Finding Magic in the Milestones
From first steps to first words, Baby’s world becomes a whole lot bigger — and so does yours. Make these precious moments special for everyone — after all, they only happen once!
Video cameras and digital audio recorders come in so many pocket-size varieties these days that it’s pretty easy to be a documentarian on the fly. Whether you’re capturing his first steps in movie form or recording him uttering “Dada” to replay over and over again for faraway relatives, you’ll be thrilled you were able to capture these quick moments with ease. Just try not to get so caught up in filming everything that you miss enjoying these activities in real time.
Journal Each Step
If you haven’t already been keeping a diary of your time as a new parent, now is a perfectly good time to start. With so many exciting moments happening each day, you’ll be happy to have your thoughts and feelings down on paper to look back on in the coming years. From the first smile all the way up to her first full sentence, jotting it down will make it so much easier to relive these moments.
Keep a Quote Book
From the early rambling of “Mamamamama” to the one word request of “juice,” keep all of Baby’s words and eventual funny or insightful sentences contained in one special notebook. As you fill the notebook, record the date next to each word or quote to help you remember the timeline when these things occurred. There’s a reason there was an entire television show devoted to “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” it’s because they do, and you’ll want it all in print!
Create a Video Diary
If you’re simply not a writer, try a video diary that you can show your child later on down the road. At the end of each day take a couple of minutes to recount the day and tell the camera (and your child) how proud you are of them.
Capture Footprints in Photos
If you have the time or the wherewithal to get your cutie’s baby shoes bronzed or make impressions of his feet, more power to you! But if you didn’t remember to do any of these things, don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of other chances to create some beautiful mementos once your baby starts walking. Depending on the season, photograph your child’s footprints in the sand or snow as they learn to march through on their own. To show the small scale of their tiny feet, mark your own next to theirs and start clicking away!
Make Art Out of Milestones
You may not quite be the scrapbooking type, but you still want to get crafty with creating keepsakes of these magical moments. Try building shadow boxes out of the small tokens from this time. Use construction paper and foam board to mount one or two items, like shoes that have been outgrown, and a picture or two of the action as it happened. The shadow box will look adorable in your child’s room and be a constant reminder of how far he’s come.
You are your baby’s biggest fan, and vice versa, so any applause or positive reaction to her attempts at grasping that next rung on the ladder so to speak will be met with delight. Start building a strong self-esteem in your child at an early age by being affirmative. She may not understand what your words mean, but she will feed off of your smiles, body language, and positive energy. Keeping the mood light and fun will strengthen your bond and make these moments that much more memorable.
When your child does something new — make a big deal out of it! This doesn’t have to involve presents (although it can), but a silly, impromptu celebration. Turn on some music and dance around. Get the whole family involved, even if that just means you, baby and your partner. Who doesn’t love a good party, even if it’s a small one?
It might seem counterproductive — especially if you’re anxious to get your little one moving on his own two feet — but remember to have patience with your baby. He wants to explore his world and he wants to please you, so don’t get pushy when it comes to those first steps. When your child is ready, he’ll take those initial shaky moves on this own. Until then, be encouraging, assure him everything is OK when he falls and cheer him on.