The first year of your child’s life can fly by. Like, blink and it’s gone. Now that I’ve done this three times with it looking like I might not be doing it again, I am so incredibly thankful that I’ve done at least a few specific things to document baby’s first year each time. It can be so hard while you’re in the trenches of sleepless nights and endless diaper changes, but with a little prior planning, you can make sure that you have all of those special memories recorded for when you emerge from the newborn fog.
1. Monthly Photos
One of the most amazing things that my mother in law ever did for me was let me know what she did to preserve The Husband’s first year of life. She had a specific chair that she put him in each month to show how much he had grown in the past 30ish days. I fell head over heels for this idea! I knew that I *had* to incorporate this idea when it came to my own children.
I kept the same tan rocking chair for each of my three sweet babies and added an accessory to the chair to have another still object to compare their growth to. For Sarah, I used a bright pink pillow, for Reagan it was a pale pink pillow, and for Luke it was the toddler quilt that coordinated with his bedding. Not only do I have photos to compare each child’s individual changes, but we’re also able to see all of their differences and similarities at a specific age.
Don’t have a chair of your own to stage photos on? Brainstorm to find something else that might work out for you! Maybe you have a stuffed animal or a blanket that has special meaning that you could use.
Another fun way to document your kiddos is one that has significantly increased in popularity in years past: the monthly stickers. You know the ones I’m talking about — you stick them on a shirt or onesie and it has how old they are that month. You can find them to suit just about any style or theme you’d like. I personally like these ones because you could use them for either gender: Monthly Baby Stickers, Chalkboard.
2. Letters to Baby
When Luke was tiny, my parents moved to New Mexico for a little over a year. I wanted to make sure that they didn’t miss a second of his brand new little life so I started a blog. Now, it isn’t this blog – it was more of a family blog – but I did keep it updated on a regular basis. After Luke turned one, I had all of those posts turned into a book for him to look back on in years to come.
I’ve also created emails for each of my kidlets and I’ll randomly send them emails with fun facts about their personalities and memories about them. They don’t know that I’ve done this; it’ll be a fun little gift that I can share with them later when they think I’m the worst thing ever for not letting them do whatever teenagers want to do at that point. I know it’s coming.
3. Baby’s First Year Calendar
At my baby shower for Luke, I was gifted a Baby’s First Year Calendar and it was such an amazing resource when I had my daughters. Because I had recorded all of his well checks, milestones, and when I introduced certain foods, I was able to look back and see what worked and what needed to be adjusted.
4. Project Life Baby Edition Core Kits
Sarah is my first kidlet that I’ve had since I’ve stumbled upon the awesomeness that is Project Life. The pressure of creating intense scrapbooks filled to the brim with embellished pages that take hours to complete is GONE. Becky Higgins and the ever amazing Emily Ley teamed up to create Baby Edition Core Kits for both boys and girls that take all of the headache out of the memory keeping process.
They already have all of the milestone prompts and sweet baby phrases included that you’d ever want and they’re made in the best colors for your tiny one.
Side note: If you’ve never attempted a Project Life album before, I’ve got an entire Project Life for Beginners series that you might want to check out. It’s so dang easy!
5. Hand Prints and Foot Prints
For some reason, I have this strange love of tiny baby hands and feet. They’re just so delicate and fragile and they’ll never be that tiny ever again. There’s something so precious about the newness of these baby parts and they are definitely worth documenting.
There are simple kits that you can purchase to preserve their hand prints and foot prints in mold-able clay or you could attempt the acrylic paint on a canvas idea. Whichever idea you decide to go with, be prepared with extras or back up plans. As cute as those hands and feet are, they can have a mind of their own and tend to curl up with touched. It may take a few tries to get the perfect imprint, but it’s so worth the extra effort.
Do you have any extra simple ways to document baby’s first year that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!
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This post was not sponsored in any way, but does contain affiliate links. All opinions and ideas are 100% my own.
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