It has taken me a little while to figure out the best format for our family when it comes to compiling a history/scrapbook for each child. My oldest child has had most of a first year scrapbook finished for a few years, my second child had two pages complete, and my third child only had a few photos saved in a folder. This past month I finally figured out what to do, and the process was pretty simple. The key was to keep it manageable to complete for each child.
Each child now has book for their first year. This is what it includes:
Copy of Birth certificate and hospital certificate (including footprint stamp)
Birth story (as recorded in our family journal)
First photos at the hospital with parents and siblings
Meaning of the name and why we chose it
Blessing Day: photos, notes from the blessing, photos with parents and siblings, certificate
Any professional photos that were taken
**Journal text (interspersed with a few favorite photos)
First Birthday: handprint, growth stats for the first year, messy cake photo, journal text on birthday celebrations
**Our family keeps a journal in the form of emails sent to family members. We send out an email on Sundays, not always every week but usually twice a month, in which we give updates on family members and activities. Those emails are eventually compiled, printed, and bound into a book (admittedly I am a few years behind in printing the books). For the children’s books I went back through all the emails from the first year of their life and pulled out anything that related to the baby. This is where we can find the details on how the baby is sleeping, when their first tooth appeared, what they smile at and play with, etc.
I didn’t print a ton of photos, just enough to give a good representation of the first year. The children have really enjoyed looking at their books, and we spent a few days at bedtime reading through the journal pages.
It is nice to finally have this project done , just before baby #4 appears and I will have another book to do!
I think having a first year/baby book for each child is a great accomplishment. For future years I think I will stick to keeping all of their important documents stored in their memory box. I think that digitally created photo books are the way to go in the future, so my plan is to create a nice hardbound photo book for each child that chronicles their life from birth through age 11 (to be presented on their 12th birthday). Then another book covering the years from 12-graduation. After that I think the kids can handle their own memory books!
I am toying with the idea of making a school days book for each child, which would hold all the significant school stuff in a binder: photos from the first day, first day interview and self-portrait, annual photo, and class photo. I know the kids would love to have a binder to look through and see all of that. But for now at least things are organized in their box.
How have you organized your child’s baby memories?