If you’re a new mom, a new mom wannabe, the friend of a new mom, or just f*cking curious, you may have heard the term “baby-led weaning” being thrown around during the last few years in regards to feeding kids. Since you don’t wanna be all, like, uncool, you probably haven’t outright asked WTF those words mean. And you haven’t Googled it because you’re lazy. So, because we’re kind and smart and important, we’ve broken it down for you. Read below for everything you need to know about baby-led weaning.
What Is Baby-Led Weaning?
The word “weaning” is kind of misleading, since baby-led weaning has nothing to do with taking a baby off of breastmilk or formula—rather, it has to do with feeding. Basically, baby-led weaning (also referred to as BLW) is when you skip purees altogether and go right to finger foods with your baby. I’m talking at, like, six months (only a bit later than when babies may start purees anyway). According to Parents, when deciding if you can start, make sure that your child can “sit in a high chair unassisted, have good neck strength, and be able to move food to the back of her mouth with up and down jaw movements.”
What Are The Benefits?
According to proponents of baby-led weaning, there are lots of benefits, although it’s important to note that there have been very, very few scientific studies related to baby-led weaning.
First, it can help babies fine-tune their motor skills, since they’ll learn faster how to use their finger and thumb to pick things up (albeit in a very messy manner).
Second, baby-led weaning can teach a baby to stop eating when he or she feels full (which, like, I wish I could teach myself, but that’s a conversation for another time).
Third, it helps establish chewing sooner, which helps with digestion and can help stave off tummy troubles.
Lastly, as we mentioned earlier, baby-led weaning helps introduce new colors, textures, and flavors sooner, which can help prevent a picky eater later.
Baby-led weaning is also popular with folks who don’t want to puree f*cking everything and don’t want to buy tons of packets of baby foods.
Are There Drawbacks?
Obviously, baby-led weaning isn’t for everyone. Some cons include it being really, really, really messy. I mean messy in the sense of, like, you need newspaper on the floor. Your kid will be covered in…whatever they are trying to eat at any given time. So if you’re not into that—don’t sweat it. This just may not be the journey for you.
Secondly, according to What To Expect, it might be hard for some babies to chew on beef and other iron-rich foods. They advise, “Pureed meat, green veggies and fortified cereals can help fill the gap.” They also note, “Your doctor may also recommend that your little one stay on an iron supplement through the first year as an added precaution.”
A lot of people also get super concerned about choking. The important thing to remember is that gagging on new foods is a) good and b) normal. If a baby gags, they’re doing the work in clearing their throat. It’s a good thing. According to What To Expect, gagging is normal but will lessen as babies get used to more solid foods. It’s important to remember that gagging appears as coughing and a bit of noise. Choking, on the other hand, is silent, and a baby would be unable to breathe and probably look pretty f*cking terrified.
So if you, like me, are a nervous type and don’t think you can handle dealing with choking vs. gagging, maybe baby-led weaning isn’t for you.
Should I Do It?
I can’t stress this enough: baby-led weaning won’t work for every kid, and that’s cool. Some moms want to do it. Some moms don’t. Some try and fail; some will fall into it by accident. For example, my son is nearly a year old and f*cking loves purees. If I give him solids, he gags a lot, and then barfs. Being a mom is fun.
We’re going at our own pace, and for us, that’s some purees, some solids, some milk, some formula, and sometimes lint from the floor. As my pediatrician (bless that man) said: “He’s fed, he’s happy.” Basically, he reminded me that all kids do things at their own pace and, as long as your kid is putting on weight and seems happy and healthy, that’s all that matters.
Images: hessam nabavi, Unsplash;
Whether you’re trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or postpartum, prenatal vitamins are chock-full of all the amazing sh*t your body needs to take care of a tiny baby. Like all vitamins and supplements, though, not all prenatals are created equal. Having the recommended amount of vitamin D, DHA, and folate can make the difference between a vitamin being okay versus really f*cking great. Regardless of which prenatal vitamin you choose, taking any supplement should be first discussed with your OB/GYN—as should trying to get pregnant in general.
According to Web MD, you’ll want to look for prenatal vitamins with the following:
- 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid
- 400 IU of vitamin D
- 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 70 mg of vitamin C
- 3 mg of thiamine
- 2 mg of riboflavin
- 20 mg of niacin
- 6 mcg of vitamin B12
- 10 mg of vitamin E
- 15 mg of zinc
- 17 mg of iron
- 150 micrograms of iodine
To help you wade through this wide world of not-Flintstones gummies, we’ve rounded up the best of the best when it comes to poppable prenatal vitamins.
Ritual Essential Prenatal
Ritual’s prenatal vitamins are a bit of a standout because they don’t contain calcium, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing here. Calcium and iron can compete to be absorbed by your body, according to Women’s Health magazine, so Ritual contains the iron you need for baby (and baby-makin’) and allows you to get calcium from foods you’re eating. Plus, chugging a glass of milk is probably easier for most of us than chewing a steak, so it’s a win-win, honestly. Ritual also contains 1,000 mcg of folate and 300 mg of DHA.
MegaFood Baby & Me 2
Crunchy hipsters, this is the prenatal vitamin for you. All of the vitamins, minerals, and supplements in MegaFood are paired with organic foods to ensure maximum absorption. In addition to having all (and for some, more than) the recommended values of vitamins and minerals (including 600 mcg of folate), MegaFood also contains mood-stabilizing choline, which, as someone who’s been pregnant can attest, is f*cking necessary. Like Ritual, MegaFood also leaves the calcium out, so be sure to supplement if you choose this vitamin. These prenatals call for two pills per day, which can help with your morning sickness since you’re spacing out the dose.
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins
Struggling with nausea? This is the prenatal for you. New Chapter is formulated with organic ginger, which helps A LOT when it comes to feeling super sh*tty in the morning while pregnant, but it also helps that New Chapter spaces out your dosage to three pills each day, so you aren’t slamming your body with iron and nutrients at 7am and risking feeling dizzy. New Chapter also contains 100% of the folic acid and iron you’ll need each day. One thing to be aware of, though, according to Business Insider, is that “the source of this vitamin’s folate could be misleading. Folate is generally the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9, while folic acid is often synthetic. Rarely, some women can be sensitive to the synthetic form, and if that’s you, New Chapter might not be your pick.”
Nature Made Prenatal + DHA
These were my personal go-to before, during, and after pregnancy. This has double the recommended amount of folic acid (800 mcg) and also has DHA, which is a super important supplement for a fetus’s brain and eye development. My kid’s eyes and brain seem tip-top atm, so I assume taking this sh*t worked. You can also get 150 soft gels on Amazon Prime for a little over $20, so this is a great option for the thrifty shoppers out there.
Vitafusion PreNatal Gummie Multivitamins
If you’re not into swallowing a giant pill in the morning, or, like, any time, get you some gummies. The Vitafusion PreNatal Gummies taste great, have all the necessary nutrients (600 mcg of folate), and are easy on your stomach. An important note for these, though, is that they don’t contain iron. Why? Because iron can be the main trigger for nausea, especially when you’re pregnant. So, if you go with these tasty vitamins, make sure you’re getting an iron supplement, too.
Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamins
With a name like that, how could you NOT want these prenatal vitamins? It sounds like a Care Bear’s sponsored supplement. If you’re too young for that reference, get out. Anyway, the Rainbow prenatals are fabulous because they don’t contain any of the eight major allergens (soy, peanuts, fish etc.) and they have probiotics. Why does that matter? Because pregnancy, for many of us, means constipation, weird skin, nausea, and other uncool side effects, so having something with skin, mood, and tummy boosters along with the necessary supplements for you and baby is ideal. These contain 600 mcg of folate plus 32 mg of a probiotic blend.
One A Day Women’s Prenatal 1 Multivitamin
Having a kid is weird. Suddenly, your world shifts from how many bottomless mimosas you can drink or how many hours you can scroll Instagram for, to when the last time you showered was, how many diapers are left, and if you’re up for putting on mascara today.
I never, ever thought I’d need a bunch of help or advice once I had a kid. I figured that if idiots could do it, so could I. That’s half true, and it took me a bit of time to lean in and accept help and advice. In an effort to impart a few things I’ve painfully learned these first two months of being a mom, here’s a list of things I wish I’d known before I brought home baby.
1. No Baby Sleeps “Through” The Night
You best go ahead and dispel any myths about a baby sleeping more than six hours at a time. Now go ahead and cut that six hours in half. Now cry if you need to. The reality is that for the first few weeks, your baby will need to eat every two to four hours, sleeping altogether for 14-17 hours per day, but not at one time, according to Sleep.org. That means you’ll be running on very little sleep. It also means that having a partner or someone to help and complain to/with is really important. The biggest thing to remember is that it’s temporary and yes, someday you will sleep for 10+ hours at a clip again. But that time probs isn’t until your kid is in, like, third grade. Lean in, mom.
2. Breastfeeding And Pumping Will Run Your Life
Should you decide to breastfeed and know little to nothing about it/made that choice based on the fact that it’s natural and free, buckle the f*ck up. As someone who went in with the mentality of “how hard could this be?”, prepare yourself for the mindf*ck that is breastfeeding and pumping. Your child may latch beautifully and you may be able to feed with little to no effort. But if you experience searing pain in your nips like I did (and yes, baby was latched correctly), you may only be able to let him or her feed directly from you as often as you can stand it, pumping the other times.
Every time I feed my son from the bottle, it takes about 30 minutes. Every time I pump, it takes about 20 minutes. So, unless I pump at the same time I feed him (which is possible but a little difficult), you’re looking at about an hour of this feeding routine. You may think, “well, I’ll just pump once or twice a day.” Wrong, bitch. Once your milk comes in, you’ll need to either feed or pump every two to four hours or risk a clogged duct or, much worse, mastitis. Clogged ducts feel like knots you’d get in your back, except they’re in your boobs and hurt like a motherf*cker. Mastitis is what happens when you don’t pump, get a clogged duct, and that sh*t gets infected. So, even if your mom or nanny or husband take the baby for the night to feed him from the bottle so you can sleep, you will STILL need to wake up on a schedule to drain the titties.
3. Formula Is OK; Breastmilk Is OK
Do yourself a favor and educate yourself about both formula and breastmilk. There is no shame—NO SHAME—in whichever you choose and, having talked to doctors and NICU personnel about both, you can rest assured that as long as your heart is in the right place, however you choose to feed your child is OK. Don’t feel pressured or shamed into one way or the other. I was a formula baby. I’ve had friends who couldn’t get a kid to latch. I’ve seen people exclusively pump. I’ve seen women go 50/50 formula and breastmilk. Talk to your doctor (lactation consultants are not doctors, by the way) and discuss all of the options.
4. You’ll Cry, A Lot
Having a baby means your emotions are going to be a perfect storm. Picture it like this: It’d be like if you’re PMSing, your favorite jeans don’t fit, your mom won’t answer your texts, and the ASPCA commercial with the sad puppies just came on. Given, about 80% of new moms get “baby blues” which are basically just horrible mood swings, according to WebMD. Baby blues mean you’ll cry, plus you’ll feel exhausted, unable to eat or even comb your hair because of your stress, and just generally really overwhelmed. Those feelings usually subside by around the time baby is two weeks old.
If it goes on for longer, or you have more extreme feelings of despair including being unable to sleep, eat, or focus; being unable to bond with your baby; or feel incredibly alone; you may have postpartum depression. Regardless, know that your emotions running rampant is NORMAL and OK. The best thing you can do is talk to your mom, your friends, your partner, and your doctor.
5. You Will Want Help
I didn’t think I wanted anyone hovering around after I had my son. I wanted it to be just me and my husband, soaking up our baby’s awesomeness. By the time I was ready to head to the hospital, I was so, so glad that my mom had volunteered to stay with us for a few weeks after the baby arrived. Not only did she take care of some basic things like cooking and cleaning, she was also able to gently impart wisdom including, but not limited to: changing diapers 101, why is the baby crying 201, and why am I crying 301.
People will want to visit to help, bring food, and visit the baby. If you’re comfortable, let people come. I can honestly say that having family and friends bring food, wine, hold the baby so I could shower and scroll through Instagram alone for a few hours, and provide conversation that didn’t center around “why does his sh*t smell that way” gave me a much-needed breath of fresh air in the first few weeks of being a mom.
6. Your Body Will Feel Like A War Zone
Whether you go in for a C-section, push that baby out in record time, or sit in agonizing labor for 40 hours, when you come home from the hospital, your body will feel destroyed. Having had a C-section, I can confirm being really f*cking sore, my boobs hurting A LOT from the newness of breastfeeding and pumping, and having a hard time with stairs because of the surgery. The more you mentally prepare for the exhaustion and pain, the better you’ll be. Plus, if it isn’t as bad as you imagined, you’ll be in a better position than if you’re totally blindsided.
7. Your Pets Will Be Jealous
When we brought my son home, my dog was really excited about him. There was heavy sniffing, heavy licking, and a lot of anxious/excited whining. Fast forward a few weeks, and there’s a lot of sulking. Even though we do our best to incorporate him into baby playtime and take walks every day with both baby and doggo, it’s still hard for our fur baby—the only child for five years—to adjust to sharing. Keep that in mind when you bring your kid home, and keep an eye out for lashing out like growling or displays of dominance. There are tons of tips and tricks like bringing home blankets, cutting back a bit on pet time before the baby comes, and just general ways to prepare from places like Web MD. Know that your pet still loves you, he just may sh*t in your shoe out of spite now.
8. Sleep When The Baby Sleeps
This has been the hardest one for me personally to get behind. Because, as we mentioned, your baby will not sleep more than 5 hours at a time until they’re probably at least five months old (you may have a freak 6 hour stretch in there, but it’s EXTREMELY rare), you need to learn to sleep when the baby is asleep. Every time the baby needs to get up or you need to pump, you’re going to lose about an hour. So, if baby is up at 2am, by the time you get your sh*t together, feed them, change them, and get them settled back to sleep, it’s likely going to be close to 3am. Then, you can start the timer on when they’ll be up again and, spoiler alert, it’s probably going to be around 6am.
That being said, if you’re lucky enough to have maternity leave, use it to sleep. Don’t make any grand plans (raises hand slowly) about rewatching Game of Thrones, reading all of the literary classics you ignored in high school, or getting really into fine wine. Sleep and survival are the name of the game for the first few months.
All this being said, there’s going to be a ton of information thrown at you the first few days after your little one arrives. Don’t worry about absorbing it all, doing everything right, or being afraid to make a mistake. Babies are pretty resilient, and so are you. You’re doing amazing, sweetie.
Images: The Honest Company / Unsplash; Giphy (4)
After months of waiting, the newest member of the Royal family is finally here. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, gave birth to a baby boy early this morning, May 6th. While we were all commuting to work this morning, reports spread that Meghan Markle was in labor, but luckily we didn’t have to wait very long. At around 9:30am, they announced the baby’s arrival with a post on the official Sussex Royal Instagram account, and added that the little prince weighs 7 lbs, 3 oz. Actually, they specifically said that “Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz.” Nice and pretentious, just the way I like it.
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We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019. Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz. The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives. More details will be shared in the forthcoming days.
Unlike Will and Kate’s first baby, Meghan Markle Jr. (what I’m going to call the baby until we find out the name) will probably never be King, but he’s still in the line of succession. He’s seventh in line to the throne, which is significant because there could technically be a black King of England. Amazing. A lot of sh*t would have to go down in order for this to happen, but still, Meghan Markle has really changed the future of the Royal family.
Reports had long suggested that Meghan Markle Jr. would arrive at the very end of April or early May, and things looked even more sure when Prince Harry’s scheduled visit to the Netherlands this week was shortened to a single-day engagement. He will be in The Hague on May 9th to kick off the one-year countdown to the 2020 Invictus Games, a sporting event which is one of his main projects.
The arrival of Meghan Markle Jr. is probably a huge relief for everyone in the royal family, because the past few weeks have been a nightmare, with rumors that Prince William cheated on Kate Middleton. According to sources, these cheating issues are at the root of the reported disputes between Will and Harry, who used to be super close. Hopefully, this new baby will help the family mend some of their issues, or else Queen Elizabeth might have to put Will and Harry in timeout until they can play nice with each other.
Images: Shutterstock; @sussexroyal / Instagram
It’s happening. Your friends swiped right, met those special someones, had blackout bachelorette parties, amazing weddings, and are settled down in a nice apartment or house they’ll never pay off. Moving on up, guys.
You were hoping that, just maybe, they would adopt a bunch of dogs and be your drinking buddies forever. But, lo and behold, your friend just texted you with her amazing news. She’s got a bun in the oven. She’s eating for two. She’s gonna need bigger clothes. She’s f*cking pregnant.
There are a clear set of thoughts that go through your mind once your friend tells you she’s pregnant—and, to be 100% clear, you probably shouldn’t vocalize any of them. It’s an exciting, scary, and f*cking weird time for you, her, and her partner. Embrace the strange.
But, like in those medicine infomercials, there is hope. You are not alone. Many of us will find out a friend is pregnant at some point in our lives, and go through the accompanying emotional rollercoaster. Like, of course I am happy for you, but I’m also sad for me! Right? You’re not a terrible person for thinking it. We all do. So in an effort to make you feel like you’re not a horrible person, here are the thoughts we all have when a friend tells you she’s pregnant.
1. “There Goes My Drinking Bud”
Who’s going to pound Fireball shots and then help me Uber home? How will I discuss my drunken one nighters with a child present? Will it wear earmuffs? Who’s going to take care of me and make sure there isn’t stranger danger lurking at that weird club I love going to but, honestly, am also reasonably sketched out by? Apparently I have to grow up now, too, which is v not chill. V.
2. “I’ve Seen Her Blackout”
I watched this girl fall on the dance floor, get up (hair slicked back in a mix of sweat and alcohol), fart, clear the dance floor, then chug two more shots before throwing up on a historic church and blacking out in a cab. You’re telling me this wild b*tch is going to handle a baby?
Godspeed, friend. You’re going to need it. Also, good luck on not drinking for nine months. I’ll throw a few back for ya. Then again, babies are like tiny drunk people, soo…
3. “She’s Killed Six Plants”
This is the girl that, throughout college, would go out, buy a plant to “liven up the room” and, within three weeks, would throw said plant in the trash without a word. Why? Because after four to five days of diligent watering she kind of forgot about it and focused all her energy on where she was buying her weed and, also, where her gold sequin shirt could possibly be.
I’m not saying she hasn’t grown up. Clearly, her ability to keep a dog AND cat alive proves she has graduated up on the living things ladder. But, damn. The stakes are high. I would be a nervous wreck for nine continuous months. She’s a stronger person than I.
4. “I Guess Someone Had To Be First”
I mean, I get it. She’s married, just turned 30, and she’s been going crazy every time she sees a baby on the subway. I should have known this was coming someday. *Thinks back* especially since she always talked about wanting to start a family before 35. But I wanted us to take so many more girls’ trips!! Why can’t we all stay 20 forever?
5. “At Least I Can Babysit”
Look, I’ll probably have kids myself at some point, but, as of right now, I’m enjoying Doritos breakfasts, passing out with makeup on, and being selfish. But this means I get the best of both worlds. Just call me Hannah Montana! I mean, babies are cute, and they’re even cuter when I can give them back to their rightful parents at the end of the day. I’d definitely babysit. Wait, would she pay me?
6. “Now We Can Eat Like Sh*t Together”
If there’s any bright side to this, I think this is it. Thank God. I’ve only been hearing how bad pregnancy cravings are since birth, and I am volunteering as tribute to be my friend’s personal craving consultant. Her husband be damned! I will totally be down to eat ice cream and pickles at 2am. I have literally been training my whole life for this moment.
Of course it’s natural to be a little scared when your friend tells you she’s pregnant. It’s going to mean a lot of changes. But not all of them are bad! Your friend is likely thrilled, which is the most important thing, so obviously the number one thing you’ll feel is happy for her. And, on the bright side, soon you’ll have an adorable little baby to
post on your Instagram play with, without having to experience morning sickness!
Images: Dakota Corbin, Unsplash; Giphy (6)
I don’t know about you, but approximately every single one of my friends is pregnant right now. In fact, I just attended a baby shower over the weekend where, mercifully, the mother-to-be did not make us eat melted candy bars out of a diaper. I have not always been so lucky. I’m very happy for all of my friends who are having babies, but at the same time I am horrified about what their bodies are doing, where their organs are shifting, and having graphic nightmares about the birthing process. Anxiety is so fun! After my friends have their children, I come to the baby meeting armed with a list of questions that they almost always refuse to answer in extensive detail. And that’s why I’m thankful for Jessica Simpson.
Jessica Simpson just gave birth to her third child, a baby girl named Birdie, on March 19th. Congratulations, Johnson family! And, in the 346 months that Jessica was pregnant, she blessed us with all sorts of information about her pregnancy journey. Some might call it an overshare, but I most definitely am interested in hearing about the flatulence that comes with having a human in your uterus. I need this kind of truth in my life! Otherwise I’d just keep on believing the stork dropped these kids off. So, in honor of Jess’s new baby and her commitment to brutal honesty, I’m going to list for you a few times when she blessed us with maybe too much information about her pregnancy.
When She Shared Pictures Of Her Bump
Most pregnant ladies cover up their bump in public. They use big caftans, large sweaters, resting bitch face, a forcefield, etc. to keep people from touching their stomach. It leaves me wondering, what is under there? It could be a pillow for all I know, right Beyoncé? Thankfully, Jessica has swooped in to answer all my questions, and allowed me to feast my eyes on what is indeed, a large bump.
Great pun, Jess.
Sure, now I never want to stretch my body to what seems like one million miles past its limits in order to bring a child into this world, but I appreciate the information. And I applaud her for getting out of bed and into a bikini. I think at that point I’d just be using the bump as a tray table to hold my pizza, and the bikini as a slingshot to fling at my husband.
When She Told Us About Her Toilet Issues
Apparently there are things that happen during pregnancy that we non-pregnant ladies never even think about. Sure, I knew you were eating for two (jealous) and puking a lot, but I didn’t think everyday household items would be in peril. I was wrong. Towards the end of her pregnancy with Birdie, Jessica gave us the warning we never knew we needed.
She leaned back on the toilet and broke it! I didn’t know that could happen, can she sue the company for dying of embarrassment? I guess it kind of makes sense though, you’re dealing with a lot of weight you’re not used to, like a brand-new superhero that does not know their own strength. I’m sure Spider-Man broke a few toilets himself after he was first bitten (Marvel, plz confirm). Whatever, it’s fine. I think we can all agree that the toilet lid is superfluous anyways.
When She Said A Wiener Made Her Nauseous
Jessica Simpson didn’t just learn the art of the overshare with this third pregnancy. Oh no, she’s been doing it for years. Back when she was pregnant with future heartthrob Ace, she planned on keeping the gender a secret. But she accidentally revealed it on Jimmy Kimmel in the most Jessica way, by saying, “The crazy thing is, I didn’t know a wiener could make me nauseous!”
If we’re getting technical, isn’t it a wiener that made her nauseous all three times? That’s where the sperm comes from, Jessica! I’m not sure I needed to know this much about her pregnancy, but at least Ace will be able to pinpoint the moment where his problems began when his therapist asks.
When She Basically Told Us How She Got Pregnant With Ace So Quickly
And to end this article, I thought we’d start at the beginning, learning how babies are made. In an interview after Jessica gave birth to Maxwell, her first child, she said that she’s been following all the rules, except one. Her doctor advised her to abstain from sex, but Jessica famously did not, justifying her decision as follows: “I think I have the sexiest man in the world. So that’s the rule I break.” Some rules are made for breaking. I eat ice cream for dinner sometimes, no one in my office ever shows up at 9am, and I truly appreciate when the pitcher intentionally nails the batter with a fastball. But, maybe you should listen to your doctor when they tell you not to do stuff? Not judging! Just suggesting!
Not surprisingly, shortly after this interview, and when Maxwell was seven months old, Jessica became pregnant with her second child. And I guess we know it’s because she couldn’t keep her hands off that man candy in her house. She must not have listened to the part about protection, either. You crazy kids!
And those are just a few of the glimpses into pregnancy that Jessica Simpson has given us over the years! I truly hope she goes for number four, but if she doesn’t, please rest assured I’ll be happy to provide TMI if I ever get pregnant.
Images: jessicasimpson/Instagram (2); Giphy (2)
I get it. You have just performed The Miracle of Life and
you have run out of wedding pictures to post you want to let the world know. I don’t blame you for wanting to post a picture (or two, or 35) of your adorable little baby who’s definitely not only cute to you and your husband. But because all of us are oversaturated with endless content, just how much should you be sharing? If you want to be a cool mom and not a regular mom (or dad), here are some guidelines to posting pictures of your baby on social media.
Think About How Often You’re Sharing
I’m going to start with a hard truth: beyond the obligatory birth announcement and occasional posts marking milestones, the vast majority of your Instagram and Facebook (ew) followers are not all that fascinated by the daily goings-on of your spawn. Your mini-me is alert? Glad to hear it. Your little one just rolled over? Cool. So did my dog, like five times today, but I didn’t feel compelled to broadcast it on social media. (I cannot confirm or deny whether I saved the video and watched it a dozen times that week, however.)
But seriously, as much as the world loves a cute baby, anything in excess tends to become irritating. It’s like that couple that never misses an opportunity to post about how in love they are. It’s kind of sweet at the beginning, and you genuinely feel happy that these two people found each other. But when they continue to post week after week about #bae, #mcm and work up to weekly countdowns to the day that they “get to marry my best friend!” the novelty has worn off. The same goes for posting pictures of your baby, no matter how adorable. Your mom and dad may want daily updates, but I can assure you that your larger circle and the random drunk girls you bonded with in a club bathroom six years ago do not. Anything more often than biweekly is too much, IMO.
Think About The Way You’re Sharing
One of my biggest frustrations with platforms like Instagram is how in-your-face the feeds can be. I’ll open the app with the intention of
stalking someone searching for a specific meme or post, and I immediately forget why the hell I logged on because I am visually assaulted with pictures of the kids of people I went to high school with who I barely even speak to anymore. Is this really necessary? No, because the Instagram gods have blessed us with the story function. If you really can’t help yourself and feel pathologically inclined to take to social media every time your baby passes gas, you now have an outlet that is easy to find and 100% less obnoxious. The people that are baby-obsessed can check it whenever they like and everyone else people like me can kindly skip over it when we prefer to focus on the food porn and cyber creeping we came for. Everybody wins!
Think About Why You’re Sharing
Let’s be real. We aren’t posting things like selfies or luxurious vacation pictures because we feel it is our sworn duty to keep our followers informed. We all want validation; it’s only human. But when this desire for approval turns into a daily or weekly spamming of your circle with posts, pictures, texts, and snaps of your baby, fatigue naturally ensues, and the compliments start sounding as enthusiastic as Kourtney Kardashian when she says anything. I try not to pay compliments just for the sake of doing so, but not everyone is as
cold-hearted conservative as I am. When faced with an unsolicited baby pic, it’s hard not to immediately rattle off some praise because the alternative silence just feels rude. If you’re economical with what you do share, it will be more impactful, and you can be sure that any positive feedback you get is from the heart.
And if you’re finding you constantly need the validation that comes from social media, it might be time to reassess and take a step back. Too often, we become so obsessed with capturing every little moment that we forget to actually experience the experience. At the risk of sounding like a yoga instructor coming off an ayurvedic cleanse, try putting the phone down the first time your baby smiles and take some space to let the feelings of joy fully wash over you for a change. OK, back to your regularly scheduled snark.
Think About What You Are Sharing
One of the worst things about social media is that users get to curate what they share with the world. Not only does projecting the image of a perfect life make those around you depressed, it’s also inherently false. None of us are perfect, yet so many of us have portrayed our lives that way at times, me included. Yet one of my favorite people to follow on social media is someone who posts the various ways her toddler terrorizes her—tantrums, drawing on the walls of the house, cutting her hair without permission, etc. I enjoy these posts not just because they are hilarious, but also because they are relatable. They’re also a lot more original than the token serene-baby-as-flower pics. Sorry, Anne Geddes. It’s also important to keep in mind that as your baby gets older, he or she may not appreciate the fact that you stuck angel wings on their butt-naked self and shared it with hundreds, if not thousands, of your nearest and dearest. Thanks, mom and dad.
Parenting a newborn:
50% changing diapers
80% becoming so sleep deprived that you forget how to do basic math
— Lurkin’ Mom (@LurkAtHomeMom) June 24, 2015
Think About Who You’re Sharing It With
While posting pictures of your baby on social media might make you feel happy, the same can’t always be said for your peers receiving it. Just like a barrage of Valentine’s Day posts makes your single friends feel down, too-frequent baby posts can have a similar effect. For the acquaintance who just lost a baby to a miscarriage, or friend who is struggling to get pregnant, viewing a seemingly never-ending feed of other people’s children can be at best, bittersweet and at worst, downright agonizing. We are all entitled to share our bliss, but it’s important to be sensitive and respectful with our sharing, too. If you’re public and allow the literal world to see what you post, it’s also important to exercise caution. I
definitely may have watched too many episodes of Law & Order: SVU, but it’s hard to deny that we live in a world with a lot of sick people. It is worth considering that before you go live or tag your location with your little one.
To be clear, it’s not that I don’t like looking at cute baby pictures—I have several friends with children who post frequently, and I like their posts
sometimes every time. But I do believe a little mindfulness and moderation go a long way, and that social media would be a better place if we all adopted a sharing philosophy that’s less Kim Kardashian and more Fran Fine:
Images: Dakota Corbin / Unsplash; dizzle_saint_james / Instagram; LurkAtHomeMom / Twitter; Giphy(3)
If you’re having a kid, mazel. If you’re having a kid and insist on throwing a giant gender reveal party, please exclude me from that narrative. Remember how there used to be a time where we didn’t have a party and Instagram photo op for everything? Simpler times. But thanks to social media, we just can’t have nice things anymore. Let’s just call a gender reveal party what it is: yet another opportunity for an expecting couple to squeeze more money, gifts, and Instagram likes out of their family and friends. Truth be told, the only time I will support a gender reveal is if it goes horribly wrong or is so tacky that I get the chance to roast it in my group chat or any one of the Facebook groups I belong to that’s dedicated to that specific purpose. I’m real fun at parties, promise. I’ve taken it upon myself to research the biggest gender reveal fails in the history of gender reveals (or, more accurately I guess, the history of the internet), and I’ve compiled them here for all the people who, like me, revel in the misery of others. I told you, I’m great at parties!
I want to thank God, I want to thank the internet, and I want to thank you, overzealous parents-to-be, for providing these absolutely golden gender reveal fails that are prime examples of what not to do when you’re expecting.
Here are my top (in no particular order) favorite gender reveal fails.
1. The One That Almost Burned Down A Whole State
This is, by far, our clear-cut winner of the worst gender reveal fails to ever happen. Expectant dad and Arizona resident Dennis Dickey fired a rifle at a box full of Tannerite, an extremely flammable explosive powder, mixed with a colored powder that would reveal the gender of the marksman’s spawn. Because of the amount of powder and the 40 mph winds, the Tannerite ignited a fire that burned 47,000 acres. The Sawmill Fire, as it came to be known, is expected to cost more than $8 million in damage. Dickey paid $100,000 upfront and will pay $120,000 in monthly installments of $500 for the next 20 years—costing more than his kid’s college tuition and general upbringing. Btw, it’s a boy.
2. The One With An Alligator
What do you do when the lady is preggers and you’re both trained alligator handlers living in Louisiana? Naturally, you grab a goddamn ALLIGATOR, fill a hollow watermelon with either pink or blue Jell-O, and invite the alligator to smash said watermelon, adorably revealing the gender of the future animal wrangler. First of all, why involve the alligator in this at all?? I’m sure he had better things to do that day. Second of all, if you actually watch the video, the whole reveal is actually pretty uneventful. Thankfully (and somewhat surprisingly), no one was maimed, but it was still one of the most redneck things to happen in history.
3. The One With The Wrong Balloons
This cute couple decided to keep things simple for their gender reveal, and asked a balloon company to fill a box full of helium balloons according to the gender (which the company knew and the couple did not). Somehow, these v simple directions were lost in translation, and the box was filled with rainbow balloons in every f*cking color. The balloon company even lost the card with the baby’s gender on it, so the couple couldn’t just tell the guests themselves! I love the absolute look of defeat on mom’s face.
4. The One That Sent Guests Screaming
A couple in Philly decided that shooting off fireworks for their gender reveal would make for an explosive time (kill me). Unfortunately, they shot the pink (yay, a girl) fireworks right into the crowd of onlookers, leading to a lot more running and screaming than most people expect at this kind of event. A few adult suffered some minor burns from this hilariously bad idea. This is why you need to have to pass some kind of test to be able to procreate.
5. The One That Didn’t Quite Nail The Delivery
Don’t leave your gender reveal in the hands of the greasy 17-year-olds hawking cheap pizza. This idiot couple learned that the hard way when they decided to spell out IT’S A over three pizzas, but it turns out that pepperoni and sausage do not great lettering make. It’s kind of close—if you tilt your head sideways and squint a little bit, you can kind of tell what they were going for. Guess this couple should have called the pizzeria from The Princess Diaries and used M&Ms instead of cured meats.
6. The One That Ended In A Nasty Injury
Yep. These Rhodes Scholars decided to shoot their gender reveal out of a cannon filled with colored powder. First, the cannon was homemade, which should tip you off to there being a problem (and that this couple probs shouldn’t have bred to begin with). Second, said homemade cannon jammed, and someone needed to hit it with a hammer to get it going. Thankfully, it wasn’t the mother-to-be, but it did result in a pretty cool injury.
Images:Victor Dueñas Teixeira / Unsplash; Joe Krummel, Alecs Strayer, New York Post, Arizona Daily Star / Youtube; teachingadventuresin3d / Instagram; Melody Kliebert / Facebook