Tiny fingers, toes and little noses. From that first moment you received the news that you were going to be a parent, to seeing their beautiful little face; from watching them grow, teaching them new things, and everything in between: parenting is a beautiful mess.

Even with all of the sleepless nights, breastfeeding struggles and blowout diapers; I still wished I could keep my babies little forever. There is just something about a newborn—something so pure and innocent.

While we can’t keep our little ones tiny forever, here are some adorable ways to turn those memories into keepsakes.

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photo: Keiko Zoll

Shadow Boxes

Shadow boxes are a great way to display one of your greatest memories, including the birth of your children. You can usually purchase a cheap shadow box from a craft store and bring it home to begin your project.

Fill it with memories and keepsakes from the day your baby was born: ID bracelets, little hats, their coming home outfit, footprints, crib cards or maybe even a newborn diaper—you can add in anything else of importance from that special day.

Finish it off by adding a picture of your perfect little bundle of joy to complete your project.

Newborn Photo Session

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Besides the thousands of random baby pictures you’re going to take on your phone (leaving your new 32GB phone with no space!), it’s a great idea to get a newborn photo shoot in of your precious bundle.

No funds to hire a photographer? No worries! There are plenty of ways to take some professional looking newborn photos by yourself! Experiment with different props and angles of your angel. You can even then go and get them printed out, leaving more space on your phone for even more memories!

 

Baby Feature Collage

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the last one. However, here is a great idea to capture the sweet adorableness all of baby’s little toes and chubby cheeks.

Take close up pictures of their fingers, toes, nose, ears, belly button, lips and eyes. Finish off by making them into a collage, and you’ll have a perfect piece of art bundling your baby’s cutest features! 

 

Salt Dough Prints

This one may be a bit harder to obtain, but the end result is beautiful. No use in spending money on those fancy kits to make hand or foot prints when you can make your own dough with a few ingredients.

Before beginning this activity, make sure baby is either sleeping, eating, or well rested and fed. This will make it a little less stressful.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • Up to 3/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Combine salt and flour, adding water as needed while mixing. Gradually keep adding water and kneading the mixture until the dough forms. If it is still sticky add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time. If it’s a little dry and won’t form a dough, add more water just a teaspoon at a time.
  2. Roll out your dough, making it no more than 2cm thick. You will want to form it into whatever shape that you want your plaque to be.
  3. Here comes the hard part! You may want to call for back up, just in case!
  4. Gently press baby’s foot/hand onto the dough, making sure to firmly press the toes so they form (Ahhh baby toes!). 
  5. Once your transfer is complete (which let’s face it, may take a few tries), now it’s time to dry it out. Transfer your plaque onto some baking paper, and place it in the oven on the lowest setting. You want to dry the plaque, not cook it. Leave them dry in the oven for about 2-3 hours, until completely dry. Once it dries and cools, feel free to paint them or leave as is!

Though we can’t keep our babies tiny forever, these little keepsake ideas will help keep the memory of them being tiny little squishies. Have fun, and enjoy those babies!

 

Featured Photo Courtesy: marvelmozhko/Pixabay