Keepsakes and Gifts

You probably started collecting memorabilia during your pregnancy —ultrasound pictures, doctor or midwife reports. The bulk of your collection starts the day your baby is born—wrist ID, footprint, first photo, newspaper—it never stops. Parents are a sappy lot. You too will enjoy spending time looking at pictures and items that remind you of your baby's first year. It is amazing how sifting through your baby's artifacts floods you with memories previously forgotten. Those keepsakes not only serve as reminder to you; they create an often lost piece of history that your grown baby will treasure.

Most people get a kick when they see their picture on 10 year old newsprint proudly announcing their birth. Some will even pore through a newspaper printed the day they were born just to see what was going on in the world. Plaster casts of your baby's hands and feet are popular keepsakes, but bronzing your baby's first pair of booties is an old tradition that is slowly making a comeback.

Amidst the treasure that all parents love, you will inevitably create your own keepsakes as your baby grows. You will want a detailed baby book to store and record your baby's firsts: first tooth, first lock of hair, first word, first step, first smile. You may be lost in the joy of discovering and recording your baby's firsts, but those around you will want to be part of the fun.

Someone will surprise you with a "Baby's First Christmas" sleeper even if you beg them to save their money. A relative may want to make or gift you the family gown for your baby's christening or blessing even if it's not your style. You will need extra photo albums for the pictures that your friends and family send you from their own collection. Take it all with grace and understanding. Your baby will excite you and those around you. From the moment you hand out those pink or blue foil wrapped cigars that announce your baby's arrival, the excitement begins.

No one will blame you if you secretly return the "First Christmas" sleeper or the "First Birthday" t-shirt. Just remember to take a picture of your baby wearing the offending item and send it to the gift-giver with a Thank You note. Sometimes the picture is all you need. The picture itself is worth a lifetime of giggles and smiles.

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