People always say to cherish the moments with your children now because they grow so darn fast. I didn’t quite understand it when I was younger, and I remember it taking FOREVER to reach my next birthday. When I entered my twenties and slid right through them, I began to realize how quickly life passes. Now as a parent, I blinked and the first two years of my child’s life are nearly done. I can’t believe how quickly it has passed. I am so glad that I began documenting everything right from conception, throughout pregnancy and leading into her childhood. I can look back on those memories and reminisce about everything that seemed to fly by so quickly. You know what they say after all: “the days may be long, but the years are short.” I compiled a short list of five ways to document your child’s childhood.
1. Keep photo albums.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are pouring over my old photos with my mother. Each photo told a story, and my mother was able to recall even the smallest details because of the visual reminder. I loved hearing how I was when I was a child, and I look forward to flipping through the family album with my daughter one day. They make for amazing family nights, and comparisons as your child ages. Did they look like a grandparent? Like you? You and you child will be able look back and see all the amazing times you had together.
2. Write down the smallest details.
I kept a pregnancy journal with my daughter, and did monthly updates for the first year of her life. Now I find myself jotting down the smallest little tidbits – things that are funny, things she says, little mannerisms she has and much more. It’s fun to reflect back on those and say , “Remember when?” The tiny details that I never want to forget are the ones I jot down in the margins. At least they’re there.
3. Record random moments throughout the day.
Start filming using your phone when you’re out at the grocery store, the park, the backyard, when your child is babbling while sitting in her high chair… one day they will be all grown up and you will have these tiny glimpses into the past to look back on. My daughter loves watching videos of herself and identifies people in the background, certain songs and even the family dog.
4. Take an annual photo.
Last year, I took a photo of my daughter sitting on my front porch with a pumpkin. She was eight months old. I plan on recreating that photo this year, and the next, and the next to see how much she’s grown within a year. It’s a fun visual reminder to see how they grow using similar objects.
5. Create a memory box.
Add sentimental objects to the box to create a mini time capsule for your child to open when they’re older. I added a newspaper from the day my daughter was born, the outfit I announced my pregnancy with, soothers, diapers, documents and more.