seriously, my baby is cute
March 6, 2012 11:04 AM   Subscribe

How often should I post pictures of my super-cute baby to Facebook and other social media?

What's the ideal interval to post pictures of my kid, somewhere between "Ugh, Baby Clover clogging my newsfeed!" and "Baby Clover is 2 now? Whatever happened to that kid?"

My friend list is a mix of family, friends and former and current coworkers. There are definitely grandparent-age folks who are all "Squee! baby!" and I obviously like that response, but I wonder if I'm annoying everyone else. (Actual grandparents get photos more often via email.) How often is it acceptable to post a photo?
posted by purpleclover to Computers & Internet (50 answers total)
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. I have friends who post something every single day. I put up a picture about twice a month. If you want to, make a group of people who can't get enough baby photos and post there. But, really, don't worry about - post away!
posted by dawkins_7 at 11:08 AM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Use your groups.

If you are posting publicly, once at birth, once on the first day of school and then not again until their awkward prom photos.

Did I mention using your groups?
posted by Aquaman at 11:09 AM on March 6, 2012 [17 favorites]

On facebook? Maybe 1 album a month. At most. If there are specific people who you know will want to see more pictures than that, take it off facebook to a blog or a flickr account or something where they can go wherever they want and get more updates and then give that url out to the specific people who want it. If you have a really curated set of facebook friends that are actually all family and real friends you can raise it up above one post a month, but if you have hundreds of friends many of whom you haven't spoken to in years, then I'd say once a month is the annoyance maximum.
posted by brainmouse at 11:09 AM on March 6, 2012 [6 favorites]

I'm a huge curmudgeon about these things, so for my taste once or twice a month is plenty. But it's YOUR facebook, so do what you want...just know that some folks might roll their eyes or block you if it gets to be a daily occurrence. I have blocked more than a few new parents from my fb feed because honestly? No one thinks your kid is as cute as you do. But in the end it's your prerogative, and some of your friends will probably love daily updates.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 11:11 AM on March 6, 2012 [8 favorites]

Agree with brainmouse, 1 album a month at most and take it off facebook to different groups. Datapoint: yes, you are annoying everyone else.
posted by Melismata at 11:12 AM on March 6, 2012

I think everybody is used to the fact that parents with new babies post a lot of pictures at first, and then gradually taper off. Post what you like and let your friends ignore the pics if they want to.

My kid is older (almost 9) so I don't post nearly as many on FB as I used to, but I do have a separate blog where I post a lot -- that is mainly for the grandparents who really do want to know a lot of details about what's going on in my kid's life. So, how he felt about a recent movie, what's going on with his sports team, projects at school, etc.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:13 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

One of my good friends just had a baby, and I purposely check her facebook daily just to see if she's posted any new photos. But I also like to see and hear how she's doing post-baby since we don't live in the same city anymore.

So I guess my advice is post away but mix it up with updates about yourself. Maybe make albums with themes or milestones. My guess is that interest on both sides will gradually go down to normal share-levels, and you'll be able to sense when that happens.
posted by sundaydriver at 11:14 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I feel like it is the users responsibility to manage their own news feed so they see what they want! Post whatever pictures you want to share! If there are people who are annoyed by baby pics, they have the ability to limit what they see!
posted by Swisstine at 11:16 AM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Making a "Friends of Baby X" group to include the people who really want to see new photos every week (honestly, that would probably be me; I am fascinated by other people's children) and then maybe at most once a month for the general population.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:17 AM on March 6, 2012

I've found that my friends who do this well upload one album per month, instead of little dribs and drabs of photos every day or every other day. That's what clogs up my feed and causes me to hide their updates. But being able to look forward to a big swath of photos from the month, in an album, on the last day of every month or so? Priceless. Love it.
posted by juniperesque at 11:18 AM on March 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

I just want to point out that nobody is mean enough to say "don't post so many damn pictures of your baby!" They will just complain to their friends "why does everyone post so many pictures of their babies on Facebook" but they'll never tell you. So don't rely on feedback from your friends.
posted by madcaptenor at 11:18 AM on March 6, 2012 [24 favorites]

After being on facebook for a while, the novelty wears off. I enjoy seeing a mix of people appear on my wall, and it appears to work best that way when people post once every couple of weeks. If my wall is full of your (undoubtedtly gorgeous) baby all the time, then I am likely to delete/block/whatever your updates from my feed. Sort of a "how can I miss you when you won't go away" kind of thing.

I love babies but I really don't love parents who are all MYBABYISTHECUTESTBABYEVARRRRRRRR!!!!!1!!
posted by headnsouth at 11:20 AM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

honestly, a couple of pix once or twice a month will prevent me from blocking all your posts so i won't have to look at a million pictures of your baby every damn day.
posted by violetk at 11:21 AM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Just do what you want. There are some people (my crotchety self included) who will roll their eyes at the repeated mentions of cuteness and the squee-fests, but we'll do so silently and will just hide your updates. Those who want to revel in the cuteness will likely enjoy more frequent updates.

The suggestion of creating a group is an excellent one, but I'd let people add themselves to it (with the exception of family and very close friends, who you feel rather sure would be fine with you adding them). Only do this if you're sure you won't be hurt when people opt out. You won't know if people hide your updates, but you will know if they don't join your group.
posted by pecanpies at 11:22 AM on March 6, 2012

Everybody on Facebook is annoying someone else on Facebook. Post as many pictures of your kid as you damn well like.

(If you really and truly want a guideline, I'd say once a day though. But my first impulse is screw 'em--we're all sifting through some stuff that is more to our taste and some that is less and yet we manage to struggle onward, mostly unscathed.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:22 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Agree with the once a month - I don't even particularly like babies, but my cousin posts a new album every month that I go through religiously. They are literally titled "George* February 2012," and usually get uploaded one or two days after the end of the month, and are like 30ish pictures long. Though, not unsurprisingly, the album lengths have slowly been declining as George approaches as 3.

*Note, babies name may or may not actually be George.
posted by CharlieSue at 11:23 AM on March 6, 2012

purpleclover: "but I wonder if I'm annoying everyone else."

Judging by this: "my super-cute baby" and this: "seriously, my baby is cute" I'm gonna go with yes, you're almost certainly annoying non-relatives on your feed.

That being said, if they haven't hidden your feed yet, than their annoyance is entirely their own fault, and you should keep posting as much as you want to facebook because hey, it's your facebook, and you have a super cute baby!
posted by Grither at 11:23 AM on March 6, 2012 [9 favorites]

I too am a baby blocker if new parents are too enthusiastic. The friends who have made it through the filter stage post monthly albums for the most part and occasionally funny incident photos (no bodily functions, though!).

I am also more a fan of the family doing stuff together that the baby is a participant of, rather than 1,000 photos of baby sitting and looking cute.

In addition to using groups, it may also be useful to get to know how to post something to your timeline to "announce" it, and how to just post to an album to include it for people who are clicking through.
posted by urbanlenny at 11:25 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Post whatever you want, if someone doesn't like it it's their problem - they can easily just stop you appearing in their news feed.
That said, don't feel like you need to post frequently - it might be easier on you to just upload an album every week/month. It's also much easier for people to go back and look through all the photos if they are in nicely named albums, instead of just posted on your wall.
posted by jacalata at 11:28 AM on March 6, 2012

I'm a dedicated reader of STFU, Parents, but I feel like you can post baby pictures as often as you feel like. People don't have to look at your Facebook page if they don't want to. These days, Facebook is smart enough to know who you interact with, and if people don't click on the baby pics, it won't show them to those people as much. Or they can simply remove you from their news feed if it gets to be too much.

If you don't WANT people to drop you from a news feed, then you can drop it back to once a month as people suggest above. One of the nice things about people posting periodic albums is that it feels like there is some curation. You get purpleclover jr.'s greatest hits from the past month and maybe some good-looking shots instead of every! latest! cell phone! photo!

Your baby may occupy the bulk of your time and energy now, but if you make it seem like your baby has become your entire identity, that can alienate people. Here are some things I would worry about more:
  • Don't replace your profile photo with a profile of your baby.
  • Please keep posting photos of yourself, not just the baby.
  • Don't use flimsy excuses to bring up your baby in other contexts.

posted by grouse at 11:29 AM on March 6, 2012 [11 favorites]

I would refer you to STFU, Parents as a general guideline of what NOT to do.

Once a month seems fine to me, from my friend-of-moms perspective.
posted by sugarbomb at 11:31 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm a little puzzled by some of the "post all you want" responses... "I have the right to be a self-centered annoying jerk because other people have the ability to ignore me" is, I guess, true, but it isn't especially nice or a way to endear yourself to people or make them think better of you, and if I have to block you because you're so intrusive on facebook, I certainly don't think you're acting "acceptably", if that's what you're looking for.
posted by brainmouse at 11:33 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Note: Mentions of baby cuteness in this question were meant to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that new parents are not good judges of their own offspings' importance, not my general tone re: my actual baby.
posted by purpleclover at 11:36 AM on March 6, 2012

I think this depends on how you're using facebook. I have a lot of close family and friends who are scattered about and who like to see things on facebook. I'm sure I have friends on facebook who have unsubscribed to my photos, or blocked my feed, but that's fine - they're in charge of what they see on facebook and if they want to track me down, okay.

Agree that you should keep saying and doing OTHER things on facebook too, not JUST talking about your baby. Or your husband. Or whatever. But I think the idea that you are "intruding" on other people's facebook is strange. Especially as they move to timeline, which is very much just like a giant scrapbook. People can block people, pictures, games, statuses, whatever that they don't like.

But generally I don't have co-workers on FB, and if I do, I segregate them and any other strange-ish people into a list that doesn't get most updates.
posted by dpx.mfx at 11:38 AM on March 6, 2012

I'm a little puzzled by some of the "post all you want" responses...

Etiquette of push versus pull. I would be annoyed if someone e-mailed me baby photos every month unless I were very close to them. But I don't have to go to Facebook or look at their page if I don't feel like it.
posted by grouse at 11:41 AM on March 6, 2012

I feel like it is the users responsibility to manage their own news feed so they see what they want!

I agree. If you want to post a pic or two every other day or so, go ahead. A whole album a day/week would probably be too much. Posting any picture that's disgusting ("here's Jayden's first poop in the potty!"), and it's DEFINITELY too much.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:43 AM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

It's seriously not your job to tailor your facebook feed to your friends.

They have all of the tools they need to tailor their own newsfeeds to their tastes.

Post what you want. Anyone who has a problem with it can hide your updates.
posted by toomuchpete at 11:43 AM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

I would also weigh in and say, please, do not create a "group" or a "page" or anything special to spotlight your baby (not even their own profile; babies will grow into teens/adults who will want profiles of their own. Dogs, cats, and other pets, however, are allowed profiles). That's definitely too much.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:57 AM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also, just throwing this out there - your friends are friends with YOU, not just your kid. They'll want to hear what you're interested in and up to and how you're doing rather than status updates-by-proxy for your child.

As for pictures - I like albums so that interested parties can look at them all they want but people who don't care too much only see one post.
posted by amicamentis at 12:05 PM on March 6, 2012 [5 favorites]

You can always create lists of people you know would want updates more often, and filter most of the update posts to that list, letting a few a month go out to your general friends list. I've done that with great success with my "nursing school" filter, since not everybody in my life wants to hear me bitch about it all the time.

Also, those people who replace their profile picture with one of their kid? DON'T BE THAT GUY. When your friends see you post, they probably don't want to think that you've given your identity over totally to "motherhood".
posted by scarykarrey at 12:06 PM on March 6, 2012 [5 favorites]

Post all the pictures you want, but only post them on Facebook if you are comfortable with the idea of FB owning the rights to use the photos forever. Even if you delete them later, they may persist if somebody shared one somewhere. It's just not that big of a deal for users to scroll past them.
posted by COD at 12:14 PM on March 6, 2012

What about a Baby Clover page that people can 'like'. That way you can put up pic all day long, and people can opt in if they like. Win-win.
posted by Vaike at 12:25 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

The problem with one of my friends that posts pictures of her babies on Facebook ALL THE TIME is that she expects responses to each and every one of the pictures. My enthusiasm for her baby has been eclipsed by the dread I feel every time the baby shows up on my feed doing something normal for babies and not particularly interesting or cute because I know my friend is awaiting "Squee!" responses and feels her friends are neglecting her and the daughter if they don't produce some over-the-top enthusiastic response. I'm always trying to think of something to say about the stupid photo because I know she'll ask me if I noticed it later, especially if I don't write anything about it, and then I'll have to say something about it on the spot. At this point, I kind of hate the baby. Like, I didn't choose to be a parent; don't give me baby-related responsibilities like affirming your baby's cuteness.

Basically, don't be like the lady above and you'll be fine. Please don't ever ask your friends if they noticed the pictures or encourage them to comment on the pictures if they're not inclined to comment or if it seems like their enthusiasm for your baby is waning. You don't seem like the type of person who's even remotely close to doing that, so you're probably good.
posted by pineappleheart at 12:35 PM on March 6, 2012

Dude, if I can deal with people posting about their lunch, or their commute, or any other inane comment every day (really? You are listening to music? How fascinating, I never do that!), they can deal with however much I want to post pictures of my kid. And 9/10 my kid is more entertaining than me (boring: me saying I had a beer with dinner. funny: my 2 year old saying he was going to have a beer with dinner to grow up big and strong!), so yes, most of my status updates will involve my kid. Amazingly enough, being wholly responsible for another human being does change what your life is about, and if they are your friends, they should want to know what your life is about. And hell, I'd rather see cute baby picture than hear another statement about how much so and so loves their new bf/gf. There's the realm of sanity of course, but assuming your friends haven't already blocked you, you've probably figured out the appropriate amount of share for FB, stay within that with your kid posts and you'll be fine.
posted by katers890 at 12:39 PM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Also, just throwing this out there - your friends are friends with YOU, not just your kid. They'll want to hear what you're interested in and up to and how you're doing rather than status updates-by-proxy for your child. amicamentis


I have friends ("friends"?) from high school who I have no idea what they've been doing for the past year or so since they had their kid. But I know what their kid looks like, and likes to eat, and likes to play with, etc.
posted by brentajones at 12:39 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have friends and co-workers but no family on my FB. I post newborn pics (because its a big event, I had a baby!), and then I only post kid pics when they do something I think is going to be hilarious to others. I would say that hilarious-worthy pics come about once every 2 or 3 months at most.

I do post photos of my kids to flickr about once or twice a week, and my family and interested friends can see those there.

I agree with amicamentis. I decided it was important to me to keep my identity and my "mom identity" separate, so I try not to be all mom-centric on FB. This is probably a concern of mine because almost all my co-workers are single dudes 10 or more years younger than me.
posted by Joh at 12:51 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't think you need to worry about this. Honestly I am a person who doesn't have that much interest in kids in general, but I still like to see pics of my friends kids. As long as you don't post 900 pics each day it's fine. Especially if I don't see that friend very often - and these days I use facebook primarily to glance over the newsfeed and see what people are up to.

There will always be people who will complain about pictures of kids or anything else. People who post constant, meaningless status updates are the annoying ones imo.
posted by fromageball at 1:24 PM on March 6, 2012

In my newsfeed, I like to see fairly infrequent postings of multiple pictures.
So for me 10 or 15 pics once a month, or even every 2 weeks, is a delight. A single picture every other day is a damn nuisance. And a damn nuisance that I can't even complain about.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:30 PM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think of it more in terms of % total postings rather than overall frequency. I'll post a glut of pictures, or a cute story, or whatever, somewhere between once a week and once a month, but from the beginning I made a point of having at least half of my posts be about something that's not the kid, and now coming up on a year and a half, it's less than 25%. The friends I have with lots of far-away family that are on FB seem to have similar frequencies.

Also agreed with other commenters that it depends on how you use FB, though--I use it for family mostly, and have a policy of not friending coworkers.
posted by tchemgrrl at 1:40 PM on March 6, 2012

Do whatever you want. I am not that into babies, but I don't find my friends posting pictures of theirs bothersome.

However, I LOVE seeing baby pics of my friends who have babies that I actually get to see in person. I guess I feel more invested in them emotionally.

If anyone is bothered by it, they will just silence your feed.
posted by MonsieurBon at 1:46 PM on March 6, 2012

As a childfree person, I say post as much as you want. If I don't like it (and I won't like it) I have a remedy which is the ability to block your photos. You may do the same to me if I post too many pictures of my cats. I will not be offended and neither will you.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 2:10 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Post as frequently as you want! It will be as welcome or unwelcome as any other Facebook posts, which is to say, just like MetaFilter Favorites, people make Facebook whatever they want it to be. I've hidden the feeds from people who post things I don't want to see or read -- religious and political ranters, serial complainers, and an acquaintance who moved to Hawaii (it was way too depressing to see pictures of someone else's paradise everyday!).
posted by ellenaim at 2:26 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would also weigh in and say, please, do not create a "group" or a "page" or anything special to spotlight your baby.

I may have used the wrong terminology up top; I did not mean to suggest creating a special page for the baby. Instead use the customized friend listing feature (available from a drop-down menu in the status update text box) that allows you to post updates visible only to a selection of your friends.

And for those who suggest, "go ahead and post as much as you like; people who don't like it can just block you," that's terrible advice. Just because I don't want to see a baby photo every six hours doesn't mean I don't want to know what else you're up to.

Be smart about using the customized friend lists. It's a terribly under-utilized feature of Facebook. Maybe do an initial public baby post with a message that says, "let me know if you'd also like to be on my All Baby Photos All The Time list, too!"
posted by Aquaman at 3:38 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh. I post a picture of my kid pretty frequently. Usually it's in the course of stuff we are doing. Stuff that she's learning. I figure 1/day isn't annoying and if it is, you can hide me. In actuality, it's maybe 1 or 2 in a week. And I post other stuff - links that are cool, occasional activist stuff, various notes of grar on our modern life. All of that has the potential to annoy someone.

There are only two things that annoy me on FB: scripture and the person who does coy or vague status updates all the time. Either say it plainly or shut up!

I also don't like baby pictures with food all over the place because that grosses me out.

In short, do what you want. My favorite baby pics are super cute and with a good caption that tells me what's going on or how you're feeling.
posted by amanda at 8:43 PM on March 6, 2012

I know at least one person who made an account for her baby (wait, wait, hear me out) so that anyone who wanted to see the baby pics could friend the baby, and only posted pics there.

If not that, then just ask who wants to be included in the baby pics, make a group for them, and post only to that group.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:56 AM on March 7, 2012

I say post as often as you want; but speaking as someone with fertility problems (most of my friends don't know this about me), I'd be quite likely to hide your updates after a little while. That doesn't mean I don't like my pregnant/baby-having friends or their babies, just that I'm trying to protect my own feelings a little bit.

It does mean I miss some things I want to see, but I try to remember to look in to those people's profiles occasionally.
posted by altolinguistic at 6:15 AM on March 7, 2012

You can post whatever you want on your feed but there is such a thing as being overbearing. Just because it's online, doesn't mean there aren't certain social guidelines. To me facebook is the equivalent of hanging out in public or visiting people's homes. I find it hilarious when people post stuff about their business on my wall. It reminds me when my mom's neighbors would come to our house, not to see how we're doing, but to sell stuff, without calling, first. The newsfeed is just as public as sitting in a classroom, or hanging in an airport. So, posting constant photos of your kid would be the equivalent of going to every person in the room ready to brag with photos in hand. Limit what your FB friends can see, let them work to see the beautiful things in your life. I loved when FB didn't have the newsfeed. It meant I actually had to visit people's profiles to see how they were doing or give them a call.
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 7:43 AM on March 8, 2012

I would say that the important thing is not the frequency of baby posts, exactly, as much as the ratio of baby posts to non-baby posts.

How frequently do you post on facebook now? Do that, and then every fourth post is a baby post. I don't dislike baby pictures on facebook as much as I dislike the fact that my friends appear to lose all self-identity when the baby arrives.

Did you read a book? Did you pet a nice dog? What kind of sandwich did you have for lunch? And then, sure, Baby pics! Just keep it balanced.
posted by redsparkler at 9:19 AM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Etiquette of push versus pull.

It's Ask vs Guess, only on facebook!
posted by penguin pie at 5:54 AM on March 24, 2012

It's Ask vs Guess, only on facebook!

It has nothing to do with Ask vs. Guess.
posted by grouse at 8:24 AM on March 24, 2012

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