Confession: I didn’t make a baby book for either of my children.
I knew I wouldn’t keep it updated and I didn’t want to feel guilty every time I looked at them (the children or the baby books) and realized I hadn’t documented every milestone. I don’t know many moms who have kept a baby book updated or managed to complete one in a timely fashion. In fact, when I asked around, I found a lot of moms had given up on baby books and chosen to go a different route entirely.
So if you’re like many other moms, and not the type to scrapbook your way through your kid’s childhood, take a look at some of their suggestions for preserving your memories:
1. Make a Memory Box
“I did a box. Nothing too big, just enough for a couple favorite toys, pictures, first tooth, etc.” – Sara
“I just put everything in a pretty hat box.” – Lisa
This has been my method of keeping track of my kids’ milestones without losing my sanity. They each have a memory box, into which I put everything from ultrasound photos to their hospital ID bracelets to birthday cards and baby shoes.
2. Keep a Blog
“I keep a blog—it's not really tangible, but it was my substitute for a baby book.” – Leah
I started a baby blog when I was pregnant with my older son and I posted semi-regular entries up through his first year, then it kind of fell by the wayside (probably because I got pregnant with his brother). But even though I didn’t keep it up, I’m glad I did it and I have those posts from the pregnancy and his first year.
3. Write Letters
“I started a month or two before she was born and started writing letters to her in a journal. Some of it was her progress growing and what we've been doing, some is just thoughts on life and bits of advice.” – Lea
“I made email addresses for each child so I can send them letters when I am missing them being on the road, fun things that we've done, milestones, and even days when they really worked my nerves.” – Emily
Letters are a terrific way to preserve your memories with something personal you’ll both enjoy. I've written a lot of letters to my sons, from silly to serious, and it's fun to go back and read them just a couple of years after the fact.
If you can’t beat technology, use it to your advantage.
4. Stitch a Quilt
“I'm doing quilts for my two kids. My grandmother has a memory quilt of my great grandmother's old dresses. It's fun to sit around with my mother, aunt and Granny and listen to their memories of certain dresses and where/when she wore them.” – Meredith
If you’re handy with a needle, you can create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece made from scraps of fabric from favorite outfits and baby blankets. And if you’re not handy with a needle (like me), there are companies that will do the job for you.
5. Create a Time Capsule
“We did a time capsule containing things from his first year of life. Favorite toys, a blanket, newspaper clippings, etc. We will give it to him when he starts his life as an adult.” – Jackie
Buried in the backyard or stuffed in the top of a closet, a time capsule provides your child (and you) with a little snapshot of what life was like during their first year.
6. Publish a Book
“Printed books! You select photos from your phone and the company turns them into a book.” – Erin
Let someone else compile the photo album into a book. A quick Google search turned up a number of companies that print photo books, from as simple to as elaborate as you’d like. All you have to do is provide the photos and information you want included.
7. Design a Shadow Box
“I made shadow boxes that I hung on the wall for each. Their outfit they wore home, their hospital ID, and little birth card with hand and footprints.” – Sarah
This might be my favorite suggestion of all. A baby book is a lovely keepsake, but I love the idea of making art out of my memories. The best part is, you don’t have to be terribly crafty!
8. Keep a Journal
“I kept a book where I recorded a lot of their sweet, funny, and or heart wrenching conversations.” – Chris
“I'm a working mom so I started a journal with my nannies so I didn't miss anything. Basically a communication log between our caretakers and us. It was so nice to know day to day nap schedules, eating schedules, and new developments.” – Emily
However you do it, keeping a journal is one of the best keepsakes for you and your child. You’ll love reliving the memories and someday they’ll love reading what you write about them.
9. Use Social Media
“I use my Facebook feed to document everything. The little guy loves getting a hold of my phone and scrolling through old pics.” – Morgan
“Instagram photos!” – Kay
If you can’t beat technology, use it to your advantage. Just make sure your photos are backed up somewhere besides your social media accounts!