The first year of life is full of so many millions. A great way to capture these events in one place is with a photo album or scrapbook. Depending on the time available and your personal preference, these albums can be cut-and-paste style scrapbooks or digital baby memory books created online and shipped to your home.
Here's a quick breakdown of the most popular options today, along with some advice about staying focused no matter what kind of scrapbook you make.
Scrapbooking with paper and physical photos is the only way for some. Something about cropping the photos and adding embellishments satisfies that creative need. These hand crafted baby keepsake books allow for places to put that lock of hair from the first haircut and the footprint from the hospital.
Most physical scrapbook stores offer classes and workshops (some offer specific events for baby photo albums) where they are happy to teach new skills, act as a consultant, and sell new tools. Many offer "marathon" events where customers can stay for 6-12 hours and potentially finish a whole album in one day. These are a great way to get ideas, focus on the task at hand, and feel energized to finish one album after another.
When considering digital books it's a good idea to shop around before uploading any photos. Find the company you would like to work with based on the most important factors to you such as print quality, binding quality, speed of delivery, and ease of sharing / ordering, etc. Some places offer less expensive books, but the binding might be glued instead of sewn – while fine for short-term enjoyment, this is an important distinction when creating a book that's meant to last a lifetime.
Digital photo websites allow for uploading photos and creating a digital book using either a template or designing them "from scratch" using some basic layout tools and decorations. There is room to write about the photos so that everyone can read about the first birthday or the first time the great-grandparents and baby got to meet. These books are usually created quickly once the photos are chosen and uploaded.
Choosing Photos and Setting Goals
Choosing the photos is an important step for either method. Sort through photos, either digital ones or physical ones and choose a few favorites. To begin, an efficient use of the space is to allow a page or two for each event or each month. As you lay out the initial photos be sure to arrange them without sticking anything down permanently – you may find there is plenty of room for more photos and they can be added at that time.
Set a simple goal such as completing three months at a time instead of the whole year at once. If your "baby" is already 4 or even 14 then focus on the most recent year and work back through the photos by year. You'll remember more about this past year than you will about the day he was born, but keep up the work and you'll get each year completed.