The first pregnancy brings all kinds of goals about how we are going to parent. One in particular is how well we are going to record the many memories of our baby’s first year. Everybody used to do the classic “baby book,” right? Your mom probably did one at least for the first child in your family. But now we live in the age of “promposals” and flash mobs. A traditional baby book just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. And for many of us, it’s just not how we like to express our creativity.
Then there are the moms who have been blessed with more than one little angel. Maybe you’re having twins, or maybe you are on Baby #4. Either way, you don’t have time. You hardly have time to finish a thought let alone creatively record the memories of your baby’s first year. Our minds are more likely to wonder if we ate lunch today than how we are preserving precious memories. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to.
The good news is there are so many ways to record memories now! If you are looking to be extra creative and unique, there are ways to do that. If you really want to record these precious moments, but don’t have time to sit down and thoroughly fill out a baby book, there are quicker and easier ways to do that too. Let’s explore the new creative ways to record your baby’s first year:
14 Photo books
The most traditional of the new options are photo books. Everyone’s photos are digital these days. This is so true that Kodak even stopped manufacturing actual film since most people do not have cameras with film in them anymore. While there are lots of options to print out copies of your digital photos, many of us end up keeping our images on our phones or laptops and not doing much with them. A photo book is a great way to record your baby’s first year through images. This is a great option for a few reasons. First, you are totally going to take a million photos of your baby, so content is not an issue. Second, you can wait to do this until later or you can build it as you go throughout the first year. Lastly, there are tons of promo and discount codes that means this option could be pretty cheap or even free if you hit the right promo!
13 Write letters
Writing letters is a little more time-consuming, but if you fancy yourself a writer, this may be the most enjoyable. And there is something really magical about reading the words you wrote to your little one when they were still so tiny. You can set a schedule to write letters weekly or monthly. Alternatively, you can choose to write a little note whenever the moment strikes. You can print them out and stick them all in a binder for later reading material for you and your little one. Or, if you want to be a little fancier, you can choose to actually get the letters printed and bound in book form.
Set Up An Email Account
Let’s face it – our kids are going to have email accounts much sooner than we ever did. So why not set one up for them now? In fact, Google Chrome released Dear Sophie - a perfect ad to show you how to do it. You can set up an email account in their name and then email them little stories, photos, or funny things they did and said their first year. This is a great time saving option since we are all used to sending emails and messages all the time. You can type out a quick story or note and send it off. Then all of those little tid bits of memory are all in the same place later for whenever you want to look at them. Eventually, you can give your child the password for it so they can go read through those memories themselves.
12 YouTube Channel
Videos are an especially precious way to record your baby’s first year. All too soon they will not giggle the way infants do or babble on in the adorable way only a tiny babe can. The first year comes with so many intense and quick changes that capturing it on video is so important. Creating a youtube channel to upload everything to keeps it organized all in one place and gives you a chance to share it with family and friends if you so choose. Youtube also makes it very easy to create a private channel that is unsearchable if you want to just keep it for your own purposes. Having a video collection of your baby’s first steps, foods, and words will a treasure for many years to come.
If you’re already all over social media, hashtagging your baby’s first year may be easiest and most natural for you. An added bonus is family and friends can play with the hashtag too, creating a collaboratively created online baby book. Each time you post a photo, video, or silly story, you can add a hashtag so that all of these memories become searchable for you later. And who knows? Maybe your hashtag will go viral and your baby’s silly moments will become their very own fifteen minutes of fame! #babymemories
10 Pin It
If Pinterest is more your social preference, you can create a whole Pinterest board that is just for your baby’s first year. Pinterest is a very easy and organized way to share your photos with friends and family. Because Pinterest is a combination of photos and text, this is a great opportunity to post photos and write down memories and stories you want to record. One note to make sure of in Pinterest is to set your privacy settings accordingly. If you only want to share these precious memories with friends and family, make sure you create settings so that your boards are private.
9 There’s An App For That
Actually there are dozens of apps that digitize your baby book. Some are set up like a digital baby book with calendar pages with certain milestones to check off. Others are more like a mini blog that allows for photos, captions, and journal entries. A couple have sections with a growth chart to track your baby’s size. All of the apps allow you to post memories to social media or simply share them with family. One in particular, TimeHut, allows several different users, so other family members can contribute to it as well. Kidfolio is a much more social app that not only allows you to record milestones and memories, but creates a space for you to chat with other parents about what’s happening in baby’s life.
8 Memory Box
A memory box can be a really great way to compile pieces of your baby’s first year that you want to remember without worrying about organizing it. Remember going through your old stuff? Likely your mom just stuffed in into a box somewhere knowing she wanted to keep it but didn’t have the time to organize it. She also didn’t have Martha Stewart expectations breathing down her neck about what it should look like. Maybe we should get back to that. But let’s do it in a pretty box. And just, ya know, stuff everything in there.
7 Baby Clothes Quilt
A t-shirt quilt has become a popular way to repurpose old clothes. It’s also a great way to preserve baby clothes in a way that you can remember them and still use them for years to come. All parents have the favorite pyjamas or dress-up outfit from their baby’s first year that they outgrew far too quickly. Save all those little pieces of adorable clothing to make a quilt out of. You can keep it as a family decoration, or you can give it to your grown-up toddler to use as a blanket. It’s a great way to get to snuggle up to those sweet little baby clothes without people thinking you’re really weird.
6 Mama Journal
Do you already journal or blog about your life? Then journaling your baby’s first year will be a breeze. Whether you like to hand write your life musings, write on your laptop, or choose to blog about your memories, all of these are excellent ways to document your most favorite memories from the beginning of your baby’s life. There is something especially personal about handwritten work that your child may appreciate later in life. But blogging can certainly be more accessible at time since you can do it from your phone anytime anywhere.
5 Milestone Checklist
A quick checklist is a great option is you have more than one child, are a single parent, or have a demanding job. If you simply do not have time to dedicate to journaling or creating photo books, but still want to record memories, getting a pre-made checklist or calendar is a great option. “First smile?” Check and date. Or get a calendar with pre-made stickers. “Rolled over for the first time?” Grab the sticker, find today, and stick! Done! If you have an extra moment to write in some personal stories, great, but otherwise, the work is done for you and you still get to look back on it and remember those little moments with your baby.
4 Video Blog
So you’ve heard of blogging, but have you tried “vlogging?” Video blogging is a great way to record memories and share them with as many (or as few) people in your life. Keeping video memories of your little one is something you will cherish in years to come. Their little baby voices fade so quickly and you will love to look back and remember the silly noises they made. The great part about a video blog is you get to be part of it too, making it an excellent digital keepsake for both you and your child. You can create video of your baby and also include stories and commentary from you.
Recording your baby’s first year through art can go a couple of different ways. If you are especially artistic, you can create paintings or sketches of your baby or the memories you make with your baby. Something else you could include would be art that you help your baby make. Footprints and handprints are a popular baby art project for the obvious reason that their little hands and feet grow so quickly. Recording their actual size through art will keep that memory in a unique and beautiful way.
2 Audio recordings
Like videos, audio recordings can be a really fun way to keep memories of your baby close. Audio recordings can be ideal if you don’t have the time to write down the milestones or stories you want to remember. Audio recordings also allow for more vocal elements of a story to come through like pitch and tone. You will love reliving these memories in your own voice. Audio recordings can also be a time saver since you can create them while you’re doing other things like washing the dishes or folding laundry. Mamas are the best at multitasking!
1 Journal cards
A really great time saving method of keeping memories of your baby’s first year are journal cards. These are quick notecards that you can fill out that don’t make you feel obligated to write a lot, but allow you to record a little bit about a memory for you and your child to remember later. Journal cards are available to purchase with pre-made prompts, or you can just grab a stack of index cards at the store and write stories down whenever you feel compelled to remember something that happened. Keeping them in a pretty recipe card box is an easy way to make for beautiful and easy storage.