by Kate Cahill
The changes and developments babies experience in their first few years are life are rapid and precious. One day they are drinking formula out of a bottle and the next day they are vocal enough to express that the food from your dinner plate looks more appealing. Of course, these cherished moments are sprinkled in the chaos of everyday life; the meltdown at the supermarket, the sleepless nights during teething, and running out of diapers just before bedtime. With all that parents have to handle on a daily basis it’s no surprise that the task of recording milestones in that beautiful baby book is often set aside for another day.
Parents often find themselves in the cycle of trying to remember whether their baby rolled over for the first time on a Wednesday afternoon or a Tuesday morning. Rather, than get caught up in the guilt that may come along with neglecting the baby book, a couple of modern day alternatives may help parents record these milestones in an increasingly hectic world.
First, it is important to always have the camera charged and ready to go. For new parents this is an easy step to accomplish. The camera does all the work…it captures the moments and stamps them with the time and date. Take pictures at restaurants, parks, malls, office buildings…just keep snapping. Develop the pictures regularly, make it part of the routine. If grocery shopping is done on a Sunday arrange to pick up the pictures at the store on Sundays also. After picking up the pictures, write a small caption on the back of each picture. If baby got fussy while shopping in the produce section or spit up on a blouse at the mall that you didn’t intend to buy…write it down. Try not to worry about always capturing the big events like rolling over, but rather the daily events that capture your baby’s unique and individual personality. Store the pictures in photo albums with clear sleeves. Only put one picture in each sleeve so that as you flip the pages you are able to read the caption on the back. Once the album is full, write the month and year on the outside cover and then you can keep them stored chronologically.
Another great way to remember milestones is through your cell phone’s video recorder. This function often allows its users to record very short videos at the “touch of a button.” This is a great option are quick ways to make lasting memories without the commitment of lugging around a large video camera. Record your baby when they are happy and again make it a ritual. Maybe do it every morning just after the first bottle or right after bath time…just pick a time when you are both typically calm. As you record, have you or your partner do light hearted narration in the back – you can do this from the parent or child perspective. For example, “Today is April 9th, and Mommy and Daddy changed lots of diapers and fed baby with a spoon” or “I have my first cold today. I am all stuffed up and Daddy keeps bugging me and wiping my nose.” Technology has progressed so much that worrying about the date or time is usually not necessary, as the phone will likely record that as well. What makes this option so special is that the baby has an active rather than passive role in the process. Download the videos onto your computer and make sure you back them up and you can play them for a lifetime. Put them on a disk and give it to your child as a gift when they have their first baby.
If you are a fan of the traditional baby book or want to scrapbook your baby’s memories here are a few pointers that may aid you…
Keep an item in your diaper bag that will help you keep track of moments that are important to you. It can be a notepad where you can quickly jot down dates and note. Maybe a small calendar so that you can write the event on the specific day. Even a check book would suffice. If the thought of taking notes reminds you too much of school, invest in a voice recorder for your keychain. These gadgets are small and allow you to record a verbal note quickly and on the go. Since your keys are always with you it is a convenient way to remember, “baby tried carrots today April 9th and liked them.”
Then pick a special time of day or week that you are able to dedicate to transferring all of that information to your baby book or scrapbook. Try and make sure it’s during nap time or when grandma is babysitting so that you don’t get distracted and forget any important details.
As a new parent it is natural to want your baby to have the best of everything and to be the perfect person to provide them that experience. However, “spit up happens,” and constructing the perfect baby book can become stressful and next to impossible. These tips are designed to help you cherish the hiccups during Sunday service and the smiles during nightly bath.
About the author:
Kate Cahill is the owner of Never OutGrown – An upscale Baby Resale and Baby Consignment Store. She is also the author of the Never OutGrown blog documenting the life of a new mom – sharing tips, tricks, and multiple mishaps. We welcome you to visit both websites: http://www.neveroutgrown.com and http://www.neveroutgrown.blogspot.com. You may reach Kate directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .