What is a fun and creative way to preserve baby memories?
Journaling is nothing new - but beside pictures this is my favorite way to preserve baby memories. Every year I would get a new journal, and I would write in it every day. Some of the entries just say something mundane like which park we went to that day or where we had lunch...but if you keep at it (and I did for 7 years) you will have quite a collection of sweet and hilarious stories for your kids as they grow older. I can't tell you how much my girls love reading the journals!
For my baby, I started at her one-week birthday taking pictures of her weekly on the same blanket. Each week I try to show off a "trick" or favorite toy/outfit to remember the progression and milestones.
For my bigger boys, I'm constantly writing down things they say in the Notepad on my iPhone. I try to update my family blog often and plan to use Blurb to make it into books for my kids as they get older.
I gave this question a lot of thought and looked back at the way we preserved memories of our three babies and to be honest the best ways that come to mind are not fun, nor creative, but they preserved the memories for me.
1) Doing stuff with them and talking about it with each of the other kids as they get older. Blogging is one way that has helped me remember funny situations or unique milestones. On the weekends when I spend the majority of my time with the kids we chat a lot over meals and around fun and games and I tell them stories about how they were as kids, or funny things they did too at that age. It's one of the main reasons I'm continued to blog - my blog started around the birth of child #1 in 2004.
Now that my oldest 2 are reading I let them read the posts that relate to them and it makes them excited to read about themselves while working on their reading. It's funny because when we first started this, my middle child - then 4 - asked me why do they call me the "Urban Daddy". So I told him. I'm a daddy and we live in urban-Toronto. "Oh" was his response. Obviously not what he was looking for.
The other thing that we did not do enough of was to take video! We've been watching it as a family recently on our TV and it's amazing how alike they were at the same age and their progress they made walking, talking and clothes they wore when they were all, say 18 month. It's cool and makes me kind of sad that I don't have much from when I was that age... Well I do, but it's on reel to reel (Yes, I'm old!).
As memories happen we you are on the go, I am constantly taking pictures and movies on my iPhone. My husband travels for business and family & friends live around the globe so I post special moments and milestones like my daughter crawling for the first time on Facebook.
For every year of my son's life I have made a photo baby book using local company 'Blurb'. I intend to do the same for my daughter's first year and then combine the two as they will be doing most things together. I also include their birth stories, when milestones happened etc. So many photos end up sitting in our computers so it's nice to put them together in a book, collage or printed and made into handmade cards for family members to keep.
Blogging! At least that's what I tell myself when I think of all the other things I *could* be doing.
But I also keep my iPhoto gallery very organized, making sure to name each upload of photos and group by event (Christmas, trip to the zoo, etc.) Then all of the random photos get grouped together by month. We're up to month 26... at some point it's gotta go to years, but not quite yet. :)
We also kept all of the cards our son got for his 1st birthday, to show him how loved he was from the get go. When I left for college, my Mom put together a collection of photos from my childhood, and included a birthday card from my first babysitter and a photo of us on my 1st birthday. All that to say, even if you don't know what to do with everything now, keeping it to pass on or show to your kids when they're older is probably just as memorable as a well-organized photo album or scrapbook.
We are currently pregnant with our third and are always trying to come up with ways to preserve, and if we are lucky even display, some of our baby memories.
Something that we started with our first is to have her do her first finger painting on her first birthday. Not only are the pictures of this hilarious and adorable to look back on but the end result is equally as adorable. We then frame it and display it. We did this for our 2nd and will do the same for our third. Without intending for it to, it has become a tradition.
Along with that, on their first birthday we do handprints, but with theirs as well as mommy and daddy's. It looks so sweet, all of our hands, in variation of sizes grouped together. This is also something that we frame and display.
The last thing we have done is a foot print of each child on their 6 month b-day.
Needless to say, their playroom is not only a place for them to play and be creative, but also a wonderful place to display beautiful memories.
Well . . . starting a mommy blog worked for me. (And I keep a journal with the more personal memories that are just for our family.)
Make a hard cover photo book (i.e. via Shutterfly) for each month of the first year. Make a book for every year thereafter. You can add your journaling, too!
We have photo albums of course, but we also have a hallway of travel. Every trip we take a put anywhere from 1-5 pictures on a frame and it goes up on the wall. My son can see where he has been, even if he doesn't remember the trip (he started traveling at 3 months old) and we can talk about the places we were and will go in the future. It's a great way to see how a child grows that isn't your typical school picture on the wall.
I also blog about our adventures regularly, so that is a great way to preserve the stories and memories as my son grows.
Aaah, the memories. As a father of five, I have quite a few. Of course the most common way to preserve memories is the good, old fashioned picture. My oldest has a library of "baby's first year albums," professionally produced video (on VHS) slide shows, and countless mementos from a framed locket of hair to an urn full of baby teeth (which I find somewhat disgusting). Number two has the same things, but in smaller quantities. Numbers three and four have NONE of those trappings, just various appearances in old (VHS) videos and the standard smattering of snapshots sitting in a shoe box marked with their names. Yes Virginia, it still sucks to be born later down a line of siblings if you want baby memento swag.
But a funny thing happened on the road to adolescence for numbers three and four; somebody gave daddy a DIGITAL CAMERA! No more film to develop, no more rationing shots so as not to run out of film. This is daddy nirvana.
Two terabyte external drives later and we have tens of thousands of pictures of everyone now. Every Christmas, grandma gets a "year in review" photo collage, loaded by thumb drive, onto her LCD, electronic picture frame. There are plenty of pics of everyone now, because a huge cost and convenience barrier have been lifted. Barely a day goes by without a picture being snapped, so it's real easy to build up a nice year in review collection for electronic frames. Just make sure you back up all your pictures on external drives- we keep ours in a fire safe!
The biggest beneficiary of emerging technology is the seven year old (affectionately called "Little Miss"). Not only does she have a plethora of photos and videos of her, she posts them on her own website! She even "stars" on my site sometimes.