Though my 9-year-old daughter is practically old enough (according to her) to have her own social media accounts, she is not getting one any time soon. In fact, I never once considered creating an Instagram for her as a baby, either. In my opinion, the only entity who can pull off posing as her baby on social media persona is The Honest Toddler, because she is hilarious and truthful and we don’t need anyone else to do it. She has the job covered, you guys. Plus, my daughter made it clear while she was still in the womb, stubbornly remaining there for 10 days past her due date, that she will decide things for herself, #thankyouverymuch.
However, I see the appeal of posting on behalf of your kid. For one thing, you totally control their account until they are at least 13 years old. You can fill the feed with the cutest moments from your baby’s carefully curated life, and use your own account to showcase the other wonderful things in your life, like what you’re eating. Separating what comes into your body (food) with what comes out of your body (baby) is a commendable organizational system for social media, if I do say so myself.
Though I see how someone might want this for their baby, I definitely never wanted it for mine. I have some very good, and not that far-fetched, reasons for refusing to create an Instagram for my baby, including but certainly not limited to the following:
Because I’d Obsess Over Likes
Fewer than 50 hearts within the first hour of posting a photo to my baby’s feed and I’d be devastated. It means people are out there, literally not liking my baby. How dare they! If I make the account public, it would just destroy my psyche, so I'd rather not.
Because It Would Be Just Another Thing On My To-Do List
Who exactly has time to man this account, unpaid, and also mother the child in real life (again, unpaid)? I have plenty of unpaid work I’m already doing, so I can’t afford the time it takes to choose the photo, apply the most appropriate filter (like when is it not Valencia?), hashtag it in a cutely ironic way, and then check in every other minute to see who’s paid attention to it.
Because I'm Not Into A Smash Cake
You can’t be a proper Insta baby without that first birthday smash cake photo. The idea of buying or making a beautiful, edible dessert just for the photo op of having the kid cover themselves with its frosting and crumbs after demolishing it? Yeah, that doesn’t sit well with me.
Because I’d Have To Do It For All My Babies
In an attempt to show that this mom doesn’t have favorites, I’d have to create Instagram accounts for all my kids. Let’s not start something we can’t finish, right?
Because The Pressure To Create The Perfect User Name Would Break Me
It took my husband and me nine months, each time, to come up with names for our kids. Putting their names on their birth certificate was really the only thing saving me from changing them because, if given the option, I might have test-drove a few other names to see which ones fit our kids best after getting to know them.
With my daughter, I really was anxious for the first two weeks that we had given her the wrong name. If I had to come up with another, completely original name for a social media account (preferably one that didn’t have to include numerals), I’d lose my mind.
Because I’d Be Afraid Of The Comments
Worse than getting no likes (baby-haters) would be those who found my child so grotesque they’d have to leave a comment. I couldn’t live with myself reading such vitriol as, “Nice outfit #mamasboy” or, “Yo, when you gonna lose that baby fat?” Because it would really be me being attacked for my lame baby. I can’t take it.
Because I Would Spend Way Too Much Time Staging "Candid” Shots
Given my Type A personality, I don’t think I’d be satisfied with a picture unless I art directed the hell out of it. The kid would need to be seated on a shag ecru-colored rug (casually tousled, yet clean) in front of a window facing east, about mid-morning in winter, so no foliage blocks the light and all his nails would need to be clipped and I’d also have to prop him up without it looking like he’s propped up since he would have fallen asleep by the time I will have the frame set. That's exhausting just to type, you guys.
Because It Would Be Impossible Not To Repeat Outfits
The only way to get away with repeating outfits is to make it your "thing." Could I get it together for my baby to have a signature outfit in every shot? Hell no. So that leaves me with having to make sure the kid is in different clothes every time I post. I would quickly exhaust all (clean) options, which means I would have to resort to nudes.
Because Not Everyone Enjoys A Nude Baby
Personally, I think naked babies are nature’s candy. They have the most delicious skin and it deserves to be shown off. Let us all revel in the fat rolls and peach-shaped butts. I don’t think I need to photograph any genitalia, but mostly nude is a great look for an Insta baby.
Unfortunately, I have to respect the fact that not everyone would agree with me, though most of those people would just be throwing shade at me for not protecting my kid from letting the sun’s harmful rays shine upon my child’s delicate skin.
Because What Happens My Baby Is No Longer A Baby?
So do I just stop posting once my Insta baby is a toddler? A 5 year old? In middle school? Will followers think the worst, if our posts abruptly ended at the beginning of kindergarten? It’s a morbid thought.
The agonizing thought process that would go into determining when and how to terminate my baby’s Instagram account is enough to prevent me from starting one in the first place.