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Monday, December 23, 2013

Four Ways to Keep Baby's First Memories

Four Ways to Keep Baby's First Memories




For my baby shower, my best friend gave me a journal that she'd decorated by hand. It was covered in a beautiful vintage fabric and she'd stitched five or so ribbon bookmarks along the spine. Across the front it read "Letters to Edward."
"You'll use this, I promise," she told me and while I thanked her profusely, I was secretly wondering where I would hide it so she wouldn't find out that I just didn't have the time to keep a journal.
But I was wrong.

Few people in the world understand the importance of keeping memories as much as moms. From remembering their first smiles to their first days of school and every precious moment before and after, moms find a way to keep track of their children's steps through life so they can go back anytime and remember.

I started keeping that journal the day after my son first slept through the night. I was so excited – and finally, thankfully, well-rested – that morning that I scribbled a "congratulations!" to Edward in his journal and the rest is history. In fact, now that he's almost a year old I'm probably going to have to talk my friend into making me a Volume Two.




Writing your memories down, however, isn't for everyone. For moms looking to record memorable moments in a way that fits their lifestyles and style choices, here are a few ideas for keeping those all-important memories alive:

Memory Nesting Boxes
While it's not an actual nesting box, where one box fits inside another and so on, a memory nesting box is still a large box with several smaller boxes, or compartments, tucked inside. You can decorate the large container box anyway you like: from paint to fabrics to mod podge pictures to scraps of newspaper from the day your little one was born, you can be as creative as you want. Inside, the little boxes or sections should each have a blank area for writing. As important events occur, write the date on the box or section and fill it with the memory. You can either keep themed memories or just individual ones. For instance:
  • For a theme, you can save a headline from the newspaper the day the memory happened and write down a brief description of the memory on the box or on a piece of paper.
  • Another theme could be keeping scraps of cloth, such as pieces of old receiving blankets, and writing memories on those.
  • Save a physical memento from the event, such as the bib your baby was wearing when he first smiled or the sock he was wearing when he took his first step.

Memory Shadow Box
Shadow boxes are pretty easy to find at thrift stores, or you can make your own by adhering two frames of the same size together, leaving the backing on the bottom frame and the glass cover on the top frame. Or you could by a new one at the store. However you approach it, shadow boxes are fun to make and easy to keep up with.

Start by putting down a decorative backing and then add memories as they occur. First tooth? Cut out a picture of a tooth, write the date on it, and attach it to the backing. First solid food? Save the label from the food or cut out an image of it and inscribe the date. Once you fill your shadow box, hang it on the wall and start another.

Memory Quilt
For those who are more inclined toward the sewing arts, making a memory quilt is a beautiful and useful way to keep track of important moments. From stitching together scraps of old blankets with memories written on them (a great additional use for the memory nesting box!) to long-term projects such as sewing together a couple of onesies and t-shirts from each year of your child's life until he or she goes to college, memory quilts can quickly become treasured family heirlooms.


Memory charm bracelet
If crafting, sewing or record keeping aren't your style, however, one of the easiest and most stylish ways of keeping track of important memories is with a charm bracelet. From adding a miniature charm in the shape of a memory, such as a shoe for first steps, to engraving the back of an image with the moment's date, charm bracelets are an endearing means of keeping important memories with you at all times.

As a mom, it doesn't matter if you keep your memories in an old shoebox under the bed or in a retired suitcase in the attic; having them with you in some form or another is an important way of celebrating your child's amazing progress through life as well as remembering his or her all-important first moments in this world.

Kristin Hackler is a mother, children's book author and journalist. She writes for eBay.com about child care, home and family related topics.

What wonderful ways do you save your precious memories? We love your comments!

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