Thursday, 24 January 2013

10 things I wish I'd noted in the baby book

I was given a cute Peter Rabbit Baby Book with my first child and dutifully filled it in when I could find the time. I will admit there are gaps and it's never going to be complete but it has the main things noted. When I had my daughter I bought myself the same baby book to have as a record for her. Again, I've not done a brilliant job of writing stuff down in there but I have the odd evening when I sit down with it for an hour or so and fill in as much as I can.

Since having a second child, I've referred back to my son's baby book several times to remind myself of when he reached certain milestones or did particular things, just to compare with my daughter. Obviously two children are never going to be the same but my two have had similar feeding and sleeping habits for example. Through this process I've come to realise the baby book often doesn't have titbits of information I'd really like. Maybe it's the baby book I have, or maybe these books are too focused on the big things like major developmental milestones. In any case, I've come up with a list of ten things I wish I'd noted in my baby book:

  1. When we first tried a bottle
  2. When we dropped the night time feeds
  3. When we gave up the 10/11pm bottle
  4. When we stopped with the bedtime milk
  5. First time they shook their head 'no' and 'yes'
  6. First five words and when they were uttered (excl. 'mama' & 'dada')
  7. When I started using salt in their food
  8. First ice-cream
  9. Age they moved into their big bed
  10. Age they were toilet-trained
As you can see my list concerns things beyond the first year. The baby book only covers the first year. I wish there had been a final page for post-1 year milestones like moving from cot to bed and when they were out of nappies. Of course, I can still go back and note these things in there somewhere but I have to dig out my old diaries and such like to find the dates.

There's also stuff in my list relating to eating and sleeping routines. Things like that are easily forgotten when you're an exhausted mother of a young baby but second time round these was the things I wanted to remember or be able to refer back to.

Then there are things that my daughter does now that I'm not sure if my son ever did. She loves to shake her head, mostly 'no'. If someone random says hello to her, she will in most cases shake her head 'no' at them. I don't think my son ever did that but it would be nice to look back in his baby book to see.

My son's first word was 'bear'. To my great disappointment, I looked in his baby book to see what age he was when he said 'bear' and I hadn't even written it down. Thankfully we've kept a family photo blog online where we put up a video of him saying it so there's a date and record somewhere but again, it would be nice to have everything recorded in the same place. Beyond 'bear', I don't recall what his next few words were and that's a bit of shame. My daughter has now said up to five words, in this order: 'hello', 'no', 'up', 'yes' and 'bird'. I must write those in her baby book!

The first ice-cream seems of interest to me because people always say the second child gets away with a lot more and parents are less strict about things, mostly to avoid battles and meltdowns I suspect. I'm rather proud of the fact that my son was three before he had his first ice-cream but I already doubt I'll be able to say the same of my daughter....

Are there things you wished you'd noted in your child's baby book? Have you ever had moments when you've looked back to check something and been disappointed to find it wasn't there?

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