Marking Babys Milestones: 1 of 12
You spend months intricately preparing for the big day the birth of your darling baby and then the following years pass in a blissful blur. To help preserve those first memories, weve got 10 must-have mementos of your babys birth and following years that both of you will cherish for years.
Baby Memory Book 2 of 12
A baby memory book is an oldie but a goodie, and these days, baby books come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Think about your own habits when buying a book: Is question and answer more your style, or do you want longer-form spaces for thoughts? How about room for photos or babys first snip of hair? Traditional moms should check out the Peter Rabbit Baby Book with updated graphics and space for photos and keepsakes through the first year. For something more heirloom-like, theres the Binth Baby Book, with beautiful screen-printed pages and a mostly fill-in-the-blank format through
the third birthday.
Journal 3 of 12
The nice thing about starting a journal of your new babys life is that there doesnt have to be any rules. Use several pages recounting one memorable day and then skip those that arent or ones that youre simply too tired to remember. It doesnt have to be a beautifully bound paper version, either. Consider starting an email account for your new addition and sending him memory emails. When your wee one is old enough, present the journal or give him the email password. If you need a kick-start, try One Line a Day: Five Year Memory Book, but we suggest a longer-form approach, such as a Moleskine or this butterflies journal by Peter Pauper Press.
Video 4 of 12
Youre going to shoot oodles of video of your precious little one as he goes from just-born, to crawling, to walking, to destroying furniture. But what about you, parents? Why not create a running video of your thoughts, dreams and wonders just for him starting with the day he was born and continuing through with recorded video of your thoughts on milestones and special days in his life. These days, most phones act as pocket video cameras, but if you need a stand-alone version, try the Kodak Zi6 HD Pocket Video Camera. Dont forget to back everything up on an external hard drive.
Newspaper 5 of 12
Gingerly leafing through a newspaper from the day of ones birth is a rite of passage, so dont forget to pick one up on the big day. Consider asking friends and relatives in different cities to grab their citys rag, too. Who knows in 20 years, a newspaper from the day of ones birth just might be a true relic of another era.
Coins and stamps 6 of 12
Whether or not your child grows up to be a numismatist or philatelist (thats coin or stamp collector), shell appreciate a set of coins or stamps from her birth year. The U.S. Mint packages uncirculated, proof and silver proof coin sets every year. Stamps, including first-day covers, and other dated U.S. Post Office materials can be purchased at local post offices or at the United States Postal Services online store. In the future, will all mail be paid for in plastic and sent via the Internet? Only time will tell.
Footprints and Handprints 7 of 12
If you think those hands and feet look small on the first day, just wait until your child grows up and you look back to compare sizes. Make sure to save a hand- and footprint from your babys first days of life. In addition to doing an ink imprint in a baby book or on a newspaper from the day of birth, try a lightweight clay imprint. There are a variety of options out there, but we like this simple round version from babyprints that comes with its own mini display easel and a pink or blue storage tin.
Memory Box 8 of 12
If youre the type who worries that a baby memory book or journaling will require too much attention to detail and organization, a memory box is for you (organized people love em, too). Although you can always buy one, in this case, making your own is as easy as finding a large box with a lid, and then covering it with attractive paper and your childs name. Simply toss in whatever you want to remember pressed flowers from a coming-home bouquet, cards from birthdays, cute photos, first artwork, etc. You and your child will love sifting through it for years to come.
Christmas Ornaments 9 of 12
Most parents remember to buy a first-year holiday ornament, but why not follow up and make the tree ornament a yearly tradition? Try picking an ornament that represents a milestone in the childs life his obsession with trucks, her first bike ride. After the first few years, you can also have your child make her own yearly ornament for the tree. By the time shes ready to decorate her own tree (and youre ready to give up the ornaments), shell have many years worth of memories ready to go. Check out these white ceramic animal-shaped ornaments from Palomas Nest.
Jewelry 10 of 12
Whether boy or girl, the classic baby bracelet is a great gift and memento of your childs early years. Generally under $30, sterling silver baby bracelets run the gamut from ID bracelets to bangles. We like the kind that can be engraved, either with babys full name or initials. This oval-tag baby bracelet works for both sexes and has room enough for a small engraving.
Wine or Champagne 11 of 12
Having a child is the perfect excuse to celebrate, and mom and dad will often pop a celebratory bottle of Champagne or cigar on the big day, but what about buying a fine wine or Champagne? Save it until your wee one is old enough to drink (and has taste enough to appreciate a 25-year-old Bordeaux). The best place to find a bottle that will age well is a reputable wine store that deals in higher-end products at the store, ask for advice on proper storing techniques. Your bottle is not going to fare well unless left in a cool, dark place and handled sparingly.
Marking Babys Milestones: 12 of 12