If there’s one thing every parent can agree on, it’s that baby’s first year goes by in a flash.
Something new happens practically every day: features change, new faces and expressions, crawling, standing, walking… The opportunities to capture an unforgettable moment are endless.
Of course, everyone loves snapping pictures of their baby, and it’s so easy with camera phones. But what do you do with all those pictures so they don’t just sit in a folder on your computer?
I made a photo book for my daughter’s first year with one photo a day for 365 days. Yes, it was an ambitious undertaking, but I wanted to do something fun and creative with all the pictures I took, and create something our family will cherish forever.
Every page is full of beautiful memories: the day she was born, her first yawns, smiles, silly faces, the first bite of food, the first time she crawled, stood, took her first steps. Here are just a few of the pictures.
The book captures the subtleties of her growth – her height, weight, eye color, teeth, and that little patch of hair on the back of her head that finally grew into a full head of red locks by the end of year one.
Every page brings back a flood of memories, which I’m so grateful to have.
So, why go this route rather than just taking a standard monthly picture? Well, I love that idea too. In fact, we did do the monthly picture thing. We photographed Maddie in her nursery room chair with the same teddy bear each month. I loved this because we could gauge her growth by how big she looked next to the bear.
We also used balloons to show how many months she was – a really cute idea the first month or two – after that, not so much. It isn’t easy to get a decent iPhone shot with 11 balloons, an antsy baby, and a teddy bear.
It sounds easy enough, right? Just take a picture every day and you’re done. Well, there’s a little more to it. You have to set yourself up for success so when you finally put your book together, you aren’t pulling your hair out trying to figure out which picture is which and when you took it. Because, the fact is, you probably aren’t taking just one picture a day.
I came up with a system to keep track of which picture was which so when it was time to put my book together, the pictures were in the correct order. Here’s what I did:
- Every day, take a super cute picture of your super adorable baby
- Post the pic-of-the-day to Instagram, captioning which day it is (i.e. Day 15, Day 250, etc.) – I found this really helpful, referring to it when I was making my book to ensure my days were correct, but if Instagram isn’t your thing, skip it.
- Download your photos to your computer, creating a separate folder for your Pics of the Day – try to do this frequently (like once a month) so you don’t get overwhelmed
- Number the pictures in your folder so the file name corresponds with the day
- Decide on the site you want to use to make your book – there are a ton to choose from, so just do some research to see which you like best
- At the end of the year, design your book – I used a basic template with six photos per page, labeling each picture with the day
There are tons of options for designing your book. You can create an Instagram book, which automatically loads pictures from Instagram into a book, and boom, you’re done. Super quick and easy.
I made a 14 x 11 coffee table book. I wanted to include a few extra pictures that I didn’t have on Instagram, so this option worked best for me, and gave me a little more design control. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to do it. Most sites have very user-friendly programs.
It also makes a great gift for grandparents, especially those who don’t get to see their grandbaby every day.
What are your creative ideas for making memories with your babies?