I am a huge fan of traditional baby books and have enjoyed filling them out for all four of my sons. And while some say this is an outdated way to record your baby’s memories, I love the easy reference of their development. (How else would I have discovered my sons were all the same length, weight, and head size at 9 months?)
However, many moms find the detailed list of milestones and picture fill-in-blanks in traditional baby books daunting. And so, instead of doing anything, they do nothing at all! And end up with no memories recorded, which is sad!
So today, I would like to offer you alternatives to using traditional hardcover baby books to record your baby’s memories. But before I do, here are my 5 Favorite Things About Using a Baby Book:
- They provide structure for recording memories and milestones instead of leaving it to our mood or whim!
- Baby books force us to print pics and keep them organized.
- They encourage us to take time to sit down and reflect.
- They are a physical book of memories we can hold and not something that can be accidentally deleted.
- Kids love to look through them as they grow. They feel important seeing how much time we invested in recording THEM!
4 Alternatives to Using Baby Book
My favorite way to record my baby’s memories (even more than their baby book) is through a baby journal. I use “The First 1000 Days” by Nikki McClure, and it has become my go-to present for all new moms. I love using a journal because I feel free to write down whatever I want. It provides simple prompts like one month, two months, etc., and blank pages that say first squirrel, first pie, etc. Other than that, I can determine what I record. And because there is no pre-determined information to fill out, I feel more apt to pick it up when my kids do something cute or hit a major milestone.
2. Baby Memory Apps
There is a whole slew of apps on the market nowadays that allow parents to record different memories. The apps vary based on personal preference, but some fun ones to look into are:
TInybeans is one of the most highly-rated online journals just for parents. You can easily upload a photo, video, milestone, or a note to their app. A calendar keeps all of the info organized by date. And do you want to add a special touch to your photos? No problem. Tinybeans has built-in editing capabilities, allowing you to add filters, stickers, text, and various effects. And if you’re a social media addict, the app will allow you to share your moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But if you prefer privacy, it also allows you to connect with family and friends within the app. You can even send emails to grandparents who may not be digitally savvy. Also, if you want a hard copy, Tinybeans links to a print shop where you can purchase everything from phone cases to photo books.
Day One also allows you to add photos and stories, and entries are organized by date and easily searchable. I like that Day One has voice recognition capabilities. So, if you don’t have time to type, you can dictate entries on the go. It even geotags your entry with your current location and notes the current weather.
3. Photo Books
One of my friends opted out of using a baby book entirely and just took photos of every major event with her daughter. Then she continually creates books on Shutterfly of all their memories! To take this one step further, you can add milestone captions on the pictures to have both a picture book and one with milestones.
There is also a fun app by Shutterfly called GrooveBook. It mails you a photo book of 100 photos each month. Without much effort or thought, you can have photo albums of your children! For another fun touch to this idea, you can take the pics out of the Groovebook, write milestones or memories related to the pics, and put them in a picture storage box!
4. Email Account
This idea is probably one of my favorites because it keeps the kids involved! Create an email account for your child at the time of their birth. Then, periodically send them photos off your phone and emails about the funny things they have done over the years. If you post about a funny story on social media, use that as a reminder to email them the same story! This method establishes an email account for them and gives them a record of your ongoing love for years! And one day, when you are very old, they may sit and read your emails all day long! Did I mention? I loooooove this idea??!