The baby milestone blanket is a classic. But if you’re looking for a way to mix up your monthly baby photo, try these creative and super-cute ideas for photos showing baby’s growth in the first year. Re-create one of these adorable ideas with your own spin or, if you’re not the creative type, we’ve included props you can purchase to add some flair to your photos.
Flowers & Leaves
Say it with flowers! We love the way Teresa, a custom artist and illustrator based in Southern California, surrounded her daughter Elena in beautiful blooms and leaves to show how she blossomed each month. Create seasonal scenes as she did, or place one perfect rose or daisy next to your child the first month and then add a flower each month as a visual indicator of your child's age.
Take one cute kid (or two if you have them!) and add your favorite snack food, and you have both an awesome photo op and a clever way to track the age of your babe(s). Note the six peanut butter cups for these six-month-olds. Allison, a Canadian DIYer and mom of three, posed her twin cuties, Felix and Remy, with a candy wrapper and captured them exploring it; you'll definitely want to swipe through on these photos. You could use cake slices, mini cupcakes, pizza slices or other foods to count your child's age.
You can find lots of sweet wooden blocks to place next to your child to show their age in months. But these mini blocks from Novo Baby give you more flexibility with how you display your message. Add a heart or a holiday symbol and stack the blocks vertically or lay them side by side in a pattern. With these blocks, you can also spell out your child's age in years or what grade they're in, so you can use them for photos long after your child has hit the one-year mark.
Available at amazon.com, $18.99.
Animal-Themed Baby Milestone Cards
Pose your child on a neutral background to make these watercolor animal-themed cards really stand out. Each month features a different animal, and the set also includes four additional cards to capture more special moments. The messages on those cards are: "just born," "I can sit," "I can crawl" and "I can walk." You will receive a digital PDF file to print out all 16 of the 5x7 images. Use heavier-weight paper when you print it for a more elegant look. Plus, in later months, your little one may try to gnaw on the cards.
Available at Etsy shop Uniquity and Beyond, $5 for a digital file.
Pose in the Same Chair
You'll really be able to track growth by posing your baby in the same chair each month. Watch the transformation from a sleepy, swaddled newborn to a sweet, smiling one-year-old. Jillian Penney, a Canadian mom and the owner, designer and artist at @jayedesigns.byjill, took these adorable photos of her son, Connor. A chair leaves room for an older sibling to hop on for some photos, and the letterboard can lead to brilliant mischief (check out the photos to see how Connor turned "TEN MONTHS" into "T N MO THS").
Monthly Milestone Chalkboard
This handmade 16x20 chalkboard is customized with your child's name and has room for you to write in your current weight, height, number of teeth, milestones and favorites. Choose a neutral background and take a close-up shot so the text is readable.
Available at Etsy shop Scribble and Chip, $39.
Seasonal props that show baby's age in months convey the passing time and will make for an amazing collage to commemorate that first year. Family blogger Chelsae in Tampa Bay took this photo of her daughter Evelyn with these autumn leaves for November, and she used candy hearts in February and beach toys in June.
There's nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby. And as your child gets older, you'll appreciate not having to get them to smile for each month's photo. With a sleeping baby, you can get the shot quickly and your child will always look beautiful and relaxed. If you're worried about your child waking up, take photos at the end of naptime rather than at night. A shortened nap is easier to deal with than getting a crying baby back to sleep at night. These watercolor botanical cards from Etsy shop Nelly's Design Studio complement this serene theme.
Available at Etsy shop Nelly's Design Studio, $5 for a digital file of 26 5x7 cards.
Posing your child next to the same stuffed animal each month shows how big they're growing. It also lends itself to seasonal themed photos and shots of impromptu hugs. This photo from Alice Morais of Little Pearls Photography, a maternity, newborn and family photographer based in Kennesaw, GA, captures both a seasonal theme and a sweet moment with a stuffed animal.
Put your favorite photo from each month in this self-editable photo template from Etsy shop partiara. You can also record the date and a short message. Once you've printed them out, attach them with a clothespin to raffia or ribbon to create a beautiful photo banner. When you update the banner with a new card each month, take a group photo to show family and friends your baby's life in pictures.
Available at Etsy shop partiara, $7.24 for a self-editable template.
You don't need to be crafty or buy expensive props to create adorable monthly baby photos. You just need a gorgeous baby (check!) and to be creative with items you already have, like these colorful diapers. Mom of two Daisy Linn Joice came up with a great way to pose her adorable Clyde with diapers to show his age. You could use the same prop each month or choose a new item each month. Onesies, baby bottles, burp cloths and other common baby gear would work well for spelling out 1-12.
Wooden Markers with a Message
Wooden milestone markers give your photos a classic look. These offer more than your baby's age in months: Each wooden marker has a unique message, from "one month perfect" to "six months strong" and "one year amazing." The set includes markers for each month as well as four markers for newborns: "Hello, world, I'm new," "one week new," "two weeks new" and "three weeks new."
Available at Etsy shop Laugh a Little Love A LOT, $29.95+.
Dress your baby in a onesie and pop on one of these sporty stickers for consistent and cute photos each month. Or, get creative with where you place the sticker, like on a baseball cap, favorite stuffie or a diaper as your baby crawls away from you. If your older baby is too busy to sit still for a photo with you, a sticker gives you lots of flexibility on where, and how, to take an awesome photo.
Available at Etsy shop Custom Print Gallery, $9.95+.
Once you’ve chosen your monthly milestone idea, you need the perfect place to upload your photos for friends and family to see. Tinybeans gives you a private space to share photos, milestones and other special moments with those you love and trust, off of social media. This free modern family album app lets you effortlessly organize photos and videos, print photo albums and more.
—Eva Ingvarson Cerise
featured photo: Etsy shop partiara