One of the most important items that new parents either buy or receive when they have a newborn is a baby book. A baby book marks the milestones and important moments in a baby's life and becomes a cherished keepsake.
Types of Baby Books
When choosing a baby book, don't be surprised at the wide variety of choices available. If you know your child's gender before birth, you can buy a book that is geared specifically towards a boy or a girl. However, there are many that can work for either gender.
Some parents prefer to buy a baby book that matches their child's nursery theme. Whether your nursery is dedicated to a favorite Disney character or cars or trains, the perfect book for your baby is likely available.
Following are some baby book styles and purchasing options to consider:
Traditional Memory Books
Traditional baby memory books are often hardbound and provide pre-printed fill-in pages for major milestones. First year books are most popular but you can find books that follow a child's life to adulthood.
- The Pepper Pot Baby Record Book is available in several sweet prints and comes with pre-printed fill in pages and places to put special photos. This baby book costs $27.09 plus shipping.
Imprint Memory Books
An imprint of your baby's foot or hand is the highlight of this type of baby book. The books include everything you need to make a lasting impression.
- BabiesRUs offers the Baby Imprints Baby Book in blue or pink for $24.99 plus shipping. Each book includes a print pad and and imprint paper, pre-printed memory pages, and photo pocket pages.
If you're crafty and prefer to create your own unique book pages, a scrapbook-style baby book is a good choice. The books come with scrapbook pages, embellishments and stickers and you can choose from a wide variety of themes.
- C.R. Gibson offers a beautiful scrapbook for your baby girl that includes a 12' x 12' binder, decorated pages, 3-D embellishments and stickers. The album is refillable so you can add to it throughout your baby's first years. The scrapbook costs $34.87 plus shipping. A boy option is also available.
- With the Little House Baby Boy Scrapbook Kit's designer pages and stickers, you can create a beautiful and lasting record. The album cover includes a place for baby's photo. The kit costs $27.99 plus shipping and is boxed for gift giving.
Memory Books for Special Situations
Having a baby is a special time but things don't always go as planned or take a traditional course. Parents may choose to adopt a child or use a surrogate. Families are diverse and may not fit the traditional definition. Babies may be born too soon and need special care and, tragically, some parents lose a child early in life or during pregnancy but still wish to create a memory book to honor that child. Regardless of how a baby enters a family or who makes up that family, parents want a lasting keepsake of their child's life.
- If your baby was only able to bless your life for a brief period of time, you may want to consider Little Footprints: A Special Babies Memory Book. This book was created specifically for parents who lost a baby shortly after birth or delivered a stillborn baby. It includes pages for parents to write about the story of baby's birth and blank journaling pages to record their feelings and experiences. The book costs $7.60 plus shipping.
- My Early Arrival Preemie Baby Book was created especially to mark the journey of babies born before term. The book not only provides space for traditional milestones but special pages to follow the unique stages preemies go through including weight gain, first feedings, first cuddling experience, first experience in a real crib and major medical milestones. The book costs $35.95 plus shipping.
- If your baby is adopted or you are going through the process of adopting a baby, Chronicle Books offers My Family, My Journey: A Baby Book for Adoptive Families. This book offers pages to record the adoption process, places to store important documents and memory pages to record important baby milestones. You can purchase this baby book for $13.56 plus shipping.
- Not every family has a traditional Mom and Dad so the Welcome to the World Baby Memory Book was created to celebrate the diversity of families everywhere. This beautifully illustrated book can be tailored for any family situation and includes pages to record every important milestone. The book costs $29.99 plus shipping.
What's in a Baby Book?
In a baby book, you'll find pages devoted to each part of your baby's development and life. There will also be pages for you to write down information on baby's family, such as grandparents' and siblings' names. Many of these books even offer pages that you can chronicle current events during the year of your child's birth, such as the president's name, popular musical groups, bestselling books, movie stars, and other significant events that occur. When your child has grown into an adult, she will enjoy looking at what occurred during the year she was born.
A baby book generally has pages dedicated to pictures of baby on special events, such as birthdays and Christmases. There may be a favorite picture section, family picture section, and even pet picture section.
There will be pages dedicated to your child's health. You can keep important records of doctor's visits, immunization schedules, and tooth development. If your child has an illness, you can document this also, which is valuable information for your doctor as your child grows and develops.
There may be sections for you to place a lock of your child's hair as a memento for his first hair cut, along with a picture. There may also be sections for you to place the cards you and your baby received at his birth.
How Can I Keep My Baby's Book Up-to-Date
Your baby won't have anything to look at when he grows up if you don't keep his book up-to-date and current. Try to get in the habit of writing in his book immediately after you get home from a pediatrician visit. Document his weight, height, and anything else that might have occurred.
If your child does something extremely cute or entertaining, write it down as soon as possible. You may think you won't forget, but your child will do so many wonderful things that you just might! As you chronicle your baby's life, you can continue to look back and reminisce at all the wonderful memories you've created.
Babies grow and change on an almost daily basis and if memories are not written down, it can be hard to recall exactly where, how and when an event took place. If you take a few moments to record each milestone and important moment as it occurs, you'll create a keepsake of treasured memories you and your child will enjoy for a lifetime.