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How to Document Baby’s First Year

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It’s so fun to document your baby’s first year so I created an easy resource with some of the best and easiest ways to do it. My one piece of advice before you dive in is to start realistically. Don’t try and do everything with the 1st because by the 3rd or 4th child, you’ll be missing photos and it won’t be anywhere near the personalized scrapbooks and lengthy journal entries you were once able to accomplish. Pick one or two things that you feel are special and will be easy to maintain in the long run. I promise it’ll make a big difference when the youngest is comparing their baby stuff to the oldest.

Monthly photos

With my babies, I took a monthly photo with their age on a letter board/light board. This is probably one of the easiest ways to document that first year. I sat my baby up in the same cushy chair each month and snapped a photo on my phone. Super quick! You can download my FREE presets to make little tweaks to your photos and then print them and turn them into a Shutterfly or Chatbooks, share them on social media, or simply store them in your photos. If you need more tips and tricks check out the blog post I wrote about taking monthly baby photos!

Another idea is to take your photos with a Polaroid. That would be really cute and gives you a hard copy of the picture to put in their book immediately.

I make a nice First Year photo album at the end of the year that has maternity photos, their newborn photos, and their monthly photos. This is nice because then everything is kept all in one spot.

Pro tip: If you don’t use a letter board/light board for their age then I HIGHLY recommend writing something on the photo because it will be a nightmare trying to remember which photo is which age.

babys first year

Video daily or monthly moments

There is an app called 1 Second Everyday: Video Diary which has you record a second and then it mashes them all together into little videos. This would be fun to play around with because you could do a second from every month, or a second from each day. If you miss a day here or there no big deal. But this would be a little better at capturing all of the little changes throughout the month.

You could also check out Sam Kelly’s course for home family videos. This course is amazing! She shows you how to capture moments with your phone and edit your videos together. She’s the real deal! Definitely go check her out and if you’re interested you can get $5 off your course purchase with my name MADDIE.

Online Journaling

I’m looking at you, Instagram and Chatbooks! I upload their monthly photo and caption it with stats from the month. Their likes and dislikes, how they’ve changed, and anything else that comes to mind. Chatbooks are basically a printed version of Instagram. (It’s genius!) So when my Chatbook comes, I have information in there about my babies. It’s not the most organized way to document the first year, but it’s nice to know that I have it printed somewhere.

We leave our Chatbooks on our living room table and the kids love to flip through them and see all the things we’ve done over the years. Although Chatbooks may not be the most organized way to document, I love how accessible they are in our home compared to a scrapbook that’s always tucked away.

Printed Journaling

I use Promptly Journals and I love them! They go through the first year and then all the way up to 18 years old. These journals are really cool because they ask good questions, so there is no additional thinking on your part. They have little prompts for your kid as well. There are spots for them to sign their name and to draw pictures so you can see how that changes as they grow.

How do you document the first year for your kids??

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