The first year of your baby’s life flies by so fast in a flurry of sleep deprivation and overwhelming love. That’s why it’s important that you make sure you capture those memories.
When our kids were little I loved things like scrapbooks and baby albums and now they’re slightly bigger they love looking back on them. Of course as a photographer (married to a photographer) I’m a little spoilt as I have so many photographs, but it’s what you do with them that counts.
In case you’d like to try something a little different, I’ve compiled five of my favourite ideas for documenting the first 12 months of your baby’s life. From DIY projects like a baby box, or a custom infographic and membership of our Blue Sky Babies Club, these projects all offer their own, unique way to capture precious memories that you’ll always love.
Have fun with them.
A contemporary twist on a classic scrapbook, a baby memory box allows you to save all those precious mementoes from your child’s first year that you’ll want to look back on for years to come. It’s a great option for parents who aren’t big into crafting and who find it hard to take photos of their wee one on a consistent basis.
You really just need to get a box and put your treasure in it – it’s that simple! That said, if you want to pick a handmade personalised box, with baby’s name and date of birth on it then there are lots of fab options out there, including this one from our friends at Dust And Things.
Some things you might want to add into the box include your baby’s hospital bracelet, the newspaper from the day they were born, a locket of hair from their first haircut, cute baby socks and hand and footprints. But you can really add whatever you want.
You’ll be amazed just how quick your baby develops in their first year: they start out as a dependent little being who’s unable to focus their gaze on you, but by their first birthday they’ll grow to be a confident little person of their own who’s excited to explore the world. It’s the small, fleeting moments during that time that you often end up regretting not having captured. That’s why capturing a quick little memory each day is such a great way to remember your baby’s first year.
Capturing a memory daily can seem like a big commitment, but it’s important to remember that there’s no need to spend lots of time on the project or make sure every shot or video clip is perfect. In fact, a little bit of imperfection here is endearing and allows you to capture the truth of life with a baby!
Whether your daily memory is of you trying to get the little one to fall back to sleep at 3 am or them smearing their food all over their face and the table, these daily challenges, both big and small, are all part of your baby’s life and worth documenting.
To complete this project, you can set up a private Instagram account for your baby or an app like 1 Second Every Day (a personal favourite of mine as it’s so easy to use) to capture a second-long video every day for a year. The app will compile these clips into one video at the end of the year and you can then share this with family and friends.
As well as recording your little one’s first year in picture form, it’s also a great idea to capture it in words. Either in diary form, or in notes or letters.
You could always ask other friends and family to write notes themselves. This is the kind of stuff that will literally become family heirlooms. In a world where we’re all about the digital, how special to have personal hand-written letters that will last the years in a way that digital will never?
To be honest all you really need is pen and paper, but there are of course lots of pretty resources that can help, such as this one from WH Smith
Or you could opt for more of a journal approach, like this one from Etsy, and keep it going beyond baby’s first year.
It’s also something you can start before baby’s born, making it a fun pregnancy project.
If you’d like something besides photographs to remember your baby’s first year by, consider making a custom infographic or poster that gives the key details of your baby. You can include their birth time and place, their weight, favourite food and toy as well as the age they flashed their first smile, when they learned to crawl and what their first word was.
You could give a go to creating your infographic using an easy drag-and-drop graphic design tool like Canva – it’s free and easy to use. There are also plenty of beautiful templates available on Etsy. A print like this makes for a great decoration for baby’s room and would be a fabulous conversation starter at their first birthday party.
For a more crafty version, get a large piece of paper and add printed-out pictures, scraps of colourful paper and some washi tape to it. Then, you can write your baby’s stats on your poster by hand or print them out on pieces of paper. This is for the real crafters among you, so you can get as creative as you like.
While I love all kinds of DIY projects, I still think that professional baby photography is one of the best ways to capture your little one’s first year.
An experienced baby photographer will know how to handle your precious child gently and with confidence from their first weeks in the world. They’ll have experience in posing newborns and making the studio a warm and inviting space for both baby and parents. If you’d like some more ideas for capturing your baby’s first few weeks, read our guide to how to choose the perfect person for your newborn photography.
When your baby gets a little older, getting pictures taken in a professional photography studio means their uniqueness shines through as the photographer gets your little one to relax and open up. The resulting shots are not only high-quality but also full of personality and warmth and you’ll be proud to display in your home and share with friends and family for years to come.
The Blue Sky Photography Baby Club is designed to create beautiful, forever memories for you throughout your baby’s first year. It consists of three separate photoshoots, taking place ideally when your baby is 4, 8 and 12 months old. At the end of the year you have a folio of your favourite shot from each session costing £95 in total. It would also make for a great gift for new parents.
For more information and to purchase your membership to the Blue Sky Babies Club, click here. Or if you’d like to learn more about family photography sessions at Blue Sky Photography, get in touch with us.
We’d love to welcome your little people to our studio.