Guide to creating and keeping baby books
Welcoming a new baby into the family is one of life's most precious milestones. New parents want to remember every moment of their sweet child's early life, but between feedings, diaper changes and all the other tasks parenthood brings, it's easy to let these precious memories slip away. That's why starting your child's baby book or baby memory book even before he or she joins your family is key to preserving major childhood events.
With so many different options available, it's difficult for parents to know where to start. Here are some tips for choosing, starting, updating and storing your baby's record book:
- Decide what's important to you in a baby book. Before picking a baby book for your child, consider what sort of information you want to record. Do you want space to include detailed descriptions of your baby's early life or simply a spot to keep track of his or her major milestones? Would you like to include photos and keepsakes like baby's hospital bracelet or a lock of hair? Also, think about the amount of time you have and are willing to devote to entering information in the book. Make a list of your baby book "priorities" to use when exploring the memory book options available.
- Choose the book that fits you best. Once you've identified what you'd like to accomplish in your child's baby book, you can start looking for the best possible match. There are many different types of baby memory books available to parents. Personalized baby books can be created especially for your child. For the parent who'd prefer to create a photo journal of his or her baby, a baby photo book is a great option. If you'd like to be able to share the baby memory book with others, consider creating an online baby book. There are even baby books for twins with a common area to record information about the pair as well as separate sections for each child. Also, for parents adopting a child, adoption baby books provide a unique format for chronicling your baby's life as part of your family.
- Start your baby memory book even before your child joins the family. While it may seem strange to begin a baby book before the baby is born, once he or she arrives, it's often difficult to find the time to get started. There are several pieces of information that you can enter prior to your child's birth. For example, many baby books have a section for the child's family tree. Also, a good number of books provide a section where parents can record events during the pregnancy to share with the child once he or she is older. Once you've begun the process of keeping a baby record book, it is easier to keep it up.
- Devote time each month to updating your baby's memory book. The hardest part of keeping baby record books is remembering to update them. Many a well-intentioned parent purchases a baby keepsake book never to enter information into it! To avoid this pitfall, commit to a regular time each month to sit down and update your child's book. Consider writing the time that you intend to work on the book in your calendar to remind yourself of its importance. Between update sessions, keep a sheet of paper to write down events and memories you want to add to the book somewhere easily accessible, like the refrigerator door. If you are keeping a book with areas to include photos or mementos, you may also want to consider having an envelope on hand devoted to collecting these items.
- Find a safe, secure storage place for the book. Once you've taken the time to create your child's baby book, you want to make sure it lasts for years to come. Store the book in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to prevent water damage, yellowing and wrinkling. You may also want to consider keeping the book in a fire-safe lock box, especially if it contains key documents such as your child's birth certificate or social security card.
By Joelle Brummitt-Yale