The NO-GUILT alternative to keeping a baby book

When I was pregnant with Emma, someone gave us a cute, pink, 62 PAGE memory book.

Yup, 62 pages. I think I literally laughed out loud. Don't get me wrong, it's a great idea: record your baby's first words, first steps, first time they make the "J" sound, first time you cut their left thumbnail. . .

OK maybe not that crazy, but 62 pages is a lot of space to record baby memories. And I can't be the only one who just doesn't have time for that! And you know what? I don't feel guilty at all for not keeping a baby book. Because I discovered a MUCH easier, and MUCH less time-consuming way to record the important dates and memories without making myself crazy.

Introducing: the baby calendar!
This has been such a great thing for me that I just have to share it with you guys. Here are 5 reasons I LOVE using a baby calendar instead of a baby book:

1. It takes very little time to keep updated. You hang the calendar up, and every couple of days, you write down a few notes about what your baby has been up to. I write things like, "You tried grapes today and loved them" or "Accidentally hit Mom in the face- gave her a bloody nose!" And yes, that actually happened. Seriously, though, it takes me about 30 seconds to keep this calendar updated. WAY better than a baby book!
2. Stickers. There are a bunch of stickers in the back, with stuff like "Visit grandparents" and "First steps" which makes it even easier to update this calendar.

3. It's designed to be taken apart. Each page is exactly 12x12 inches, so when the year is over, you can easily put it in a scrapbook and tuck it away. If you know me at all, you know I'm a bit of a clutter-phobic, so this handy little feature was the thing that sold me!

4. It's generational. A year ago, I didn't even know these baby calendars existed, but apparently they've been around for a long time, because I found out that my mom kept one for me when I was a baby! She gave it to me when Emma was born, and I hung them up right next to each other.
I have been having way too much fun comparing my daughter's milestones to my own baby accomplishments. Turns out we both liked to drink bathwater from a cup at 8 months old! 
5. There is space to attach monthly photos. You know how everyone takes pictures of their babies every month now? OK, I do it too. It's actually really fun. :) Well, this calendar gives you a great spot to display those photos!

This is Emma on her 3-month "birthday." At my baby shower, one of my friends gave me hand-painted onesies with the numbers 1-12. (Isn't she incredibly creative and talented???) 
Every month I make sure to take a few pictures of Emma in her onesie, and then I attach one to the corresponding calendar page. Here's the page where she turned 5 months:

And that's it! It's fun, it's easy, and I have no baby book guilt! If you're thinking about getting one of these calendars for yourself (or buying one for a friend- they make great baby shower gifts!) check out the link below.

Note: This is an affiliate link, which means that if you decide to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission. Check out my disclosure policy here.

Link to: Jill McDonald Kids First Year Keepsake Calendar, Alphabet Animals

14 comments:

  1. We kept a calendar too - though not nearly as detailed as this! It was great to have it hanging and just be able to jot something in when the situation called for it.

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    1. Yup- that's what I love about it. :) I like your site, by the way. We're currently working on teaching Emma some sign language, so I'm interested to check it out further.

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    2. I'm so glad we found each other - there are SO many great reasons to sign with little ones, from closer bonds to fewer tantrums. I'm not sure where you're located, but if you're in the Northeast Ohio area, I'd love for you to join us for one of my play classes where parents/caregivers and their child(ren) attend together to learn some signs and tools and strategies for how to use signs when baby isn't even looking at you as well as meet other families with similarly aged children, and have lots of fun! Otherwise, we could chat about doing a virtual workshop.

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    3. I do travel to the Pittsburgh area occasionally, which might not be TOO far away. :)

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  2. That is a fantastic idea! For my kids I just took hundreds of pictures and at the end of the first year (and for my second born at the end of 2 years...) made Shutterfly baby books. I do have baby books for both but...I never filled them out completely!

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    1. The Shutterfly books are great, too. We have one and we keep it mixed in with all of our other picture books on a shelf- but Emma always manages to find it!

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  3. I've been doing the same thing since my daughter was born almost two years ago! She has a calendar from her first year, and I decided to continue it into her second as well. I just keep a yearly calendar book in our living room and document certain milestones or events that happened during her year. A great alternative to a baby book indeed. It's very low maintenance, but have the same impact. I plan on continuing it until she's at least of school age or even further. Glad you thought of the same thing and lovely of you to share it with us!

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    1. I love the idea of turning the "baby calendar" into more of a family calendar as the kids get older and using it to remember important milestones. My husband actually keeps a 10 year journal. . . While I would never have the dedication to do that myself, it is really fun to look back at what we were doing on a particular day 2, 5 or 7 years ago. :)

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  4. That is a great idea. I kept a book with my first child but had no time with my second.

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    1. Thanks, Kristen. As a mom of just one child, I find it difficult to imagine how busy things will get with a second!

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  5. Laura this is the best! I think I'm going to buy one (via your affiliate link of course). I have been creating monthly "this is what AJ can do" images and they'd go perfectly in this calendar...and I could have daily info on that as well. Thanks for the resource...absolutely love it!

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    1. I really love mine- I wouldn't have made it an affiliate link if I didn't. ;) By the way, your monthly pictures sound really interesting! What kinds of things do you have him do in the pictures? Do you post them somewhere? I'd love to take a look!

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  6. This is SUCH a great idea! I had both a baby book and a calendar for my fist child, and that calendar filled up way faster. Thanks for sharing this- it's perfect advice for new moms (and yes, definitely more guilt-free!).

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    1. Thanks, Nicki! I'm glad this worked so well for you, too. Glad to hear it's not just me. :)

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