Our babies, they grow up too fast. Before you know it they’re spitting out words and taking their first steps. Don’t you just want to bundle up all that newborn little baby goodness into a jar and keep it forever? I know I do. My baby is already getting so much bigger and I’ve already packed away his newborn and up to 1 month clothes. Which is absolutely heartbreaking. We’re not too sure if we’ll ever have another baby since the delivery of Theodore was traumatic, so I want to make sure we ‘capture’ all his baby-ness whilst he’s still a baby.
I want to remember how tiny he is, I want to remember the sounds of his little coo’s and gaa’s. I want to remember the little grip of his hands whilst he grasps your pinky so tight, I want to remember all of it. I don’t want all that to just fade in my memory.
So lately I’ve been using all sorts of different creative methods to make sure I don’t miss a single detail, and I want to show you all these ways I’ve been capturing Theodore’s baby-ness so you don’t miss the chance with your little ones, because one day you’ll wake up and you’ll be dragging your teenager out of bed wondering how time escaped you at such a speed.
Yes, we all take photos, but do you actually print them? We do. I already have hundreds of printed photographs of Theodore and he’s only three months old. A while back I spoke about the importance of printing photographs and why you should do. There’s lots of reasons why, but of your child it’s obviously for memories. Imagine, how heartbroken you would be if your phone/computer broke, and you lost all those first photos of your precious baby. Absolutely gut wrenching. I would hate the fact of never being able to look back on those days.
The next question about photographs is how to store them. Framing your favourites is a clear use, showing them off around your home, and even sending them out as gifts (easy quick Christmas present btw!) gives other people chance to keep those memories closer to heart. But there are different ways depending on how much effort you want to put into it.
I actually do all of the above (please don’t think I’m obsessed, I studied photography for 7 years), and I use them all in different ways. Photo albums is where I stick any photographs in any order, just to keep them safe and all in one place, not in any particular order. Although I always date my photographs on the back. With the scrapbook I focus more on special days or outings. Group the same day of photos across a page, perhaps with a little bit of written information about what we did that day. I’ll stick in the receipt or ticket if that day included something like that. I also have pages about the baby-group’s he attends, the friends he makes and will stick in anything he’s (I’ve) made.
Baby record books are easy because there’s usually some kind of guided structure to what you should stick in each page, and what you should write about. I would say this is the most simple way of keeping track of memories because it reminds you of what you should include, like important milestones and month-birthdays.
Creating imprints are a perfect way of insuring you can always touch that teeny tiny hand. There’s so much difference compared to just creating a hand and foot print with paint, because with these imprints you can actually feel the definition and structure of your little ones hand and foot. I got my set from BabyArt, which comes with all the tools and how-to’s to make the clay-like mixture to insure you get it just right. When I did mine I knew I definitely wanted both the hand and foot so I could cherish how small they both were forever. When you create yours I must tell you to do the hand first, because it will most likely take a few attempts since Theodore just loved crunching his hand up in it, meaning I had to re-roll the mixture. The feet are easier just because they can’t move them as much…
I actually had a little bit of mixture left over that didn’t fit in the tin, to which I rolled out into a longer little strip and did his foot again, I then created a little hole in the top and added some ribbon, which I gifted to my Nana as I knew she’d love it.
Whilst leaving our long stay at hospital after birthing Theodore I made sure to take anything I could with me, even my own hospital tags which they tried to cut off me before I ran straight out that door (the cheek of it!). I knew I would just want to hold on to any physical detail of that scary but special time with Theodore. I’ve added one of his tags into his record book, and the others I’ve kept in a special keepsake box which I’ve started to build up. Usually in your babies red book they’ll be a little keepsake card with all their birth information on, which I decided to keep separate and store in a safer place.
Umbilical cord clip. I know that in my personal baby record book that my mother kept my clip, so I knew I wanted to keep Theodore’s. Don’t be freaked. But yes, that is still part of his cord on the clip. I’m not too sure if I actually want to keep that bit, but I feel like I can’t just throw it in the bin, it’s a part of him. Perhaps it’ll just start to rot away or worse turn into liquid *shudders*. I’ll decide what to do with it when that time comes.
Who hasn’t seen these 3D casts knocking around in those beautiful displayed cabinets in Mothercare?! Seeing them created so beautifully is one reason creating a sculpture keepsake was high on my to do list. These ones are brilliant, they’re actually from BabyArt too. It’s just like chopping off your little ones hand and foot and storing it on a shelf forever (apart from all the blood, gore, and jail sentence). With Theodore’s I plan on displaying it proudly in his nursery once we’ve moved and I’ve decorated it for him.
Your little family, holding hands as if the world was at complete peace. Then one day they’re suddenly 15 and hiss at the thought of touching you let alone holding hands, well, at least you’d still have this Family Touch Print to reminisce about the times your hands used to touch. This again took a few attempts since Theodore loved just smushing his hand around on the perspex, but once complete it’s actually beyond cute. It actually comes with four sheets of perspex, I didn’t intend on keeping the fourth sheet, but Bradley insists “incase we have another” – hell no.
For those of you that are a little more digital savvy, this is a beautiful way to capture the everyday and compile it into one large group for easy viewing. 1SE is a memory making app, where you add a 1 second video clip of each day, it then puts it all together for you into a lovely video for you to hear and see your babies everyday life. You could create a months worth of clips or a years it’s up to you. I’ve been doing it everyday since Theodore was born, and it’s already shaping up to be an amazing video I’ll always adore. The perfect thing about this is that you can watch your baby grow in front of your very eyes, over and over again. Once we reach his first birthday I will save and download the whole file to have forever and always. This is much easier than having thousands of videos to save and show people, it basically sums up your little ones year and does not take a long time to watch over. I also feel like it’ll be very emotional to watch once its complete, to show the rate and speed he’s grown at. I plan on creating a video each year of these early years.
Theodore hasn’t done or got many ‘firsts’ yet, being so little. No first tooth or first hair cut. But I do have a special place in my heart for his first teddy. Which was bought by mum, who brought it to the hospital when she came to meet Theodore for the first time. He’s already started to chew the back of its head so he’s obviously taken a liking to it, and I intend on keeping it forever even when he outgrows cuddling teddies and tells me it’s not cool to have teddies sat on his bed or even in his room. But for me it’s important to keep significant things like that. To treasure always and remind myself of these early days when Theodore was a tiny little soul, and I’m sure when he’s older he’ll appreciate all these little things to which he might show his own children, and even his grandchildren one day.
Creating baby keepsakes is something we should all be doing, before it’s too late and we regret not taking the chance whilst we had it.