Long gone is the time when precious pics of your baby growing into a toddler were stashed away in shoe boxes or glued into albums. Now, they’re just all over Facebook and Instagram. With so much of our kids’ lives documented on social media, knowing what’s okay to post (Instagram dad fails are always okay) is a must-learn. Before posting that oh-so-sweet baby bare-bottomed shot or anything else that is certain to totally embarrass your eye-rolling tween a few years from now, remember that what you put online right now doesn’t necessarily disappear the moment you hit “delete.” For your little one’s protection now and in, like, 20 years, here are five types of pics you might want to keep private.
1. Birth Day TMI: Okay, so this one is highly debatable. While in many ways controversial, even the most graphic birthing photos are still magical moments. That said, if you publicly post these pics, it’s not just your friends who are catching a glimpse of you spread eagle, completely naked with baby crowning. Keep in mind, this very private moment may just make its way to hundreds, if not thousands, of strangers.
If your second-cousin Jenny “likes” the post, it’s possible that all of her friends can see it too (depending on both of your privacy settings). That means you have no control over who’s seeing something that’s super intimate. So, go ahead and share, but make sure to manage your privacy settings tightly. Your BFF and closest mommy friends? Sure. Some random guy two states over who you don’t know? No way.
2. Potty Training No-Go: Three big cheers for your toddler’s mastery of the potty. Share the news on your Facebook page or post a picture of them, adding an “I went potty” graphic. But, avoid those on-the-potty images. What happens in the bathroom stays in the bathroom. In other words, start right now and teach your tot that going potty is private. Think about it this way: You wouldn’t post a picture of yourself sitting naked on the toilet, right?
3. Outright Identifiers: You can’t wait to post that fab photo of your four-year-old wearing her “I go to Mission Hills Preschool in Smithville!” t-shirt, along with a caption reading, “Mara has school spirit.” Sweet, huh? Whoa, wait. Now anyone who sees your post has your child’s name (possibly her full name, if her last name is the same as yours), knows the town where she lives and even knows where she goes to school. That’s TMI on a “stranger danger” level. Keep the posts that tell anyone and everyone super specific identifying details about your child off the Internet.
4. Teenage Blackmail: Go back to your own teen years and think about the photos that you happily left hidden away in the family scrapbook. The ones of you au naturale, wearing a ridiculous outfit (think: Ralphie in A Christmas Story wearing the pink bunny suit) or gorging on what seems like a small wheelbarrow filled with hotdogs. Consider how your child will feel *not* having the option to hide photos of herself in these situations. While some cutesy kid pics simply can’t be avoided (they’re just too good to pass up sharing), skip anything that is potentially ultra-embarrassing down the road.
5. Brother from Another Mother: The little neighbor kid spends so much time splashing around your kiddie pool that he seems like he’s part of the family. But he’s not. And the pictures that he’s in with your kids aren’t always yours to share. Before you go posting photos of your child and her little BFF, get permission from his parents. While mom may not care that her child spends all day running around in your backyard, she may have strong feelings about pictures of her son being posted online.
What types of photos do you think are no-no’s when it comes to your kids and social media? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)