How to Create a Baby Album
Baby photos. There’s just something about those sweet photographs and wonderful (though sleepless) memories that deserve an album all their own.
How do you get started on a baby album? Come with me—I’ve got a few tips and tricks for creating a baby album of your very own!
As with any album, you can organize your baby book in lots of different ways. My recommendation is to organize baby photos chronologically.
When you open your album, you’ll notice the first page is a single, and the next pages are double-page spreads—meaning the open book shows two pages side by side. I organized my daughter’s baby book chronologically, making that first single page an “introductory” page, with her name, birthdate and place of birth. Here’s an overview of a standard baby album.
Pre-Baby Photos. Dedicate the first couple of pages to preserving those pre-baby experiences. Capturing this time of anticipation, nervousness and excitement is a wonderful way to begin your book.
The first double-page spread of my daughter’s baby book records the thoughts my husband and I had in anticipation of her arrival…how excited and nervous we were to become parents for the first time. This section is perfect for sonogram photos, pictures of the baby’s room, memories of Mom’s cravings and any funny or heartfelt experiences. It’s also fun to include pictures of Mom’s changing shape. I’ve seen wonderful albums with a whole page showing different profile photos of Mom through the months. (When staging these photos, you could also wear the same outfit in each one to really emphasize your growth.)
You might dedicate another page or double-page spread to baby showers. As with wedding showers, you might have had several different showers—you can scrapbook them all on one page, or dedicate a separate page to each one, showing “Friends” shower, “Work” shower and “Church” shower, for example. Don’t forget to include a list of gifts received—as these gifts become keepsakes, it’s important to remember who gave what. You can include cards as well, by making a pocket page and simply tucking the cards inside.
Hospital Photos. Kids love to hear the story of when they were born. Write down the circumstances of Mom’s labor—the rush to the hospital, the relatives who were on stand-by, and how Dad took it all! Of course, this is also the place to scrapbook that oh-so-flattering photo of the exhausted parents in the hospital with the newborn. Don’t forget to record vital stats: Weight, length, and time of birth plus the name of the doctor and the hospital. You can save the newborn’s baby bracelet in a little pocket attached to the page.
What about journaling? Before creating these pages, take a few minutes to handwrite or computer journal some of your memories from this time. How did it feel to have this tiny person suddenly in your care? When we left the hospital after our daughter’s birth, my husband and I were suddenly struck with terror at the thought of driving all the way home with her in the car. She seemed so fragile, the world so dangerous, and we so unqualified!
Oh, yes—you might also include the cost of your hospital stay. The amount of money might seem like a lot now, but future generations will be amazed that “it only cost that much!” Another fun journaling technique is to include the cost of what everyday items cost in the year Baby was born: a loaf of bread, milk, house and car.
About Baby’s Name. A baby’s name is chosen with great care. What were some of the names you considered, and why did you choose the name your child eventually got? Is it a family name, does it have a special meaning? Did both parents agree on the name, or was it a source of debate?
Family and Friends. Here’s a great place to scrapbook photos of the baby with each parent, and with members of the family and friends. Doubtless your family has received wonderful gifts—you might keep a record of those gifts and include any special thoughts that go along. Tell about Grandmother’s hand-knitted baby blanket, the music box from an aunt, or keepsakes passed down to the new generation. It’s also nice to include the many ways your family helped you through the first few weeks…did your mother-in-law bring dinners to you, did Grandpa rock the crying baby to sleep?
This is also a wonderful place to record the initial reactions of those family and friends. Does Baby have Aunt Sue’s coloring, Grandpa’s eyes, or Uncle Bob’s smile?
Many hospitals nowadays have a website with the baby’s photo and name posted so far-away relatives can see. Often there’s a virtual sign-in page, where these friends and relatives can post messages to the new family. Print this off and include it in your album—it’s definitely a sign of the Information Age into which this baby was born!
Recording Growth. A newborn grows so quickly—so dedicate a few pages to document his or her growth. Include the dates of your visits to the doctor, with the changes in weight and height. You can organize this by doctor’s visits, or by taking a photo in the same chair or with the same toy. It makes a nice visual and shows the baby’s growth in proportion.
Firsts. A baby’s first year is such a fun time to be a parent! You’ll be absolutely amazed at all the wonderful experiences your child has. This next section of page can include all of Baby’s Firsts: First foods, first roll over, first steps, first word, first tooth…and don’t forget that all-important night when Baby slept all the way through! The album can end with the child’s first birthday.
When putting your album together for your own child, consider who you are making the album for: you or your child. It occurred to me that if I gave my daughter her album when she had her own child then I wouldn’t have one for myself! I started making a duplicate (but simpler) version for her and I get to keep the “big” album.
Making a Gift Book. A baby book makes a wonderful gift for the non-scrapping (or simply tired) parents. You can organize the album the same way I’ve listed above. You can write the journaling from your point of view, or interview the parents. You might also leave some journaling spaces blank, so the parents can add their own words later.
Making a Baby Book Years After. Maybe you’re making a baby album for your adult child. Or maybe you didn’t have a baby book of your own, and want to create one. When scrapbooking years after the birth, you might find you don’t have many photos or a lot of journaling. Can it still be done? Of course! You might need to estimate on dates of certain photos: “About six months old, 1950” instead of “Six months old, September 22nd, 2005”, for example. Yet you can still capture the memories of that special time. Interview relatives. Look online for historical facts from the baby’s birth year. And looking back, it’s always interesting to include what kind of person that baby grew up to be—future doctor, lawyer or scrapbooker?
Get started on your baby album with these great products: