Instagram Parents Are Documenting 'Baby's First Pandemic'

We are sorry to report that Instagram parents are posing their babies with their toilet paper and Lysol wipe stockpiles.
Bettina Makalintal
Brooklyn, US
Untitled design
Photo by Sneha Anthony, composite by VICE staff

Entering the world as a baby in 2020 is probably kind of hard: you go from nine months of one type of quarantine straight into another one that seems a lot worse. But at least you can cry as much as you want in public without being shamed too hard, and you don't really have to worry about the toilet paper shortage, because someone else is going to clean your bum regardless.

Things are certainly tougher for those parents of newborns, who find themselves suddenly trapped inside with a baby as a global pandemic rages on. As we all try to find levity by any means possible, some parents have turned to a new Instagram milestone: "baby's first pandemic," the hashtag for which has close to 1,300 associated Instagram posts as of this writing. (There's also #myfirstpandemic.)

With no hair salons open in order to mark "baby's first haircut" and with month milestone photos so ubiquitous on social media that it's easy to scroll past without really looking, #babysfirstpandemic is the perfect encapsulation of the bleak world we now live in. It is also factually accurate that these babies are, in fact, experiencing their first pandemics.


Screenshot via Instagram

The pictures associated with this tag involve a cute baby posed alongside a variety of isolation supplies, from baby wipes to Lysol bottles to stacks of toilet papers and diapers. Many of them include a changeable letter board stating "Baby's First Pandemic," because every Instagram parent seems to have one of those. By virtue of having a baby in them, the results of these photoshoots are mostly pretty cute, though admittedly the entire premise is somewhat cursed.

Will these babies want to be remembered by their pandemic photoshoots? Who knows? But Instagram has basically replaced the baby book, and it sure as hell still beats being named "Kovyd," as we'll surely see in nine months when the babies conceived during quarantine start entering this wild world of ours.