So, your baby is finally here (or will be very, very soon) and you want to make sure you remember all the important things to do while your baby is still a tiny babe. This checklist will help you remember the most important things to do with a newborn.
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1. DO Take Newborn Photos
It’s probably a given to take pictures throughout your baby’s growth. But make sure you take pictures when your baby is born. Ask someone coming to the birth with you to snap a picture as soon as they put baby in your arms. If you are birthing alone, hire a doula or request a midwife or nurse on staff capture that first photo for you.
If you can afford it, hire a birth photographer. Or a newborn photographer to just get some great pictures of your newborn baby.
The expense is totally worth it. You’ll treasure these pictures of your baby’s first day in the world FOREVER!
2. DO Memorialize Baby’s Foot/Hand Prints
Get a kit like this one to take your baby’s footprints and handprints. It’s easier to do it in those first couple days when your baby might be much sleepier. I did my son’s while he was asleep, and that worked out perfectly. I hung it in the room and I still smile at it 11 years later.
You’ll also want to keep the prints the doctors made.
Who knew moms could be SO sentimental?
Here are my top picks to create the perfect memory of your sweet baby:
This one is perfect to also display baby’s monthly milestone photos!
This one comes in pink or blue, how precious!
You can feature a fresh newborn photo and baby’s coming home photo in this one!
These are ornaments for your Christmas tree, featuring clay imprints of your baby’s precious fingers and toes!
If you want to do baby’s prints in a specific color, you can order the color you want from this company:
If you don’t know what color you’d like, but want to have several on hand to choose from, get this set of multiple vibrant colors:
3. DO Take A Picture Of Baby’s Coming Home Outfit
If you are birthing away from home, you will want to remember what cute outfit you decided to bring baby home in. If you are birthing at home, you might want to instead take a picture of baby’s first ride in a carseat!
This is something I really wish I had done. While I vaguely remember bringing baby home in a cute, Earth-tone, warm outfit, I can’t picture exactly what it was. What I do remember is because remembering how uncannily cold that day was jogged my memory that I put him in something fitting for cold weather.
4. DO Jot Down Baby’s Stats
It’s super easy to forget to do this, or to think that the Pediatrician will keep great records. But you never know what will happen. Also keep these stats in MULTIPLE PLACES. I was recording in a baby book and to this day I have no idea what happened to it. But thankfully I made a note on my son’s “First Year Album” on my Facebook account. I was able to fill out a new baby book years later, when the mom fog lifted and I had the mental capacity to do so. That would be right around now when he’s 11… lol
5. DO Take Monthly Milestone Pictures
I took pictures of my son all the time when he was younger. I have albums in 3 month intervals, but other than guessing I can’t be for sure which picture was taken during what month of his life. If I had kept a monthly milestone tracker of some sort, I’d know what changed about him, and when.
Get a beautiful milestone baby blanket such as this one to take monthly milestone photos of your sweet baby:
If you’re on a budget or just want something much simpler with greater flexibility of backgrounds, these animal milestone markers will do the trick:
Here’s a beautiful frame to feature those monthly milestone photos in! You can put a newborn photo or a first birthday photo in the biggest frame. It will be so much fun tracking how much your baby changes during the first year!
6. DO Take Pictures Of Any Important Memorabilia
The ultrasound printouts, baby’s first footprint & handprint, baby shower invites, first birthday invites… take a picture of anything that you deem important. You never know if they might get lost due to moving, a fire/flood, or who knows what.
Here’s a list of baby memorabilia you might want to take pictures of:
- ultrasound printouts
- baby shower invites
- personalized/extra special baby stuff (blankets, photo frames, jewelry)
- baby’s stat sheet/first footprint and handprint from birth
- baby’s first birthday invitations
7. DO Get A Baby Keepsake Box/Chest
A baby keepsake box will help you keep all of baby’s important mementos in one place. Although you’re taking a picture of each and every one of them, that is more as a back up in case something happens to the originals.
Keep the ultrasound photos, copies of babies first photos, hospital prints, shot records, first pair of shoes, coming home outfit, lock of hair (often not taken until your child’s first haircut, but you can take as soon as baby has enough length to record), umblical cord stump, etc.
Whatever you want to keep can go in this box, and be easy to find (and gift to your child) at a later date.
You might also consider using an app such as Qeepsake to ensure you capture all of baby’s most precious moments! Qeepsake allows you to journal, upload photos, and also asks you questions to help you document your child’s life. You can later turn these entries into beautiful printed books. There’s a free version, and paid versions that have more options as well.
8. DO Take Pictures Of Baby With Any & All Visitors
Life is short. It’s easy to think that your baby will have forever with the friends and loved ones that you allow to visit, but things don’t always work out that way.
I know you probably don’t want to think so morbidly, but after the fact you’ll be SO glad you did this. And on the bright side, it also creates a great opportunity to make personalized gifts for those who are regulars in baby’s life.
Imagine how happy grandma will be to have a collage of pictures taken over time of herself and her grandchild years down the road!
9. DO Invest In Image Backup Services
I’ve lost plenty of valuable pictures and videos from when my baby was first born. The external hard drive I was using fell and no recovery service was able to fix it (I was literally willing to pay WHATEVER PRICE they wanted to charge). I was sad and in a funk for many weeks.
Then Snapfish decided to delete the video my sister took of my son flying out my hoohah (she closed her eyes, looked behind her and somehow managed to catch it perfectly!).
Your images on social media and online image services can be subject to algorithms, policy changes, and other random events (I’ve heard of people’s Facebook accounts being deleted and losing precious photos they didn’t have stored anywhere else.
Make sure you save your pictures on MULTIPLE forms of storage. On your computer. On an SD card. On your phone’s external memory card. On an external hard drive. On Google, Apple, and or Amazon’s cloud storage. On Dropbox. On Facebook. On Snapfish and/or Shutterstock. Burn them on a CD.
This, along with #6 and #8, is probably one of the most important things to do with a newborn. It is totally worth it to spend money making sure your baby’s photos and pictures of all the special mementos are safe and sound.
10. DO Save Your Baby’s Favorite Clothing Pieces To Make A Quilt
Did you know that you can have a quilt made with your favorite pieces from baby’s wardrobe?
You totally can! And it makes a super special memento that you can some day pass on to your child.
You can find someone to make your custom baby clothes quilt on Etsy. The handmade sellers on Etsy are the BOMB DOT COM! Be sure to take your time looking at the different styles of quilts available, and to vet your seller thoroughly before shipping off your baby’s clothes, towels, and others special cloth items you want to become a part of the quilt!
Here are some of my favorite Etsy sellers that make custom baby quilts:
11. The MOST Important Thing To Do In Baby’s First Year: BOND With Your Newborn!
Bonding with your newborn is the most important thing for you to do. While this list should help you remember to do things you wouldn’t want to miss out on in your baby’s first year, you should also remember that building a solid bond with your baby is of the utmost importance.
A secure bond with your baby leads to secure attachment style in a child. This helps ensure that your child blossoms into an adult that can form positive relationships built on love, mutual respect, tolerance and trust.
Your baby will know that he or she can count on you to meet every need.
You might also enjoy this article about ways to help your baby form secure attachments, or this one about how to be a good parent.
There are so many important things to do with your newborn, and baby’s first year will fly by more quickly than you could ever imagine.
It’s also kind of difficult to think of, or remember, all of these things when you’re in that daze during the early months of your child’s life. It might seem like you are running on autopilot, and you might not even think of doing things like ensuring there are pictures of you with your baby.
Be sure to make a checklist of the things you want to do with your newborn, and maybe post it on your fridge so that you won’t forget. It’s also a good idea to buy anything you’ll need from this list well in advance (like NOW!!!) so that you have them on hand for baby.
If you can think of anything I’ve left off of this list, I’d love to know (leave me a comment!)! Otherwise, I hope you enjoy your precious baby and create lots of mementos to remember these special moments forever.