If there’s an annoying parenting trend on Facebook that’s existed since I started STFU, Parents over four years ago, it’s baby contest blasts. I’d be surprised if there’s a single person out there who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, but for clarity’s sake, baby contests are photo contests parents enter their children in so they can presumably win prizes, clout, or both. However, I’ve heard that the smaller, more boutique-y contests (held by blogs, photo studios, or independent kids’ product companies) are often fixed, and the larger ones, such as the Gerber Generation Photo Search, are nearly impossible to win due to high entry rates. But neither of those deterring factors slow down parents who crave the affirmation (and prizes) that confirm their child is as cute as they think he or she is. For some parents, it’s just a silly game, and for others, it’s fucking war.

That’s not to say I’ve personally heard from people who were defriended for not voting or “Liking” their friend’s baby contest status update. Most of the time when parents beg their friends for votes on Facebook and threaten to “find out” who did or did not vote, they let go of their aggression the second the contest ends. Only during the voting window are they crazed enough to harass friends with repeated updates and off-putting demands. Still, I wonder why parents even bother with these contests. Who wants to beg their online friends to do *anything* anymore? With so many crowd-sourced fundraisers, pleas for marathon-related donations, and requests for page “Likes” that don’t require you to leave Facebook and sign up for an account first, you’d think baby contests would’ve died down a long time ago.

But nope, they’re a mainstay. They’re not going anywhere until parents unilaterally decide to stop comparing the cuteness of their children — and we all know that’s never going to happen. Let’s take a look once again at this interminable tour de force.

1. Proud Parents

STFU ParentsEmily’s update is reasonable, yet defensive. A better approach might be to say, “I realize there’s likely a zero percent chance of Abbey winning this idiotic contest I’ve enrolled her in, but I’m still going to try to get her votes anyway. Please ignore or hide my annoying updates for the next 23 days. For those who are supportive we THANK YOU.”

2. The Cutiest

baby contest_

You may think you’ve seen the cutest baby in the world, but have you seen the cutiest? Even if you don’t think A. qualifies as cutiest baby, vote for him anyway! J. is counting on you, and winning the K103 FM ‘Portland Soft Rock’ baby contest would be an absolute dream come true. What do you have against helping people achieve their dreams?

3. Multiple Votes Per Day

child modelI left the entry number in this one because this particular model search ended a long time ago, and because it represents the way I feel when I see an update in my feed about a baby contest. Friendly tip: Nothing that is #215352 has a very good chance of coming out on top. Whether that number is random or in numerical order, a six-digit number doesn’t bode well. I wouldn’t want to be #215352 in a food or bathroom line for that very reason. Seeing that your kid is #19375659606 doesn’t encourage me to vote. Sorry!

4. STFU, Uncles

uncle

Whoa, V., your friends “get it”! They really, really get it. Your niece is gorgeous! She’s perfect from her headband-accessorized head down to her teeny, tiny toes, and she’s in the PLACEkids Model Search! Everyone knows already, so quit blowing up Facebook with your constant requests. Do you really want to be friendless by the end of the search?

5. Mommyjacking R.L. Stine-jacking

STFU Parents

Some people spend their time trolling Facebook Pages to spread the word about baby contests. Other people spend their time calling those people out for being mommyjackers. I commend the latter’s valiant efforts, and I wish to apologize to R.L. Stine and Goosebumps on behalf of Sierra, who simply doesn’t know any better. She’s an ALL CAPS abuser, a page-spammer, and a totally average baby contest enthusiast. Good luck to her and her beautiful baby.