The first time I realized the importance of a baby book was when I watched my father-in-law comb through his. His mother was scrapbooking the lives of him and his older sister back before scrapbooking was a thing. We were gathered around the kitchen table with a book that was twice the height of a regular scrapbook, pages stained yellow, reading all that she had written. If there were baby books back in the 1950’s, his mother certainly didn’t own one. These books were a creation all her own, filled with photographs, birthday cards, quotes and phrases her children would say on any typical day.
When I think of the expressions on my father-in-law’s face as he read things he said as a small boy, like, “That soup burn a hole in me.” I realize that having those memories for my children is one of the sweetest gifts I could possibly give.
Keeping up with those baby books is easier said then done. So I have listed my top five tips for keeping those sweet memories intact.
1. Notes App:
Let’s face it, in this digital savvy world most people never leave home without their cell phone. As a busy mother of two, the iPhone Notes app has become my go-to. I have found it’s the quickest way to jot down the sweet and endearing things my preschooler blurts out on a daily basis. I keep a running list in my phone with the name, date, and milestone of each child.
With the Notes app, I was able to capture our very first true mother/daughter shopping trip conversation. One evening last spring, I decided to take my newly turned four-year-old with me, which made for the most memorable shopping trip ever.
Daughter: “Oooohhh, Mommy this is pretty. You should try this on. It’s ok, I know your style. Try this on Mommy, it will be beautiful on you.” Needless to say, I ended up trying on way more clothes than intended. But thanks to my phone, I was able to capture this sweet moment all before we left the dressing room. There are many other apps for note-taking to choose from as well.
Let’s face it: as parents we don’t always have time to pull out the baby book at the exact moment a milestone occurs. But we do have the ability to snap a quick photo. This is a great way to capture a moment initially and use the photograph to write down the memory at a later date.
3. Social Media Platforms:
Sometimes when a photograph just won’t do, I turn to Facebook for help. When my youngest rolled over for the first time, all I had time to do was snap a photo. There was just one problem: that photograph looked ordinary in a sea of pictures. She was just laying on her play mat, staring happily up at me. Nothing about that photo said, “I hit a major baby milestone today.” So in my effort to keep an accurate record for my second born, I immediately uploaded the photo to Facebook and wrote a one simple sentence to solidify the significance of this otherwise seemingly ordinary photograph. Save your precious photos and memories on Facebook, Instagram, or whatever your favorite platform is.
As a contributor for a moms blog, I realize I have a unique opportunity to capture fragments of our lives in print. While not everyone has such a platform, it is possible to create your own family blog. There are several free sites that can be used, such as Blogger. Believe me when I say it’s the perfect way to get those memories down easily before they are lost forever. After the birth of our second daughter, I wrote about her first twelve days on my personal blog. I didn’t realize how invaluable that was until I went to copy it into her baby journal. I would not have remembered half of that experience if I hadn’t put the information on my blog while it was still clear in my mind.
5. Travel Size Baby/Toddler Journal:
My oldest daughter has the traditional scrapbook-size baby book. It’s perfect for adding all those extra keepsakes, but too big to take on the go. The second time around, I purchased a journal-sized baby book. It fit easily into the diaper bag and was perfect for those long summer car trips.
As a mother of two, I have come to realize a filled baby book is more important than a perfect baby book. So what if I haven’t put the photos in, as long as the information is there? Who cares if those moments sat on my phone awhile before making their way into the book? It’s there now. The important thing is, I found a way to capture the moments initially so they wouldn’t be forgotten.
How do you capture sweet memories of your little ones?