No babies allowed?

This blog post is original to Toddler Planet and may not be reposted without permission.  

I just learned from Julie that Johnson & Johnson’s, which is putting on a big party for mommybloggers in April, is specifically EXCLUDING nursing babies and their moms from the weekend.  Although they had already made her arrangements, fully paid, they rescinded the invitation entirely when they learned that she would be bringing her newborn in a sling.

Seriously?  I mean, seriously?

Don’t they realize that in a weekend of seminars on baby care and hair braiding that an 8 week old baby couldn’t possibly be resented by the other mommybloggers, and in fact, would probably be welcomed?  (Julie, you and Oliver can come hang out with me in D.C. anytime!  I’d love to hear those baby coos and giggles again, and you wouldn’t distract me in the least!)

Don’t they realize that newborn babies who are exclusively nursing cannot leave their mothers for an hour, much less a three- or four-day period?

Don’t they realize that moms are, by necessity, very good at multitasking?

Don’t they realize that they may be undoing some of the good that they have done in the baby education realm with this one disinvitation?

Who would have thought that the women in planetary science were actually ahead of Johnson & Johnson’s in this area?


21 Responses to No babies allowed?

  1. Kelly says:

    Truly unbelievable. I agree with the posters over at Julie’s. If this is there policy, to have no babies in attendance, they should make this clear from that start. Of course, it would still be stupid. But stupid and less confusing.

  2. Kelly says:

    Oops, I meant ‘their.’

  3. Nominimom says:

    I agree that they should have made the “rules” (especially concerning when you attend and who you can bring) clear from the beginning. I wasn’t invited so I don’t know how that was all rolled out. But she did say “That Johnson’s Camp Baby had been planned – by mothers – to be a baby-free getaway.” I can understand that.

    If I was going and looking forward to an adult (not XXX adult) retreat, I wouldn’t want to listen to crying babies either or have everyone cooing over the baby when I’m trying to listen to a speaker. You are all correct that a small infant who’s nursing can’t be away from the mom. Then those moms just don’t go this year. I don’t think it’s so much that J&J is anti-baby (obviously) as the organizers and feedback from guests indicated that the moms attending wanted a kid-free escape.

  4. ~JJ! says:

    I am really surprised. Aren’t their products geared towards infants????

  5. Robin says:

    Absolutely outrageous! I’m completely disgusted by J&J’s attitude, and will remember this when I buy babycare products.

  6. Mama DB says:

    Seriously? I smell a boycott…

  7. Mama DB says:

    Okay, I was a little hair-trigger in my last comment. Just read Nominimom’s comment and it looks like the organizers should state upfront that this is a kid-free getaway.

  8. Christina says:

    Yes, the inviting has been very poorly handled. One mom was told she couldn’t come because she had to leave early for another event, while another was offered the option of leaving early to get back to her newborn.

    They should have laid out the conditions of attending with the first e-mail, instead of disappointing some women later.

  9. Thank you, my friend. I would love to come visit you, and you can be sure that when I finally get back to DC, I will call you!

    Blogger outreach is tricky. I’m certainly not outraged (check the tone of my post, nominimom), just disappointed – both for myself and for the poor outreach effort.

  10. rachel says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Granted it’s a first time camp for them, but really… this seems like a no brainer and a great way to put themselves on the outs with a lot of women with a lot of clout.

  11. jemephoto says:

    You forget… Johnson and Johnson’s is in business to make money by selling formula, among other things. Encouraging breastfeeding in any way shape or form has never ever been part of their agenda.

    Sad, really.

  12. Ally says:

    Huh… this is puzzling. I’m headed over to Julie’s to take a look.

  13. I’m really surprised that an organization courting Moms would be so near-sighted as to exclude a nursing mom and her baby. Of all the places, I would think that such a combo would be welcomed. Its a sad statement, in my opinion.

  14. Hey! Guess what – they invited me, and then un-invited me when I told them I was a nursing mama who would have to bring my baby.

    I emailed the director to ask how we would deal with babies – i.e. would we be able to come and go in workshops, in case baby needs to nurse… would there be baby monitors in the hotel so we could put baby to sleep and join activities, stuff like that.

    And she wrote back and said, “Unfortunately, we cannot offer childcare. This is a mothers-only retreat” and I wrote back and said “I’m not asking for childcare. And what do you mean by ‘mothers only’? Heck, I’d love to have three days by myself, but I can’t leave my baby. Are you telling me that nursing mothers are not a part of your target audience?”

    They didn’t write me back for two days, until I emailed them again and said I’d appreciate a response. So she sent me back a totally lame email saying she’d pass that feedback on to her superiors, and she hoped I’d find a way to leave my baby so that I could attend. Complete dumbass, if you ask me.

    Anyway, I feel like a schmuck for not blogging about this, as I totally intended to.. but thanks for reminding me… what a bunch of idiots.

  15. liz says:

    Wow. This sheer act of complete and utter stupidity is completely stunning.
    Way to piss off a bunch of (very vocal, very active, very well-written) moms, Johnson & Johnson. Your PR department is going to be PISSED!
    What if you held a conference AND NO ONE CAME?

  16. amanda says:

    Good grief, I cannot come up with the words. So glad I am and Aveeno girl, not that I know their stance on this. I am very much looking forward to Blogher in July, which I plan to attend with my soon-to-be-born daughter on my chest and at the breast as she likes.

  17. Leeanthro says:

    I’m going and will be pumping. Granted, my guy is 10 months and isn’t exclusively breastfed (he takes a bottle).

    But the invitation I got said “retreat” which to me meant no kids.

    I agree it should have been spelled out more, but I also think some of this is overblown.

    My interactions with J & J have been nothing but positive.

    I’ve been assured that there will be opportunity to pump.

  18. […] Johnson & Johnson Camp Baby fiasco continues to unravel, despite the quick action by the organizers and their apologies at City […]

  19. Damselfly says:

    Outrageous. I would have expected more from a company like J&J.

  20. Ouch! I think I just might have to boycott J&J for a long long while!


  21. baby says:

    They got something wrong in the process.

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