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First Steps, First Words, First Frappuccino

By ilanawiles |

The newest thing in Brooklyn, I’m told, is coffee for the toddler set. They’re called  Babyccinos and contain a shot of decaf espresso, a large dose of frothy milk and possibly some sprinkles on top. You can watch a video of Ruby (pictured left) drinking her Babyccino here.

Baristas at coffeehouses throughout Park Slope, Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights say they are only whipping up the kid-friendly beverages to meet demand. Even if those baristas wouldn’t serve them to their own kids.

Parents of the coffee-drinking tots say the whole thing is all very harmless and adorable.

Yeah. I don’t know about that.

Besides the fact that decaf coffee is not exactly caffeine-free (why any parent would want to caffeinate their toddler is beyond me— we spend most of our time trying to get ours to sleep, thank you very much), this sounds just like the kind of pretentious crap that’s satired on Portlandia.

Do you really want to be THAT PARENT??

Everyone complains that kids grow up too fast these days. But it seems to me like parents keep doing things to perpetuate this.

Babycchinos, manicures, iPads (yes, I know I’m guilty of that last one).

Remember when you wanted to be an adult just so you could finally do what you wanted? I don’t think kids feel that way anymore. They have everything they could possibly want already.

Coffee is one of the few things I have successfully established as off-limits. Along with alcohol, my jewelry box and episodes of Dexter.

Call me crazy but I think there should be some indulgences left in the world that are reserved strictly for us, grown-ups. Small pleasures my daughter appreciates some day in the future because she didn’t have access to them from Day One.

Plus— if you start your kid drinking Babyccinos at two, is it any more ridiculous to think that your child will be drinking Frappuccinos by, let’s say… seven?

In my experience, a coffee habit is a hard habit to break.

Even if we pretend there are no health issues with this whatsoever— THAT’S A LOT OF STARBUCKS MONEY.

So please prepare yourself.

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About ilanawiles



Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a humor blog geared towards new parents. She is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Blogs and one of The Huffington Post's top 20 women to follow on Instagram. She lives in NYC with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and a newborn baby girl. Read bio and latest posts → Read ilanawiles's latest posts →

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15 thoughts on “First Steps, First Words, First Frappuccino

  1. Anna ~ says:

    i would totally get my son a babycchino so he had a drink of his own and wouldn’t take so many sips of mommy’s ultra-caffeinated coffee!

  2. Kristin @kdwald says:

    My kids don’t get much juice, let alone frothy drinks. But for me it’s all about the $2. (And now I have “Better Off Dead” in my head.) I’m cheap, and they need to be hydrated. Tap water is Mmmm Mmmmm Good.

  3. Ninja Mom says:

    Too right, momma! But, argh, does that make me a hypocrite? I’ve taken my daughter to tea with her friend at four years old. Sure, they had some herbal raspberry concoction, but why is tea for kids different than coffee for kids?

    I mean, it *is* different. And I agree with what you’ve said here about the baby-sizing of all things adult. It’s kind of, well, unfair to take away the pleasures of growing up.

    But I do want to put my finger on what makes tea parties feel like less of an invasion of a grown-up space . . . Ima mull that over.

  4. Brianna @ RMV says:

    Oh I remember the excitement of getting an occasional 1/2 cup of regular old coffee from my mother. Notice I said “remember”… as in: I was not a toddler.

    I want my child to experience the joy of getting to grow up slowly! I mean how fun and exciting is a cup of coffee going to be after a life of babyccinos?

  5. Raúl Colón says:

    I have to say that given that my culture tends to give kids Coffee early on it does have its negative consequences. If we dig deeper and see how much coffee in the past has impacted things from the economy to the health of some we would quickly reconsider.

    In my case I think my daughter when she is old enough can buy her own starbucks frapuccino..

  6. Anna says:

    Firstly, hello from the coffee snob capital of the world, Melbourne (Australia)! I’m surprised to hear that babyccinos are new in the US, we’ve had them here since the early 90′s, and usually the US is first with oh, just about everything, and we follow on. Though here, babyccinos don’t have any coffee in them at all, they’re just warm milk, foam and some chocolate sprinkles in an espresso cup.

    Using my sister as a very small study group of 1, she’s now 19 and has been drinking babyccinos since she was 2-3 and she’s not really that into coffee.

    My 19 month old daughter loves the 1-2 she has per week at one of the toddler friendly cafes we go to, because it means she gets to be like mum and dad. I really just see it as an extension of the toddler desire to copy what adults do. And I’d rather her drink warm milk than coffee!

    By the way, what on earth is a frapuccino???

  7. renee says:

    Every morning when I was a kid we got a cup of coffee more like, as my grandma would say it, coffee in our milk. My parents gave it to us as soon as we were off the bottle. I turned out fine, it was normal actually. We didn’t see anything grown up about it

  8. Steph says:

    i just dont think any beverages other then water or milk ar neccesary (even juice) i’ve seen parents put juice/soda/coffee in BOTTLES! uhm gross… i wouldnt mind if the drink was just frothy milk with sprinkles, thats cute as an occasional treat…but coffee, nah! Assuming these people are giving their toddlers this babyccino almost daily, “caffeine headaches for toddlers” will be the next news article that come out

  9. Heather says:

    Frapuccino is a frozen blended beverage marketed by Starbucks. High in sugar and fat. Think putting an iced coffee in the blender with extra milk and topping it with whipped cream. Starbucks does have a non-coffee line of “frappucinos” as well.

  10. Amanda says:

    Are we forgetting that hot chocolate also has caffeine? A decaf shot of espresso (from Starbucks) can have as much as 3.0 – 15.8 mg per shot where a cup of hot chocolate has about 9 mg per cup. So based on your “why any parent would want to caffeinate their toddler is beyond me— we spend most of our time trying to get ours to sleep, thank you very much” are you going to take hot chocolate away too?

  11. Lisa says:

    In the UK the babyccinos served to children are just warm frothy milk with a marshmallow on the top. Sometimes there’s a chocolate flake, but that’s it. Coffee + todder?? Bad combination!!

    re: Anna’s comment about the frapuccino – I think that’s iced coffee?

  12. Heather says:

    Do they really have actual coffee in them? Or is it just hot chocolate with whipped cream in a kiddo coffee cup?

    When we were kids we filled a coffee cups with hot chocolate if we wanted to pretend to drink coffee or hey, we used our imaginations and drank water in those cups! Geesh. It’s not the coffee the kids want in order to imitate us, give them the grown up looking cup (or find an adorable miniature) and they’ll be satisfied. My daughter loves to drink out of her “coffee cup”, which is actually a plastic SeaWorld cup (that looks just like a kid sized coffee cup) given to me by my older brothers as a child. Sometimes when she has milk in that cup, we’ll put some whipped cream on top and she pretends. My daughter honestly wouldn’t like coffee anyway – she doesn’t even like chocolate milk! I have a niece (age 4 now) who truly does like cappuccino – to the point where if my sister-in-law leaves her cup unattended, that girl will down the cup! They offered her a sip once as a toddler and have been battling with her on it ever since, LOL. I just think toddlers just have no business drinking caffeine at all whether it’s coffee or pop. I won’t even be allowing my 4 year old to drink pop for quite a few more years, caffeinated or not. I’d say around 12 is when I’ll allow caffeine consumption and even then, it will be moderated.

    ANNA – a Frappuccino is brand name (created by starbucks) that has a line of iced cappuccinos, all different flavors. You get them at grocery stores, gas stations, etc from a cooler just like you’d get a pop. So you’d get that Starbucks coffee without having to go to a Starbucks. I started drinking Frappuccinos as a teenager when I’d pull all-nighters to finish papers, work on art projects (I work best on everything at night), or study for exams. I haven’t had one in many years now, but they were pretty yummy 15 or so years ago.

  13. Kate says:

    Here in NZ kids get a Fuffy when they join Mum and Dad at the cafe. It’s just steamed milk.

  14. SONIA says:

    My 21 month old always wants to sip on my iced coffee which i add %80 milk to! She loves it and I monitor how much she is really sipping. She sleeps and acts just fine after it. I feel its all good as long as you monitor it. I wouldnt give her shots of cappucino, but an idea of a toddler coffee drink to be “like Mommy” is adorable and genius.

  15. Beck says:

    My five year old orders a chai latte when we go out……..

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