I came across my son's baby book over the weekend. It had fallen behind my bedside table and I can't say I'd noticed its absence. If I were near a confession box I might step in, kneel and say, "Forgive me, Father. It has been 92 days since I last wrote in my son's baby book." When you're pregnant (at least the first time), you're filled with anticipation and have the time and energy to begin recording your thoughts and feelings about the journey you're embarking on. Your friends are tired of hearing about your pregnancy minutiae so it's the perfect way to indulge this period of introspection.
• Binth Baby Book ($95, brown or green)
• Hello Baby designed by Kal Barteski ($122)
• Deluxe Baby Book and Memory Box by Petit Collage ($50)
• My Baby Record Book edited by Geoff Blackwell ($14.95)
• Modern Baby Memory Book by Edna Mae ($65)
• Orange Baby Book by My Dezine ($34-43, 4 colors available)
• Modern Baby Memory Book by Ruby Love Design ($60)
• The First 1000 Days: A Baby Journal by Nikki McClure ($10)
• Modern Baby Memory Book by Brella Baby ($39)
Then the baby arrives - your life and routine are completely upended and no one blames you for taking a break from your baby book. You might record a few thoughts during middle-of-the-night feedings, but that's often the most you can do.
Soon you start getting the hang of things, hitting your rhythm and you probably reach for your baby book or journal a few times a week or more to make sure no new facial expression, trick or otherwise "momentous" baby event goes unrecorded. This goes on for a while, in my case, nearly two years. I left the baby book (I chose a small one) by my bedside and wrote in it about once a week and then...I stopped.
Why? I'm not sure. Life got busy. My son could actually talk to me so perhaps I felt like maybe we'd both just magically remember things now. Having a child in my life was a day-to-day reality rather than a novelty.
So I pledged this weekend to start back up again. This time I'm reaching for a plain journal without any prompts or fill-in-the-blanks. Some days I might have a whole story to tell. Other days just a few words. I know my son and I will both value the act of recording these memories one day.
• Leather Journal (many colors available) by Karleigh Jae ($25)
• Bunny, Bear Bird notebooks by Emily Margin ($12/set)
• Baby Talk Journal at Kate's Paperie ($16.50)
• One Line a Day Journal at Paper Source ($16.95)
• Smiley Journal at See Jane Work ($35)
If you've also fallen off the baby book wagon, consider starting up again no matter what age your children are. And if traditional baby books aren't working for you, try something else. A journal, notebook, smart phone app, videos, etc.
Write a lot, write a little, just write.