Your baby’s first year is filled with so many incredible moments; first smile and first step just to name a few. Keeping a record of their special journey will mean all the more as they get older and you can reflect back on just how far they’ve come. Starting a scrapbook or journal are two ways that you can document your baby’s early days, but with a little imagination you can also create some decorative displays for around the home that everyone can see and enjoy.
When it comes to choosing which pieces to keep, remember that it’s not just mementos from the big events in your baby’s life that will have meaning, but the little ones too. The sleepsuit your baby wore home from the hospital, their favourite dummy or first pair of tiny shoes are all sure to bring a smile to your face. Other items that would make beautiful displays include:
Having a record of what was happening in the world on the day your child was born is sure to delight them when they’re older – it’s also a perfect job for grandparents or other family members who want a role on the big day. Ask them to gather together items such as the front page of the newspaper, a postage stamp and the price a litre of milk, and to jot down the top rating television show and number one song, which can all be used to create a fascinating time capsule further down the track.
For most of us, finding time in the early months to collate and organise baby’s mementos is an impossible task. So, choose a safe and accessible place to store everything until you’ve got the time – and energy – to get creative. Use a lidded storage box that’s big enough to hold larger items such as blankets or bulky clothing, and will keep everything free from dust. If you’re storing photographs, look for an acid-free box that will protect them from deterioration (available in good craft shops).
Keep the box in an easy to reach spot, such as a shelf in the baby’s room or under the cot, so that you can pop things inside in a flash.
Flex your crafty muscle by creating a special scrapbook of your baby’s early days. Embellish your baby’s photographs, cards and handprints with pretty ribbons, borders and stickers, and use a calligraphy pen to write a few words on each page.
You’ll find everything you need to start scrapbooking in speciality craft shops or online (many online companies will even create a unique scrapbook for your baby if you’re short on time).
If you’re not quite up to the creative challenge of scrapbooking, consider keeping your baby’s mementos in a simple loose leaf folder – just slip items inside the plastic pockets and mark with the date and any special memories.
Most new parents are super-conscientious about recording every moment of their baby’s young life on film, so why not make the most of all those fabulous photos by displaying them in a creative way in your home.
The trick to an eye-catching photo arrangement is not to overfill the wall space so that each image has room to breathe. Choose a few of your favourite photos and divide them according to age, theme or event. Pop them into a series of identical frames, or in mismatching frames of the same colour (this will give the display some visual coherence).
There are a number of ways to hang your frames; a grid pattern looks neat and coherent, while a picture gallery arrangement of frames of different shapes and sizes has an element of fun. For this, start by penciling two horizontal parallel lines on the wall to line up the bottom of one row and the top of the other, then arrange your other pictures above and below these rows. Or, display pictures along the wall of a staircase or hallway to give your guests something to admire as they travel through your home.
For a dramatic, modern look have a couple of your favourite photos blown up onto large canvases. Other ways to display photos around your home include creating a special photo book, calendar or smaller homewares such as a set of mugs or a computer mouse mat. The Huggies Photo Centre is the perfect place to order all your photo prints, gifts and canvases – you even get 50 free photo prints when you register!
You can create beautiful displays of your baby’s precious mementos in shadow boxes – even the simplest things such as a playsuit, feeding spoon or favourite jumper will have impact when framed this way. Measure the depth of items before buying your shadow boxes, then consider covering the mats with pretty wallpaper before gluing or sticking the items inside. For the best results, put only a few items inside each box, and stick to a similar theme or colour.
Creating a show-stopping collage using your baby’s cards of well wishes is another way you can remember the joy of those early days. Simply cut cards down the middle so that you can display both the front and the messages written inside, and don’t worry too much about colour matching – this is one occasion where it’s the explosion of colour and excitement that will give your display its appeal. Glue onto a large piece of thick card and hang on the wall.
Handy with the sewing machine? Why not turn all those outgrown baby clothes, sheets and cotton blankets into a stunning memory quilt for your little one’s bed. While this is a task that takes a considerable amount of time and effort, it’s sure to be something your child will treasure long after they’ve outgrown it.
Don’t worry about elaborate shapes and decorations – as you’ll probably be working with a variety of different colours and patterns, the simplest shapes will work best. Avoid thick, heavy or stretchy fabrics that will be harder to work with.
Time passes in a flash when you’re a new mum, and memories can fade just as quickly. Keep those special moments alive forever by jotting them down in a dedicated journal that you can look back on and enjoy throughout your little one’s childhood and beyond.
A good quality hard backed book will stand the test of time and is all the more appealing if it’s covered in beautiful patterned fabric or paper. Here you can make note of your thoughts, dreams and any special or amusing moments you’ve shared with your little one – just be prepared to shed a tear each time you open a page to read it!