Breastfeeding Mom, Gemma Colley, Accidentally Gives Fake Tan To Her Baby. (Yes, You Read That Right) — PHOTO

Fake tanning disasters happen to the best of us, but last week, the bronze mist claimed a particularly innocent and totally unsuspecting victim when U.K. mum Gemma Colley spray tanned before breastfeeding her baby son, and accidentally smudged a whole face-worth of the stuff onto him. The result? A 5 o'clock shadow so hilarious, Colley immediately posted a photo of it to the Facebook page Unmumsy Mums — where it went immediately viral.

In the week since Colley first shared the photo, it's received well over 100,000 likes, and counting. (And it's pretty easy to see why, when you get a load of the pic.) "The response has been absolutely crazy," Colley tells Bustle. "I only posted it on the Unmumsy Mums Facebook page thinking it would get a few hundred likes, nothing like what it has."

The comments themselves have been overwhelmingly positive, notes Colley, which she's especially grateful for considering the Internet can be a ruthless place, particularly to moms. "It's really great to know I've put a smile on some people's faces, and they feel a little less crappy about themselves. That's what I really set out to do."

"I wanted other mums to know it's OK not to be perfect and that we all make mistakes at times," continues Colley of why she chose to post her self-described "epic parenting fail" for others to see. "Half of the time we're just trying not to put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge." Truer words may never have been spoken.

Of course, not everyone is laughing (or commiserating) with Colley. She received some criticism, as naturally, many worried whether the baby ingested the fake tanner. For the record, Colley says her son is A-OK, and that she wiped the tanner from his face with sensitive baby wipes immediately after. ("I'm happy to report he's got a lovely happy smiley non orange face," she tells Bustle.)

The young mom adds that there were also a few rogue commenters who implied the incident was done on purpose, "as though I intentionally tried to feed my son fake tan," says Colley. She adds that that ridiculous assumption couldn't be further from the truth, and that it was "more of a case of a mummy going about her daily routing and totally forgetting she looked like an Oompa Loompa. It only clicked when I had a little desperate Dan laid in my arms."

A day later, Colley headed back to the Unmumsy Facebook page to quiet the haters. She posted this sweet photo of her sleeping son, tan-free — and yep, he looks just fine to me:

While the whole thing was pretty hilarious, Colley says she definitely won't be making that mistake again, and hopefully her own parenting fail will prevent others from making the same one, too. Still, that's not to say breastfeeding moms should lay off the spray tanning entirely, though. According to Dominique Lavac, who owns the spray tanning business, Bondi Tans, moms can avoid the whole baby beard thing with a few simple tips. As she told the Daily Mail:

I suggest that mothers express enough milk to last for the time the spray tan has to set, and if possible even for a few feeds after that. I would recommend a two-hour tan so it won't make much of an impact to feeding time. I always put a barrier cream on the nipples, to prevent the DHA and tan from getting on there at all and some clients like to use Band-aids (plasters) as well. After the client has washed off the tan after two hours, I would still recommend putting a dry face washer where the bubs cheek is going to lie on the breast, just to double ensure the DHA in the tan doesn't transfer onto the bub's skin.

Well there you have it, folks. How not to turn your kid into a bearded man while breastfeeding — and still get your tan on. Add that to the list of things you never thought you'd need to know.

Images: Courtesy of Gemma Colley