September 11, 2018 8 min read
So, you’ve filled up your first baby box.
The very first keepsake box you start to put together for your little one always seems to get filled up really quickly. Probably because it’s so easy to think of things you want to collect in those very precious early days and months.
But once you’ve safely tucked away your scan pictures; gifts; the tiny going-home outfit and all those other first-year keepsakes, you soon realise that the keepsake collecting definitely doesn’t stop. Ever!
First keepsake boxes are easy to fill and the momentos you put in them are obvious choices, but keepsake collecting for older children can actually be more difficult. You need to put a lot more thought into what deserves to be kept.
You’ll probably find, like I did, that you won’t need an entire box for years 2, 3, 4 and 5 for instance. The milestones and collectable moments during those years don’t come thick and fast like they do with newborns.
Not only will you not have enough yearly momentos to fill an entire box, you’re likely to soon come to the conclusion that you don’t actually wantto fill an entire box for every year.
You’ll be collecting for years to come and I’m guessing it would be hard to find space for that many boxes, especially if you have more than one child.
Keepsake boxes for older children often only contain the most sentimental things. The things that have the strongest and fondest memories attached to them.
Deciding what is worthy of keeping needs a lot of thought.
You definitely don’t want to open a box in 20 years-time and wonder what on earth it all is!
A lot of thought also has to go into deciding how to store and organise it all.
Putting things into boxes haphazardly just isn’t going to work. You’ll need some way of remembering what everything is and what occasion it’s from.
A great idea is to pop keepsakes into labelled files or containers, inside your box, that can be clearly and easily labelled. Small brown postal boxes and sturdy brown envelopes work particularly well.
Label every individual item with your little one’s age, the date and the special occasion it was from. Always label with the child’s name! It’s a little awkward when you can’t remember which keepsakes belong to which child (yes, this has happened to me).
So with all of that said, here’s my list of things I’ve decided to collect over the past 13 years of having little people. What else would you like to add?
In the very early months, taking your little one to be weighed every week can seem so unbelievably important. Once they get a little older, you’ll probably wonder what the fuss was all about, but it’s still a nice keepsake to have.
By the time their old enough to give them up, they will probably have been quite literally, loved to pieces. If this is the case, either buy a spare or take a few photos.
Toddlers of a certain age just love taking their shoes off and chucking them on the floor. Usually in inconvenient places, never to be seen again.
Shoes shops will often ask if you want a polaroid photo of your little one with their very first pair of shoes, but if your shoe shop doesn’t offer this service, just take a photo of them yourself.
This is more for artwork you proudly displayed on the fridge.
These photographs can be really easy to miss, particularly if it’s a daily newspaper. So, if you do happen to miss a photograph, don’t worry, it’s usually really easy to get hold of original prints if you contact the newspaper direct.
Include all the special occasions. Their birthday; their first day back to school in September; sports days; achievements and any moments that just really made you smile.
Maybe it was something to do with the increasing number of pen marks going up the kitchen wall with tiny initials scribbled beside them and that nagging realisation that they’d all disappear the second I decided to redecorate.
There are some beautiful nursery height charts around. Everything from posters, to canvas wall hangings and personalised wooden signs. Vinyl decal type ones that stick up on the wall can be lovely, but bear in mind, they can be tricky to take down and save for the future.
Take a small jam-jar, Kilner jar, or other simple, decorative container. Label it with the holiday destination and date, then fill with small holiday momentos.
A small scoop of sand; some pretty shells, pebbles or sea glass; a fridge magnet; a few foreign coins; a rolled up postcard or that trinket your little one begged you for.
If you really want to go all out, take a photograph of them on the day of their first ‘big kid haircut’, pop it into a frame; write the date and occasion, then stick the lock of hair in as a cute keepsake decoration.
We’ve got a lot better at it since then. We’re a lot more practised and it’s lovely to see the prints grow as they get older. To see the difference between then and now.
For something extra special, you could try casting your little one/s hand or foot in skin-safe alginate to create a 3 dimensional replica to keep forever.
See here for my quick tutorial and run down on exactly what you need.
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