Important Milestones In A Baby's Life
Babies grow so fast and seem to have special moments you want to capture on camera every single day. When your child is all grown up, and you look back at his baby book, there will be certain milestones you'll be happy you documented. Always make sure you get a photo of mom holding her baby for the first time and getting that all-important skin-to-skin time. Moms and babies do a lot of bonding in these precious few moments. Months one and two will have several other adorable moments you may want to capture, as well, like baby gazing into mom's eyes, which is also very important for their bonding.
You'll absolutely want to capture baby's first smile, too. This happens around month three. Snapping photos of baby and mom smiling at each other should be rather easy to do since babies actually time their smiles to make their moms smile. Between months four and seven, your baby will begin doing some rather impressive things, like sitting up on his own and supporting his full weight with his legs. He'll also have a better grasp on his toys and the ability to pass them from one hand to the other. These are all developmental milestones you will probably want to put in your book.
Another event that deserves a prominent spot in the book is baby's first crawl. This usually occurs around six months of age. You might also consider installing baby gates around your home at this time for your child's safety, because he'll definitely be ready to explore. The six-month mark could also be when your baby is ready to eat his first solid food. When your child is grown up, he'll love to know what his first favorite foods were and see if he still likes those today. In the eight to 12 month time frame, your baby will begin to use his developing motor skills to mimic you. He may do things like drink from a cup or hold a telephone. If your baby book has room, include photos of these cute events in it, too.
Other Things To Put In Your Baby Book
If you want your baby book to read like an actual story, consider writing a little blurb on how mom and dad met, and even the pregnancy. Some parents include stories about mom's pregnancy cravings or what names they almost gave the baby. A copy of the birth announcement could also be good for the very first page of the book.
As for the scrapbooking element, your baby will likely have what childhood psychologists call a comfort object. Essentially something that soothes a baby when his mother cannot attend to him. A comfort object might be a blanket or a toy. Your child will probably drool on and nap with his blanket until it becomes nothing but a shred of cloth. When he outgrows the need for his blanket, you might want to cut out a little square of it and add it to his baby book. Another popular item to add to the book is a baby ultrasound.
Some parents like to include items representing what was going on in the world during their pregnancy, and the first year of the baby's life. These might include newspaper clippings from the day of the baby's birth or important events around that time. Writing down the lyrics of the mom's favorite song while she was pregnant is another fun idea. Perhaps there was a poem dad would read to mom's belly when she was pregnant that you'd like to include in the book. All of these things will help the memories of this important time rush back to you later in life.
What To Look For In A Baby Book
There are a great many baby books to choose from, so pick the one that will accommodate the mementos that are most important to you and that will be easy to take care of. Some books have pages that let you document up to the first five years of your child's life. This is a good option if you plan on moving during that time, and don't want to keep track of several books every time you pack. A fabric spine will also add to the durability of the book and help it survive plenty of wear and tear. If you plan on writing a lot in your book, look for quality paper that ink won't bleed through. It is also important to make sure the pages for photos have good adhesive so your pictures don't slip out.
Pick a baby book that has an aesthetic you find pleasing. If you're choosing a book as a baby gift for an expectant mom, think about how she's decorating her nursery. Will it be filled with cartoon characters and bright colors? Or does this mother prefer a more ever-green look with earthy tones? If you won't know the sex of the baby until the gender reveal party, consider a book in a neutral color, like yellow or green. Babies tend to think that everything within arm's reach is a toy, so you may want a book with a fabric cover that doesn't have any sharp edges.
There are a few other features that will make your book fun and easy to fill, like special pockets for keepsakes, such as baby's first tooth or a lock of hair. Some books have slots in the cover for small baby photos. If you have several children, these slots will help you instantly identify whose baby book you are pulling from the shelf. Some books even have a place to record immunizations, which doesn't only make for a fun memory, but also an important piece of information for doctor's visits. No matter which book you choose, you'll be so glad you took the time to document this precious time in yours and your baby's life.