When it comes to recording all the big and little milestones our kids hit, every parent has the best of intentions. I’ve got a whole box of notes and carefully selected scrapbook papers on a shelf in the closet just waiting for me to have extra time to put my 1st kid’s baby book together. Nevermind that she’s almost nine years old or that I’ve had two more kids since then.
Moms are busy. We work. We cook (and sometimes we order takeout). We clean. We do bath and bedtime. And when we are done with all of those things we binge watch Game of Thrones because we are so tired we don’t have two brain cells to rub together.
Luckily for us, there are options that require less time and effort without leaving our precious memories to the fate of our already overextended brains.
Buy a Guided Baby Book
Guided baby books are probably the closest alternatives to traditional baby books but you can leave the scrapbook paper and hot glue gun in the craft box. These fill in the blank options are already beautifully designed and ready for your baby’s length, weight, and first words.
This more modern take on a baby book is minimally designed with a limited colour palette featuring gender neutral grays and greens. It comes spiral bound with a hard cover to protect every precious detail.
The Lucy Darling memory books are so cute you won’t even feel guilty for not making your own. They come in a ton of different themes from camping to sailing with a little bit of everything in between. Along with stunning graphics, they also keep functionality in mind by providing ample space for photos.
Much like parenting, this baby book is not for the faint at heart. Truly, it should be reserved for only the most irreverent of parents. Instead of being filled with prompts about baby’s best behaviours, this version catalogues baby’s worst moments like your kid’s very first curse word and projectile vomiting episode.
Create a Photo Book
Photo printing services like Shutterfly and Blurb make it easy to pull all your pictures into one place and use them to make a truly customized baby book. Simply upload your photos and use one of their premade templates. When you are done you can pick the size and style you like best. The whole thing gets printed, bound, and sent right to your door. Here’s our roundup of the best options for Canadians.
Start a Blog or a Vlog
The internet is full of blogs featuring beautiful photographs of adorable babies and celebrating the shocking amount of growth and change that happens in the first few years. Platforms like Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr are free to use and each have ways to lockdown security if you are concerned about who’s taking a peek. You can even choose to have your blog turned into a physical book via services like Into Real Pages or Blog 2 Print.
If writing isn’t your thing, you can make your own video blog or vlog for short. Record small or big moments or even talking to the camera in diary fashion. Then upload them to Youtube for sharing and safekeeping from life’s little accidents. While some might families would love to go viral with their baby vlog, if you aren’t looking for internet fame, it’s easy to set your privacy settings to keep your videos out of search results and only accessible to the people you share the link with.
For better or worse, technology is a part of our daily lives. We already take six million pictures of our kids so using an app to keep them all organized and paired with dates and milestones makes sense.
A cute and functional app that lets you save special moments like new foods, growth, abilities, and adventures. If you have more than one kid you can create a separate capsule for each one which helps keep details straight when they all start to blend together. KidsCapsule gets bonus points for letting you geotag locations.
Moment Garden is similar in style to KidsCapsule and has a lot of the functionality of TinyBeans with two added features. The first is this app has the functionality to take photos and videos from inside the app. The other is the built-in feature to print your app-stored content into an actual printed book.
By far the best looking and most organized app, it’s sort of the best of both worlds. You can share with family in the app or set up email updates for family members who are less tech savvy while still getting prompts that remind you to write down important details that will soon be forgotten.