you want to function in society?

happy to help

(that dude with the long screen name)
me
 

Kokuei

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Get a job makeing baby items catalogs. then your obession and job will coinside. Because if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.

^_^
 
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Elli

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Usually the obsession is kept at a reasonable background level where it doesn't interfere, but it would be very easy (yet undesirable) to let it go. As BabyGundamMeister7 mentioned, I have had to assess the compulsion and the balance between being true to myself and being more compatible with society.

I'm no longer troubled by it though, that time has passed pretty much, I'm more looking at it in interest now and wondering if this is common to ABism. I have many catalogues, magazines and I own some larger baby items such as a stroller and travel cot but it doesn't completely take over. And I agree, Kokuei, if I could work in that field, I would never do a day's work! Too right!
 

Pramrider

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Elli, your OP could very well have been written by me for the mostpart. I've always taken note of changes in baby products, particularly from early adulthood on. Every time a new Montgomery Ward/Sears/JC Penney dept. store catalog came out I would go right for the baby section to see what's new/changed. Once I was driving I could check them out for myself in stores. Some changes in more recent years I don't care much for as an AB because the changes make it harder for me to fit into the item as an adult. The older baby gear and furnishings were much more AB friendly IMO.;) One exception, though, is strollers and prams. I can fit into a 2009 model stroller just as well as a 1969 model.:) I try not to do more than a couple quick glances at interesting strollers I see out in public. I would never want to give mom any reason for concern because some stranger is staring at her stroller. That's where being a female has a definite advantage. I could look all I wanted and the mother would think it was perfectly normal for another woman to be admiring her baby and stroller.

~Pramrider
 

avery

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i think we all geek out over something. lately i've been obsessively learning new fiddle tunes; i probably know thousands of them, and every time someone at a jam plays a tune i've never heard i just have to learn how to play it. soon i'll know every tune that's played in my area. i spend all my free time practicing. it's definitely an obsession, but it's a happy obsession! ^.^
 
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I can't say that i have, but that's partially because i don't get those opportunities with baby stuff.
 

Raccoon

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An obsession or a compulsion, all by itself, is not a problem; nor a fetish for that matter. Most mental health issues come down to a happy medium: extremes of laziness, or workaholism are bad; same with being persuaded too easily, or being too set in one's ways.

My mind constantly wants to play; I can not use a thing without seeing ways it could be improved, or in rare cases, simply admiring it as perfect and wanting to write the manufacturer, telling them so. So, yeah, I am a compulsive seeker and noticer. And former collector. Because I am so busy noticing certain kinds of things, I miss others; it is a new and quite nice experience, say, to be a passenger; with my eyes not glued to the road or my mirrors, I get to see cute gals at bus stops.

You might talk to the trainspotters, the birdwatchers, or even me, with my 30-odd Uriah Heep record collection, including Japanese and Spanish pressings of Salisbury.
 
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Elli

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I try not to do more than a couple quick glances at interesting strollers I see out in public. I would never want to give mom any reason for concern because some stranger is staring at her stroller. That's where being a female has a definite advantage. I could look all I wanted and the mother would think it was perfectly normal for another woman to be admiring her baby and stroller.~Pramrider
Yeah, same. I try to take only one or two quick looks, just as you might look round at anything in the street. And agreed about being female helps - I can't expect them to understand my obsession with strollers but there is an assumption I'm just admiring in a maternal sense.

Hey Pramrider, have you noticed the different trends between UK and USA strollers? Both have all sorts of kinds, but I think the UK might have 'umbrella fold' types (a.k.a. buggies) while the USA have more traditional four-wheel-with-bumper-bar types. Do you know what I mean?

I can't say that i have, but that's partially because i don't get those opportunities with baby stuff.
Much of my browsing is via store catalogues and the web. Often it's stores that have a nursery department in their catalogues but sell many other sorts of things too, such as Argos (UK) or Walmart.

My mind constantly wants to play; I can not use a thing without seeing ways it could be improved, or in rare cases, simply admiring it as perfect and wanting to write the manufacturer, telling them so. So, yeah, I am a compulsive seeker and noticer.
I like the way you put this and I relate entirely. Seeker and noticer...Cool!
 
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Pramrider

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Hey Pramrider, have you noticed the different trends between UK and USA strollers? Both have all sorts of kinds, but I think the UK might have 'umbrella fold' types (a.k.a. buggies) while the USA have more traditional four-wheel-with-bumper-bar types. Do you know what I mean?
Ahhh...Elli, a subject I enjoy talking about - strollers. Pressed for time right now, but will try to edit in or post a longer reply about them tomorrow for you.

Here's an example of what I meant by older baby gear models being more AB friendly:

Swyngomatic Baby swing 1975? Great for doll display - eBay (item 350229556704 end time Jul-27-09 20:14:28 PDT)

These older baby swings had all canvas seats which could expand enough for me to fit in one, which I have before. The newer ones have formed plastic seats which are too restrictive for my hips. I'd love to bid on this one since it's in such great condition, however my wife would be wondering, "what the...." when it arrived in the mail in it's original box.:frown:

~Pramrider
 
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Elli

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Wahoo! I love looking at pictures of baby stuff from ages ago...or just a while ago. I like to see how it has changed. I see what you mean about the different seat and how that would affect its capacity.

Also, maybe things are built differently now because in recent years keeping up with trends has become more important to consumers and people might well want to buy a new stroller for each child, whereas once maybe they were built to last for several children because we weren't such a 'throw-away' consumer society.

Then again, there is some flawed logic in how people say that things are not built as strongly as they used to be. They might say 'Look at this old (item), it's still going after (however many) years'. But there would have been many products that didn't last and of course those aren't around to be seen. One day, the products that are built strongly now will still be around in the future and everyone will say they don't make them like they used to!

Just realised I made a thread about being obsessed and now I'm using that thread to feed the obsession. Oops! :D
 

dogboy

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I can remember as a kid coming home and finding that the Sears catalog had arrived. I was and am totally into diapers, so as I kid, I would go to the baby section and look at all the diapers and plastic pants. I still have dreams about that to this day. I was never so much into other objects, but I do like bottles and some other things.
 

Pramrider

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I can remember as a kid coming home and finding that the Sears catalog had arrived. I was and am totally into diapers, so as I kid, I would go to the baby section and look at all the diapers and plastic pants. I still have dreams about that to this day. I was never so much into other objects, but I do like bottles and some other things.
Dogboy, I have a few old catalog pages featuring baby items available back in the early '70s. I don't those pages had diapers or pants, only baby gear. I'll have to scan and post them here.

Now, as to stroller observations.

Elli, yes the trend in the UK seems to be going towards lighter weight umbrella strollers such as produced by Maclaren. "Macs" are even very popular over here in the states along with Peg Perego P3 models, which are a slightly larger umbrella type. More problemsome is the increasing popularity of the "travel system" strollers in both the US and UK, but especially in the US. These types of strollers make it very convenient for parents, because they have a detachable car seat. This seat can be used in the car, detached from car use and attached to stroller frame, or used as a hand-held carrier to be placed in the child seat in shopping carts. The baby can literally go all day and never leave the seat. Convenient for parents - definitely Yes! Healthy for baby - ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! This trend towards over-using travel systems is believed by many medical experts as contributing to an increase in Plagiocephaly, or a flattening of baby's skull. Here's one article, but there's more if you do a search by "Plagiocephaly": News - Infant Deformational Plagiocephaly Worsened By Long Periods in Car Seats, Swings and Bouncy Seats: Presented at AAP Some of the older prams as made by Teutonia, Emmaljunga, Simo, and others, were much better for baby. They employed a separate, detachable, hand-held soft or hard carrycot or bassinet for infant use. Baby could be placed in different positions. Once the baby could sit up more erect, they could be switched over to a stroller seat in a more upright position. In this way, there was less pressure constantly being placed on one part of the skull.

Another trend in strollers has been observed by a friend of mine who collects strollers and prams (not an AB) in Australia. New Zealand and Australia has seen a huge changeover to the three wheel strollers. He has rescued literally hundreds of four wheel prams, many were the native Australian-made Steelcraft prams. He drives a truck for a courier and would see all these 4-wheeler prams setting out with the trash and not a thing wrong with them, except for the fact they had four wheels instead of the now more popular three. He couldn't help picking these no longer loved, discarded prams up. He cleans them up, keeps the rarest models for his own collection, and gives many of the others to charities who, in turn, pass them on to moms having little means of support. If you look on Australia ebay, many times the four wheel prams listed will sell for very little. In New Zealand, beautiful prams were made by the Oxley company up until the early 2000s. Their website is now gone, and I believe the massive switch to three wheelers drove the final nail into the company's coffin. :( Over here in the states such prams would still have a following and sell for more, so there is still a viable market for four wheel strollers - the bumper bar types - in the US as you correctly observed.

Today, I'm also seeing strollers becoming more specialized to go with differences in lifestyles of the parents. It's not uncommon for a family to have 3 or 4 different types of strollers in their *stable*. They might have a lightweight, umbrella type for quick errands, a more comfy pram style for longer outings, an all terrain type for use while getting some off-road exercise, and even a larger umbrella type with large carrying basket for doing some mall crawling/shopping. Gone are the days of the "one-stroller-does-it-all" mentality, and stroller makers are responding with the different styles to fit the needs/desires of today's families.

Personally, I lament the passing of the fixed wheel prams and pram-style strollers. Not due to my AB side because my size allows me to fit in any stroller seat I've ever tried - from large prams to small umbrella types. I just love the design of larger, four wheel prams. They look so elegant while being strolled through a park or down a sidewalk. Guess not many people have time for leisurely strolls anymore, except perhaps nannys having children in their charge. Long standing European companies such as Inglesina, Silver Cross, Peg Perego, Emmaljunga, along with a few others, still make beautiful prams and pram-style strollers, but I wonder how many years will pass before they're forced to switch to the more trendy strollers or be forced out of business altogether. That will be a very sad day for Pramrider!:cryhankie:

~Pramrider
 
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Elli

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Yes! I have also read about the travel-system pitfalls. It's also called 'Flat head syndrome' isn't it? Where the skull flattens at the back or side. Another reason for it is the advice to put babies on their backs to sleep, to lessen chances of SIDs (cot death). Obviously anything that makes things safer is good, but it does have this side effect for some, which is increased when babies are constantly strapped into seats. Have you noticed though that this has also led to a spree of 'tummy time' products being introduced? (Links below) Parents are advised to let babies have supervised awake time on their tummy, to counter the side effects of the 'back to sleep' advice and companies are tapping into the marketing potential this creates.

Examples of 'tummy time' products: Tummy Time Toys

I think it's great that your (Pramrider's) friend in Australia gathers those strollers and gets them re-homed to people who need them. It's such a waste for people to just ditch them like that!

Three-wheelers are definitely very popular in the UK. But, there is also a trend emerging whereby four-wheel strollers are being made in the same modern style as their three-wheeled counterparts and seem to be considered all the more sophisticated for it, perhaps due to their stability. For example, Phil&Teds, have now made the 'HammerHead' stroller, with the typical three-wheeler frame shape but with four wheels. philandteds.com - push - hammerhead Also, the popular Quinny 'Buzz' later came out in 'Buzz 4', a four wheeled option. Quinny

I agree too that strollers are becoming more lifestyle-specific. I heard it described as like having different shoes for different ocassions. So I guess the most basic umbella stroller would be the flip-flops of the stroller ranges, the hardcore all-terrain three-wheelers would be walking boots!

Also, there are more rear-facing options available due to experts saying this is good for language development and bonding with parents. It's the newer and more expensive strollers that most often have this option, but it's no new idea, it just went out of fashion for a while.

Personally I like the sturdier, bigger-wheeled strollers with modern-style wide aluminium frame tubes. I'm a bit of a sucker for gadgets too so I like quick easy folds and adjustments that 'click' into place without fussing about. I like the Maclaren Techno XT because it has large wheels for an umbrella stroller and a really substantial hood. I like ones with big wide tyres too, although I wouldn't want to be a nuisance driving around the shops and blocking whole aisles!

By the way, sometimes I watch the 'Babygizmo' video reviews on youtube. And also, you mentioned scanning in old pages from a Sears catalogue. I too would be very interested if you get 'round to doing that. :)
 

Starchild

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I kinda have a similar obsesion, i always notice when new baby adverts come on, and i know this sounds pervy but i love nappy adverts, its not the baby i like, i just liek tio imagine i am the baby being cared for so much by the mummy, well sometimes if a nappy ad comes on, and i have company i find it hard to ignore the ad, or make out that i am not looking at the ad, luckily my freinds know im a big baby and often make a joke like i bet youde liek to wear those nappies or something like that.
and i also really like old fashoined pram, for soemstrange reason, i was born in the 70s so dont really rember my own pram or other prams of the time, but i seem atrtracted to proper coach built prams liek silver cross, whenever im in baby dreamland i am in a dark blue silver cross pram, i love the boucny suspension and often dream im being pushed along soem avenue or through a park with trees and i can see the sunbeams shining through. I also always seem to notice dummies (pacifiers) that a baby has dropped in the street.
 

Pramrider

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By the way, sometimes I watch the 'Babygizmo' video reviews on youtube. And also, you mentioned scanning in old pages from a Sears catalogue. I too would be very interested if you get 'round to doing that. :)
Elli and Dogboy, getting close on posting the pages. I finally have them scanned in and just need to edit the image size, then post them on photobucket so I can add the image URL here. I scanned in 4 pages from the 1969 and 1971 Montgomery (Monkey) Ward catalogs. All kinds of neat strollers, car seats, and bouncy seats. Wish I had the foresight back then to have ordered a few of the items and stashed them away.

~Pramrider
 
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Elli

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Elli and Dogboy, getting close on posting the pages. I finally have them scanned in and just need to edit the image size, then post them on photobucket so I can add the image URL here. I scanned in 4 pages from the 1969 and 1971 Montgomery (Monkey) Ward catalogs. All kinds of neat strollers, car seats, and bouncy seats. Wish I had the foresight back then to have ordered a few of the items and stashed them away.

~Pramrider
Thankyou. It sounds like a fair bit of work. I look forward to seeing that, when you have the time. :)
 

Chillhouse

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When I worked at a grocery store I'd unassumingly walk through the diaper aisle... but other than that, no.
 

Pramrider

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Here you go, Elli, and anyone else interested in older baby items. A baby gear blast from the past!:smile1:









Out of all these vintage items I only own one at the moment. In the top image I have the exact stroller on the right hand side which a little girl is shown sitting in. It's a well made Welsh model with spring suspension and very comfy.:smile: I hardly see an item on any of these pages I couldn't fit in today. The way highchairs, car seats, bouncy seats, and even the baby swing were made, they could accomodate a smaller framed adult with up to a 32" waist. Years ago, I found one of those older car seats pictured with the black vinyl seat padding and chrome plated frame. I used to stash it away in our garage and get it out when alone and wanting to feel nice and snug sitting in a baby gear item. Would love to find another one!

~Pramrider
 
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