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I am one of eight(!) siblings and my ambitious mother kept a baby journal for each of us. As number 5 in the lineup, I can’t say my book is fully complete (no doubt my mom ran out of baby book energy at some point), but I still love it. There’s something wonderful about being a parent and getting to show your child pictures of your own babyhood. The ID bracelet from the hospital. The guest list from your baby shower. A curly lock from your first haircut.
For my own children, I’ve also started baby journals, and because I’m a designer, I made a point of finding the best-looking options out there. Like my own mother, I can’t say they are completely filled out, but the books are so beautiful, they’re a joy to look at even when the pages are yet-to-be-filled. Pick one up for your own baby or give one as a gift. Here are my top 5 picks:
1. The First 1000 Days by Nikki McClure
This book takes you through your baby’s first 3 years. It’s filled with beautifully detailed illustrations (keep reading to see an example) and is modeled after the journal the author started when her son was born. The sections focus on interaction with nature — with pages for baby’s first tree, moon, and garden. Bonus: It’s a bargain, available now from Amazon, $9.19.
2. Baby Book by Binth
This modern take on the genre is gorgeous, cloth-bound and handcrafted. Original woodland illustrations lead from the day of birth through the 3rd birthday celebration with room for photos, thoughts and memories. It arrives in a handsome keepsake box. An heirloom, available now from Binth for $95.00.
3. Mother Stork’s Baby Book by Kistner Supply
This baby book has a great story behind it. The Kistner Supply founder discovered her Grandmother’s baby book, filled in by her Great Grandmother, and she loved the book so much that she made a goal to get the original 1904 version republished and started a company to do just that. Vintage and charming and really just lovely. A luxury baby gift, available from Kistner Supply for $150.
4. Baby’s Journal, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Simply titled, it’s written and illustrated by Marie Madeleine Franc-Nohain. It was adapted from Le Journal de Bébé, a book in the collection of the Museum that was first published in Paris in 1914. It’s ideal. Full of mostly blank pages with charming illustrations across the top, where you can record thoughts or attach photos. Available now from the Met Store for $19.95.
P.S. — If filling a whole year seems daunting, try these gorgeous once-a-year books by Laikonik.