As with much of motherhood, keeping up with the baby book is one of those tasks that can bring about overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Here, we’re sharing some extremely freeing advice for new parents.
Even if you’ve heard it before, it’s worth the repeat. Don’t sweat the small stuff… or the baby book.
Even seasoned moms can feel buried under all the things they’re not doing but think they should be. Case in point: that adorable book that tracks all of baby’s milestones.
Many of my friends, still in the glowing anticipation of pregnancy, bought or registered for a shiny padded book adorned with adorable baby animals or cherub-faced angels. They looked over every line of it and dreamed about filling in the dates and adding photos.
How many of my new mom friends actually completed the baby book?
My own little bundles of joy are now 9 and 7. Our firstborn’s book, after many sleepless nights, is about half finished. Our younger child’s book is less than a quarter finished.
And I’ve finally realized it’s OK. I’m just not one of those moms who loves scrapbooking or even making photo albums. Frankly, I’m doing great if I get my digital photos organized within a year of when they were taken.
Help Save the Memories Without the Stress
My new parent advice: If you love documenting every milestone of babyhood, then by all means, do it! But if you’re not inclined, don’t stress about it.
Here are some ways to capture those special moments without all of the pomp and circumstance. If you want to add them to a baby book or scrapbook later, you’ll know where to find them.
Use a wall calendar or your planner
Yes, there are some of us who still use paper calendars. The physical act of writing things out is therapeutic for many people. And if your older kids can read but aren’t old enough to use a device with a shared calendar, a family command center is a great place to keep things organized.
Jot down milestones and important events on a wall calendar you can use later to make your baby book. It takes only seconds to jot down that lost tooth or the first trip to the zoo.
If the calendar changes before you’ve added everything to the baby book, use that as your motivation. Or don’t. You can always store your planner wherever you keep the baby book.
Review your social media feed
If you post Instagram photos of your little ones or update your Facebook status when they do something awesome, those posts can serve as the dated reminders of milestones.
I stopped worrying so much about taking copious notes on our achievements when I realized that it’s all right there on Facebook, including the photos and congratulatory comments from the grandparents. I can just print it out and add them to the scrapbook.
If you’re uncertain about what to make public, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Oversharing (or sharenting) online has consequences, and your baby is too young to consent. So just be mindful of how much information you put out there.
Use a private app
Moment Garden allows you to privately share photos, stories, and milestones with family members or friends. They also back up your data securely. And there’s a feature to turn your entries and photos into a baby book. That can be a super effective way to reduce baby book stress.
Keep it All in Perspective
The best piece of advice for new parents?
Keep it all in perspective. When life gets crazy, remember there is no deadline on the baby book. I plan to create a respectable book for each of my kids before, say, high school graduation. But I’m giving myself grace.
Between teething and crawling, you will have enough on your plate during that first year. Trying to do everything is just going to wear you out, stress you out, and most likely, burn you out. That’s not good for you or your children.
Let it go, and don’t feel guilty. The laundry and the dishes will still be there. So will the baby book.