I feel like there were so many things I was overly prepared for with motherhood, but the documentation of my child’s life wasn’t exactly one of them. Of course, I was going to be that parent taking a million photos of my kid, and I knew we’d be doing monthly photos a numbering system as well as the photo style that I wanted the pictures to be. The one thing I hadn’t thought of was the method to document ALL the information of August’s first year of life, I didn’t even think about it.
My parents started a Precious Moments baby book for me in the late 80’s, but didn’t really keep up with it. They documented some of the big stuff in the book, but I honestly think that life just got busy and they forgot! I do have a couple of very large photo albums that captured me growing up, but there aren’t really organized.
So I took to Instagram and Facebook a couple weeks back and I polled my followers to see how others document their child’s first year. I got various responses, so I figured I would share what I have gathered!
Baby books were by far the most popular option, so I ordered a few on Amazon to compare and contrast.
- Price: $25.24
- Hardcover spiral bound book
- This gender neutral baby book is VERY detailed!
- The book is divided out into 6 tabbed sections, starting with a section about the parents & family tree, pregnancy, birth story, going home/shower details, all of baby’s firsts, as well as a section for one-year-old. Each section has plenty of room to write and included pictures of each stage. Also, this book has a lot of fun extras such as envelopes to put ultrasounds pictures, shower cards, birth cards, etc. This book even contains two wheels to determine the babies’ zodiac sign and Chinese zodiac animal. This baby book was definitely a mix between a basic fill-in-the-blank baby book and an actual scrapbook.
- Price: $19.99
- Size: 10.5 x 9.5
- Hardcover bound book
- This book is gender-neutral and had a sweet monthly recap of the first year of life.
- Each month is laid out into a 2 page spreads where you can document height, weight, and a couple of facts you never want to forget as well as add photos. Also, after the first year, there are a few spreads for the first 5 years of life. I think this book is a great option for someone that doesn’t want to get too crazy on the documentation but is still detailed enough to give a really great recap of the baby.
- Price $16.99
- Softcover stitch bond book
- This book is gender-neutral and more like an actual journal vs a book.
- I actually received the Erin Condren Pregnancy Journal as a gift and it was great to keep weekly tabs of pregnancy, especially since I didn’t keep up with taking weekly belly progress pictures. This seems more like a health tracker a place for you to log feedings, diaper changes, questions for the doctors, etc vs a memory/milestone book with pictures. I think this would be great for the mom that needs all the data.
Each of these books is great, but for me the biggest downfall to any of the premade baby books is the fact that you have to physically print out pictures and write in the book, which doesn’t sound like the ideal plan to me. Just a little history on myself, I used to create physical yearly scrapbooks, that you print our pictures and put a physical book together. I love doing this, but with the creation of companies like Shutterly, now I do everything digitally and print one physical book per year. I LOVE how sleek and professional these books look.
So here I am at 9 weeks into motherhood and I have finally figured out my plan for documenting August’s first year, a Shutterfly book.
Here are some ways I am going to keep organized:
- I started a google document that Romy and I can both edit and add to that captures August’s weekly highlights.
- All of our pictures are being saved to Google Photos so I can easily transfer them to Shutterfly.
- I will be taking elements and page themes from the baby books I found on Amazon and putting my own twist on it.
Be proactive I have already to started to fill out, see some of my page layouts below.