The way your daughter says “am-blee-ance” instead of “am-bu-lance.” The way your son puts his hands on your cheeks when he kisses you. The cooing sounds your baby makes as you rock them to sleep at night. These heartwarming moments are so adorable, there’s no way you’ll ever forget them as your children grow.
Except, you will. Sorry. Parents of older kids and teens confirm that many of these memories sadly fade as your kids make new ones.
There are solutions to this problem, though, that go beyond “Create a baby book.” Try one of these clever and simple ideas.
1. Draft an email
Create a draft with the subject line “Memories of Charlie” and type some thoughts (point form is fine!). Add to it regularly and don’t worry about it being perfect (you can fix it up later). Another option is to create a new email account for your child and send photos or cute stories directly there.
2. Buy a journal and keep it around
Buy a small journal with an attached pen or pencil and keep it out in the open, not tucked away in a drawer. Jot down notes when the kids are busy playing.
3. Use social media
Start a private Instagram account and write longer photo captions that can serve as mini journals.
4. Start a memory box
Designate a shoe box or small diaper box for each kid, and regularly throw in artwork, photos, certificates, school work, ticket stubs, birthday cards and anything else that feels special. Go through the box occasionally to organize it and remove items that don’t feel worthy anymore.
5. Try an app
Hello Baby and Tiny Beans are both good memory-recording options, as is Qeepsake, which sends you daily texts prompting you to reply with a story, moment or milestone and photo. Your replies are compiled into an editable digital album in the app, which you can have printed into a book, if you so choose.
6. Write a blog
If you love writing and want to share your stories with family, you could start a blog, writing and publishing posts from your phone during free moments. (Make sure you truly have the stamina to keep a blog going long-term, though.)
7. Buy a One Line a Day journal
This is no regular journal. This one gives you just enough space to record a single thought each day for five years. So low pressure!
8. Create a tapestry
Have a quilt made using your kid’s outgrown clothes. The fabrics and patterns will elicit sweet memories for decades.
Use your phone’s voice recorder to capture your kid’s adorable toddler voice now and again. Trust us, when they’re 14 years old, you’ll relish the opportunity to listen to them scream-singing, “Let it goooooooooo, don’t hold it back anymooooooooore” whenever you want.