Start a baby book

family tree by small objects

The song “Hey-Ya” by Outkast was so popular in 2004 when I became a Rookie Mom that I decided it should be documented in the baby book. Is that weird? I wrote “Popular song is Hey-ya by Outkast.” I figure Julian will download it someday and laugh. I also think it’s babybook-worthy that going to the movies cost $10 as of his birthdate, but I’m sure when the kids grow up and read that they’ll be all “$10 for a movie! Dude! That’s way [insert slang word meaning inexpensive]”

The book I used for Julian was not a pre-designed baby book – it was just blank pages designed for scrapbooking. I did not scrapbook it up. There aren’t tons of details required, just a paragraph per month above a picture or two. I try to write down new tricks when I can remember them.

Heather used a calendar to jot down firsts and a digital camera that reminds me of when different things happened (“When did the cord fall off? Oh good, she took a picture of it”).

If you want to add some facts about the world to help capture the era in which your child is born, here are some ideas:

  • Headlines from the date of birth
  • Popular movies, music, celebrities
  • Cost of a gallon of milk, gas, etc
  • Median home price in your zip code
  • Where parents work, what they do
  • How you get around (perhaps someday a 2000 Honda CRV will seem interesting or the subway may be called something different)

The family tree print shown here is from The Small Object, maker of some really cute stuff. ( I seem to have more than the average amount of lesbian mom friends, and I really like that this design doesn’t say “mom” and “dad”.)

Consider a plain 12×12 memory book to start with. You don’t have to do all the themed papers and lettering. Keep it simple by pretending there’s no such thing as the scrapbooking industry. Or use a cute box and just toss mementos in after you’ve sharpie’d a date on them. Then shake it like a Polaroid picture.