Remembering Your Favorite Years: Things to Buy & Places to See While Your Baby is Still a Baby
It might seem like the nights are extra long and the days never end, but once your baby is grown and independent, you’re going to miss having to hover over their every move. There’s no denying that parenthood could easily be the most challenging job you’ll ever have, but it’s equally as rewarding. Your little guy might be a terror when he gets into the art box and your pretty princess might have temper tantrums every time you enter the freezer isle in the food store, but you love them all the same. In 13 years from now, you’re going to wish it were messes and crying fits over you saying no to buying her that baby doll instead of boyfriend drama and choosing a college. So, while they’re young, you should enjoy every moment of it. It’s important to spend as much time as possible with your little one because they’re not going to be young forever. What you can do, is purchase keepsakes and take every opportunity to experience something special with your kids. Those memories, while they’re in the past, will be the ones you never forget.
Introduce them to animals up close and personal
Little kids love animals, as long as they’re not too loud or intimidating. If you have a pet at home, the transition to the farm or the zoo might be a little bit easier. If you don’t have a pet, bring your baby to the pet store and watch them giggle and reach for the puppies, kitties, and even less traditional pets like ferrets and hamsters. If that goes well, consider upgrading to visiting the farm. Every baby needs a picture with a little pig. Once they get a little older, making a day out of a visit to the zoo can be a day to remember.
Personalized baby books
So many families save their children’s books in the basement or the attic because they either can’t squash the memories made with them, or they’re saving them for the next generation. Custom Children’s Books are the perfect keepsake that you can look back on years down the road and remember the great smiley days. Companies like Read Your Story can personalize children’s books with their picture and their name. When you read it to them now, they become a pilot, superhero, scuba diver, or even a reindeer if it’s close to the holidays.
Depending on the age of your child, there are a ton of different arts and crafts activities you two can do together. There are plenty of places that offer classes for young kids like painting, pottery, cooking, dancing, etc. The purpose of allowing your child to take part in these activities isn’t to help them find their passion at a young age and discover the next Picasso, but instead just to help their brains develop and have fun. Some parents can easily go overboard and keep just about every piece of paper that was every finger painted on, which there’s nothing wrong with, but to avoid the clutter you should designate a box for every few years of your child’s life and organize their keepsakes and artwork in there.
The first haircut
This is a given in regards to having to take your baby here eventually. For some, it’s going to be a pretty pleasant experience, and for others it’s going to be pretty miserable. If you don’t think your baby is going to be able to handle the scissors near his or her head and the stranger really close to them, try going to a barber that caters to children. Those barbers sometimes have chairs that look like airplanes or fire trucks in order to distract your child from what’s going on. Either way, this is a monumental moment and it definitely needs to be documented. You can grab a lock of hair and stick it in a scrap book, or you can go photo crazy.
If you’re on social media and have any friends with babies, you’ve probably seen them post pictures of their milestone blanket. A milestone blanket is one that has numbers 1-12 along with the words months/years written around the edges. Moms and dads place their baby in the center of the blanket and designate how old he or she is on the outskirts of the blanket. By taking this photo every month, it’s an easy way to capture how the baby has grown. The same background makes for a wonderful collage once your child has outgrown the blanket.
Document the holidays
If you can, set up a photo shoot for you baby every holiday or large milestone. You can make them themed (dress your baby like Santa Clause for Christmas or as a pumpkin for Halloween). Some parents will find this corny and others will find it absolutely adorable. It’s a fun way to look back on the first few years of your child’s life and serves as a great addition to the holiday card. A family photo is also a must when there’s a new member of your family. You don’t have to stand on the beach wearing jeans and white shirts (although that is a great family photo op) but you can get a photo of the 3,4,5, of you at the next family outing.
It might not be so easy now, but these are going to be the days you’re going to miss. Documenting them and keeping those memories organized will make it a little bit easier for those times down the road you just want to see your baby again. You want to be in the moment and enjoy it while you can, but it’s okay to take a little time out of your day to make those memories into pictures, scrapbooks, and keepsakes.