Infantile Rewards: Top Celebrity Babies and Parents of 2008

Infantile behavior does get rewarded.

Forbes—which normally compiles power lists ranging from business leaders to homey small towns—started its accounting of “Hollywood’s Most Influential Infants” only last year…and what a difference a year makes, especially for a newborn.

The celebrity baby-craze induced the magazine not only to come up with an additional top 10 for 2008, the Most Expensive Celebrity Baby Photos, but Forbes had to update that a mere four months later to include the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt record-breaking twins.

Among Forbes’ criteria is Web presence, and indeed, everything from pregnancy announcements to actual bundles of joy all generated online Search fits. The Yahoo! Buzz Log covered the 2008 birth beat back in January, with Nicole Richie and Christina Aguilera: “The Celebrity Baby Boom” listed the most sought-after baby pics in January. Since then, searchers have toddled right along after every famous newcomer and pushed these five to the top of the baby Search heap:

Top 5 Celebrity Babies of 2008

1. Jennifer Lopez Twins (Emme Marbiel and Max David, Feb. 22)
2. Halle Berry Baby Photos (Nahla Ariela, March 16)
3. Jamie Lynn Spears Pregnancy (Maddie Briann, June 19)
4. Angelina Jolie Twins (Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, July 12)
5. Nicole Richie Baby Pictures (Harlow Winter Kate, Jan. 11)

Now the inevitable question: Why the celebrity baby boom coverage? As mentioned in the July post, “Babies Got Bucks,” big-name parents are keen to ace out the paparazzi as the grasping middle-men, preferring to keep or donate the millions themselves. Media outlets post gurgling infants pictures for the “prestige.”

Believe it or not, the hysteria does show how far the “Yummy Mummy” movement has come. Comedienne Lucille Ball got her condition worked into her show, “I Love Lucy,” way back in 1951, but Hollywood preferred to hide away its knocked-up brethren. Actress Demi Moore gets cred 40 years later for exposing the belly of the beast on a Vanity Fair cover. Pregnancy used to be a firing offense, but famous moms helped destigmatize biological destiny.

Of course, all this glittering attention has its downsides: Pregnancy discrimination still exists, and the whole “perfect mommy” thing really irks some people. Plus, how will a generation of little money-makers possibly live up to the salaries they incurred at age 0? (Not to mention the ribbing some already got for their names: Sunday and Bronx may need to join a support group.)

But, for the time being, the celebrity baby craze is still likely at its ascent. As for the parents: Mothers, rightfully, get the lion’s share of online scrutiny, but dads do get due recognition for their contributions. David Spade got his 15 minutes of fertile fame after he confirmed his, er, role as father of Playboy Playmate Jillian Grace‘s girl. New papas Matt Damon and Matthew McConaughey are better-known halves, although the latter got out-searched by his Brazilian supermodel partner, Camilla Alves. Clay Aiken‘s paternal arrangements prompted the “American Idol” runner-up to come out of the closet, albeit to little surprise.

If the above celebrity baby list wasn’t enough, take a gander at the below top 10 list which measures the parents’ total Search popularity.

Most Searched Celebrity Parents of 2008