Do you sometimes wish your child stops growing? I do, but I also know that aside from that being impossible, it’s a very selfish thing to wish (thankfully, nature is on his side)– I mean, my son needs to keep growing for himself. He needs it for his own survival.
We cannot stop time, and as cliché as it sounds, it’s really true: the days may be long, but the years are short. My son is only 25 months, yet I feel like he’s grown so much already – and so many things have happened that I’m beginning to forget some things. Do you feel that way, too?
This blogpost is a collection of the different ways we’ve tried to freeze his growth — things we can look back on someday with happy memories. Hope you’ll find these keepsakes helpful for your own journey, too.
Little Hands and Feet by Casted Treasure – Our son was not even 2 weeks old when we did this, and he didn’t seem to like feeling of the mixture on his hands, hence his clenched fists. It was a bit cold, if I remember correctly (I might be wrong, haha). For the frame, I gave them printed photos of my son (also almost 2 weeks old) and had them frame it my style.
My suggestion: you can do this for an older child, too — more involvement on the child and they will see the transformation of the work.
Note: Casted Treasure does casts for bellies, too. The photo on the left where my son is sleeping? He’s actually lying on my belly cast. It’s a good reminder of how big my stomach grew.
Little Hands and Feet by Chubby Toes PH– If Casted Treasure is for framed casts, Chubby Toes is for ceramic prints that you can hang and your child can actually hold and feel. They have different designs where they even print names and quotes, but I just asked for a simple one. Like casts, this takes time, too, as the prints need to be baked.
Stamps by Baby Art – This is a great gift for parents-to-be as it’s a DIY kit. It’s called Baby Art Magic Box and you can get it locally from Ogalala World. It’s very easy to do — you just need to stamp your child’s hand/foot on the mix and have it dried under the sun (no baking needed). It’s about PHP 800, if I remember correctly. If you are on a budget, you can try doing salt dough technique. Just a disclaimer: I have not tried it, and I’m not sure if the DIY technique would last since it uses food ingredients. If you’re not in the Philippines, you may purchase this from Amazon (This is an affiliate link. This means that when you purchase this product in Amazon using this link, I will earn credits/ commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.)
Handprints – If you don’t want to spend on keepsakes but still want to record your child’s growth, worry not! You can always work with non-toxic washable paints. Locally, we use Crayola from Ogalala World, but you can also check out the washable tempera paints from Maam and Moms. You can also use washable stamp pads from Melissa and Doug (available at Ogalala as well)!
Note: This one is special for me because we did not introduce this idea to my son. Just earlier today, he was mixing and mixing paint, then he put his hands on a shelf and he saw his “hands” on the shelf. He was so amazed and told me: “Hand! Mama! Hand!”. He was so excited with his discovery. I quickly got a piece of decent paper and asked him to stamp his hand there as well so I could keep it.
Keepsake Jewelry – This one is really for me and my journey. This is a ring made from my breastmilk. Yes, you read it right — my doula makes jewelries using breastmilk, umbilical cord, baby hair, etc — anything you want in your jewelry, really. She can even make one using cremated ashes..You can find her store for DNA Jewelry called Sacred Elements Jewellery HERE.
And last but not the least, probably the easiest for today’s generation…PHOTOS! Whether you take your own or have photos taken by a professional, photos will last us a lifetime and will really be great for our memories later on. If you’re looking for a photographer who can do beautiful styling (and equally beautiful candid – if that’s what you prefer), I highly recommend my dear friend, Jamie Espadilla-Mapagu. We love our photos taken by her.
- Height keepsake – pencil marks of your child’s height on your wall
- Freedom Wall – a wall where your child can paint, draw, or do anything s/he wants! I wonder how much feels that would give us when our children have grown up, right?
- Photo Albums – not just photos, but maybe one album per year that highlights their experiences and growth
- Stuffed Toy – I learned from Montessori on Mars that she has a stuffed toy/doll that’s as long as her daughter’s age when her daughter was born -a great idea to show your child how much s/he’s grown
- Tree Planting – if you have the space and a green thumb, it would also be so cool to plant a tree the year your child was born and see it grow over the years
So, that’s our list of keepsakes. Hope this was helpful. Would also love to know yours and get more ideas from you!:)