There comes a moment in most parents’ lives when an older child asks to see their baby book, and you’re forced to face the music. The guilt that usually accompanies a lapse in baby book maintenance can be crushing, especially if you were a bit more diligent with your first child’s book than those who came after. When you’re trying to keep up with the constant demands of a newborn, sitting down to a pristine book with the intention of filling it out can be a bit less than feasible. There are ways, however, of putting that empty baby book guilt to bed right from the beginning.
Think Outside the Traditional Book Box
The shelves of any bookstore may be practically sagging beneath the weight of an endless array of baby books, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll find the right one for you. At the end of the day, all of those books are still pre-printed and full of prompts that you’re expected to fill out accordingly. One of the first and arguably most effective methods of beating the empty baby book blues is to simply throw out your preconceived notions of what a baby book should be. Instead of working with a set of pre-designed prompts in the requisite pastel shades, why not come up with a new method of documenting that wonderful first year?
Online baby books are one such solution. Instead of smearing pureed peas onto the pages as you struggle to fill them out with a pen that’s running out of ink, document your memories digitally. Send email reminders to yourself for updates when you’ve finally put your little angel down for a nap. Jot down one note in the square of a calendar every day, and then make a week’s worth of updates while your baby is visiting the grandparents. When you stop to think about how quick and easy it is to make a social media status update, you realize that there is time to maintain a documented record of all these precious memories. You just need to adjust the way that you think about presenting them. Online baby books can be especially helpful in this situation. You can also share them with friends and family with ease.
As you look for ways to keep your memories safe, you’ll probably come to realize that a traditional, bound book may not always be the best solution for every family. What works for one mom may be completely unfeasible for another, and banishing guilt will require you to come to terms with that fact.
Document a Year in Pictures
You may not have time to scribble away in the pages of a baby book every day. One thing that most new parents have no shortage of, though, is photographs. Today’s parents have it easier than ever because the same mobile device that keeps you connected to the world outside the nursery probably also features a high-quality camera. Snap away at every new tooth, that first haircut, and your little one’s sleeping face. Upload the pictures to an online baby book with file names that detail the moment they’re captured. When you do get around to organizing a timeline in photographs, the file names themselves will act as journaling prompts. Upload them to an online baby book, and look for services that turn your online journal into a bound book. That way you’ll still have the physical record of your baby’s first year, but you won’t have to quit your job and hire a nanny just to get it completed.
Prepare for the Future
There is a difference between organizing for future updates and procrastination, and sometimes making plans for a free afternoon are a new parent’s only option. With a new baby in the house, especially if you have older children to look after as well, there just may not be time to spend documenting every milestone in real time. What you can do, however, is devise your own system for documenting them briefly with the intention of expanding upon them at a later date. Even if you have to text yourself a reminder of when your baby first rolled over, you’ll have the relevant information for an update when you have the time. Make plans for your baby’s journal just like you make plans for the future, and you may find that empty baby book syndrome doesn’t affect your family at all.
Kidmondo is a comprehensive personalized online baby journal that provides parents and caregivers with all the tools they need to chronicle their child’s life and share it with friends and family in a safe environment.
Photo: Courtesy of Kidmondo