One of the things I didn’t anticipate when I had my baby was the sheer number of things to remember. At any given time, I had to remember what boob I fed him on last, what time he nursed, what his last diaper looked like, how long he had slept. Y’all, never mind the sweet details you think of like how many inches his tiny baby foot was, when he first smiled, who brought what to my baby shower. I was trying to remember what time in the middle of the night he woke up and how many times I had nursed him and whether I had remembered to take my vitamins. Forget the baby memory books; where was the mama memory book?
Did you have a memory book as a baby? My parents collected my little locks of hair, recorded my teeth coming in, wrote down my first words and sentences and steps.
When I sat down to shop for a baby book for my little guy, I had some prerequisites: it had to be inclusive, it had to be cute, and I didn’t want a garish “baby decor” kind of feel. While it’s for him, ultimately, it’s more for me, and that meant I wanted it to look nice, not dated. The pickings felt slim when I first searched, so here I am to give you eight modern baby memory books to choose from, ranging from the clean and chic and useful to the hilarious and colorful and oh-so-real.
I have to start with a huge shout-out to the artists who made my son’s baby book. I took to the Internet one night to buy my baby’s memory book, and all I could find was heteronormative language. All about Daddy. How Mommy and Daddy met. And while that’s great, there’s no Daddy in our house. (Little man has two mommies.) And then I found Charmbooks, and I was in love. The books are gorgeous, spiral-bound (which makes for easy handling), and entirely personalized to fit your family’s structure, your religion or lack thereof, baby shower or no, even a page for your baby’s fur brothers/sisters. Because it’s so customizable, no space is wasted and the book feels made for your family.
I’ll be honest: I’m judging a book by its cover, and this baby memory book is so pretty. The colors are vibrant, the design is fun, but it has a timelessness to it. This baby book comes in both traditional and adoptive formats. Their baby book is, by their own description, designed for ANYONE having a baby, and they know that families come in all different scenarios. This baby book celebrates and honors that. An 8″x10″ book of 40 full-color double-sided pages.
At a slightly lower price point, this is another wonderfully inclusive baby memory book. The cover is adorable and gender neutral, with a cute little bear for your little adventurer. Because there’s no one type of family, the designers of this book have included different pages for different family structures, and parents simply cut out the pages that don’t fit them. The same goes for holidays, which are customizable as well. Made up of 56 beautifully illustrated pages in a lay-flat hardcover book.
Lots of baby memory books come in bright (or pastel) colors with characters or animals, but Blossom and Pear went in the opposite direction. This sleek, minimalist baby book has a clean design that comes in either gray or white. The books are hardcover and come in a sweet pouch for gifting in. The book itself is 8″x10″, 98 pages, and spans baby’s first five years.
I am 100% here for this baby book. Here’s the thing: there’s a lot of pressure in new parenthood. It’s easy for things to get super serious—and for parents to take themselves too seriously. Which is why this book is so great. Baby’s First Tattoo helps parents remember those truly memorable moments: baby’s first projectile vomit, baby’s first tantrum in public. You know, the things that are
scarring us for years to come imprinted on our memories anyway.
This is a non-traditional pick, and not a memory book per se, but it allows parents to really record the memories, moments, and thoughts that are special to them. While there are a few pages that are structured—milestones and family tree—for the most part, it’s a beautifully illustrated journal that leaves space for parents to write. Parenthood, especially the early days, can give you vast stretches of time to think (while rocking, holding, bouncing, nursing, feeding, walking, etc.). This journal is a great place to record those thoughts, observations, and memories.
When graphic designer Ryan Maconochie became a dad, he wanted a baby memory book that melded his desire to document his daughter’s first year with his aesthetic as a designer. He came up empty-handed, so he made his own: This Is Your Book. Beyond the usual milestones and memories that most books will document, this one also uses maps, current events, and pop culture factoids to really paint the picture of the world when baby was little. A great way to take a walk down memory lane with your little one in years to come.
Sometimes, a whole memory book, with years of material, can feel daunting. Especially if something significant happens in the middle of the night, or the middle of a feeding, or you just got back from the grocery store after your baby blew out of his diaper on you (or whatever). Mom’s One Line a Day cuts Mom some slack: one line. One sentence. Just a thought each day. The format of the book is overlapping, so that Mom records her one line a day on the same day each year; this way, she can look back on what her one line was on this day last year, or three, or five years ago. A cool way to see the progression and live in that space everyday.
Looking for even more baby book options? Maybe ideas for a bookish baby shower? Check out The Best Places to Make Personalized Baby Books and 30 Bookish Baby Shower Gifts. And, if there are any modern baby memory books you love, make sure to hit the comments to share your suggestions.