tl;dr All you need to create a baby announcement is your phone, low cost/ free props, and a vision.
Baby announcements (pregnancy, birth, adoption, gender, name, etc.) on social media have become quite the ordeal. Gone are the days of sending out a simple birth announcement to family in the mail so aunt Darla can mail you a pair of crocheted booties. Now there has to be a reveal for each stage, from the pee stick to the “fresh 48” newborn shoot. Everyone in your social media world from high school acquaintances you don’t even talk to, to your dad’s golfing buddies, get to see your announcements. Thank you, Pinterest, for fueling this unnecessary obsession for moms-to-be.
Choosing how you are going to announce can be a painstaking experience. I poke fun at it, but y’all already know I participated in the craze when it came time to announce our babies, and when we became licensed foster parents. I’m here to tell you I do not own a fancy camera or photo editing software. We did not have a professional photographer or conduct an elaborate facebook live with banner plane flying over reading, “It’s a boy!”. More power to you mamas if that is your style and you have the means. This mama is ballin’ on a budget, so I used my phone, some inexpensive props, and some imagination. Really, that last one isn’t even necessary because there are endless cute announcement photo ideas on the interwebs to inspire you.
Our first baby announcement was in 2014. I found a large framed canvas painting at a thrift / resale shop and painted over the canvas with black chalkboard paint. It’s been a few years so I can’t remember what I paid, but I think around $5 for the framed painting and under that for the paint. I looked at big box stores for colored chalk with no luck, but I found some at a local teacher supply store. Before my human children, my pets were my children. Hence why our baby announcement had to include them. If you’re wondering how I managed to get them all looking at that chalk board… food and luck. I put some lunch meat on top of the frame, snapped a bunch of pics with my phone and one happened to turn out.
Gender for Baby #1
Our plan for finding out the gender was to be surprised along with our family at a little reveal get together. We went to a private sonogram place, asked the tech to seal the news in an envelope, and… opened it on the way home while stopped at a gas station. Absolutely no self-control. I ended up baking cupcakes and filling them with blue frosting (buttercream with a couple drops of blue food coloring) for our family get together. For the social media announcement, I used the same chalkboard and chalk, this time featuring my horse (hello country girl side.)
When we decided to become foster parents I wanted a cute way to announce our next adventure. I decided on a family picture with a hand written sign. The sign is just a plain white piece of computer paper and I used a black sharpie for the text. Since the sign was going to be a smaller part of the photo, the colors and text needed to be simple for readability. I also chose to filter (with the Iphone camera app) the whole photo in black and white so the sign would stand out.
In order to get my oh-so-serious two year old (Poptart) to smile big for the photo, we played a “babies laughing” youtube video montage on my husband’s phone. My phone was set up next to his on our kitchen counter. Poptart could the funny video on his, and my phone could capture our picture. Lastly, I set my phone camera on a self-timer for 10 seconds (enough time to get Poptart laughing about the youtube video) and it worked!
Baby # 2
For baby number two, we decided to wait to announce until I was well into the second trimester, so we skipped over the pregnancy announcement on social media and went straight to gender. This time, I included my first born and our current foster son. I remember seeing the cute definition of boy somewhere. Probably Pinterest, if I had to guess. I picked up some blue construction chalk at Home Depot, spread it on our back porch, put the tots in blue shirts and some cute cloth diapers, plopped them down, and snapped a bunch of pictures.
I knew I was going to add text so I made sure to include enough room in the foreground. Since we had a foster babe, we needed to crop the boys’ heads out. Although, even if we did not have to hide his face, I love the cuteness factor of focusing on the feet and diapers. The text was added with the Photogrid app (it’s free and free is for me!). Pro tip, this is also what I use to add text to any of the dirtanddiapers pics on Instagram, Facebook, etc. In order to get this look, I created several separate text boxes and formatted them using varying fonts.
New mamas are under a tremendous amount of pressure. This wonderful and brief time in your life should not be tarnished with the stress to impress. I realize this post was all about how I did choose to do a social media announcement, but hear me when I say it is not necessary. You have no obligation to. Your worth is not counted in instagram likes or number of “congrats” received by friends (Psalm 139:13-15; Luke 12: 6-7; Romans 12:2). If you do choose to announce, I hope this post gave helpful tips to make it a little more fun, and a little less of a stressful obligation.
How have you announced the big news? Or do you care to buy into the silly social media announcement craze at all? We would love to hear from you. Drop a comment!
May your announcements be simple and pain free,
At This Moment
When we are reading other fabulous mommy blogs, the question that is always in the back of my brain is, “what are your kids doing while you have time to write a blog?” so for our blog we thought we would add a sidebar to let other parents know what our lovely kiddos are doing while we try to be boss bloggers.
At this moment… We are all at Rose’s house. Baby Ragnar is being an angel sleeping, Peanut Butter is being held and entertained by Rose’s Grandmother (we call her Ma). She comes over almost everyday to help anyway she can. Y’ALL. This amazing lady is 82 and is a ball of energy, everyone needs a Ma in their life. Anyways, Taz is chalking outside where we can see him through the window. Yes, he is chalking on EVERYTHING including the door so he will have to clean up some of the mess. Poptart is building a pillow fort out of all the couch cushions, pillows and blankets in the house. This is an activity we do almost everyday. It keeps them busy for a while and is easy to clean up (see picture).
So there you have it. If you are like me and wonder what peoples kids do while blogging, this section will keep you informed. If you don’t give two hoots what our kids are doing then feel free to just scroll past this little section 🙂