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How We Tracked Baby’s First Year

When Eli was one day old, my husband brought a package to the hospital from our doorstep and it just happened to be a gift for the baby. I opened it and found a knitted stuffed lion that was given to me by a friend (with remarkably good timing). I grabbed it and my new tiny baby, put them on my lap and snapped a picture. My only intention was to send my friend a thank you text with the picture, but I got to thinking- wouldn’t this be a great way to track Eli’s growth?

From there, a tradition was born. On the 12th of each month (since the picture was taken when he was 1 day old, we did x month and 1 day), we set up the lion and the baby and worked hard to get a good shot of him so we could see how much he had grown. And while there were some struggles and frustration on all our parts, especially once Eli got mobile, the outcome is something I’ll cherish forever. I don’t know if we’ll keep taking pictures each month or not, but I love to look back and see how my tiny newborn transformed each month into the little boy I have now.

  • Time flies… 1 of 14
    Our Monthly Growth Tracker!

    I think that lion is shrinking!

  • 1 day… 2 of 14
    1 day old!

    May 12, 2012

  • 1 month and 1 day… 3 of 14
    1 month and 1 day!

    June 12, 2012

  • 2 months and 1 day… 4 of 14
    lion3

    July 12, 2012

    (Red splotchy face is the product of (failed) attempt to suck his thumb and razor sharp baby nails!)

  • 3 months and 1 day… 5 of 14
    3 months and 1 day!

    August 12, 2012

    My smiley baby!

  • 4 months and 1 day… 6 of 14
    4 months and 1 day!

    September 12, 2012

  • 5 months and 1 day… 7 of 14
    5 months and 1 day!

    October 12, 2012

    (This one is my favorite. It was the month where he found his feet and this picture was just perfectly timed when he let go of them!)

  • 6 months and 1 day… 8 of 14
    6 months and 1 day!

    November 12, 2012

    Big growth spurt this month. Or maybe the lion just got dramatically smaller?

  • 7 months and 1 day… 9 of 14
    7 months and 1 day!

    December 12, 2012

    It's carrots. I know.

  • 8 months and 1 day… 10 of 14
    8 months and 1 day!

    January 12, 2013

    The mohawk was leftover from the night before and not intended to last. This baby's hair has some serious body!

  • 9 months and 1 day… 11 of 14
    9 months and 1 day!

    February 12, 2013

    The beginning of the cheesy grin phase (which I adore!)

  • 10 months and 1 day… 12 of 14
    10 months and 1 day!

    March 12, 2013

    ROAAAAAAR.

  • 11 months and 1 day… 13 of 14
    11 months and 1 day!

    April 12, 2013

    My baby is disappearing.

  • 12 months and 1 day… 14 of 14
    12 months and 1 day...

    May 12, 2013

    My birthday boy (plus one day). And poof, just like that, the baby is gone and a little boy and his lion are left.

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