Preparing for the arrival of a newborn is stressful, I’m not going to try and sugar-coat it. As new parents, we had no idea what we were supposed to do with my husband. But even couples I know who have already experienced parenthood still struggled with a new baby.
I guess part of it comes from the fact babies are so fragile, and their well-being is your entire responsibility which is a lot to deal with. Sleepless nights due to colic, frequent feeding hours, piles of nappies to buy and change – it can be overwhelming. But even so, I still miss those days of Matthew’s first few months on this world.
From time to time, I like to remember how it all went, and laugh at myself for some of the worries I’d had back then as a new mum. Thanks to the lovely baby keepsakes designed to memorise key milestones I was able to safe-keep all of the precious moments I’d have forgotten by now otherwise.
Why I’ve Come to Love Baby Keepsakes
Well, obviously they provide you with the chance to get a quick trip down memory lane which is what I absolutely cherish. My parents had them for me, and I have just as much fun nowadays reading and looking through them as I did years ago. I’m sure Matthew would do the same, as he already enjoys reading and looking through the ones I’ve kept of him.
Simply said, it’s a great way to pass such treasure down from generation to generation. Who knows, maybe the stuff I’ve written down for my son would, later on, come to be useful for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, besides being fun to read.
Another reason I must point out is they help bring families together, even after many of the relatives have long been gone. I have certain baby keepsake items that my great grandparents and great aunts and uncles have gifted, said or did, and it’s nice to remember them through the decades after their deaths.
Starting the Baby Keepsakes Collection
As every little one is special on his or her own, so should the collection of memories, and as a parent, you’re in charge of not letting an important and precious moment slip by without being eternalised.
Begin with Pregnancy
Pregnancy should be the time when the collection begins. Besides storing some of the ultrasound pictures, no matter whether you’re preparing your own collection or choosing items for a loved one, it’s nice to include a belly casting kit. It’s fun to do it alone, or with a spouse, and then decorate it at the baby shower with lots of paint and drawings from all the cool aunts.
That’s what my collection misses. I wish I did a cast of my belly years ago, but at least I’ve kept my maternity support band as a memento. A pregnancy journal is another must-have, not just for the sake of memories but it might come in handy with the monthly doctor check-ups too.
Get a Babybook
Next up, a baby book. As the book itself is one of the baby keepsakes with many aspects pointed out on the many pages, it would make it easy for you to come up with a list of things you should collect and fill it up with. For instance, the books I’d gotten for Matthew had pages asking you to describe a little of the story of how mummy and daddy met when they married and conceived.
Other pages included parts of the birthing experience, with a spot to safe-keep the baby’s hospital wristband, a lock of the hair, first photograph of the newborn, footprints and handprints, as well as the first drawing so I had the guidance for compiling the collection. Footprints and handprints are great as separate baby keepsake gift because they come in kits with clay you can later keep in a special tin or hang in a frame.
Put Everything in a Box
If you plan on putting everything in a box (and I suggest you do that to stay organised!), then you can include other and bigger items like their first toy, or favourite toy and blanket, the baby bottle and dummy that helped put them to sleep, their first clothing, shoes, mittens and hats. I also included the toilet seat that helped with potty training.
As they grow older, you can have plenty of other items to enlarge the collection with, from the first fallen baby tooth to the first passport, first-holiday photo, a memento from trips and experiences, photos of pets (if any), and of course birthday gift cards.
As it’s easy to go overboard with the items you put in the box, it’s advisable to get a good look inside every now and then to see if it’s organised and whether or not you remember why each of the items got in there in the first place. If you can’t remember, then perhaps a certain item shouldn’t be taking up room.