8 Creative Baby Book Ideas
Create an e-mail account for your little one and use it to record and send her big and little milestones. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis did this very thing for their daughter Wyatt Isabelle. The stars send messages to their little one whenever inspirations strikes. "One day she'll be able to look at it and see the kinds of things people had to say," Kutcher said.
For instance, you can write something like Guess who walked today?!, and attach a photo and a video of the big event. Once your child is old enough, hand over the password and she can relive all of her baby moments. We like the idea of giving friends and family the address, so they can share special times as well.
The Shadow Box
A shadow box frame is an affordable and easy way to showcase not only baby photos, but also special mementos such as a prized toy or baby rattle. "What I love about creating shadow boxes is that anything looks charming and artistic when contained in the box," says Jeanie Engelbach, a professional organizer who archives photos for her clients. She uses swatches of wallpaper from the baby's room or a collage of congratulatory cards scanned for the box's background. "The precious mementos of infancy can be properly archived while proudly being displayed. I've also designed these boxes as year in the life, which is an interesting diversion from the photo library."
Other items that can be included are your baby shower invite, the birth announcement, a cherished romper, and the baby's handprints and footprints. You can hang the box anywhere in your home, and utilize the top and bottom of the box. "I place items too large or bulky to fit inside, such as baby blocks spelling out the name or a baby rattle, suspended from the frame," Engelbach says.
Take Double-Duty Pictures
You're already snapping a million photos of your nugget, now let those pix tell a story. Write your baby's accomplishment on a small chalkboard (Slept through the night!) along with the date, prop it next to her and take a photo. Or you can buy milestone stickers that adhere to baby's onesie or illustrated cards that feature infant achievements. We're big fans of stickers by stickybellies and cards by Milestone Baby Cards.
Make a Quilt
"I saved my favorite outfit from my kids' first year of life, and had a lap quilt made out of them," says Cindy McCarthy, a mom of two from Chicago and founder of On the Go Chicago, a website for families. "That way I can save a little piece of all of those special outfits--coming home from the hospital, favorite romper, first birthday outfit, etc.--in a useful way." Y
ou can make a quilt for each child and hang it in her room for display, or put it away as a special gift when each is expecting a first child.
Creating a blog that details all of baby's milestones, as well as the cute things he does every day, can preserve the memory for you while it keeps friends and family members updated on his doings. Post photos and videos, and allow everyone to leave messages for baby to read when he's older.
You can start your own blog for free at sites like BlogSpot, and can set it up as a private account so that only people you invite can view it and post comments.
Celebrate Special Events
Give holidays and special occasions more meaning by incorporating baby's best items. "Use baby shoes and socks as ornaments to decorate a Christmas tree, or, as we've done in our family, a 'birthday' tree," suggests crafter Lynn Colwell. You can also create custom ornaments using your personal photos on sites like Shutterfly and Snapfish.
You can wrap your child's holiday, birthday, and graduation gifts with personalized wrapping paper adorned with your favorite family photos. The wrapping is easy to create on sites like Giftskins.
Don't be afraid to cut up clothes that are not worth saving except for the sentimental value, Colwell says. "They can be used to decorate picture frames, photo books. If you have enough, they can be made into a braided rug or a cute tea party tablecloth and napkins."
You can also display baby's photos--and keep track of milestones--with a personalized wall calendar for your home office. It's perfect for busy parents who don't have time to fill out an entire baby book.
Scrapbooking is fun, but it can also be expensive and time-consuming (not to mention that not all of us have been blessed with the creative gene!). Sites like SmileBox let you create unique scrapbooks featuring your best baby and family photos. You can also scan other mementos--announcements, cards, tickets, etc.--to include in your book.