It’s Time to Ditch the Baby Scrapbook

I’m a proud to say this post was sponsored by Minted.  I'm also proud to say that I'm a stubborn so-and-so who likes to share what she thinks about things.  I happen to think Minted is the bomb. There you have it.

It's Time. Ditch the Baby Book. (This is a better idea anyway...) http://www.incredibleinfant.com

Read the words below, and then tell me how those words made you feel.

the baby scrapbook

Did you feel warm and fuzzy, thinking over all the memories and “firsts” you’ve captured over the months/years of your child’s life?

Or did you feel an ache deep in your soul of time lost and memories faded?

Did guilt-hit you over the head like a bag of bricks? (Of the non-Lego variety.)

Yeah.  Me too.

It’s time, friend.  Time to ditch those unrequited expectations and embrace a simpler, better way of preserving fleeting baby moments.

Breaking the Curse

When my firstborn entered the world, I was determined break the Curse.

You know, the curse that dictates how memories are stored for sibling groups?  It goes like this…

  • The firstborn gets this elaborate 40-page masterpiece with customized photos, delicate notes, and stickers (lots of stickers).
  • The middle child gets a photo book (no writing).
  • The youngest gets their shoes in a box (located somewhere on the property).

NOT ME!  I shook my fist at the sky and shouted.

ALL  MY KIDS WILL HAVE EQUALLY AWESOME SCRAPBOOKS DETAILING THEIR SMALLEST MOMENTS.

Do you hear that?

*listening intently*

That twittering sound…

Ahhhh.  

Yes, I recognize it now.

It’s the sound of generations of mothers laughing at my innocence.  

That plan lasted until Lauren was 19 months old and I was pregnant with my 2nd.  (That resolution didn’t even make it past en uteruo parenting…)

I instantly realized I needed a new plan, or all those delightful little mom-moments were going to fade into my mombie-tired (zombie+mom) brain.

The ah-HA! Moment

One afternoon, in the midst of an exhausted stupor, I leaned over and jotted down something funny Lauren said in a notebook I had sitting by rocking chair.

And a new tradition was born.

I have kept books for each of the girls ever since.  Picking neutral colors and starting them as soon as we knew I was pregnant.  Writing my hopes, dreams, prayers for them.  Even Dad gets into the action – sharing stories that they share together.

It’s amazing to look back and see the world through those eyes.  Here are a few examples:

Lauren, yesterday after bath you took each toy out of the tub, one by one and said, “Don’t worry ___ (fish, boat, etc.).  I’ll get you to the basket.” Then for 10 minutes you carefully arranged all the toys in the basket so they were facing up.  Your face was so cute – Determined to help those stranded toys in the empty bathtub reach the basket safely.  ~ August 1, 2006 (age 2.5 years)

Elena, this morning Lauren and I were playing Boggle Jr. on the floor and I saw your brain whirring… “I want one of those.” you thought to yourself, and then completed your first army-crawl across the room.  You haven’t stopped since – and my life is officially over. 🙂 You’re currently exploring my toes, blowing raspberries and soaking them with slobber.  You do seem pretty determined.  Will you be as stubborn as your sister?  ~ October 12, 2007 (age 7 months)

Bella, the doctor said you’re a baby who knows she doesn’t want to be a baby.  You follow your sisters everywhere and laugh at everything they do.  You’ve even started participating in their shows by putting your arms out and “twirling” (aka walking in a circle)…  ~ February 4, 2011 (age 13 months)

You know, I honestly don’t remember those things.

If it weren’t for the fact that I wrote them down in these journals, they’d be lost forever.  

When the girls have a tough day, and need to be reminded of the safe secure little nest we’ve made for them, we’ll sit on the couch together and randomly read a few entries written by me or Dad.  It’s an instant emotional boost.

These journals are the most precious items I have in my home.

When someone asks me “what’s the one thing you’d save from your burning house?” I don’t even have to think.  It’s these journals.

They are irreplaceable.  But (unlike scrapbooks) they take almost no time, very little money, and cover more than just a few photos of a major life event.

Life happens inside their precious pages.

My One Mistake (Which I’ve Now Fixed)

There’s one small thing I do regret about the journals, though.

I didn’t think about how long these needed to last.

The simple Walmart journals I picked up are starting to fall apart.  Baby siblings (ahem, BELLA) have ripped out pages and I’ve had to tape/staple/nail/sew/transplant them as best I can.

I may even have to recopy Lauren’s soon into an entirely new, sturdier, journal.

If I could do it over, I’d probably do two things:

  • Make sure the journal had a sturdier cover.
  • Personalize the journal a little, so it’s so clearly that child’s.  (The girls are SO proud of “their” journals, it would have been nice to have their names on them.)

Hindsight is twenty-twenty, so today I thought I’d pass along those little “wish I woulda” suggestions.

Solving Problem #1: Durability

As soon I was introduced to Minted, “journal hunting” was the first thing I did.

Their journals have a clear plastic cover that is indestructible.  (I know because I got this one and just love it.)

Solving Problem #2: Design

Remember, you’re not just buying a lined notebook with a cover.

You’re really buying a family heirloom.  Something your children’s children will read.

Check out the graphic below.

It's Time. Ditch the Baby Book. (This is a better idea anyway...) http://www.incredibleinfant.com

Look what $0.87 buys you: a personalized work of art.

Is that family heirloom worth $0.87?

Because that’s the difference in price between those two notebooks.

Less than a dollar and you can even put your baby’s picture on the inside cover of this giraffe journal.  And it has a spiral binding (no pages falling out as glue ages) and a hard protective shell.

The designs at Minted are created by artists.

Does that make a difference?  Abso-toot-luey.   (Again.  Look at the quality of difference above.)

These are one-of-a-kind works of art you’re writing in.

Here are a few of my favorites…  (There are a zillion journals to browse through, click here to see them all.)

It's Time. Ditch the Baby Book. (This is a better idea anyway...) http://www.incredibleinfant.com

They’re durable. They’re beautiful. And (once you fill them with memories) they’ll be priceless.

Journals for Girls
1.  Pebbles  |  2.  Fresh Dots  |  3.  Woodland Botanicals

Journals for Boys
1.  Crazy Stripes  |  2.  The Adventures of…  |  3.  Balloons

Journals with Photos on the Cover
1.  Confessions of 1st Time Mom  |  2.  Fleurs de Noel  |  3.  The Story of You

Obviously Minted does more than offer unique artistically-stunning notebooks.

  • They can create unique birth announcements that stay on fridges for years (because they’re too cute to take down).
  • They can inspire your first birthday planning with invitations and matching decor.
  • They can even kick the nursery up a notch with customized artwork your husband will actually be excited to hang up.

But I digress.

My purpose here isn’t to go on and on about something I think is cool.

My purpose is to lift a burden of your already-stooped shoulders.   The burden of memories.

Honestly, how many times has someone looked at you and said “They grow up so fast,” or “Cherish this time while you can!”

Yes, you may want to kick them in the shins at first, but deep in your heart you know they’re right…

…and that’s just about when the panic sets in. 

What if you’re not doing enough to jot these milestones and memories down?

Friend, you don’t need a baby scrapbook kit.

You just need a notebook.

It’s amazing how a few lined pages can give you so much joy and peace of mind.  🙂

Order your baby’s little heirloom, grab the nearest non-sticky pen, and start jotting down what happened today.

Years from now, you’ll be so glad that you did.

Turn

How do you preserve your baby’s memories? 

Share your thoughts with me in the comments!

 I ♥ honesty. Affiliate links may be present. (See what this means.)

Meet Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor

Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at Incredible Infant and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007.  She's certified in baby sleep coaching (yes, that's a real thing), has served as an Expert Parenting Panelist for numerous events, and has been a featured writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, My Kid's Adventures, Cafe Mom, and others.  If it's 2am and you're desperate to read SOMETHING, click here for all her darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn't be allowed to blog.  


 

It's Time. Ditch the Baby Book. (This is a better idea anyway...) http://www.incredibleinfant.com

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Comments

  1. I have always made scrapbooks and loved buying the stickers etc. I am in the process of making a scrapbook now (I’m very behind) of my soon to be 10m old. I love this idea of capturing moments by writing them into a notebook. I love the idea of having a small notepad on me and just taking notes of those small moments that I know I will forget it not written down. The notebooks are adorable and I’m thinking of getting one. I’m also thinking of adding still adding the stickers and photos to maybe go along with some of those memories. 🙂 thanks for the idea!!!

    • That’s a great idea Saudi! Use the notebooks for the immediate, and then transfer them into a bigger scrapbook you can really delve into later. Best of both worlds! Brilliant, idea. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. What a great idea! I am trying to do this on my computer, but I can’t always get to it when something cute happens and then I forget about it. My oldest is 6 and I know I have lost a lot of memories! *sniff!*

  3. This is a fantastic idea. To be honest I never really thought about scrap booking or journaling until now. I’m not a very crafty person, or much of a journaled really. But if I had to pick one it would be the journal. What a great, simple way to store memories. And the nice thing is it doesn’t rely on photos (it’s almost impossible for me to get a nice photo of my daughter…squirmer). Now that I’m pregnant with my second, this might be a good time to start jotting things down. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Stephanie says:

    I LOVE this idea!
    Archer is my 5th (and last child), and as you said, we tend to slack with each kid. He has 13 years between himself and my last baby (SURPRISE!), and I found myself taking the oath of the MUCH more mature parent that I am this go round (ahem,wink) that I would be SO MUCH BETTER at memory keeping for him. So far, I’m still not a scrapbooker… But guess what? I found the Tinybeans app and it has been the best thing since sliced bread!? Never have I been so diligent about having pictures of not only special occasions, but also every day moments! Ok, it reminds me everyday, but YAY for that!! I love this idea of keeping a journal nearby to jot down our daily adventures as well! New school and Old school come together in perfect harmony. And all is right in the world…
    Thank you!

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