Almost from the minute you learn you’re pregnant, you want to remember every detail. But babies grow quickly, and it can be easy to forget how things used to be. Here are six ways to capture what life with your child is really like.

photo: iStock

Photo Book
Creating a photo book ensures you can show your child what life was like when they were a baby, not just tell them! You are probably already taking tons of photos of your little one. Make it a point every year to print out some of those photos in an annual book. Tinybeans makes it easy to print a photo book using the photos you upload on the site. Choose a specific date, such as your child's birthday or Christmas, as the day you'll create your photo book so you don't miss a year. Find out more in our photo book FAQs.

Video Montage
Moving pictures also make great memory-keepers. You don't need to be a professional director to create a great family video. Use an app like 1SE to capture just one second a day to create a short video with a big punch at the end of baby's first year and beyond. The basic app is free, but the pro version allows you to capture longer snippets of video and add features like music. Otherwise, most phones contain basic video-editing software that will allow you to stitch together several short videos to create a great, moving memory capsule.

Letters
Even in the digital age, there is nothing quite like an old-fashioned handwritten letter. Notes from the heart in Mom and Dad's own handwriting will be treasured forever. A weekly letter to your child, even if it's short, will provide your child with warm memories of their childhood. Some parents choose to write letters to their child on their birthdays to highlight the previous year's major events and recap some of the day-to-day activities their child enjoyed that year. Some parents add letters on special occasions such as graduations. Collect your letters in a sturdy box and add photos or letters from siblings and other special people in your child's life. Or, wait until your child is 18 and collect the letters in a book. 

Journal
Keeping a journal gives the same ultra-personal feel as handwritten letters but with the convenience of having all of your notes to your child bound together in one place. Some parents-to-be even start journals to their baby when they are still expecting. We love the Baby journal from Write to Me. If you think you might get writer's block, try a guided journal like Stories for My Child: A Mother's Memory Journal, shown above. These types of journals provide prompts to guide you through what to write.

photo: istock

Keepsake Box
There are things you will probably want to keep to help tell your baby's story. It might be a hospital bracelet, the front page of the newspaper from the day your baby was born, the first time they met their grandparents, an early drawing or a lock from their first haircut. After you designate a box as the place to store these keepsakes, make the items come to life for you (and, in the future, for your child), by writing a small note to go with each one. Over time, you may add another box or two to your collection. This is a great way to keep all of these small but important things together to ensure they don't get lost. That way, when you walk down memory lane, you will have some tangible reminders of those long-ago days and the special stories to go with them.

Email
A simple way you can preserve memories of your baby is to create an email account for them. Send an email to your child to read in the future describing the events of that day or week. Include milestones but also details about your day-to-day life as a family, their friends, and how you feel about watching them grow. Some parents give their child the password to their email account when they turn 18, but there is no rule saying you need to wait that long. Be sure you log into your child's account at least once a month to keep it active! 

—Jamie Davis Smith

featured image: iStock

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