For babies, all those firsts happen fast and furious: the first coo, the first giggle, the first step. As a parent, you don’t want to forget any of them — but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for just posting them on Facebook or YouTube. Go for something more creative. After all, you only get one chance to capture a first.
1. Send an Email to Baby
Obviously, Baby is way too little to do anything with a computer other than drown it in drool — but he won’t be that way forever. “We set up an email address for our son when he was born,” says Sarah Shafer Berger, a mother of one in Washington, D.C. “When I send our family updates, stories, and photos, I cc: him so that one day he’ll have them all in one place and will enjoy seeing them.”
2. Put It On the Calendar
You might not — okay, you definitely won’t — have time to sit down and write a 50-page masterpiece about the fact that Baby’s first food was peas. But we’ll bet that you’ll have three seconds to jot “first food: peas!” on the calendar when it happens. You don’t need to get any more specific than that — even seeing just a few words can help jog the memory of Baby’s pea-smeared face, years later.
3. Deliver Some Letters
Enlist your friends and family to help out with writing and sending letters to Baby during her first year. Each person can take on a different month and write about specific memories of Baby’s firsts, such as: “Today you’re eight months old and you crawled to Aunt Cindy for the first time!” Collect the letters and keep them safe until Baby is… well, no longer a baby, and is ready to read the touching collection of her babyhood.
4. Say It With Stickers
Photos and videos are both fabulous ways for keeping track of firsts — there’s only one problem. Years later, some of the details about what was happening in those photos and videos often disappear. Instead of having to deal with the disorganization and categorization of a million pics, put the name of the first and the date right on your baby’s T-shirt. You can buy pre-made stickers to do the job for you, like these from SlickSugar, or DIY it with blank ones.
5. Blog About It
In a world where almost everyone seems to have a blog, why shouldn’t Baby join in the fun? “We keep a blog for our baby, and use it to record monthly pictures, updates, and milestones,” says Jennifer Vaughn, a mother of one in Toronto. You don’t have to make it a public blog; you can restrict access so that only the people you want — grandparents, close friends, aunts and uncles — can actually see it.