‘Treasure the early weeks; your baby will grow up so fast!’ It’s a cliché that, as sleep-deprived new mums, we just nod blearily at. But it doesn’t take long to realise just how true it is. And, as wonderful as it to watch your child grow up and up, it’s also kind of nice to remember those early weeks by holding onto a few baby keepsakes.
They’ll be lovely reminders for you, when your child’s a galumphing schoolie, that once he or she really was that cute and teensy. And your child will love looking at your keepsakes, too, as they get older.
Here’s a little list of some of the more traditional – and some of the more quirky – baby mementoes we know people keep. How many in this list are you planning on keeping (or have you kept already)?
1. The hospital wristband
Whether or not you managed to hold onto your newborn’s hospital band probably depends on there being someone with the presence of mind to nab it and put it somewhere safe after you’d been discharged.
But if you did manage to keep it, it’s a lovely reminder of how totally teeny tiny your child’s little wrists were when he or she arrived. Awww!
2. The umbilical stump
OK, we reckon this one’s a bit more out there, although we DO know parents who have kept their baby’s umbilical stump and clamp – that little bit of skin that comes off your baby’s belly’s button a few days after coming home.
We even got a pic (above) made by one new dad, who framed the stump and hung it on the dining room wall. His wife says, “At first I thought it was a bit gross – and a bit OTT – but, when my husband explained how he saw it as representing me and my daughter when we were joined together, I actually agreed it’s pretty cool.” And she’s not wrong there.
3. The first shoes
Learning to walk is such a milestone that those first little shoes represent a big achievement: your baby has taken her first steps. Of course, lots of us have our cruising babes in soft booties long before they actually walk proper, so it might be these soft shoes we keep.
Either way, like the hospital wristbands, they serve to remind us how tiny our children were once upon a time – and they look SO cute.
4. The first lock of hair
How old your child is when you take him or her to the hairdresser can vary wildly but, whenever it happens, it’s a bit of a marker on the growing-up scale.
And, whether it happens at a salon, a barber’s or at home (and whether your child’s as good as gold or wriggling like a mad thing), we know plenty of mums who have grabbed a little bit of first-time chopped-off hair and squirrelled it away in a memory box or locket.
5. The first drawing
So, we may differ here on what a first ‘drawing’ really is. For some of us, it’s the very first scribble your little one does with pencil and paper; for others, it’s the first picture done with crayons or paint that you can actually tell is supposed to be a person / cat / house. But whatever your artistic threshold, it’s a moment to treasure.
Lots of people frame the first drawing – and it does make a lovely baby keepsake – but there also seems to be a new trend for getting those early scribbles recorded for ever as a tattoo. Would you be tempted?
6. Their first snuggly toy or blanket
It could be a bear that’s missing an ear or eye, or a ‘blankie’ that – even though you’ve washed it 1000 times – still has the odd spot or stain on it, but we just can’t face parting with it.
The seams are bursting and half the stuffing’s come out but we vow that this little cutie’s going to be passed onto our grandkids, for sure…
7. Their baby teeth
The urge to keep every little thing might start waning a bit one they get to age where their teeth are falling out but we bet some of you may have kept just 1 or 3 of your little one’s milk teeth.
And, here at MFM HQ, we heard recently of a woman who kept all of her 3 children’s milk teeth (yes, the full sets!), had them coated in gold and then turned them into a bracelet. Bit freaky? Maybe. But 1 or 2 in a box is fair dos in our book. Sorry, Tooth Fairy, you can’t keep ’em all.