Like most new parents, you may have excitedly purchased a baby book, looking forward to filling in each new milestone. Like most new parents, however, you soon discover that the baby book wasn’t being filled out on a regular basis.
As my daughter’s first birthday approached, I found myself wanting to preserve her memories. How could I do so in a way that fit our busy lifestyle? I didn’t want a book to sit empty on a shelf! So, without further ado, here are 10 alternatives to the typical baby book, to help you preserve your baby’s memories.
1. Special Occasion Shadow Box
This is a popular one! Make a shadow box of your children’s coming home outfits, tiny little hospital bracelets, and any other little mementos you don’t want to lose packed away somewhere. It’s simple and sweet décor to look upon for many years to come, and remember how much they’ve grown! First dance outfits, a special milestone, and first sport or extracurricular mementos would also make cute shadowboxes.
2. Photo Journal
Have you seen the cute monthly photos of babies? I love these and did this for my daughter. The photos can be as simple or as staged as you like, and there are so many different props! Simple stickers like these or a blanket like this would be adorable. Yearly birthday photos, major events, or first and last day of school make great photos!
3. Clothing Quilt
Again, preserve those sweet little outfits in a way that can be used and displayed in your home. Littles will love snuggling up in a personalized quilt that contains squares of some of your favorite outfits from their first year. Shirts from their soccer team over the years, pretty fabric from dance recitals, and favorite costumes would all make cute, personalized quilts that will be loved for many years to come.
4. Picture Subscription
Do you find yourself being an iPhone mamarazzi? I’m guilty of taking thousands of pictures on my phone, but unfortunately phone pictures are the least likely to ever be printed and preserved! Today, there are a lot of photo subscription you can join, like chatbooks, that automatically sends you a sweet and simple book every time you reach a certain number of uploaded photos. It doesn’t take any extra time once you have it set up, and you’ll never miss having photos of an event or memory again!
5. Text Subscription
Busy moms rejoice! There’s nothing like a reminder to preserve memories. Companies like this offer a text message on a set schedule. You can then answer the question and they put it together in a private, online journal with the option to purchase a hardcopy. You can also send in your own texts and photos as major milestones happen!
6. Create an Email Address
This one also pulls in today’s technology while opening up your memory preservation to friends and family. Create an email address for your child, whether for personal use or to share with family, too. You can then send in notes about major milestones, a photo or short video, and even send them a letter as you wish.
7. Letters to Baby
This is similar to the last idea, but a little more hands-on. Make a time capsule of letters for your child every year on their birthday. Write about memories from the past year, successes and struggles they’ve had, wishes for the upcoming year…whatever your heart desires! One day, you can present this to them, such as on their 18th birthday, or even when they are expecting their first child. It’s a sweet way to capture the years and a surprise for them down the road. Include letters from other family members and friends if you want!
8. Milestone Calendar
Purchase a monthly calendar just for your baby (or have a cute personalized one made on a site such as Shutterfly!) and keep it nearby. You want it seen often so you remember to jot notes! Then, when a special event, a milestone, or even on a whim, you can fill in certain days.
9. Shared Journal
A shared journal won’t be “shared” for a few years, but would be an incredible keepsake. You can start journaling your baby’s first year, second year, and so on, and later in life let your child write/draw back to you. It would be a cute place to keep occasional hand and/or footprints to document their growth as well!
10. Scrapbooking Simplified: Choose a Website to Help!
If you still love the scrapbook idea, but just don’t have the time, there are many places that can automatically “fill” a baby book for you. Upload the pictures, and they will lay it out in your chosen template. You can go in and alter it slightly, add captions, and then purchase. It’s a much simpler, but just as sweet, way to scrapbook all of those cute photos from over the year, a special event, family vacation—anything you can think of!
What other special ways have you saved memories of your kid’s lives?
I’d love to hear your ideas!
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