Watching your child grow is one of the most exciting parts of being a parent. It starts right from when you know that there is a little one growing in your womb, to the first heartbeat that you hear, to the first kicks, when you hold them for the first time to when you see them blossom to a mature adult. There are so many fun ways to keep track of their growth and which you can save for your later years. Picture yourself 30 to 40 years from now, you and your partner on the balcony of your home, going through a journal or photo album with memories of your children (who will have moved out by then)- the journal showing right from when they were minutes old to when they turned to be adults.
Here are some of the ways to track the changes.
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1. Hanging Growth Charts
We all probably grew up when our parents would mark on the wall to track height changes. If you remember, you would stand with your back on the wall, with a book on your head an adult would mark the wall with a pencil. There was a special corner of the house and the time to mark the wall was simply heart-melting. We agree that marking the wall was such a beautiful thing, but the problem comes when you need to move or remodel your home. Once those markings are gone, the memories are gone forever.
These days you can capture all the precious moments and important milestones with a personalized mobile hanging growth chart. The beauty of this kind of chart is that you when you need to change houses, you can move with it. Moreover, you can make one with affordable and very easy to find materials.
Here is a video on how to make a lovely height and growth chart. If you are not artistic, you can always get a ready-made one in a craft shop. You can personalize the chart with colors and images of your child’s favorite animals or personalities.
2. Baby Growth Record Journals and Books
If you want to pen down all the joyous or challenging moments, then a journal with templates to fill out is the best option. You can buy or make one as soon as you realize that you are pregnant or when the child is born. It gives you the freedom to record all the firsts, eating and sleeping habits, birthdays, accomplishments and little stories that you learn in your parenting journey. You can keep the journal or give it to the child on one of their birthdays. However, we think that keeping it for yourself is the best thing- you will later use it to relive their childhood moments and see what each moment meant to you. Or even better, give it to them when they get their kids.
3. A Baby Scrapbook
A picture is worth a thousand words- the story of the growth of your child can be vividly told through photos. Scrapbooking method allows you to preserve the unique pictures and artwork in the form of a book box. The book is not the usual boring page to page binding but a beautifully decorated collection. The use of scrapbooks dates back to the 15th century in England when people created them as souvenirs of European tours with works of art such as the coats of arms. Presently, people use them for preserving memories of babies, friendships, hobbies, marriage, dating, career achievements, etc.
To make a baby scrapbook, you will need a scrapbook album, patterned paper, paper trimmer, acid-free glue sticks, scissors, colors matching the pattern of your paper and album, cutouts, pen with safe ink for drawing and journaling, etc. You can also include decorations using memorabilia from the baby’s gifts or cut pieces of the baby’s outfit.
Here is a video on how to make a baby scrapbook from scratch
Making a scrapbook takes some time, but the effort is well worth it. Note that not every photo makes it to the scrapbook- only the very special ones that represent your baby’s developmental milestones.
4. Smartphone Applications
The applications offer extensive milestone tracking checklists that you can use to know what to expect and when to see the doctor. They also provide photo and journal resources to upload and share every special moment of your little one. You also connect with other application users, to share your challenges and developmental achievements.
With an application, you not only get to monitor the developmental milestones but also get tips to improve nutrition, baby mood, sleep, distress, tantrums, you name it. You also get valuable information and reminders on vaccinations, child welfare clinics, and medications. You can store photos, record your baby’s voice and special occasions. For some applications, you can save the data online, meaning that even if your device gets lost, you can retrieve it anytime.
5. Footsteps Art Print
Creating an infant footprint artbook is quite easy. All you need is paper and baby-safe ink. Make the prints each time you celebrate a birthday, and watch the amazing transformation from the tiny feet. Ensure that you use washable, non-toxic, lead and latex free ink. You may have to spend more for the right ink, but the extra coins are well worth it. You can then bind the papers together, to make an artbook.
The growth of a child is important, and you find that you invest a lot of resources, just to make sure that your child grows properly. We hope that the ideas we have given you will help you track and monitor the growth in an unforgettable way.