A Box of Baby Memories
My grandmother sent me a baby box for the birth of my first baby. It looked like a big, hard, fake book, and when you opened it, there were drawers and a pouch, and a main area to store baby stuff. I didn't even know such a thing existed. But because it was so fun to fill the box with momentoes from my baby's life, I decided to get a box for each of my subsequent babies.
One item that I kept for each of my babies was their take-home outfit from the hospital. When I look at them now, I can't believe that my children were once that tiny. For my baby girl, I also kept her first nightgown. I remember her being wide awake at 6 am, and scooping her up from her crib, and bringing her into bed with me. Her tiny little head looked at me from my pillow. I loved the smiles of each of my babies. I remember my second son in particular: his smile was so huge as he looked at me from my pillow, that my heart would melt.
I wrote a letter to each of my children, talking about my pregnancy with them, and their birth. I did this because I knew that I would forget, and when they were off on their own and married, they might want to know their birth story. I don't necessarily recommend doing this if the birth was difficult and horrible, as it will make your kid feel bad. (Or maybe it will make him grateful for what you had to go through to bring him into the world?)
For each of my children I also wrote in a personalized calendar. I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing this, because it was somewhat labor-intensive. I wrote one or two sentences in each box on the calendar. If I got behind for a week, I just wrote down things that the baby did in general during that week, like calling his pajamas “tambagees.” Those are sweet memories that I wanted captured. But you could write those things in a baby book. Most of my baby books were too big to include inside my baby box, so I don't include it in the collection of memorabilia. A baby book would include a lock from your baby's first hair cut, their first words, when they got their first tooth, and when they walked their first steps.
Inside the baby box I also have a video (or DVD) of that child as a baby. I tried to capture their first steps or other cute things the baby did. This will be precious to the child as an adult, when he or she is also a parent. I also took a video of my first baby, when I took him to London. Unfortunately I haven't been able to convert the British video to an American DVD, so I've never actually watched it. Oh, and I also have a cassette (or CD) of me reading our favorite board books to my baby one evening. My husband and I recorded this so that when people took care of our first baby while we gave birth to the second baby, our first son would feel that he wasn't abandoned. He listened to our voices as he fell asleep in his new toddler bed. (Even though he was only 18 months old, he had to vacate the crib for baby #2.)
I kept birthday cards, the birth announcement (if I had one), and the child's first trip to the theater and the circus. I kept a ticket stub from their first train ride. I kept their baby teeth in a small container that clicked shut. (I'm not sure why I kept the teeth.) Anything that had sentimental value, I threw into the box.
Now that my children are older, I really treasure all the momentoes that are in each of their baby boxes. The items trigger memories which cause me to feel all happy and mushy inside, you know, like when you take your precious baby home from the hospital and feel the most wonderful feeling of happiness...