I realize that you're all busy, and you're never busier than when you have a new baby around, but the keys to starting, building, and finishing an amazing baby book are planning and commitment. I know I'm super Type A and am really obsessive so completing Leighton's baby book was more like a hobby than a chore to me, but I simply refused to have a run-of-the-mill, half-completed baby book that he would look at later and say, "What happened? Where's the rest of the information?" like so many of us have said to our mothers.
Besides, these books are fun to look back at. Looking back just now, I realized that the movie Cars 2 came out on Leighton's birthday, and that was his very first favorite movie. Isn't that a fun fact?
I know, I know, I have special tools at my discretion, but there are still simple things you too can do to create great baby book. And don't worry, if your kids are a bit older, and you have old photographs (digital or hard copy), you can still make a go of it - it's never too late (and you probably have a little more free time... as much as a parent can have).
Step 1: Outline and Layout
This step begins before you have your baby (of course, I started planning my book before I got pregnant) so you know what information you need to record when it happens - information about the birth, information about the day the baby was born (weather, news events, etc.) It also helps you keep your information organized and in chronological order. You will want to make sure that you are aware of the maximum amount of pages that your book vendor allows so that you don't plan for too many pages and then have an issue.
Here are some sample things you may want to include in your book:
Step 2: Design
I like the size of a 12" x 12" hardcover book for my projects. For those of you without the tools of a graphic designer, all you need to do is choose your vendor online (like Shutterfly.com), and then pick a design theme. They will give you layouts for your pages, depending on the number of photos you'd like to use. Simple really, but for me, I like to make each page custom in Adobe Illlustrator... but I'm a psycho control freak.
Step 3: Building
Keeping on top of this step is key because if you get too far behind, you will see your project as overwhelming, and you will not finish it. I like to update all of my books at the end of every month so that it doesn't get out of control. Yes, I'm still making more books: one for every year of my children's lives until they leave the house! (psycho, remember?) I have finished Leighton's 2nd year and have almost finished his 3rd year book, and I'm in process with baby #2's book as well.
Step 4: Printing
This is the easy and exciting, but sometimes costly part. I like to use Shutterfly.com for my book printing, but places like Costco also have book printing services. I like to watch for book printing sales and then purchase my books when they are offering a 20% discount online.
I know it seems like a lot of work, but your children will appreciate the effort, and you will be able to torture them more effectively at events such as their high school graduations, meeting their first girlfriend/boyfriend, at their weddings, etc. Just think of the payback, and that might get you through to completion!
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Cyndi M. Frick
This lifestyle blog is my outlet to share and advise about the things I love. I always have an opinion!