Dear BabyCenter!

Children eating

You have just announced a new app MomFeed, by BabyCenter for mums only, which focuses on feeding. Please consider being family inclusive.

Your Editor in Chief, Linda Murray, said:

“We know moms are hungry for bite-size nuggets of information streamed to them throughout the day. Our Mom Feed app blends nuts-and-bolts parenting advice on topics like sleep, potty training, behavior, and more, with hilarious mom stories and you’re-not-alone advice from other parents. Mom Feed is the best of BabyCenter in a convenient new package for our fans who’ve graduated from the pregnancy and baby stage.”

Feeding, like all other aspects of parenting, is a group activity – it has been for all of human history. Most mums are not alone because they have others in the family who parent with them. More and more children are cared for during the working day by dad.

In January this year, the Fatherhood Institute in UK published a review of research about the influence of fathers on obesity in their children. One striking finding is that toddlers’ activity levels are linked with their father’s (but not their mother’s) BMI. The review concludes: “If fathers are NOT engaged with, they will often undermine.”

There is a conflict in wealthy countries between the needs of children and the advertising revenue that lies behind an app that is focused on moms only. But this is changing: the advertising industry is waking up to the fact that fathers are much more engaged than they were. Yahoo has recently done a study on fathers, reported this month on The report concludes:

“Marketers must keep in mind the new role of fatherhood when seeking to engage this demographic. Fifty percent of fathers said advertising showing them in their role as a father is rare. Showing fathers engaged in activities usually represented by mothers such as shopping, choosing clothing or doing the laundry will resonate with today’s fathers.”

So BabyCenter, please consider a family inclusive approach, for the benefit of children’s health. And this will be to the commercial advantage of your funders too!


Photo: Tzuhsun Hsu. Creative Commons.