Disclaimer: This was written before we all went into coronavirus lockdown. I feel the need to note that because just because you now actually have time to work on it, I don’t want my frustrated rant to lose its saltiness. But, guess what? You now have some time. And Walgreens is still printing pictures. So, girl … do your baby book!
Y’all … just a warning … I’m about to get on my high horse here for a little bit. Something has been bothering me, and it’s built up into a little bit of a mommy rant.
It absolutely drives me crazy when I hear how far behind some moms are with working on their child’s (or children’s….oh, Lort) baby book! We will be sharing a playdate, gleefully watching our children romp about on the jungle gym, and another momma will say she hasn’t updated her three-year-old’s baby book since he was about six months old. Or we will be standing in the hallway during pre-school dropoff, and another momma will admit that—gasp!—she hasn’t even purchased her toddler’s baby book yet.
I’m sorry, but my Type-A, list-making, scrapbooking, journaling self JUST CANNOT HANDLE THIS. How are you going to go back and remember the first word, the first step, the first tooth, years after the fact nearly as well as you would have the week following their occurrence? Sure, the photos on your phone are dated (thank goodness), but where’s the narrative? Where are the details? The tidbits? The cute little stories? Please, for the love of all that’s holy, go write this stuff down!
Friends, I say all this with love. Your children will only turn three months old, or 1 or 2 or 5, once in their lives. And their precious little minds won’t remember a lot of the details and happenings that made these first years oh-so-special. You’re going to have to do it for them. And, as mommas, we all have seriously over-packed parent brains that are constantly clouded with Cheerio dust and Butt Paste fumes; so, do yourself a favor and jot down the good stuff while it is still fresh in your mind.
It doesn’t take much effort. You don’t have to get all crazy. For example, my mom wants me to write EVERYTHING down. She’s all like, “Did you write in his baby book that on March 9, 2019, he had two drops of drool coming from his mouth instead of three?” Um, no, Mom. I didn’t.
But I did write about how his first bath went. And how tall he was on his one-year visit to the doctor. And who his favorite teacher was at school. And what we did on his first beach vacation. You know—the big things; the important things; the things I don’t want to forget.
And, if you’re intimidated by this process, don’t be. You don’t have to get all creative or super-descriptive if you don’t want to. Most baby books ask plenty of questions to guide you through the process of documenting some of your child’s most memorable moments.
Don’t worry—there’s even an app for this. There are a ton, actually. Apps like Moment Garden and Peekaboo Moments help you build a digital “scrapbook” of your child’s milestones and memories. And a friend of mine uses an app called Qeepsake, which sends you occasional questions or prompts about your child to “force” you to document and save memories and details. For example, it might ask you “What makes your child smile?” or “Has your child invented any special games?”
I’m definitely more old school, and I enjoy printing pictures and placing them in my children’s baby books next to handwritten descriptions about our little life together. And I’m so glad I forced myself to keep up with it as we went along—I can’t imagine having to go back and remember all of this stuff. I would inevitably leave something out.
So, wherever you are in this baby book process, I beg you to stick with it and complete it in a timely manner. Before we know it, our kids will be all grown up, and we will wish we could spend more time reminiscing about when they lost their first tooth, or first pooped in the potty, or said, “I love you, momma,” for the first time.