Oh, Baby – a New Glam-Parent is Born! A guest post by Julia Beck

Posted by on Nov 6, 2009 in Boomer | 1 comment

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Boomer grandparents are game changers. This is not news. Google the topic and you’ll immediately find a long list of articles addressing the boomer grandparent experience. The Wall Street Journal chronicled the on-going issues of stereotypes and ageist profiling in names (hint: opt for Glammom over Grandmom)  My favorite resource was found  on www.grandboomers .com  – a long, comprehensive list of what a boomer grandparent could be called including MiMa and Opa)  to avoid the  age-old  (and thus far too conformist, restrictive, cliché title of grandma).

According to The Grandparent Economy report:  Grandparents account for $52 Billion dollars in spending  on their grandkids per year. Eight years ago, I instructed my team here at Forty Weeks to include the “expectant grandparent” into our key target markets – taking great care to help our clients understand the demography and psychography of this not so fertile but certainly powerful segment of the juvenile market.

Flash forward to 2009 – grandparents have an uncanny knowledge of strollers (just ask them – Bugaboo v. tuetonia) as well as clothing, nursery décor , family vacation destinations and even strategies for quality time with toddler. What is still, sadly and overwhelmingly missing is an understanding of how to best support the new mother.

Perhaps this is a consequence of boomers seeing the entire new baby experience thru the lens of Grandparent – and foregoing the generation in-between.  But really, it is the parent – the child of the boomer who needs the most support.  Especially in the early, hard to navigate, bleary eyed days with new baby.  In a piece of stunning research about to be released by the BBIC we see how profound an effect grandmothers (mothers and mothers-in-law) have on nursing initiation rates, success and length of time spent nursing. The anecdotes are painfully consistent in their portrayal of mother-in-law as deal breaker (embarrassed by breastfeeding in public for example, dismissive of the benefits of breastfeeding is another – “we did not do that, and you turned out just fine” and worse).

The data supports that a little more love and care for the new mother and not just the baby (or bling) is in order.  And of course, a little more empathy and understanding is part and parcel with that call to action. Further, allowing and even supporting a new mother’s intuition is a big part of that plan. Not at the expense of the Glamparent experience but rather to enhance it. And with that comes an even richer, deeper and more connected bond between the boomer- grandparent and grandbaby.


About Julia Beck…

Julia Beck, founder of Forty Weeks, knows the pregnancy and motherhood lifestyle. A prominent marketing strategist based in Washington, DC and New York City, she noticed and experienced the huge number of unmet needs of pregnant women while pregnant with her first child in 1998. Recognizing a glaringly overlooked market, Forty Weeks was created to develop products and services with a clear focus on the woman and her experience throughout (and beyond) her forty-week journey. Julia regularly shares her perspective, trend-watching and insights with an array of media outlets including the New York Times, Good Morning America, Wall Street Journal, In Style and more.

One Comment

  1. 11-14-2009

    It is certainly interesting for me to read that article. Thank author for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.

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