Baby books are amongst the common baby shower gifts for new parents. Many new parents find they have two or three of them by the time their baby arrives. Unless you are an obsessive documenter and keeper of records, you will find one or two is plenty.
Unlike scrapbooks or photo albums, baby memory books provide a day-to-day description of your baby's development during those first 12 months of life. Each page prompts you to record information about your baby's early social, physical, and cognitive development. There's also space for recording your own thoughts, observations, special memories, helpful tips, and quotes which will be fun to share with your baby later. Pages are organized chronologically making it easy to note important moments and milestones throughout your baby's first year and beyond.
Typical baby books document a short history of both parents, a family tree, showers and gifts received, a space for the birth certificate, handprints, footprints, current events, growth chart, doctor visits, immunizations, dental chart, all of your baby's firsts, birthday's, first holiday, and many pages for pictures.
Most baby books are a piece of art expressed as mixed media. Most include spaces for samples of your baby's art, hair, and other memorabilia, all of which you glue on to the pages. If you want your baby memory book to remain a treasure that will keep until your baby is older, choose a baby book made of archival materials. The acid in ordinary paper and paper finishes will eventually eat away at your photographs and other keepsakes. If you want your baby book to last, choose one made of acid-free papers and mat board.
The span of time covered by your baby book may vary. Some track your pregnancy and last until your baby is 12 months. Others only cover birth to 12 months. Larger baby books provide record space up to 4 years.
If you opt for the 4 year journal, you may want a spiral bound book. A spiral binding, unlike the standard library binding, will give you some extra room to stuff it full of your baby's prized artwork and photos. If you need a little more room than a spiral bound baby book has to offer, look for a loose-leaf 3-ring book. Loose leaf books are similar to 3-ring binders. It is easy to add or remove pages and offer the most room when it comes to stuffing your baby book full of mementos.