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Before baby, you were a Facebooking, Instagramming, texting fool, sharing everything from your perfect pasta dish to your incredible manicure. Now, looking at your little bundle of joy, you may be wondering: Is it safe to post pictures of baby? What's okay to share and what's TMI? What are the easiest tech tools to preserve those precious moments, without broadcasting to the world? These tips can help.


Safely share photos of baby online

You may never have given privacy settings a thought. But if you're posting pics of baby, you may want to think through the impact and potential trajectory of what you post. Maybe you have followers struggling with fertility who aren't ready to share your joy. Maybe you're connected to people you barely know—friends of friends of friends—and there's no guarantee that those people will have your family's best interests at heart. Stories about people's kids' photos falling into the wrong hands, like stock-photography brokers looking for baby pics to sell or Internet trolls misusing images are a growing risk.

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You have a couple options to share safely. You can enable stricter privacy settings on the social media services you're already using. Popular services have the advantage of an existing, built-in audience, but there's a greater possibility of photos being viewed (or copied, or downloaded) by people you don't know. Or, you can sign up for a more secure, password-protected photo-sharing service such as Flickr, Photobucket or Famipix. These let you be pickier about what you share with whom. But these sites sometimes charge a fee for premium services such as extra storage and prints.

Distinguish between friendly advice and real facts

As a new parent, you may be vulnerable, worried or overwhelmed, and social media offers a lifeline. Just don't believe anything people tell you without verifying it with a professional. (No, WebMD doesn't count.) Anything that has major importance, like feeding, health and safety, money, education, is not to be toyed with. Anything with minimal consequences, such as when to put baby in shoes or the best time to clip her nails (when she's asleep), is okay to experiment with.

Avoid "over-sharenting"

What's over-sharenting? Pictures of poop, constant updates on every smile, gurgle and hallmark of intelligence, reports on what a naturally gifted mom you are. Other parents understand the urge to brag about every little thing, but social media is a give and take. Be thoughtful about what you're sharing, why and with whom.

Approach baby's "digital footprint" mindfully

Some parents create social media profiles under their kids' names when they're babies with the idea that they'll turn them over to the kids when they're ready. It can be fun for relatives to get an update "from baby." But there are some risks to creating what's called a "digital footprint" for your baby. Here are some things to consider:

  • You might love the photos of baby in the tub, but how will she feel about them when she's 8 or 9?
  • Tweens or teens might be upset that you used their names to create profiles they didn't actually consent to.
  • Social media sites are for users over 13 because companies use data—basically, who your friends are, what you click on, and where you go on the Web—to build a demographic profile, which they then sell to other companies for marketing purposes. The data isn't personally identifiable, but it's still Big Brotherish to think they're tracking your baby's online movements.

Bottom line: If you decide to create a profile, make sure you include only minimal information, use strict privacy settings and avoid any photos that are potentially embarrassing.

Cope with feelings (jealousy, anger, sadness) from viewing friends' Facebook pages

You're not alone. The highly curated photos and posts from friends whose lives seem more fulfilling have been shown to make people feel sad, jealous, and angry.

It may help if you connect with others who really "get" you. Create separate groups for your online pals: Put your close friends. the ones who post their joys as well as their trials. in one group. Add the ones who tend to present a perfect image to a different group, and only look at them when you're feeling up to it. You also can connect with the growing anti-perfection movement. Real Simple's public Instagram profile, #womenirl, shares photos from people's real (messy) lives.

The bottom line is that the impact of social media isn't fully understood, and it can trigger all sorts of responses. New parents are emotionally vulnerable because they're tired, unsure and perhaps even suffering from postpartum depression. If you feel crappy more than you feel good, and sharing photos from your life doesn't make you feel better, talk to a professional about what you're going through.

Preserve memories digitally

By the time your baby is 3, you will have recorded approximately 1 billion hours of video, taken 300,000 photos, and thought of 1,000 things you wish you could say to her when she grows up. Fortunately, there are easy ways to collect all these memories into one, easily accessible location.

  • Go low(ish) tech. A lot of parents like to grab the opportunity to create an email account under baby's name. Once she has an email address, you can use it to send her messages, photos and videos so they are all collected in one place and she can read them when she gets older and take ownership of her email address.
  • Consider an electronic scrapbook or journal. Scrapbooking sites and apps let you create digital diaries of baby's life. Some families like this option because older kids can use the sites and apps, too. There's a wide range of programs you can use.
  • Sign up for a private social network. Apps such as Notabli, 23snaps, and eFamily offer a secure way to collect and share photos, videos, and stories and invite a small number of people who can view them

Originally posted on Common Sense Media.

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Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)

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Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This article was sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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