Honestly, I’ve been a mother only for a few short months. Yet, already the first months are beginning to slowly blur at the edges, not least because for the most part they went by in one great, big sleepless daze. Human memory is rather fickle; while certain experiences are always indelible, often, we tend to retain strange things like snapshots in our minds and forget far more important stuff. For instance, I remember that there existed a latticed wall separating our house from our neighbours’ in the very first house that I lived in; this is a rather useless piece of information to retain and I would much rather remember things like my naming ceremony or the moment I met my sibling. Perhaps this is why we need to try and preserve some of the golden moments of motherhood.
Children grow up so quickly, right in front of our very eyes, and before we know it an entire childhood has passed by in the blink of an eye! Preserving the tender memories of our little ones is such an absorbing activity and, trust me, many years down the lane, your children will value them as a precious inheritance. It is a lovely way to take a walk down memory lane and to share cherished baby memories and treasured stories that your loved one will hold close to her heart. Here are some easy ideas to get you started!
Impressions: I’m sure every mother out there would have admired those itty bitty fingers and teeny weeny toes of her child. Aren’t they simply adorable? In fact, baby feet and baby hands might quite possibly be one of the most clichéd genre of photographs on social media! You can try to capture at least a part of that cuteness by casting hand and feet impressions. There are easy to use kits available for specifically this purpose both in stores as well as online; they would make for an interesting DIY activity – and a fun gift for a new mom too. You could take a cast every month or just stick with one set. Alternatively, you could also check with your local baby store – this is a fast catching up trend and many shops offer such services for a reasonable fee these days.
Baby Book: In today’s digital era, we can take a zillion photographs of our kids and create photo albums. However, photo albums are so passé. But a good Baby Book goes one step further and not only allows you to save photographs but also other memorabilia such as the hospital tag, a card that your child made for you, fingerprints and so much more. If you are into scrapbooking then this would be your ideal option; just let your imagination run riot! Throw in some cute and relevant stickers, write little colourful notes with decorative pens and keep adding memories over the years. There are a variety of great baby books available in the market and what’s more, for the tech savvy parents out there, there are quite a few digital ones too.
Memory boxes: If you have enough space in your home, then you could try your hand at maintaining memory boxes. Get a set of attractive boxes one for each year – the size depends on your preference – and put in things which you treasured during the course of that year. You could also add in newspaper clippings or magazine articles of noteworthy incidents that happened around the world that year. It would make for interesting trivia to recollect later on – “I was born the year India won the cricket World Cup” or “The first colony was established in Mars the year I was born”. While this approach gives you a lot of flexibility – you could keep your child’s first teddy or her favourite rattle, her artwork – let me also caution you that this is not a very feasible approach if you move houses or travel a lot.
Quilts: At one point in time, it felt as though my daughter’s cupboard was simply overflowing with clothes. People kept gifting new clothes and we too just couldn’t stop ourselves whenever we saw cute baby clothes while shopping. Just a few months down the line, she seems to have outgrown most of them and we need to go shopping again! Of course, we could always donate her gently used clothes to the needy. However, some of our children’s clothes will have a special significance attached to them. Perhaps her very first outfit, or her favourite top that she insists on wearing every day, a pretty dress from your late grandmother, a skirt that she wore for your brother’s wedding… we do not have the heart to part with such clothes. Instead of simply hoarding them in a dusty and forgotten corner of the cupboard, why not convert them into quilts?
These quilts are not just for keeping your child warm on a cold night – they will also surely reach deep inside and warm the cockles of her heart, comforting her in more ways than one. It is a superb way to preserve your darling’s outgrown clothes. Check out Mum-entos on Facebook who specialize in crafting such quilts. I haven’t personally got anything done by them yet, but rest assured that I will be contacting them pretty soon!
Locket: In one of her interviews, I saw the popular south Indian actress Kushboo open up her purse and take out some tiny teeth! They belonged to her kids and she said that she collected them and kept them as keepsakes. I find the idea of carrying around my child’s teeth a little strange, but to each her own I guess.
As for me, my baby was born somewhat bald, but once she grows a decent amount of hair, I intend to cut one of her soft locks and put it into a locket. You could also save baby’s first nail clippings if you are so inclined. I’ve even heard of some people saving the umbilical cord stump! Depending on your budget, you could choose a locket from a variety of materials or you could also have a custom one made, say with your child’s initials carved on the outside.
Have you used any of these methods to preserve memories for your child? Or do you follow any other approach? I would love to hear all about it. Do let me know!
Anne John has donned several different hats at various points in life but lately one of them seems to have dwarfed the rest, namely, motherhood. She’s a relatively new mommy who is still getting used to being known as someone’s mom. She describes herself as an explicit caricature of the new mommy – sleep deprived, scatter-brained, in crumpled pyjamas bearing tell-tale signs of baby’s spit-up and other unmentionables! After torturing friends and family with my endless mommy tales, Anne has decided to move on to the internet to share her so-called nuggets of motherly wisdom! I try to keep up an online presence over @annejwrites.