|Final issue||July 2013|
Babytalk, America's oldest baby magazine, was launched in 1935 as a supplement to customers of a national cloth diaper delivery service based in New Jersey. The free monthly publication aimed to help new mothers trust their maternal instincts with "straight talk" from experts and real moms. Babytalk was part of The Parenting Group, which includes Parenting magazine; the Parenting.com website; Working Mother magazine; Conceive; MomConnection, an online research tool; and a custom content unit. Meredith Corporation, which owns American Baby, Babytalk's biggest competitor, bought Babytalk in May 2013 and shuttered the title.
With a controlled circulation of 2,000,000, Babytalk reached more than 5.5 million readers a month through a combination of in-home subscriptions and distribution at baby retailers, maternity boutiques and OB/GYN offices across the country. Babytalk was distributed at Babies "R" Us, BuyBuyBaby, and Baby Depot, among others.
Many of the features in the magazine were reproduced on sister publication Parenting's website, Parenting.com. The site also features a Pregnancy Planner, with fetal development photos, a customized newsletter and pregnancy info synchronized to a mother's due date; a Baby Namer tool, with thousands of name descriptions; a fertility calculator, buying guides, blogs, along with resources for health & safety and child development.
Editor-in-chief Susan Kane led the successful repositioning of all three publications in the Babytalk franchise in 2005 – Babytalk, Babytalk Mom-to-Be, and Babytalk First Months. Under Kane's leadership, Babytalk garnered several industry awards, including a 2005 ASME National Magazine Award win in the Personal Service category for an article on breastfeeding.
Beginning in 2005, Babytalk hosted "World's Biggest Playgroup" gatherings across the country. Aimed at new moms and their babies, this popular event features live kids' entertainment, music classes, valet stroller parking, raffles, giveaways, and photo opportunities. In the past, the event has taken place in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
The magazine encountered some controversy in 2006 when the August issue depicted a breastfeeding baby on the cover. An Associated Press article on public reaction to the image sparked hundreds of newspaper articles and TV segments highlighting the challenges that women face when attempting to breastfeed—along with more than 8,000 letters applauding the decision to feature a nursing mom on the cover of a national magazine.
Babytalk also partnered with Good Morning America on its annual Cover Contest for several years. In 2006, viewers voted online to choose the winner, Abigail Goldman of Cherry Hill, NJ, who appeared on the cover of the October 2006 issue of Babytalk and received a $5,000 shopping spree at Babies"R"Us.
In March 2007, Time Inc. sold 18 of its magazines to the Sweden-based Bonnier Group, including Babytalk magazine. Time Inc.'s Parenting Group and Time4 Media titles have combined with Bonnier's U.S. magazine partner, World Publications, to form a new company called Bonnier Corporation.
Ana Connery was named editor of Babytalk in 2009, and was promoted to director of The Parenting Group's print content operations in September 2010.
- http://www.bonniercorp.com/brands/BabyTalk.html Archived 2007-12-26 at the Wayback Machine.
- Bodgas, Meredith. "Meredith Acquires Parenting and Babytalk Brands From Bonnier". Meredith Corporation. Meredith Corporation. Retrieved 15 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
- Kane, Susan (September 2007). "Editor-In-Chief's Column". Babytalk.
Back in 2001, Babytalk was the first national parenting magazine to feature a baby with Down syndrome on its cover.
- http://www.bonnier.com/Bonnier/templates/Pressrelease.aspx?id=1267&epslanguage=EN-GB