It’s on every baby registry checklist. Everyone tells you to get one. So you do. You sit in your new plush glider, the smell of freshly painted walls engulfing you, turning the blank, crisp pages of the most beautiful baby book you spent five hours researching. You have every intention to fill up that book until it’s bursting at the seams. One month later, you’re sitting in that same glider, with puffy, sleep-deprived eyes, spit up stains on a shirt that hasn’t been changed in three days, holding a screaming newborn, with the treasured baby book shoved in the back of a closet, all good intentions long forgotten. There’s hope Mom! We’re here to help make your dream of having a full, up-to-date baby book a reality.
The Old Fashioned Way
If you’re an old soul, and pen and paper is the only way to document your baby’s milestones, these tips are for you.
First, find a book that you love. There are hundreds of options out there, from the most detailed to the most time-saving. Choose one that fits your personality and your schedule.
If you can dedicate lots of time to writing and you just live for details, check out EdnaMae’s Modern Baby Memory Book.
If you are limited on time and need a no-nonsense way to document the essentials, buy either an Awwccordian Memory Book or a simple Baby’s First Year Calendar.
Prep before the baby arrives. Fill in any parts of the book that don’t require your baby to be here, such as the family tree or bios of mom and dad. If you have a calendar book, fill in all the months and dates.
Bring the book to the hospital. Believe it or not, you will have some free time lying in that bed. Fill in the birth details. Give the nurses the page for your baby’s footprint so they can complete that for you.
Put the book somewhere where you will see it everyday. “Out of sight, out of mind” applies here. You’re more likely to jot things down if it’s right there! You’re always in the kitchen, so stick it in a drawer that you open all the time. Keep it on your nightstand, by your computer, or on an end table in the living room.
If you’re out and about, and your baby does something book-worthy, make a note in your smartphone or email yourself. Then transfer the information to the baby book when you get home. Also, as soon as you get back from your well-baby doctor visits, record baby’s height and weight in the appropriate place.
Print out a picture of your baby each month. Don’t wait until your baby is one and then hunt down pictures for their 1 month, 2 month, 3 month pages. That’s too overwhelming. If you are using a picture from your smartphone or Instagram, there are many apps that will allow you to upload a picture from your phone to a store or your mailbox. It will take two minutes of your time, and you’ll be happy when all your baby book photos are up to date!
Choose an “update day” at the end of each month. Sit down with your baby book and fill in the gaps from the month before, using either notes that you jotted down or your memory. Use this day to make sure you have your photo lined up and ready to be printed.
The Techie Way
And for you mamas who love all things tech, here are your tips for baby book bliss. You can use some of the tips discussed above as well.
Start a baby book blog. It’s an easy way to document all of your baby’s proud moments, while being able to instantly share all those moments with your family and friends. You can get as detailed as you want, and add as many pictures as you want, which makes for a more thorough look at your new baby’s life. Plus, it’s way faster to type than write! Baby book blogs will last forever. They can’t get lost, stolen, or ruined, as an actual book can.
Print out a baby book online, through a site such as Artifact Uprising or Kidmondo. You can customize these books countless ways by uploading all your photos and adding text. Here you can get the best of both worlds: the ease of online and the joy of holding a hardcover book.
No matter how you decide to create your baby book, you still have to make the time to fill it out. We’re all busy taking care of our kids and living our full lives, but if you truly want something special to look back on when those kids are grown and gone, you have to make it a priority. Happy writing!