Memory Book For Baby

Craft a memory book to keep your baby's first words, steps and haircut memorable by maintaining a memory book as your child grows.

Memories are what dreams are made of, and loved ones are the individuals who keep those dreams alive.

When a child is born, the entire family should celebrate. Unfortunately, unless someone keeps tabs on that particular celebration for Baby, Baby will never know who and what happened. Don't count on being there years from now to inform Baby about everything that has gone before. We don't know what the future holds for each of us, and if something bad happens to you, there might not be someone available to fill in the blanks for Baby.

Imagine roaming this planet and not knowing anything about your past. It's a scary thought, but true for many people. A memory book filled with snapshots of you and your family, will ensure that Baby never forgets his or her roots.

A memory book should be started long before Baby arrives. Pictures of Mom and Dad, Grampa and Gramma, siblings, the house the family lived in, everything that pertains to Baby, even prior to the child's arrival, should be included. The four-leaf clover Mom found in the backyard before she got pregnant and the wish attached to it would make a great opening for the memory book. (Perhaps it's about to come true on Baby's arrival date?)

The memory book itself, can be a designated baby book purchased from a card shop or nursery, or it can be an empty photo album, or a hand-made book made out of a three-ring binder and colored paper. Let your imagination run wild. Just remember, you're making this for your child, nothing but the best will do!

Include information from the baby shower, such as: a copy of the silly games played, an invitation and a thank you card, all congratulatory cards from family and friends, and specially printed napkins. Snapshots of the cake, the decorations, Mom and her baby gifts, and anything else fun that happened that day. Continue along this line, adding anything and everything that represents Baby's family during the nine months prior to his/her arrival.

When the day of reckoning arrives, keep track of what happened, when. Both Mom and Dad, and Grama and Grampa if they like, should write down their version of the day, complete from the first labor pains to the tears of joy in Dad's eyes when he held Baby for the first time. It's likely to be the most emotional point in Baby's life...but Baby won't even know about it unless you document everything. It wouldn't hurt to add the front page of the local newspaper, as well as the front page of The NewYork Times or some other national newspaper. If there's something happening in the news that day that is particularly important, jot that down, and your feelings about it, too.

Word to the wise, Baby's first pictures should be developed in the very least. Everyone will want a copy of every photograph and if you're not careful, your copy, or Baby's copy, will disappear in Auntie's purse or Uncle's wallet. Don't be stingy, make enough photographs for everyone!

The most critical time occurs once Mom and Baby are back home Routine sets in, and routine can be a killer when it comes to special things like Memory Books for Baby. After all, everyone's tired and cranky, what will all the schedules messed up. However, do not succumb to the inevitable and forget you have a camera! Take pictures every day. Baby is growing very quickly and what you see today may not be what you see tomorrow. No one wants to miss anything, so take lots and lots of pictures. There can never be too many. Trust me on this one-there really can't.

At this point, any letters sent to Baby's parents that mention Baby should be included. It might sound like a hassle, but years from now, you'll be glad you saved them. Date holiday cards that mention Baby's name for the first time and throw them in the book.

If the book is getting to be too much work, just throw the stuff in a box, and get to the book when you have time. Don't let it fall by the wayside because life keeps you busy. Work on it when you can. Dates, names and places are a must when identifying pictures of Baby. Twenty years from now, Baby won't care about a photo that isn't identified, she won't even know if she's in the picture. And, think about it, will you remember?

As Baby develops, jot down first words, first tooth, first lost tooth, first steps, first everything. But, don't limit your writing to just firsts. Children are beautiful, wonderful individuals. They constantly change. Write a paragraph about the expression on your child's face as he/she gazed at a butterfly, watched the snow fall, or held a kitten. That may be your only change to catch it; don't miss out.

Write down any words Baby mispronounces on a regular basis. Years from now you may not remember that he called spaghetti, pissgetti, will you? Or that when he sang the words to Carly Simon's You're So Vain, as ...wife of a clothespin...when in actually, the line was ...wife of a close friend. And will you remember how cute it was when your child sang CCR's Bad Moon Rising? Who would have thought your son would sing this line.."there's a bathroom on the right"...for this line..."there's a bad moon on the rise"? It was cute then, it'll be cute when you read it 30 years later. It'll be cute for your grandkids, and their grandkids, and your child will love that you took the time to remember.

If possible, use one of Baby's flannel receiving blankets-after Baby no longer needs it, of course-and cover the book There's nothing like the softness of that blanket to take you right back to the moment you first held Baby in your arms, and it'll connect Baby to his roots.

Remember, this child will always be your baby. Add to the memory book every time you think about it. Your children won't have memories of their childhood-certainly not as vivid, and in some cases not at all-if you don't save the memories for them. Then again, the memories aren't just for your child, are they?

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