When J was a bump in his mum’s tummy, I didn’t really blog all that much, I wrote blogs about how the pregnancy was progressing, and even wrote for Emma’s Diary (before they sacked me) doing the same. My hope was that another ‘Dad to be’ might stumble across what I was writing, and realise what him and his partner were experiencing was normal. I think one of my favourite posts about it all was J’s Birth Story, which gave a fairly accurate account of birth from my perspective, and hopefully again might prepare someone else for the birth of their child.
The blog was growing in numbers at that point, tens became hundreds, hundreds became thousands, and – well – I’ve not looked back. I reviewed some of the baby stuff from way back when, because, again, I’d researched hard and thought I’d made pretty savvy purchases and wanted to share my experiences. I don’t think I actually received any ‘freebies’ until J was here, and even then it wasn’t really much – we’d made all the big purchases ourselves, or with gifts from the family.. But fast forward 3 years, I’m starting to wonder if Bloggers have babies for free stuff.
Now that I’m deeper in the blogging community, it feels like my peers no longer want to have children, because, children are fucking awesome, it’s more a PR campaign for their blogs and a chance to get the freebies that go with it.
There’s no longer an intimacy of sharing the delightful news with those nearest and dearest to you, there has to be some big announcement – like a press conference of what sexcrement is growing inside you. We have reveal posts with the gender, we have scrawls over streching naked bellies ‘Coming Soon’ etc, there’s no privacy, no intimacy – just ultrasound porno for the Instagram generation.
No stone is left unturned, no aspect not filmed for YouTube.
It just makes me sad.
We share so much as bloggers, but are the foetuses of bloggers just a step too far to share?
It feels like these tiny newborns are ambassadors for every single brand going before they’ve even left the birth canal. The travel systems from brand XYZ will soon be Instagram fodder for a blogger, a deal has been signed for the child to wear clothing only from ABC for the first 6 months (so long as they colour co-ordinate with Mummy’s blog – obviously). Not to mention the hideously expensive Nursery Set from Switzerland coated in the tears of unicorns to ensure a baby sleeps, whilst toys and books for the formative years are supplied exclusively through ‘brand RST’.
Every-single step of the journey of that child seems pre-planned and sponsored by someone or other – the concept of buying your own stuff seems lost, it’s all about what you can get for free that will get you the most traffic. I know times are hard, and people struggle, but everyone managed to provide for their children before the blogging age, and I’m sure they will again.
I actually heard a blogger say..
“As soon as I found out I was pregnant again, I got in touch with the PR for (maternity clothing brand) to get some free clothes”
Brilliant. Bloggers really are dicks sometimes.
I hope that I’m wrong, but, from the outside looking in, it really does feel like Bloggers have Babies for free stuff.
What do you think?
Oh – as lots of people got upset with this ost and asked me tonnes of questions – I put them all in a handy post which is here.
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Wow, that is a dick thing for a blogger to say.
I do agree that some seem to exploit pregnancy and the early months for every single bit of crap they can get, when every blog post and social media post is an advert, they’re taking it too far.
I’ve wondered who gets the fee, the kid who models the crap or the parent who write about it, but that is a whole different blog post.
There are a few I have wondered this about….I’d hope not but with some you just never know.
Hit send too quickly.
That said while some may do it is rare as who is that stupid?
Blogger have babies as all do, because they want a baby (or an accidents happens) and yes they may get some products from brands to review/feature you know as well as I do, none of them are freebies. They are blogged, photographed, edited etc.. It’s not free.
Fair play to them. Babies are blooming expensive. If they can get product reviews then why not? Doesn’t mean the babies are just there for those reviews
Although I can see where you’re coming from with this post, I’d like to think that anyone with half a brain cell would realise that the overall expense of having a child would far outweigh any free stuff you might get in the first few months…. Right??? I can’t believe someone would make the decision of something as huge as adding a new family member purely to get a few hundred quids worth of free things when a baby costs several thousands overall…..
This comment is from me, not intended to be anonymous! 🙂
Said the man who hasn’t pushed a baby out of his vagina…. HA! Oh deary me, that’s all I can say!
Hate to break it to you, but men don’t have vaginas.
I’m sure when science allows, I’ll have one, and therefore be able to have an opinion..
I’m a bit lost for words. I can’t imagine any blogger would have a baby just to get stuff to review. I actually think it’s a really mean thing to say – especially when it’s likely that lots of pregnant bloggers or new mum bloggers, who have been reviewing things, will read it.
TBH if I was a tired, teary and hormonal Mum to Be who had been gifted some lovely things to review (which I may otherwise not have been able to afford) I would be pretty upset that people thought I was doing it for any other reason that wanting to provide my child with amazing things. I agree with Alison. Kinda mean. You’re of course entitled to your opinion but it was just a bit too much.
I think you yourself know that no mother would *actually* have a baby to get free stuff. I see the point you’re trying to make here but really, it could have been articulated in a much less hostile way. Clickbait springs to mind.
First of all I’m a bit confused by the use of the term ‘free stuff’ – surely if a blogger is receiving something from a brand it’s a product in exchange for promotion/review – not really free once you account for the blogger’s time is it?
Secondly I doubt there’s a Mama on earth who would get pregnant just for ‘free stuff’ – I know the products I was lucky enough to receive whilst pregnant didn’t even come close to making me enjoy the 7 months of vomiting, the antenatal depression, postnatal depression and stretch marks. Unsurprisingly the first time I held my babies in my arms all those difficult times melted away though, and not once did I look at them and see £££ signs. I don’t know any other blogger who sees their baby as a cash cow either.
I assume you’ve written this post as click bait and to get a reaction, and I’m really annoyed that I’ve given you what you wanted but I just had to give you my POV on this one.
Of course, you are absolutely correct. That is why lots of bloggers go through the heart break of infertility and baby loss. It is all completely worth it if you get a free buggy at the end. Please think before you post stuff like this. It may be good for your stats but it is really insensitive and a crass post to write. Lucy
Yeah, like all those mums having babies to get a free council house. HA HA HA. Are you actually serious?!
I’ve remained stoically infertile for many years, with one annoying blip resulting in an, admittedly satisfactory, partial revenue stream. My business plan, or squad goal as I hashtag it to stay current, is of course to stay strategically infertile to protect my brand and attract high value collaborations through a carefully curated programme of emotionally structured posts. SAID NO BLOGGER OR HUMAN BEING EVER. You’re talking about people’s kids here, Kip. And the golden rule is, surely, you don’t talk about other people’s kids.
Reading some of these comments and lolling.
Jesus, don’t take things so seriously people!
And yes, I have a kid.
*hands Kip a whisky*
Obviously no, nobody would have a baby just to work for products. Think you’re smart enough to know that.
I’m a bit like you in that I never got any “freebies” (which aren’t really free) in pregnancy or in the first year of my kids lives. I am however one of those people who enjoys sharing every single detail of pregnancy and birth. I love reading them too. Those posts are a great way of saving memories. I don’t think having a baby is at all intimate. You have somewhere between 3-12 strangers in a room with you either looking between your legs or putting hands or instruments up there… Your private parts are no longer intimate… They are more like part of a public art gallery.
This time around, my pregnancy is completely unplanned and I’m sharing even more of it on my blog, because I don’t have a partner to share any of it with. And since reading your post, I’m now thinking… Wow maybe I SHOULD contact some PR’s and see if this time around I could work for some of the things I need. Not something that had crossed my mind until now so cheers for this post, you’ve inspired me! 🙂
I really hope that no-one actually does have a baby just for blogging, that would be awful, but I kind of know what you mean with all the ‘free’ stuff (although it’s not bloody free, you fucker! 😉 ) I think the odd person wants the baby but does think about the (not) free stuff far too much and makes it all about that.
If I’m lucky enough to have another baby I will share stuff about my pregnancy because I’ll be so excited about it, but hopefully there’ll be lots kept private too (I am totally writing ‘coming soon’ on my belly though, maybe with a lipstick I’ve been sent to review). As you know, I’ve been through infertility (although I’m not entirely sure how that’s relevant) and obviously have a child, but I am not at all offended by this as I know you are not talking about me (or the majority of bloggers), because I know I haven’t done this! Interesting post! x
I really get your point. Well done for being brave enough. I myself have struggled sometimes to get the kids certain things so use my blog as a way of doing it, but it’s certainly not free. There’s the editing, stress and writing that goes with it. I didn’t have my children because I wanted to blog, But it was exciting to be able to document our journey and look back on it. I’m still struggling to see how this post has angered so many people…. Surely people have brains and can see exactly what you’re trying to say on this matter?!
6 or 7 years ago you used to see heated debates over whether it was appropriate to take part in a campaign for Nestle because of the baby milk in Africa stuff. You don’t really see that now.
I think what we have is a growing parallel between the world of celebs who always get referred to by their first name- you know, the Kims, the Coleens, etc- who have commoditised their private lives, and the world of bloggers.
These celebs have photo shoots for their wedding, “unveilings” for their babies and are snapped walking to the shops. They get paid for the photo shoots, they get paid by the brands for using their equipment and wearing there clothes that they get photo’d wearing.
That’s where I see blogging heading.
I don’t think people have babies for ‘free stuff’ but there’s certainly an issue with ‘over-sharing’ and turning everything into a blogging opportunity. Part of the problem is the level of competitiveness in parenting blogging.
Do bloggers have babies for free stuff? No I don’t think so. Do some bloggers write controversial posts to get a few extra clicks? Almost certainly. Sigh.
really get your point. Well done for being brave enough. I myself have struggled sometimes to get the kids certain things so use my blog as a way of doing it, but it’s certainly not free. There’s the editing, stress and writing that goes with it. I didn’t have my children because I wanted to blog, But it was exciting to be able to document our journey and look back on it. I’m still struggling to see how this post has angered so many people…. Surely people have brains and can see exactly what you’re trying to say on this matter?!