Baby’s First Year

20140722_164908Looking back at pictures of our boys as babies, I have to rely on visual cues to remind me how old they are in each picture. For example, I look for Halloween costumes or Christmas decorations – all the other months/seasons are anyone’s guess. Today’s new parents, however, have solved this dilemma with the adorable new trend of baby’s-first-year markers. Artists make and sell these on Etsy, usually designed as stickers you can put on your baby’s shirt or placards they can hold, saying how old they are in that photo (picture a sticker, shaped like a bow tie, and placed wear your little boy would wear a bow tie, if he were old enough to wear a bow tie, that says “3 months”).

Of course, I’ve also seen these adorable markers mangled or munched on before the camera even comes out of its case. I had the most miserable luck with “monthly pictures” (honestly, I still fight to get one good family picture every year), so I’ve learned (the hard way) what I shouldn’t even try to include in a photo (nothing fragile, no live animals, no emotions they aren’t already feeling) and what I should expect (someone will blink in every shot, no one will be willing to sit for more than three pictures, and any picture where our children look good will be the worst picture ever of my husband or me or both of us).

So, today, when I go visit a dear friend and her new baby, I’m taking her this framed month-marker. The frame holds a card for each month of her baby’s first year (all the cards are stored in the frame, tucked behind one another). Her baby can bite it (it doesn’t taste good, but the exterior is lead-free!). Her baby can ignore it or refuse to hold it, because it can stand on its own. Her baby can spill things on it or drop it or even lose it, because she can always click this link to download a pdf of the 4″ x 6″ placards, and print just one or all 12, anytime she wants. Free! Or she could skip trying to get her son to hold/use it at all and just use the placards in his scrapbook or any photo album, next to whatever pictures she chooses.

Because I didn’t use a baby-ish font, I’m hoping this printable could be used for all sorts of things. Maybe the first 12 months of a new marriage or the 9 months of a pregnancy (note: don’t even show a pregnant woman months 10-12; that’s not funny). You could hold these as you document your progress on a diet or exercise program, or any project that shows improvement with each passing month.

If you think of other ways to use these, please share. Even better, share a picture of yourself using them!


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