By Alison Cupp Relyea
Only a few decades ago, there were a few standard options for preserving early parenting memories: photo albums, framed photos, hand and foot prints and baby books. Now, with limitless options ranging from personalized products to large canvas prints, it can be yet another thing that becomes overwhelming for new parents. Within months of becoming a parent, many of us have hundreds of digital photos, and the number keeps growing as the child grows. Keeping up is a challenge, but catching up once years have slipped by is even more daunting. At Petite Vigogne, we believe in simplicity and quality. With that in mind, we have a few suggestions for creative keepsakes, many of which add personal touches to a precious Petite Vigogne nursery.
We have seen many beautiful baby books over the past few years, and Etsy has a selection of personalized and handcrafted books to suit any style. I had a hard time remembering to write down the memories in a baby book, but when my daughter was born, I started writing in a journal. For me, this served the purpose of recording memories and was a welcome opportunity to think and reflect on my experience. Another favorite keepsake for the toddler years is a book called The Quotable Kid. It is a unique way to record the fun, adorable and off-the-wall things your child says in the early years. Also, with journals or a book to capture quotes, it does not matter if you did not start on day one of your baby’s life. You can find the time that is right for you!
When my three children were very young, I felt an urge to keep much of the newborn items, from snuggly toys to baby clothes. As they grew, it became very clear which items had meaning for me, and I handed down the others to friends. Among the items I treasured and kept were their newborn outfits that they wore home from the hospital. To protect them, I decided to display each outfit in a shadowbox frame using mounting paper and double-sided adhesive. These are now on the wall in our playroom, above the shelves for imaginary play with the baby dolls, kitchen items and dress-up clothes.
Handcrafted birth samplers and other personalized keepsakes are a perfect way to treasure that special day. The birth samplers are particularly wonderful because your child will become increasingly interested in his or her birth story. Even if you do not have a relative who makes them or time to make one yourself, there are many adorable options, including this one, in the form of a toy block, from Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/478259373/personalized-cross-stitch-baby-block?ref=shop_home_active_1
Photographs are the most common type of memory we keep these days, and while some families may be disciplined about scheduling a family photo shoot regularly, many of us are not. Luckily, even without professionals, we have many options for turning a beautiful digital photo into a favorite keepsake. Canvaspop and Shutterfly, along with many other companies, have services for printing your favorite picture on canvas or wood. Also, as your child grows, you can use these services to preserve favorite pieces of artwork in addition to photographs.
Some things are worth keeping forever. How you keep your memories and how much time you dedicate to this is up to you, and once you see it as an opportunity rather than a burden, the ideas will flow. Get creative and have fun!