But is Your Baby Safe ENOUGH?

Hi Folks! This guest post comes to us from the proud papa of a bouncing new baby book!

Safety Products You Need NOW! by Jacob Sager Weinstein

For my book How Not To Kill Your Baby – a parody of overbearing, fear-inducing pregnancy and parenting books – I made up a series of ludicrous child-safety products. My challenge was: could I come up with something more ridiculous than the stuff actually marketed to parents?

I’ll let you decide how successful I was. Below are four marketing pitches. Only three of them describe genuine products you can actually buy. Can you find the one absurd parody hidden amongst the absurd reality?

A:  Nursery Water: Have you ever fed your toddler tap water? You MONSTER! Don’t you know that tap water is full of… full of… something horrible that we can’t think of, but that is definitely going to kill your child! Now, can we interest you in paying extra for carbon-filtered water that’s been steam-distilled, then ozonated and flouridated?  We can? Even if you’re not quite sure what “ozonated” means?  Great! Thank you for your dedication to our new Mercedes. We mean, “to your child’s health.”

B: Thudguard Infant Safety Hat: For millenia, human children have learned how to walk without safety gear. But in the early 21st century, gravity apparently got stronger, because your toddler now needs a padded helmet to do what billions of humans have already done. Sure, a baby who is just learning how to walk probably won’t go as fast a motorcyclist, but if she did go as fast as a motorcyclist, wouldn’t you want her to have the same protection?

C: Saf-T Brand Line of Children’s Classics: Children’s books are too damn exciting and imaginative. That’s why we need Saf-T Brand Children’s Classics, which  have been carefully edited to remove bad role models,  unsafe behavior, and anything else that made them worth reading in the first place. Saf-T Brand Peter Pan eliminates all references to flying, which might inspire children to jump out windows. Instead, Peter Pan and the Darling children jump up and down on a mattress, after having a grown-up remove it from the bed and place it safely on the floor.  The only thing missing is padded pages to prevent paper cuts.

D: My PeePee Bottle: If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself thinking, “I’m not inside so there are no toilets nearby, nor am I outside so my kid can’t just pee under a tree. If only I had a dedicated urine jug that I carried with me at all times!” Enter the $9.99 “My PeePee Bottle.”  It looks pretty much like  a generic water bottle you could get for half the price, but generic water bottles don’t say “My PeePee Bottle” on the front in an adorable, child-like cursive. And generic water bottles don’t come in pink and blue so that you can assign gender roles to your child’s waste products after they’ve left their body.


A: Click here.

B: Click here.

C: Don’t click anything.

D: Click yet again.

Only the Saf-T Brand Line of Children’s Classics is deliberately meant to be nuts. — J.S. W.

91 Responses

  1. Dear god, I thought these were the ones he made up… and then I clicked the links. Wow. Just, wow… I… wow. I really am at a loss for words over the hyper-protective society we have become…

  2. The other day I saw a recall of a safety latch for cabinets. Apparently it (a) does not prevent kids from getting the Drano, and (b) bites their little fingers! Now, this should be a teachable moment. Forget the lock. Just install something to bite the little pilferers when they get too close.

    Oh, and I’m in the market for bike upgrades for my five-year-olds. I go online to see what’s out there, and I find that 20″ bikes are now for kids who are at least 9 years old! Really? Even 16″ bikes are for ages 6-9! Wow. I learned on a 16″ without training wheels at age 4. (Without a helmet!!)

  3. Oh. My. Word. I need to go bang my head on a wall.

  4. When having a water demo in my home while shopping for a home water softener the sales rep, only upon seeing my newborn son after waking up from his evening nap, said “oh, thats another thing hard water is bad for. It causes SIDS you know.” He was immediately kicked out of my home.

  5. I thought the peepee one was fake since I suppose I assumed you wouldn’t need it in pink but I guess little girls have better aim…. The personalization of it is really scary. Do they want you to use it as their team water bottle later to reuse it?

  6. You know what’s sad is that my stepsister crossed out all of the negative words and characters from the books her children read, so I’m sure eventually the Saf-T line of books will be published by someone. I’m going to go and let my kids watch Looney Tunes now.

  7. The Saf-T Brand Children’s Classics might not literally exist as such, and the description is over the top, but the concept is not that far off. I remember reading a newspaper column a few years ago in which the writer was saying that he didn’t think a certain (very kid-oriented) movie was appropriate for his four year old because he didn’t think that at her age, she should ever watch anything where anyone got hurt or was mean, or something to that effect.

    IOW, fairy tales and even nursery rhymes are apparently too intense for some people’s kids.

    And before anyone mentions pudding caps to refute the idea that kids have learned to walk for millennia without head protection, I’ll just point out that that’s a feature of a fairly privileged society for a century or so — another example of “when people have the luxury of worrying about more things, they come up with more things to worry about.”

    Oh, no, here’s someone trying to revive them and wondering “why we don’t use it today.” Makes me want to beat MY head against something!


  8. You totally had me fooled. I have seen nursery water in the grocery store, but I thought the Safe-T books was a real thing, too.

  9. @Becky don’t forget to wear a helmet.

    I’ve actually seen the first two in stores, though fortunately, not come across anyone actually using them. Re: the puddinghead blog, I think some of those are kinda cute and could see them as a fashion statement?

  10. My kids have many versions of kids’ stories, and it’s interesting how watered down some of them are. The older ones seem a little less watered down, but still aren’t true to Grimm. They have at least 3 versions of 101 Dalmations and not one of them mentions that the puppies are gonna die if Cruella gets her way.

    The other day I brought up some kiddy biographies from the basement. They are at about the 2nd-3rd grade level. I scanned the one about Thurgood Marshall and there was the N-word, spelled out in its full glory. I will NOT be censoring this or any other book that wasn’t written exclusively for adults. If a child can read a biography, she can understand how to think about such things.

    They also have a cute book called “The Spanking” (and its sister volume, “The Little Monster”). Yep, Daddy spanks his little girl. (So does Pa in Little House in the Big Woods.)

    One thing I’ve noticed is that when my 5yo reads a story about a kid’s adventures, she often asks me, “where is his mother?” Am I doing something wrong here?

  11. Danielle, I would have kicked him out too but only after a few choice words that could get a kid expelled from school. Then I would send an aggressively worded letter to his immediate supervisor as well as the owner of the company explaining that they have 30 days to provide proof of the claim or I would file complaint with every state and federal agency that might have something to say about using fear to coerce a sale. (Of course I would also follow through on it). It’s bad enough that safety products, that are useful in very specific and unusual circumstances, are being marketed as necessary to all parents and negligence inferred if parents decide to forgo them, but that crossed a line.

    Okay, now that I got that off my chest, back to the absurdity of the products. A pee pee bottle? Really? I knew the nursery water and thud hat actually existed and have for a long time. When I was a teen nursery water would go on sale at the same time as the rest of the bottled water. The drug store I worked at would sell out of the regular bottled water and the employees would stock up on the nursery water for hurricane season. I’m pretty sure that was the only time we ever sold any nursery water. I never understood why we kept it in stock at all, except for the one time the pharmacy’s RO filter broke and they had to use it to mix suspensions.

  12. I love this.
    Because nothing can ever be safe enough for baby. These read like fake SNL commercials- “Oops, I crapped my pants” comes to mind.
    The marketer in me is thinking the Nursery Water folks need to work with the my PeePee Bottle. Add some of the Hydration Guidelines that Lenore wrote about, and they could make a killing. Not the babies, of course.

  13. I seriously considered the nursery water to be the odd one out. By treating that water with all these processes, you actually take out the ions and minerals that make water so good for you.

    Contrary to what some believe, you actually need most of the stuff that is in tap water. That’s why it’s not filtered out before it reaches our tap….

  14. I guessed right! Where’s my prize? 😉

  15. Interesting – I thought the nursery water was the fake one, mostly because of the added fluoride. They all sound like crazy products, but b/c the fluoride seems so ludicrous to give a baby (or for anyone to be drinking for that matter) it seemed the least plausible.

  16. As I knew someone who used “nursery water,” I could eliminate at least one. And I’d heard of the helmet.
    I also knew someone horrified that her mother-in-law had used well water when mixing up formula for baby. Um… yeah.


  17. amy, city tap water in the USA has added fluoride. It is really good for the teeth, especially if ingested while the teeth are developing (i.e., in the womb and the early years). One of the criticisms of bottled water drinking is that it prevents kids from getting the fluoride in tap water.

  18. Heather, it depends on the well. My sister got very sick (salmonella) from drinking yucky well water. Our friend’s baby nearly died because she washed the bottles in the same well water. I am wary of well water when it comes to the “weak.”

  19. “One thing I’ve noticed is that when my 5yo reads a story about a kid’s adventures, she often asks me, “where is his mother?” Am I doing something wrong here?”

    I don’t see how. What’s going on here is that kid lit, especially that in which the kids have any kind of “adventures,” depend on the parents being out of the picture, at least temporarily. They’re sort of hyper-Free-Range — Free Range kids interact with their moms, they just have a lot of independence. In a lot of kid lit, parents just sort of vanish out of the scene with no explanation.

    And your child normally expects the mother to be in there somewhere, which is perfectly appropriate, so she asks why.

  20. The sad thing is is that the safe t books exist too. They are not marketed as such, but I have read books to my kids that have been sanitised since my childhood. The Saggy Baggy Elephant is the only one I can think of off the top of my head, but there have been others (same pictures just the scary stuff like being attacked by crocodiles have been eliminated).

  21. “Re: the puddinghead blog, I think some of those are kinda cute and could see them as a fashion statement?”

    Yes, as a fashion statement, they’re cute — but the blogger seemed to be saying that our kids actually NEED the protection, that’s why she wonders why we don’t still use them.

  22. I must admit that I have purchased a gallon of Nursery Water before…for my iron! The store was all out of distilled water and I’m slightly obsessed with maintaining my 1974 electric iron that is NOT made out of plastic and actually removes wrinkles from fabric! Of course, it weighs about 5 lbs and would definitely require a trip to the ER if a toddler pulled it off on their head, but despite the dire warnings of all my friends, my children made it through the toddler years without ever being brained with the hand held death machine!

  23. So, I have a cousin who is a hemophiliac, and when he was learning to crawl/walk, he did wear a helmet/kneepads, on doctors orders (though his mom put them away when she thought he didn’t need them, even before the doctor said he was okay). I also have a friend who’s baby was born with a deformed head who had to wear a helmet to help reshape her skull–but for healthy babies, the idea is ridiculous.

    Most of these products (except maybe the peepee bottles) have a legitimate use, but aren’t for every kid, or even most kid. I’m all for the free-range philosophy, but, also for not having my little cousin bleed to death.

  24. Sorry skl1 – it’s actually not recommended to give fluoride to an infant with developing teeth b/c it’d damaging to them (dental fluorosis) and ingesting fluoride does not actually have any benefit to teeth; only topical use (i.e. using a fluoridated toothpaste). As someone who grew up in the fluoride generation (when they thought the more fluoride the better) and has experienced the negative effects of too much, it’s an issue I’m pretty passionate about. Many cities in the US and Canada are actually starting to eliminate supplementing water with fluoride due to the risks.

  25. I saw, but never bought, special baby water when my son (now age 13) was a baby. The cost was outrageous compared to that of regular bottled water in Germany. When I compared labels, the baby water and the regular water were practically identical. I also knew about the Thudgard helmet but never had one. My son banged his head on our hard apartment floors many times and is definitely not brain damaged.

    For me it came down to the books and the bottle. The books sounded even more over the top than the bottle, so I guessed that they were the fake product. But both are pretty absurd. But what’s even more absurd than all of those products is that people are willing to spend their money on them.

  26. I’m not sure where else to send this but I thought some on here might be interested in these school uniforms that are now equipped with microchips to track student’s whereabouts:(http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/microchipped-school-uniforms-notify-parents-kids-skip-school-180844977.html). Sorry, I’m not tech savvy enough to embed the link into word.
    Perhaps Mr. Weinstein can do a follow-up book on ridiculous products for grade schoolers.

  27. “Only the Saf-T Brand Line of Children’s Classics is deliberately meant to be nuts. — J.S. W.”

    Not so fast. Some schools are already using a sanitized version of Huckleberry Finn.

  28. corianne, no one is saying these products (except maybe the peepee bottle) *shouldn’t* exist, but that marketing them as necessary to populations that don’t truly need them is absurd. Your cousin has a medical need that was served by the pads and helmet. My son has a medical need that is served by having a chew stick attached to his shirt. Should children without these needs walk around with helmets and chew sticks? No. The problem isn’t with the products themselves. It’s with the marketing them to parents of children who don’t need them and the culture of fear that attempts to shame any parent who has the audacity to decline their purchase and use.

  29. Oh my word. That pee pee bottle is so wrong on so many levels! The cartoon children looking lovingly at a bottle of their own pee creeps me out!!! What if a kid mistakes it for a drink!!!! Gross!!!! And the fact that you need to give ppl instructions on how to use it?! I think the name says it all!

    For the record, my kids per on the car tyre (our car!). When you gotta go, you gotta go. A tree, a patch of grass, even a weed works just as well. Failing that, I pretend they aren’t my kids when they just pee in someone else’s garden!

  30. Although you may have intended the “Saf T Brand Line of Children’s Classics” to be nuts, it’s not actually that far from reality. Have you ever suffered through one of the Great Illustrated Classics? They excise the soul from the great children’s classics like Wind in the Willows and The Wizard of Oz leaving nothing but fluff. Read more about them here. http://www.salon.com/2004/03/29/willows/

  31. I love the quote on the My Pee Pee Bottle site stating that it’s faster that a public restroom. Is that because you just stand in the middle of the room and get your kid to pee? No waiting for an empty stall? I figured teaching my kid decorum was also part of growing up. And is it really that bad to teach them to wait till you can walk to a bathroom. I understand now and then there are none nearby, but if I’m in the mall with my kids I will expect them to wait until we are in a stall. I mean why not just lift your kids skirt or drop trou in the middle of Walmart and let them have a go at that rate.

  32. “Learning to walk in a world of hard surfaces.” I knew that one must be real because it sounds like a tag line for the local news. How simply existing can lead to serious head injuries, even death. Tonight at 11.

    I used to work as a nanny for a family who only drank bottled water–the dog and hamster included. The astonishing amount of plastic waste that came out of that house just seared my soul!

  33. The safety books do exist. The are called abridged children’s classics. They take out the offensive things

    – Anne of Green Gables idea that adopted girls will poison the family (argument Rachel Lynn gives for not adopting a child)

    Huckberry Finn – N word

    Years ago (child is now married with 3 kid) I had to fight with a book store clerk, who kept trying to take away the real Huck Finn and give her a “Proper kids” version.

  34. We bought one of the Thud-guard helmets, Not for our kid learning to walk. But rather to wear when he was riding in the bike trailer. The Thud guard is not approved for that use , but we found that at a young age a real bike helmet forced his head forward into an un-natural position and he generally either ripped it off or screamed with frustration trying to rip it off. The Thud-guard helmet he wears happily, so we figured he might be better off with an unapproved helmet that stays on his head vs the approved helmet that constantly gets ripped off.

    When he rides outside the trailer on our handlebar seat (a much more exposed position) he does wear a full on bike helmet no problem

  35. I KNOW! As mother of five, I’m subjected to all sorts of leaflets, “newsletters” and assorted propaganda of baby products. We normally laugh them all away, but I’ll see if I can scan the most comical ones for all of you to enjoy.
    BTW, where can I get hold of this book???

  36. Erm – since when is teaching your kids to wash their hands after they use the toilet not an option? I particularly liked the copied and pasted passage about rotavirus (without quote marks so you couldn’t tell which part was actual science and which part was marketing).

  37. The only babies that need that safety helmet are those with seizures. the rest need a few bumps to learn to stand up safely.

    and the rest of the stuff is just playing on a naive parent’s fear.

  38. […] Lenore over at Free-Range Kids for posting about this wonderful product) Share:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  39. Our pediatrician suggests the nursery water. He says the fluoride is needed to strengthen toddler’s teeth but tap water has way too much fluoride added. Supposedly the baby water has a much smaller amount of fluoride. We’ve never bought it, but he asks about it every checkup, and he’s not a safety nut.

  40. The PeePee Bottle is targeted(according to the ad) to the child who fears public toilets. Great! Bring the bottle, pee in the back of the SUV, and we can avoid all public bathrooms.
    Unfortunately, these kids eventually go to school where they will likely need to use the facilities. I’ve heard of 3 cases this last week of Kindergartners who had this “fear” of using the bathroom that they wet themselves (one kid pooped his pants). Where should the kid go to use the PeePee Bottle in school? What will he tell his friends when they ask him why he has two water bottles, one with a funny yellow liquid in it?
    When does the parent actually address the fear of public bathrooms? Why does it even exist?

  41. i m just looking for the blogs… i found it here.. thnx for sharing.

  42. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!!! It blows me away what people will buy just because it’s advertised to make your child safer or is safe for your child. Does society not understand advertising at all?! It’s meant to pull at your weak spots so you WILL buy their product. As we all know, the human race has been growing at a rapid rate pretty successfully without all these products; I sometimes feel some of these products are a slap in the face of our parents and grandparents. Almost like telling them ‘you were bad people so we made products to make up for your mistakes’. I just did a podcast about this topic as I was just floored by some of the items I see people promoting. COME ON FOLKS!

  43. I know a woman who wouldn’t allow her kids to watch “The Lion King” because of all the adult content. She took her kids to see “Hop” in the theatre, and complained that it was inappropriate for children. Someone in the movie used the word “stupid”, and one of the characters criticized another character for being a “bad singer”. She felt these were very negative messages for a 5 and an 8 year old to be seeing.

  44. As for the peepee bottle, after the little girl has peed all over moms hands as mom is holding the bottle, won’t they have to go into the filthy restroom for mom to wash her hands?

  45. I assume that the pee-pee bottle is re-usable (I didn’t click the link)? Does that mean mom is supposed to wash the pee out in the kitchen sink? Surely that is too unsanitary for a healthy household. (To me it’s just plain gross!)

    If your kid is unreliable and nature isn’t accommodating, bring a disposable container. Like parents have been doing for generations.

  46. According to the website the PeePee Bottle is more about protecting your child from unsanitary public washrooms than convenience. And yes, it is reusable. They recommend you don’t leave the urine in longer than 4 hours.

  47. I’m just wondering how kids cope when pee isn’t the problem. Bad as pee in a bottle sounds, what would such parents do if the kid needed to poop? I’m trying to not think about it too much, but it’s just there.

    As for helmets, my son had one for medical reasons as an infant, but the worst part was when he was done with it and had to learn to avoid bumping his head. He probably hit it harder than he would have otherwise just because he didn’t know it would hurt to bump his head.

  48. For the record (and I didn’t read all the comments so don’t know if someone else has already said it) but the ‘pee pee bottle’ isn’t necessarily a ‘safety’ or ‘over protective’ thing. I know lots of EC parents (elimination communication) who carry dedicated ‘urine containers’ of some form or another for when they can’t get the little one to a bathroom, mostly in the car. I even know a few potty trained bigger kids with small bladders who have such for car trips. I think that’s more of a case of ‘can we sell something for twice the price if we make it unique and/or single function?’ Unfortunately, the answer is usually ‘yes’.

    Oh, and they *do* make several versions of ‘kid friendly’ fairy tales that are edited for content. Some of them, like “the politically correct fairy tales” are supposed to be satirical, and then some parents use them for real, other really are meant to be read to kids as a ‘safe’ alternative to ‘traditional’ fairy tales. This is especially evident in kid’s shows, which frequently feature fairy tale stories while changing the basic story line to avoid any violence or ‘negativity’

  49. Yeah – what do they do about poop?

    My kids trained young, so I bought these foldable plastic seat covers at Wal-Mart (they fit easily in a small diaper bag). We generally stopped in a store / restaurant restroom every 0.5-1hr when out and about, to avoid accidents. I kept a mini potty in the car just in case (never had to use it). I chose not to worry about “icky” bathrooms (though I was somewhat selective about where we stopped). Wiping the seat before and washing the hands afterwards seemed sufficient for us. Then again, there are some pit stops that are just too gross.

  50. I have doubts about aim for girls.

  51. I was looking at the Peepee Bottle website, and “39% of survey respondents feared picking up germs in a public restroom more than any other place”. Well, of course a bathroom has more germs, that doesn’t mean you should use it! I can’t imagine being scared of a public restroom. Ok, I’ve seen some truck-stop out-houses on the side of the road that I wouldn’t pee in, but that’s why there are trees.

  52. My (much younger) sister actually had a book of politically correct Mother Goose rhymes when she was little. I think someone had given it to her as a gift, because I can’t picture my mother ever buying anything like that. The rhyme that sticks out in my memory was the revised “Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe,” where the old woman hugged all the kids instead of whipping them soundly and sending them to bed.

  53. This looks like an extension of Poe’s Law to me.

  54. I had my kids doing K12 curriculum for their schooling. For kinder, one of the stories to be read was “Cinderella.” I was supposed to read it like 4 times to my son, asking different questions each time. The book that they sent was, well, watered down, quiet a bit. The step sisters were hardly even mean. Needless to say, my son thought the story was not interesting.

    The next day I told him we were going to read it again – which he totally resisted. I read him the original version, the one where the step-sisters cut off parts of their feet and a bird pecks out their eyes. My son thought it was great. I have read the originals to my kids since they were little – yes the witch in Hanzel and Gretel gets shoved in a stove and cooked. Great stuff that keeps kids interested!

  55. There is a word for stories that have been abridged with all the “objectionable” parts taken out: bowdlerized. Here is link to the definition here (and a Wikipedia article). It has an interesting origin:



  56. I once had a company call me to tell me that I had won a water filtration system. Of course I soon found out that the filters would cost me way more annually than the unit itself. When I tried to tell the sales rep that I decided not to accept their offer, she asked me: “So you don’t care about the health of your baby then?”
    She was lucky she was talking to me on the phone and not face to face…

    As for the PeePee bottle, I remember when I was a tot being held over the gutter by my dad to pee! No one cared if anyone saw. And I must admit that I have at times let my daughter pee between some low bushes near our local shops when she was a toddler because there is no public toilet. Not ideal, but it worked and it was a lot better than having to walk around with a bottle of warm pee!

  57. The grossest bathroom thing that I had to endure was in Nevada. The bathrooms did not have changing tables, at all. (At least not at the two McDonalds that we stopped at.) Apparently someone sued when they didn’t fasten the baby properly and the baby fell off. Because it was winter and about 20 F, changing with the car door open was not an option. Fortunately I had some towels (in case of car breakdown and needing to clean up) that I could put on the floor.

    But really, I am not too grossed out about bathrooms because normally you wash your hands. I just didn’t want my kid’s hair and head and arms all over that floor.

  58. C: Saf-T Brand Line of Children’s Classics already exists, in fact, it’s the version of fairy tales and nursery rhymes that most of us were raised on. I did my Masters degree in Children’s Lit and the original version by authors like the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson are a lot darker than the `Disney’ version we read today.

  59. OK…I admit it..I’ve peed in the backyard. When my kids were little, they would get out of the pool, pull aside their suits and pee. It was SO much easier than drying off and going inside….
    There is such joy in peeing outside…I think the pee-pee bottle borders on abusive!

  60. Wow. The pee pee bottles are the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.
    Just… wow.
    It’s a miracle my children have survived… just today my toddler climbed trees, drank directly from a seasonal stream at the park, cut his toe (and staunched the blood with dirt), threw the biggest rocks he could pick up, dangled from some monkey bars, and dodged bigger kids swinging while chasing another kid on a tricycle.

  61. @PENTAMOM – I don’t think you clearly read my blog or understand its mission. I am a living history interpreter and I maintain a sewing / costume blog that focuses on material culture. You are quick to criticize an era you clearly know little about and you should read more closely as I never claimed to “revive” anything.

    But please do beat your head against the wall.

  62. The pee pee bottle is gross.

    My pediatrician did suggest Nursery water since we used bottled water anyway when my daughter was a baby (due to the sulfur taste of water along the coast). I bought it occasionally when it was on sale because it was cheaper than the other water. Otherwise, she got the same bottled water as me.

  63. All of you commenters who were confused on which product was real clearly don’t read this blog enough. I am pretty sure I’ve seen Lenore post about all of these products before. LOL. Except the pee-pee bottle. I knew that was real as soon as I saw it, though.

    But I also think the pee-pee bottle is totally sexist. 🙂 Don’t even try to tell me girls can really use that. I saw the picture on the site of how you’re supposed to use it, but believe me, you’re gonna get pee on your hands. Oh well. I guess that’s better than your child going anywhere near a public toilet.

    Best part is at the very bottom of the “how to use” page on the pee-pee bottle website. It says, “Warning! Do not allow the child to put bottles or caps in his or her mouth.” Snort. And see, I would have thought the whole point of the bottle was to be able to reuse the pee. Not only does it protect your child from rotovirus, but it also can help you stay hydrated in a survival situation.

  64. As a woman (in labour as we speak), it saddens me to know that in the next 24 hours I am going to have to raise a child into the world that encourages kids to pee in a personalized bottle outdoors. Thinking about it. If I saw a child peeing in this type of bottle I would hope that some someone would call Child Services because it would be clear that the parents were nuts.

    Why can’t we just let kids live their life! Stop scaring hem to death! My cousins are 7 and 9 and they are scared of their own shadow!

    It’s so sad.

  65. Instead of buying a pee pee bottle, I learned the hard way to always keep a container in the car for emergencies. My son was two and my infant daughter was asleep in the car. We were in an urban area, so peeing on the side of the road wasn’t really an option and I didn’t want to wake her up to take them both into a gas station (and I wasn’t about to leave her alone in the car since it was a 40C day). I quickly gulped the last of my tea and used the cup to get my son to pee into. I then kept an empty drink container leftover from the drive thru in my car. Cheaper than a pee pee bottle and no one will think it’s apple juice! When my daughter was training, I kept a portable potty in the car and when she needed to go, we pulled over and set her up in our trunk. We then bought her (and myself) a she-pee (it’s like a funnel so that girls can pee standing up) which comes in handy when we’re camping (especially when the thermostat drops to -10C).

  66. We just keep sinking lower and lower…a pee pee bottle, seriously?

  67. Flouride will poison your kid! We have a filter to take it out. 😉

  68. To clear your pallet, I give you my kids’ Halloween costumes (made by me!) from last year:

    My Daughter has a new take on Little Red Riding Hood:


    My Son is an Assassin (as in Creed): http://peanutbuttermacrame.blogspot.com/2011/10/i-did-it.html

    Oh yeah, and as you can see in that second link WE GO CAMPING. Last year we chased off a black bear and went horse back riding through the mountains. My 10 year old successfully controlled his horse after an attack of hornets made it panic and bolt (our guide chased after him and helped, but still, _my_ son didn’t panic). You can’t even imagine how awesome he felt after that! He was on top of the world because HE WAS BRAVE.

    Also, they play outside with sticks, drink water from the hose, and catch bugs and come home so dirty I make them strip at the back door. We go swimming at natural water holes. My children are happy, healthy, and confident and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  69. Ms. Sew 18th Century — I am not “criticizing” the 18th century, and how do you know I “know nothing about it?” That’s a pretty large assumption.

    I am simply saying that as societies become more prosperous, as the 18th century Anglo-American world was compared to most of the world at that time, and before, they can start worrying about things that others have lived with throughout history without feeling the need for “safety devices.”

    Toddlers fall down when they learn to walk. Head injuries from doing so are probably 1 in several million. Children who don’t learn to naturally protect themselves as well because they’re constantly shielded by “protective” devices is 1 in 1, if the shielding is overdone.

    I am not saying these pudding caps are or were the end of the world, I’m saying they were unnecessary and to think they would be useful today is misguided, except in the relatively rare cases of children with special needs (for which protective gear already exists.)

  70. BTW, I understood your blog fine. I think that it’s cool that you do history by recreating the sewn artifacts of the time. I just thought your “wondering” about why we don’t use pudding caps was interesting, because the answer is that we don’t need them.

  71. My poor children! I had my boys use an old peanut butter jar in the car for emergencies. They didn’t have personalized pee pee jars! How will I ever get over the guilt?!

  72. Not quite — Richard Scarry’s books have been edited and re-issued post-humously to make them more politically correct. Apparently there weren’t enough female animals, and they didn’t want all of the animals to have traditional gender roles…


  73. REALLY?! We have all of our Richard Scarry books from when we were kids and we love them. We read them to our 11 month old son; we have no problems with them. What’s next? Dr. Seuss books being edited to include more colorful characters?

  74. My Pee Pee Bottle® is easy to use, replaces putting on a diaper to avoid public restrooms and helps safeguard children from harmful, sometimes fatal, bacterial infections such as E-coli or exposure to Rotavirus caught from accidentally touching a dirty toilet.

    Yes, because public toilets are fatal! Really?!

    I don’t avoid public toilets. They generally have regular cleaning schedules. And if it is dirty I put some toilet paper on the seat to make a barrier. How hard is that?

  75. I think it is a vital skill for kids to learn to pee behind a tree. What will they do if they are somewhere without a toilet or heaven forbid a pee pee bottle? What if they *gasp* went CAMPING IN THE WOODS WITH NO TOILET!!!!? What would they do then if they couldn’t pee behind a tree? (Actually I knew a girl like that. It wasn’t a fun camping trip!)

  76. Ok pop/soda b

  77. Ok pop/soda and convenience store cups bottles work just fine for emergency potty stops. There have been times when we have traveled in a snow storm late at night and one of our boys (when they were little) had to go. But pulling over, and hoping out was out of the question. I’d toss a bottle back to them he’d hop up and pee in the bottle. I’d bag it up and throw it away when we stopped. As for girls. Our daughters used the cups (wider mouths). This was done when we were outside and they had yet to learn how to pee outdoors with out hitting their pants. Girls seem to be able to hold it in longer than boys I think.

  78. I was just thinking about a peepeebottle dripping in my handbag…

  79. @PENTAMOM – While you make a valid point I think it’s presumptuous to assume that others–both today and from earlier eras/cultures in history–don’t need things like pudding caps. It seems an unfair statement when you don’t know other people’s living conditions are like.

  80. I’m definitely not going to waste my money buying water from the store when I can get it from home. that’s just plain silly for anyone to do IMO. My kids are super healthy. The toxins in my tap water must do them good somehow lol! Bottled water is all tap water as well(and I find it hilarious how many people don’t realize that) I highly doubt Nursery water is any different. Just another way to get money from gullible consumers.

    As for the pee pee bottle…umm wow. I thought that’s what soda bottles were for.

  81. I know that typical children in the 18th century did not walk around on oil or ice indoors. I cannot imagine any other reason why a “pudding cap” would be needed, since a normal childhood walking fall on a wood, or even stone, surface does not cause head injuries except rarely. (And most people did not have stone floors — I am not an expert on the 18th century but I know what dwellings have been made of, historically. Only a very, very few people lived in castles. Many more people had dirt floors, which are considerably softer.) I also know these children did not ride bikes, which had not been invented, or snowboard. These caps were used for the same reasons people erroneously think helmets are necessary for typical toddlers today — because they believe that normal learning-to-walk falls are actually dangerous.

    At any rate, the point wasn’t so much that they weren’t needed in the 18th century, though I think that’s true, but that I thought it strange that you “wondered” why people don’t use them now. Isn’t it obvious? They’re completely unnecessary, that’s why.

  82. Put it this way — if they were necessary, the mortality/morbidity rate from learning to walk, which is almost non-existent, would be rather high, since almost no one uses any such thing other than, as I said, children with specific special needs.

  83. Pentamom, I’m not going to explain to you why people in the 18th century thought it was important to protect their children’s heads with the pudding cap…their approach to life is not the same as today.

    Like I said before, it’s extremely presumptuous of you to assume what other people’s living conditions are like and say that under no circumstance should anyone in a modern setting use a device that protects their child like a pudding cap…especially if they can’t childproof their home.

    In any case, I will not be returning to this blog to continue this debate.

  84. My PeePee Bottle’s website sites http://www.medicinenet.com/rotavirus as its source for the scary rotavirus, but does not mention additional information from the site:
    “After several infections with different strains of the virus, children acquire immunity to rotavirus…For people with healthy immune systems, rotavirus infection of the bowel (gastroenteritis) is a self-limited illness, lasting for only a few days. The treatment consists of increased fluid intake (oral rehydration) to prevent dehydration. About one in 40 children with rotavirus infection of the bowel requires hospitalization for intravenous fluid.”

  85. I was just catching up on a few of your posts this morning. I realized that as much as I love your blog, some of these stories make me so sad and frustrated. A helmet for a toddler learning to walk like toddlers have done for a bazillion years? A bottle to pee into sold with that purpose? The poor teenager who was expelled for something he tweeted in the middle of the night? How did society get so screwed up? I understand the products — if somebody is dumb enough to buy them, somebody might as well make money. No best friends in school though? My 7 year old can’t sit in the car reading a book while I run in the grocery store? We’re going to raise children who have absolutely no coping skills to deal with even the simplest of situations as an adult. I know I’m preaching to the choir. It all just sort of slapped me in the face this morning when I was catching up on your posts.

  86. Okay, that’s all kind of crazy, but who else here is relieved to learn that Peter Pan remains unchanged?

  87. “Like I said before, it’s extremely presumptuous of you to assume what other people’s living conditions are like and say that under no circumstance should anyone in a modern setting use a device that protects their child like a pudding cap…especially if they can’t childproof their home. ”

    Sorry you’re not coming back, but for the sake of any readers, but that’s exactly *not* what I said — and most “childproofing” is unnecessary, as well. But since you apparently popped in here due to a trackback without really understanding the context of this site, I understand why you wouldn’t understand the assumptions of this discussion, which have little to do with people’s “living conditions” and everything to do with the non-necessity of protecting children from normal physical conditions.

  88. I read that link for the pee-pee bottle and my biggest thought was who does this – for most of the things you could avoid by using the pee-pee bottle. I do not ever remember putting a diaper on my kids because I didn’t want them to use a public toilet. What kind of places are these people taking their kids that the toilets are so dirty they need to go into a bathroom and then have a recepticle that’s not a toilet to pee in? What exactly are they teaching their kids when they have them routinely pee in not a toilet? That’s awful. The other items are bad too but the bottle has to be the nuttiest thing I’ve heard of.

  89. If you’re afraid of dirty bathrooms… wouldn’t it be easier to just carry around sanitized wipes and give the toilet a quick wipe-down before going?

    I hate women who are too prissy to pee so don’t sit down but squat, pee all over the seat, and ruin it for everyone else.

  90. Just for the record,motorcycle helmets in the US are rated (DOT) for 17 mph the speed your head would attain falling from head height due to the force of gravity.

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