I’ve always enjoyed capturing memories so I’ve got something to look back on. Nothing too loserish or weird like saving ketchup-stained napkins from our first date or holding on to the first condom we ever used, but more in terms of taking loads of photos of places we’ve been and things we’ve seen.
This has become even more important to me since having a sprog. I’m now even keener to ensure we capture all of the fantastic (and not so fantastic) memories and experiences that we’ve been forming so we can share these with the little one when she’s not so little. With time flying by so quickly and my memory starting to fail as I approach the big 30, we feel it is important to somehow document all of the important stuff so we have it with us forever.
Obviously this blog goes some way to chronicling my journey as a dad and our adventure as a family, particularly when I have things like our time lapse bump to baby video – but, truth be told, there are a fair few swear words and references to things like dogging on the blog, which doesn’t make sitting down and reading it with the little one the most wholesome of family experiences. I think it would scar her for life if I sat her down on my knee when she’s a bit older to tell her about how we had sex in the same room as her or what our sexual freebie list was. Plus, it would probably warrant a call from Social Services…
What we wanted to do was create something from scratch which we could show Baby L in the future. Something which would document the time when she was the bun in the oven to her first year outside of the mothership. As part of my anniversary present last year prior to the little one’s arrival, the missus bought a SUCK UK My Life Story Diary so that we could start to document Baby L’s life – this was a fantastic idea, but I’ll admit that I like to do things my own way, so didn’t really want to be told what to write or what information to include in this quite prescriptive book. I’m a rule breaker like that. A bad boy for life some might say.
So what we did instead was head down to Hobbycraft to look for a book that we could make ourselves. I’ve always enjoyed being a bit arty and crafty – I made all of our wedding invitations and got an A in GCSE art, don’t you know – so I’m a bit like a fat kid in a sweet shop when I go in there. We bought a 100-page scrapbook and some 3D stickers to decorate the outside of the book, then were forced to make a quick exit when Baby L started screaming the place down – she obviously takes after her mum and isn’t a great fan of crafts.
Since we bought the book, we’ve been populating it with all of our memories from pregnancy and the sprog’s first year of life. Doing it retrospectively is a little difficult as I can hardly remember what happened last week let alone 6 months ago, but it has been a fantastic way of reliving what we did and getting it written down. It’s also really nice having physical photos – with so much being digital these days, getting print outs (so many companies do free prints so you just pay for postage) and cutting around the heads of friends and family to stick into the book has been pretty therapeutic. Even better, the missus bought an instant camera – a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera – which we use for taking photos of the first time Baby L does something, then we stick it in the book.
Creating the baby memory scrapbook ourselves means that we can put in it what we want without anything being prescribed – it just means that you have to carefully plan what you want to include on each page. However, the point of it is to be a bit messy and handmade, so it’s not the worst thing if some things are out of order for instance. We’ve used this baby book to document anything that we think is relevant and that we want to remember. Obviously the beauty of something like this is you can do what you want, but as a bit of inspiration, we’ve included things like:
- Introducing the baby – when she was born, how much she weighed, when we found out we were pregnant etc
- Thoughts on finding out we were pregnant
- Ultrasound scan photos
- Thoughts during each of the trimesters
- List of places and dates of where we went with the bump
- Photos during pregnancy
- List of appointments we went to
- List of classes we went to
- Immediate family trees
- Thoughts on labour and birth
- Photos of labour and birth
- Photos of Baby L meeting friends / family for the first time
- List of baby classes we went to
- List of health check-ups
- Thoughts at every three months
- List of things we did / saw with Baby L
- List of things Baby L ate for the first time
- First Christmas with photos
- (The rest is yet to be decided and will be populated as we go along)
Note that the above list does not include anything creepy like those parents that keep toe nail clippings, locks of hair or the baby’s umbilical cord – that is just weird and, let’s admit, is the behaviour of a stalker or serial killer. Don’t be one of those people!
Hopefully this post has given you a bit of an idea of how you could use scrapbooking or crafty shit to help remember what you went through during pregnancy and to record the first few months of your sprog’s life. It does take a lot of work to populate, but we hope it will be well worth it when we can sit down with Baby L in the future and share our memories of her early life.
Did you do anything special to capture the memories of pregnancy, birth and as the little one developed? Are you one of those creepy parents that have kept their kids toe nails, teeth etc? If so, why?! Thanks for reading and look forward to your comments below.