If a baby is born, but her parents don’t share any pictures, does the baby exist?
That first 24 hours after my daughter’s birth are entirely a blur, with just one exception. I remember taking lots of pictures and sending them in separate messages to my family, friends and coworkers. Everyone wants to see the baby and get the details – and that’s okay. It just gets overwhelming to keep everyone updated at once.
And from that point forward, every day is another adventure in picture-sharing with your network. I would send a picture in a group message to my family. Then I send a picture in a group message to my wife’s family. Then I send a picture to my best friends. Then my wife sends pictures to the same set of people because she didn’t know I already sent it. And since we didn’t want to leave anyone out, if we sent a picture to one person, we have to send it to a dozen other people.
I felt like one of those 1930s telephone operators. I was plugging into so many conversations, I got carpal tunnel in my texting thumbs.
After complaining about how much effort goes into keeping everyone updated with pictures, a friend of mine made a recommendation that changed everything. She told us about Tinybeans.
Tinybeans is an app that describes itself as a safe way to share memories with family and close friends. It’s actually a micro social network, like Instagram, but for only your family and friends. It’s a shame more people don’t know about it, because it really is a game-changer. With this one single app, you can keep everyone in your private network – including your grandparents – in the loop as your kids grow up.
Yes, you read that right. This is the first social network I’ve ever seen that works for everyone in your family, even those with limited knowledge or interest in computers. That’s just one of the reasons below why Tinybeans is the best social network (you’ve never heard of).
It has social media’s best features – and none of the worst
Why has social media become so predominant in our culture? Studies have shown that social media lets us fulfill normal brain activities, such as connecting with others and searching for information. Another study shows that when people engage in social media, their feelings of social capital increase, while loneliness decreases. Further studies, going as far back as 1966 have demonstrated that we all have an innate need to share information. Social media fulfills our fundamental psychological needs: the need to be heard; the need to be understood; the need to matter; and the need to be emancipated.
Tinybeans does all of that, but without everything that makes social media awful. None of the content is shared beyond your private network, so there’s no stalking or leering. You’re connected with only the people from whom you want to get updates, so there’s no mindless flipping through cat memes and political cartoons to get to something you actually care about. Tinybeans is a social network that, for once, is about you first.
Everyone in the family can participate
Tinybeans is an app, but it also runs concurrently as a website, so even if you don’t have a smartphone, you can still participate. What’s more, Tinybeans also delivers updates via email, which itself contains a variety of engagement options. Yep, so even if you don’t like visiting websites, you can still participate. In theory, this keeps everyone equally engaged in the pictures and videos you share. In practice, this is the perfect solution to share memories with your relatives from a generation that’s less comfortable with technology.
I still remember the moment my wife’s 85-year-old grandmother commented on one of our pictures with an emoji. Yes, the same grandmother who uses a flip phone, cherishes her VCR and considers the internet a fad was able to comment using an emoji. Tinybeans makes engagement that easy. Our grandparents didn’t need to install any apps or even visit a website. All of our posts are delivered straight to their email, where they have options to respond using a variety of emojis, or they can click a link to leave a comment.
Replaces baby books and tedious scrapbooks
Remember the days of baby books? Part of the parent’s job was to meticulously catalog the details and milestones in their children’s lives. I don’t know anyone under the age of 40 that puts together baby books any more. I don’t know if it’s because we’re too busy, or if it’s because we’re already using our phones to document every second of our baby’s life, but either way, there’s just no emphasis on keepsakes. That’s a shame. We have thousands of pictures, but now forget the date our child took their first step or said their first word. We just aren’t spending any energy to preserve non-photo memories.
In addition to photo-sharing, Tinybeans also offers up options to record details related to your child. You have fields to track their height and weight, as well as their milestones, like their favorite foods and toys. We’ve been using Tinybeans for almost two years, and we now have almost two years’ worth of recorded memories and milestones. It’s exactly why we would have created a baby book, just without all the scrapbooking.
It makes you a child development expert
My absolute favorite feature in Tinybeans is the milestones section. For each child in your account, you’re given an easy way to track important milestones in their lives, including major developmental stages. There’s an entire database dedicated to child development. The database is divided into five categories: cognition; communication; fine motor; gross motor; and social. Within each category is a list of typical behaviors for each age group. Tinybeans keeps track of your kids’ ages and presents typical behaviors in each category. Tracking them is as easy as clicking them.
This information has really influenced how I parent. I know what behaviors are typical for my daughter’s age, so I’ll find opportunities to let her express those. For example, one of the cognition milestones at 6-9 months is to look for things after they have fallen. I wasn’t sure if my daughter actually did that or not, so I tested it out. I put her in a high chair, got her really interested in a toy, and then gently pushed it over the edge. Sure enough, she leaned over to see where it fell. I bet you’re like me; without guidance, we’d probably miss most significant achievements in our children’s development. Tinybeans has given me new motivation to pay attention and capture these milestones.
It’s free (with a Family Premium option)
Tinybeans is completely free to use. You can add as many friends and family members as you like for absolutely no cost. There is a Family Premium option that adds a few more features. The amazing thing about this premium option is that it applies to the family, not just the individual user, so you only have to pay once for everyone to experience the benefit.
When Tinybeans heard that I was writing this article, they set up a special promo code for my readers. Just use code NOTTHEMAMA at checkout. With this code, you’ll get six months of Family Premium FOR FREE! That’s a $48 value.
Promo Code Instructions
If you’re a new user, click here (https://tinybeans.app.link/NOTTHEMAMA) to download the app and the promo code will be applied automatically.
For existing users, go to http://www.tinybeans.com/redeem. You’ll be prompted to log into your account, then after that you’ll see a text box to insert the promo code. Type in “NOTTHEMAMA” and you’ll instantly get six months of Family Premium for free.