Amid the sleepless nights, crazy hormones and colicky cries, find the time to document your baby’s growth every month. I know it seems like a tall order, especially when even taking a shower seems impossible, and I confess that I often missed the exact month mark with #babyjake. But even if done a week late, it still counts.
You can go as simple or as elaborate as you want – from a handwritten chalkboard to fancy props. Remember to aim for consistency – use the same setting, same backdrop, same outfit, or same chair in each month. This helps to accurately capture the progress from month to month.
Most importantly, have fun. Each month that passes is a monumental accomplishment in your journey as a new mom. Capture that on camera to cherish.
Here are some cute ideas for documenting your baby’s first year.
Tip: At your baby’s first birthday, print out the full series of pictures, and display them at the party. I did this with my monthly pictures of Jake.
This is the most common choice when it comes to monthly pictures, as it’s an easy option. With a new baby, you won’t have time to construct elaborate photo sets each and every month, so this is a practical solution – simply peel and stick onto your baby’s clothing.
You can buy the stickers from local online retailers. Here are some of my favourite stores to order from:
This is similar to the monthly stickers that you stick onto your baby’s clothing. But it’s a slight upgrade to the DIY version, because the babygros are pre-printed and pre-sized for every month, from newborn to a year.
I went this route when documenting Jake’s first year.
Panda Love can make up a custom set for you.
A similar concept to the stickers, these are pretty flashcards that document each month.
It’s cute to use blocks as your photo props through the different stages and ages. What’s sweet is that as your baby gets older, he can pick up the blocks and play with them – so you can capture the developmental milestones as your little tot learns to interact with the world around him.
A big teddy bear or toy
By using a large cuddly teddy bear or a toy (such as a rocking horse), you can track your baby’s growth from month to month.
The bear will start off double the size of your tiny newborn, but by his first birthday, the roles will have reversed. This is a beautiful way to put your baby’s growth into perspective.
You could also place your baby inside a laundry basket, in a suitcase or on a chair to show the differences in his growth from month to month.
Use a chalkboard or belly stickers to document the actual month.
Hold your baby in the same position each month
By holding your baby in the same position each month, you will capture the progression beautifully. Plus you get to play a part in this one. And no fancy props are needed!
Basically, it’s a large muslin blanket that’s printed with the various months, providing a uniform background for every month.
You can then be as creative as you want, by using different ways to indicate (and decorate) the actual month, such as an empty photo frame, a flower wreath, Lego pieces or building blocks.
You can theme each month (for example, use Easter eggs for April and Christmas tinsel for December).
Happy documenting, moms! It’s worth the effort, I promise.
How did you document your baby’s first year? We’d love to see what you did! Post your milestone pictures on Facebook!
Dani Silbermann is mom to Jake, and a mommy blogger. Visit www.babyjakesmom.com to read more of her blog posts.