A lot of people told me when I had my second child some things would fall by the wayside. It’s true; some things definitely had to give. Maybe I don’t wash my hair as much as I used to and I have entire seasons of shows DVR’d that I’ll probably never get to, but I have tried to make keeping baby books for my girls a priority by carving out just a few minutes here and there. The first months and years are so fleeting and I’m sentimental about holding onto those memories.
Here are a few of my own helpful tips for making baby books easy and do-able.
Simple is best
It can be tempting to try to go over-the-top with all the design software and scrapbooking supplies on the market, but are you really going to follow through and find pleasure in doing those things on top of the million other tasks motherhood throws at you? I opted for a simple pre-made baby book with plenty of prompts for writing down meaningful memories and milestones as well as space for photos, birth announcements, and other tidbits.
Because the books I purchased cover the first five years, I keep them handy so jotting down a memory is simple and quick. I keep my daughters’ baby books along with some nice pens, a couple glue sticks, and some scrap booking scissors in a drawer in the hallway.
Print those photos
We all have tons of photos on our phones and digital cameras, but sometimes it’s easy to forget to print them. I try to do a monthly purge of my photos and upload them to a website. I use Shutterfly, but other options include Snapfish, Target, and even Walgreens. Some sites offer subscription printing services with discounts. You don’t have to print every picture you take. I pick a few favorites and order prints at least once every few months to make sure to have plenty of photos in the baby books.
I bought my older daughter’s baby book at Target and was delighted to find the same one on Amazon for my youngest. I like that their books match and will have the same milestones documented for each of them. If you are unable to find the same baby book for each of your children, try to find books with prompts for similar memories. That way no one feels left out later when they are reading their special books.
Bit by bit
It would be incredibly daunting to sit down when your baby is three and try to fill out an entire book. I started filling the books out during pregnancy and spend just a few minutes per month updating them. It truly does not have to be time-consuming. I carve out a little time each month on my lunch break or when my husband takes my daughters to the park. Don’t overthink it. Jot down the thoughts and memories that immediately come to mind—those are the most important ones. Documenting the milestones shortly after they occur makes it easier to remember the details.
Don’t keep the book hidden away all the time! My almost three-year-old loves looking at her special book. I keep it safely out of her reach in a drawer, but am happy to pull it out and flip through it with her whenever she asks. After all, the reason we keep baby books is to remind our children how special they are.
By Katie Wiederholt
Katie Wiederholt is a former newspaper reporter and corporate communicator now working in health care financial services. She writes about marriage, parenting, travel, and more on her blog ahousewithcharacter.com.