The Boom in Baby Snatching (Hysteria)

Posted by: , February 14, 2011 in 1:55 pm


FreeRangeKids The Boom in Baby Snatching (Hysteria)A few days ago CNN ran an article on how to keep your baby safe from being kidnapped – “How to Guard Against Baby Snatchers.” About to have a baby? Don’t want it stolen out from under you at the hospital? CNN has some great advice: Just beware of “women,” especially those in their 20s or 30s. Yes, these are the people who “fit the profile” to steal your baby. You won’t have any trouble keeping your eye on all of them, will you? And they may be dressed like a nurse, CNN adds, so certainly don’t trust anyone who looks as if she belongs at the hospital. After all, she COULD be a baby snatcher. And how likely are baby snatchers to strike? ….Well, um, last year, one baby was stolen from a hospital.

Here’s my take on how to guard against CNN and its harsh admonitions to new moms.

It is your DUTY, as an AMERICAN to live in a state of CONSTANT FEAR for your children starting the minute they pop out! Eventually CNN admits that baby snatchings happened all of once last year, and three times the year before (in a country where about 4 million children are born annually). But, hey! That’s no reason to EVER let down your guard. Because “HALF” of all these snatchings — i.e., I guess, half of that one baby last year — occur in the mom’s own room! So please, new mom, for God’s sake never go to the bathroom “EVEN FOR A SECOND” (thanks, CNN!) without bringing your baby with you, or summoning someone to GUARD the little snatchable.

I guess what really irks me more and more is the idea that “convenience” is a dirty word when it comes to parenting — especially mothering. And that even if it is ALMOST unheard of for a baby to be snatched from a hospital room while the mom is in the bathroom, CNN says that is still NO REASON for a mom to be so LAZY as to not bring the baby into the bathroom with her, just in case.

Why are we supposed to completely ignore our own needs or even preferences to thwart a nearly non-existent danger? What makes a mom “good” just because she is martyring herself for no reason? Where did this impossible and cruel standard come from? Why are we told that the only good parent is a parent who is really worried and stressed!

What happens when you DON’T pay close enough attention? Well, if it isn’t immediately clear to you, you silly sap, here’s a note from a reader that should open your all-too-trusting eyes:

Dear Free-Range Kids: Speaking of doctor craziness. 3 weeks ago I gave birth to my 3rd child. I thought I had seen it all, until they gave me a card with several blood dots on it. They gave me a sealed sample of my newborns blood “in case he gets taken, you have a DNA sample for identification.” Um… So congratulations on your baby, here’s a DNA sample for the foregone assumption that one day he’ll be kidnapped and killed. WTH? Why are we so freaked out that we’re providing DNA samples at birth now? It wasn’t done 5 years ago when I had my last baby. Culture of fear. — A Reader in Oregon

So, new moms, here’s the drill: GUARD your baby at all times. SUSPECT EVERYONE of nefarious motives. ASSUME your baby is the focus of the world’s evil intentions. And remember: Your darling could STILL end up in a ditch.

But don’t forget to coo at their tiny little toes!


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