Fill me in

Megan Hutchison from Forget Me Not Journals, shares tips on how to stay motivated to complete your baby book.

As parents, we know those early days are fleeting. We try to capture as much of them as we can – first smiles, first laugh, first steps; we fill our phones with photos and scroll through them as our babies grow. While those photos tell part of the story, there’s so much more to remember, and many of us wish to also create a baby book to fill with all the little memories. If you’re planning on starting a baby book, or you need help being consistent with it, here are some tips to staying motivated. As with almost everything in motherhood, there’s a juggle between time, energy and motivation to get things done, but there is nothing like putting pen to paper to document their little lives.

Get started and make it a habit

It can be daunting to write in your baby book for the first time – which pen to use, how neat you want your writing to be, having enough time and mental clarity to start. Don’t wait for the perfect time, just begin. Start with a few lines, a quote, a thought, a little memory of something funny that happened. It’s much more motivating to be writing just a little in your book every now and then, than feeling pressured to fill it in one go – and will make it much easier to continue once you’ve taken that first step.

Take advantage of voice technology when you’re busy

One thing I have found extremely useful is the ability to record on the go – whether it’s making a voice recording, or dictating straight into your phone’s notes app. I’d often take my baby on walks by myself during the day, and found it really therapeutic to engage with my thoughts by recording them – whether it had been a long night or a new development I wanted to reflect on. There’s always going to be busy periods when you struggle to write things down, but being able to listen or read back what you wrote will be very useful in filling in your baby book.

Write in your baby book before you add photos

When starting your baby book, it can be really tempting to try and organise your photos for putting in the book first – and you’ve already taken hundreds. However, you have nothing to lose by saving those photos to print later, and starting to write. Our babies change so fast that most of us forget the little details, so prioritising the process of actually writing down and documenting those little things we haven’t taken photos of, makes for a baby book full of memories, as well as photos.

Start a ‘baby book’ photo album in your phone for printing later

As you scroll through your photos, rather than just “favourite” the best ones, add them to a “baby book” album/folder in your phone. Having all these photos in one place will not only make it easier to print when you are ready to, but can also be useful to flick through for a reminder as you’re writing in details of each month, and makes it easy to remember milestone dates, such as first tooth, or first trip to the beach, etc.

Jogging your memory if you’re backdating

If you’re backdating a few weeks (or months) back and brain fog is making it hard, try scrolling back through conversations with your partner, parents, or any mum groups or mum friends you have. Those notes you send each other in the middle of the night are a true insight into the reality of having a baby, and are the perfect things to record in your baby book, too.

Choose a baby book or journal you wan to use

You may be given a one for your baby shower, but if you’re choosing your own, the most important thing is that it’s one you really want to use. Ideally, one that you love the look of, and will keep on display in your nursery, as a visual cue and reminder to pick it up and fill it in. As well as how it looks, you want to love the experience of using it.

Don’t stress

Finally, I know how hard it can be to stay motivated to write in your baby book, so let go of any idea of “perfection”. Your child won’t be the slightest bit concerned whether you used the same pen throughout, sloppy writing, or that you missed the exact date they first rolled over, but they will truly appreciate the effort you made to record special moments and memories for them.

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BUMP & baby is New Zealand’s only magazine for pregnancy and early babyhood. Our team of mums and mums-to-be understand what it’s like to be pregnant in this connected age, and that’s why BUMP & Baby online is geared toward what pregnant women and new mums really want to know.

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