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. 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.
If you’re planning on starting a Baby Book, or you need help being consistent with it, here are some tips to staying motivated (from the Mum so obsessed with baby journals, she’s turned them into her full time job).
Start with writing just a couple of lines – and build 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 a little in your book every now and then, than feeling pressured to fill it in one go – and it’s also much easier to continue, than it is to start.
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 notes app. 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.
Keep Expectations Realistic
One of the reasons parents may struggle to stay consistent with writing in a baby book is because they set unrealistic goals for themselves. Instead of trying to write every day, consider setting a goal to write once a week or once a month. This will help make the task feel more manageable and achievable.
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. The science of ‘Mum-brain’ is real, and 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.
Make it Part of your Routine
Incorporate writing in the baby book into your daily routine. For example, you could write in the baby book every morning after breakfast or every evening before bed. This will help create a habit and make it easier to stay consistent.
Help with jogging your memory if you’re backdating your Baby Book
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-group 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 Baby Journal you really love, and want 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. We sell two very different styles, because not all parents have the same priorities and style of using them. Our more traditional Baby Book (Birth to Five years) is filled with questions and illustrations to guide you to record each month and year, and each page is different – to keep it interesting to use. Our Baby Journals are the opposite, they offer complete flexibility for parents, the pages are the same, and the journal prompts are on gold foil stickers, so that you can choose which one feels right to use at the time, you decide how much to write for each, and even how often to write in them – there’s no pressure to write at any particular time.
Keep it Simple – Just a few minutes to write a note is still valuable
Writing in a baby book doesn’t have to be a lengthy, detailed process. Even a few sentences or a quick note can capture a moment or memory. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to write a novel every time you sit down to write.
Don’t Give Up Just Because you’ve Missed some time.
Finally, don’t give up if you miss a week or two of writing. Life gets busy, and it’s easy to fall behind. Just pick up where you left off and keep going. Remember, any amount of writing in a baby book is better than none at all.