You can’t keep them small forever, which is probably why we hold onto the keepsakes that remind us of our very first days with our precious babies.
“I think I found out the truth about the tooth fairy when I opened my mother’s dressing table drawer and found a bunch of tiny milk teeth,” remembers Samantha Oaks, a mom and writer from Johannesburg. Although she found it macabre at the time, and quite revolting, now that she’s a mother herself she completely understands the compulsion to hold on to whatever physical manifestation of your child’s ‘firsts’ you can.
We asked Living and Loving moms which keepsakes they’ve tucked away to remember those early days by. Here’s what they said:
Firsts are important
“The hospital band, first outfit and first lock of hair, as well as those little preemie sunglasses babies have to wear when they’re under the lamps. I also saved my daughter’s first tap shoes. Do people still bronze those? And I saved the first of each nappy size, along with the date they started wearing that size. It seemed cute at the time, but now they’re full of air and look silly.” – Mara
“I saved her hospital beanie, the footprint taken at the hospital, the clothes she wore when we were discharged from hospital, a blanket her granny knitted and the clothes she wore to her naming ceremony.” – Hansini
“The sugar paste lamb that I made for my son’s christening cake, which I have had to save from being eaten on a number of occasions! And the last dummy before he gave them up for good, chewed to pieces – the last symbol of his babyhood!” – Alex
“A lock of hair, hospital bracelet, baby socks, first outfit, and first pair of sneakers. I think I have a problem!” – Lenore
Bits and pieces
“Birth card with weight, height and footprint, and the remaining tiny scrap of a dudu blankie.” – Sarah
Something a little more personal
“Her first outfit, her umbilical cord, her first outfit, hat and the tiny cardigan I knitted for her.” – Lina
Going way back
“I still have my pregnancy tests! I also kept first artworks sent home from school, some of the toys and books I have vivid memories of using together, first birthday candles and cards.” – Lisa
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.