Your baby’s first year – the days are long, but the year is oh so short. You blink and it’s over (tear!). So, how is a busy mama to document all the important details of baby’s first year? Free yourself from baby book guilt with this simple solution!
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While pregnant with my son, I searched high and low for the perfect baby book. The hunt became so overwhelming that I never ever pulled the trigger. Eventually, I found myself at home with my handsome baby boy and no baby book. Cue the mom guilt… until I came up with this simple solution to document baby’s first year…
‘MY FIRST YEAR’ CALENDAR!
Today, I would like to share how you can create your very own ‘My First Year’ calendar and free yourself from baby book guilt.
DESIGN & ORDER A CUSTOM CALENDAR
- Choose your favourite printshop and create a custom calendar. We chose Shutterfly’s 12 x 12 calendar. Make sure to customize the months based on your baby’s birth date. For example, my daughter was born on November 30th, so her calendar runs December through November.
- Fill your calendar with adorable photos of your brand new baby. One of the first things I do when we receive our newborn photos back from our photographer is design the ‘My First Year’ calendar. If you didn’t do a newborn photo shoot, consider buying an inexpensive temporary calendar to record the milestones and design a calendar throughout babies first year, adding photos from each month. Shorlty after their first birthdday, print the calendar and transfer your notes from the inexpensive calendar to your beautiful keepsake calendar.
- Personalize your calendar with important dates. I include Canadian holidays, since we are Canadian and those are the holidays we celebrate. I also make family birthday’s special by adding a photo of the birthday boy or girl in the date box of their birthday and filling the montly spread with photos of birthday boy and baby!
FILL IN YOUR CUSTOM CALENDAR
- Once your calendar arrives… HANG. IT. UP. Otherwise, out of sight is out of mind. Am I right? Our calendar hangs in baby’s room, where I can see it and I am reminded to fill it in. The beauty of having it hanging on the wall is that you can add milestones as they happen or you can take the calendar down, fill it the past week (or two), and hang it back up until you’re ready to record some more. Whatever works!
GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE
- Don’t get so hung up on recording all the little details (or big ones for that matter) that you miss out on experiencing them (or miss out on some much needed sleep)!! Let me be the first to tell you, you’re going to forget something and that is ok! It’s not about getting it perfect. Perfection does not exist. And you, mama, are NOT defined by a first year calendar or a baby book.
Whether you have a baby book overflowing with details and photos, a half done baby book, no baby book at all (that’s me!), a box full of mementos or a first year calendar, please remember… this does not define you as a mother!
Let me repeat! Mama, you are NOT defined by a first year calendar or a baby book!
Ditch that mom guilt and do what works for you.
I would love to know what worked for you! How did you or didn’t you document your baby’s first year? Share in the comments below.
If you made your own “My First Year” calendar, I would love, love, love to see it! Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can find and admire your work.
Oh, and if you want to save this tutorial for later, be sure to pin it!
Erica Ellis says
I want to do this with a pregnancy!!
I’ve got my inexpensive calendar (aka my day timer) already going kind of! I’ve been using it to track inches, food likes/dislikes and we totally have been taking monthly bump photos! What a sweet, and amazing keepsake!
What a great way to treasure the moments of your pregnancy! Fabulous idea Erica!
Ashley Murray says
I ended up recording dates in my phone and then transferring those to a first year photo book that included a page with all the ‘big’ milestones listed. At the end of each month I also did a little write up in Word about what we did that month or special events that happened. I copied those pages into the end of the book so that I have a nice keepsake from the first year. The problem is that phonebooks are SO expensive and because of that I still haven’t printed my daughter’s first year book and she will be turning 4 this year – insert palm in face emoji here – haha. I just need to take the plunge and do it.
Ps – I truly enjoy reading your blogs. You’re writing style is kind, engaging and encouraging. It is also straight to the point rather than drawn out with randomness. Keep it up!
Dej, that is AMAZING!! Good on you, mama. What a special keepsake for you and the kids. I hear ya about the price of photobooks. Whew! The good thing is you can wait for a sale, depending on what company you use.
Thank you so very much for the kind and encouraging words. I am so glad you are finding value in my content!
P.S. I can’t believe the kids are turning 4 this year!