The Case for Office Babies

by Matthew J.X. Malady


we need a bell or alarm to signal whenever there’s a baby in the office

— Tracy Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) April 14, 2015

Tracy! So what happened here?

Well, a baby came into the office. The baby wasn’t by himself; he was with his parent/guardian/owner. He was tiny and chubby, with big juicy cheeks and thick brown hair cut into a bowl cut that is only cute when you’re a little chubby tiny baby, and he was all over the place and into everything, and I just melted.

I love babies, and I love it when babies come into the office. When I tweeted that we need a bell or an alarm to signal when a baby is in the office, I just assumed that everybody would know that it was because I wanted to know when I should abandon all my work and watch said baby toddle around being a baby. But someone mistakenly thought I meant like a warning bell, so that I can go run and hide and not enjoy this baby, because I guess that’s a thing that awful people would choose to do.

But I am very into office babies and think that every office needs one, just to give us a break from the decidedly grown-up stuff we have to do at work. Everybody needs an office baby break. Sometimes you just need to see a tiny person exploring and redefining a space that you know very specifically as a place that you go to be an adult. Your desk, to you, is a workstation, but to an office baby it’s a big bright shiny thing covered in stuff that might be delicious and fun to chew on.

Also, baby necks smell amazing, so if you can make friends with your office baby and get in a good snuggling it can like totally change your mood from the inside out. I have a theory that an office baby will up the productivity of employees by at least 35 percent.

Are office babies better or worse than office dogs? And is there an age past which kids in the office stop being cute and start being a bother? Or is it all good?

There are pros and cons for each. Office babies smell better, generally, than office dogs. Or at least a freshly washed office baby does. But (well trained) office dogs are likely more obedient and will sit still when you tell them to. Office babies, like babies in general, decide they’re gonna do something and that’s it. They’re gonna throw that thing on the ground, breakable or not, and when you tell them not to throw the thing on the ground you often get temper tantrums, and that’s not conducive to a productive work environment.

But office babies can talk sometimes, and that’s really cool. Everybody loves to hear a baby string their words together, sounding all silly, not making any sense. And if they can’t talk then they usually make cute gurgling sounds and it triggers all your happy endorphins and you feel like life is worth living.

They both poop, but when an office baby poops it’s in a diaper, so it won’t ruin the carpet. And both office dogs and office babies have a tendency to slobber, so both lose there.

I think the prime office baby age is like 6 months to 3/4 years old. After that, they seem less like tiny drunk adults, which are hilarious, and just kind of turn into tiny attitudinal humans who ask too many questions. And teens are definitely out of the question. I do not advise getting an office teen.

Lesson learned (if any)?

Get an office baby! A full-time office baby, with respect to child labor laws, of course. Outsource one if you have to. But definitely get an office baby and list it in the job perks: health insurance, paid time off, office baby, free parking. Just get an office baby. Or at least get an office baby bell so that when there is an office baby on premises, interested employees can ignore their work and attempt to receive cuddles from said office baby.

Just one more thing.

In addition to avoiding office teens, I recommend avoiding the following: office owls, office squirrels, office honey badgers, office mimes, office hungry polar bears, and office Gilbert Gottfrieds.

Photo by Lars Plougmann