My Advice to New Parents: Don’t Blink

newborn baby photos

I know our daughter is growing. We’ve seen her grow for over three years. I’ve watched her transition into bigger clothes every season. She grew out of her crib, then out of her toddler bed. She doesn’t need a booster seat at the table. Every day, she is smarter and faster and stronger.

It’s not until I start digging through our photos that I really see the changes. A year ago she was so different! Even 6 months ago she looked so much younger.

Taking Monthly Photos

It’s a common tradition to take monthly photos for the first year of your baby’s life. I did that without missing a monthly birthday. Then, after the 12 months had passed, I just kept doing it.

Every new experience that Lyra had, I was there with my camera. After all, what’s the point in having a nice camera if you don’t use it? So the photos pile up (digitally, that is).

I have a very organized system on my external hard drive where I keep folders for each year. Inside each yearly folder, there is a folder for every month. So if I need to find a very specific moment in Lyra’s life, it’ll be easy to track down.

Making a Memory Video

It’s one thing to just scroll through those photos and try to hold back the tears. But I thought it might be worth the effort to take one photo from every month for the past 41 months and combine them in a video.

To take it one step further, I set the photos up so that Lyra’s eyes were placed in the same spot in every photo. That way, the transition was smooth and most effectively showed her aging.

It turned out amazing. I cried. My husband cried. Our first born is growing so fast.

New Parents, Keep Those Memories Alive

As any seasoned parent knows, time passes so quickly with young children. The hours and days can be cumbersome, but the years slip through your fingers. One day you’re looking at newborn photos of your now-teenager, wondering how the time flew away.

Here are a few ways to hold onto some of those memories:

  • Take photos
    • Make sure you snap a few pictures of big events/experiences, and at least one nice picture every month
  • Download and organize the photos you have
    • It’s easy to let pictures languish on your phone, but to ensure that you can find them when you need them, download the most important and save them to a hard drive or reliable cloud. Organize them by date.
  • Print your photos
    • Get those pictures printed! Hang them on the walls and swap out your framed pictures at least once a year.
  • Create baby books and/or memory books
    • There are lots of online printers that have pre-designed photo books ready for you to upload your photos. I’ve used VistaPrint and Mixbook. I have baby books for both of my children and create yearly photo books that detail what we did each month.

It All Goes So Quickly

I’m 39 now, so 3 years isn’t all that much time for me. But for my daughter, it is all the time she’s had. It is growing from a newborn to her current, perfect self.

Being a parent doesn’t mean you have to cherish every moment. There are moments that are inherently unenjoyable. But it is important to keep in mind that everything is fleeting. Capture moments and save your memories.

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