Updated: Nov 8, 2019
My wee one is now well and truly into her toddling year, she's 13 months going on 21 with the attitude and foot stamping Im getting when things don't go her way. And its these little acts , little things we forget until we see another wee one doing it and our head and hearts remember when.... ohhhhh
So when we went on our holiday recently , and hubby and I had a minute to breathe as such we were reminiscent of the busy year that just flew by. If you think about it so much happens in their first year, being born for one, smiling, sitting and rolling, walking and crawling, talking and learning, feeding themselves and playing. It's a whirlwind. Below are some ideas for you as parents to do for them (and yourselves ) so everything doesn't just melt in to the haze that was your first years together.
Do a book, if you are organised and Im not, even though I was given one of those well meaning books that we are supposed to document all the firsts , etc. I honestly could not be arsed. When I had a moment in the evening , I sat my arse on that couch and vegged ! But it is a lovely way to document their pre and post lives. As you get to put in pregnancy stuff such as ultrasounds and names you thought of , etc.
Write a letter, this was an idea that my Dad did for me and my sister, not to be old fashioned but there wasn't computers ( Im that old ) but I kinda like the idea of it being hand written. On our birthdays he wrote us a letter. In it , it told us about our year, what happened in the world, what happened in our world, like we walked etc, got the hang of a fork, fell over and hurt ourselves, little details that we wouldn't know and parents forget in time. He told us how he felt about us, his hopes and dreams for our coming year and coming years ! When we were 21 they were presented to us. It was such a wonderful and personal present , I can't recommend you do it enough.
Alternatively in todays electronic world, write an email. We are always on the computer ! Open a domain name or email address for you child. They can always use it later in life, but until they get tech savvy , write them an email when they do something cool , or you go on holiday together , send it photos and thoughts, memes and screen shots of press. Flick an email quickly to say first steps, first teeth. Its already time stamped and takes the hassle of trying to remember , when was that ... Do a yearly summary like above. Then when its time they have a time capsule of their early lives.
Have a keep sake box. You can pop the wee things that are important in there, hospital bracelet , first birthday cards, hand prints in paint or plaster. Tinny tiny socks and baby grow from their first days. I keep mine on the wardrobe and as things come through the wash, get popped in there. As she does things at coffee groups and at home, they get thrown in , saved for a later day. Mother day cards, Father's day cars, valentines, Christmas photo, first teeth. What ever you hold dear. As the box fills up , tie it up with a ribbon and get another one. Its wonderful when they are older to be able to be tactile and touch their things, be told the living history of themselves. School reports , any medals, achievements go in, you name it ! My suggestion with the insurmountable art that will come your way is to be picky, a few choice pieces to see its progress but you can't keep all the pasta pictures and stick people.
Make a keep sake item. This is the bit someone else to do for you unless you're good with a needle and thread. There are so many options and services that will make those few items of baby clothing that you have kept in to something that can be displayed. You can get framed pieces with names, dates, birth weights and their coming home outfit mounted. Quilts made up from the first years clothes, teddy bears made to their birth weight and of their clothes. Photobooks, mimi movies on cds of treasured photos and videos only you find cute. There is a professional services that will make sense of the chaos that you have collected.
Alternatively - Open a bank account. Children have so much these days and with the wonderful recycling, reusing and rehoming scheme that us mummies have , so many toys, they don't really need for much , so get people to give you some money On christenings, birthdays and Christmas Especially when they are young, they can't unwrap presents anyway and even if they get them , just want the paper to eat as it is ! There are the more expensive items that come up every so often like a climbing frame or go towards that bike, those swimming lessons etc . Or keep it safe and have a good interest rate if you can , keep it turning over so when they are older, the big ticket items of a car, university and or a round the world ticket or spending money is taken care of .
You will be happy that you took the time and it was quick and easy and painless to preserve your and baby first years. Especially as other children come along, life gets in the way and memories can fade. Both your later self and your child will thank you for it , maybe not if you pull it out on their 21st with that nude photo of them peeing on lawn , but generally they are happy that you took the time to honour them.
So while you have just finished reading this on line, jump on to gmail and get that name !