24 October 2012

Rethinking the baby book: Carry a yearly notepad instead

At Amazon: Livescribe Single Subject Spiral NotebooksBaby book guilt. We've all got it (on some level) because it's impossible to capture EVERY moment and milestone. Meghan has a different strategy: she shares the work and fun of recording memories with her daughter:

Here's an easy way to capture kid memories without running to the baby book each time. Every year since my daughter was about 2 years old, I have kept a little notebook in my purse of cute things she would say, or just simple memories of that age.

As she has gotten older, the notebook has filled with her drawings/writing/etc when she needs something to keep her busy (at a restaurant, while running errands, in the car). That little notebook has turned into a memory book of all of her accomplishments as well.

I change the notebook out each year around her birthday. She is 5 now and her favorite drawings include Santa Claus, dogs, cats, and her favorite stuffed animals. It's fun to show her all of the drawings she has done (and how they've changed) over the years.

Also, it's a cheap hack because you can find little notebooks in the dollar section at Target or at a dollar store!

If you're still attached to the baby book idea, you can always transfer notes and moments (and even artwork) to the baby book. In the meantime, you can enjoy the moment with your kid, knowing you've got something written down.

In that case you can just snap pictures and take notes on your smartphone and transfer those. (Take notes in your calendar app and they'll be sorted by date.)

Aside: you can pick up cheap notebooks for a song during school supply season. Our local store was selling them for a quarter apiece.

How do you keep track of your kids' quotes and milestones during your very busy days?

RelatedTrack baby milestones on a calendar

Your comments

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Digital version of the hack: Tumblogs and Twitter accounts.

I have both for my children and when they do or say something cute I fire off a tweet under their private locked down account. I archive it all on their own tumblogs with their own domains.

Easy.

We signed up for a FREE Blogger account when i got pregnant with my son. I made the settings so i can email posts from my phone. when i was pregnant i would write little things about how i was feeling and my Dr appts. After he was born, i set an alarm on my phone for every thursday to remind me to stick some pics from the week up there. I also take a pic of every milestone, like first teeth and steps and they go up there too. if i have more time, the posts have better pics, but when i am busy i just take the pics on my phone from the week and quick write what we did. if he does/says anything funny, i quick email it up there. He is now three and a half and we have one awesome baby book! the best part, it can be printed into an actual book :)
Now i am pregnant with #2 and have started the same thing.

I don't have a smart phone (gasp! the horror!) but something is better than nothing, so I text pictures and funny quotes to a gmail account I made called "ToLilyLoveMama". They're archived by date, and I don't have to worry about space constraints on my phone.

I set up an email account for my daughter and when I have something to remember or a story to tell I send her an email. She can't read it yet, but one day.

What a great idea! We have a baby book for both our children but I can't remember the last time we updated it. Usually what happens is that my wife will remember one day that we haven't filled it out and then it is like a 2 hour process of filling it out. I like how this way the children can also be involved in creating the memories.

I use momentgarden.com. You can email pics, video, and stories, and it puts everything in chronological order on a timeline. You can upload pics later and change the date so that they show up at the right time. I have the email in my contacts list, so I can share pics as I get them, even right from my phone. It is really easy, and good for us because our family is all over the place.

My child loves looking at it. The cool part is that anyone on the family/friends list can add stuff to the timeline. And anytime something is posted, everyone on the list gets a notification. (Though we have noticed that notifications can be rather slow in coming, sometimes.) Another thing I like about it is that only people on the family/friends list can see the pics. Oh, and it is free!

I wish my mom kept a baby book for me when I was a child, but my mom used to work even when I was 2 years old... Though I have a video of me dancing and putting kids make-up and telling poetry when I was 5. Those are great memories, I would certainly use my smartphone or any other technology to record my kids best moments.

I did something similar to the poster, but it was different enough I thought I'd share. I tacked up a calendar by the changing table and hung a pen on a string from the tack. Then, I could easily jot down little milestones as I was frequently changing diapers. My daughter is 4 now and I do the little notebook thing (as well as keep a blog). I have a notebook in the bathroom and another in the kitchen to jot down the funny things she says and the big moments, too.

Hi, thank you so a great deal for these ideas!

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