As much as I am a huge proponent of capturing everything on video, there are certain things that you can save from this journey that may prove to be priceless to your little one years down the road. When looking through my baby book, there were some things I found that my mom had kept in there that were pretty interesting. Reading up on baby books online and different methods of documenting this time period, I saw a blog post about keeping a memory box to put things in to save for the future instead of the more formal, traditional baby book. So based on my own experience and research, here is my inclusive list of what I think is worth saving...
-Positive pregnancy test: okay, maybe you don't want to really keep something around that you peed on, and your kid probably won't want to touch it, but at least keeping it throughout your pregnancy will be a nice reminder of how you felt when you first found out (especially if it was a positive experience that you wanted for a very long time). I personally had a collection that I used every other day in the beginning just to see that the line was getting darker. Of course you could always just take a picture of the test(s) as well to avoid keeping the stick itself (I did that too).
-Ultrasound photos: if you're a member of Kaiser, you will probably have an ultrasound at every appointment, which means those cute little black and white photos of what starts to actually look like a baby very early on, will pile up. We took pictures of the ultrasound photos, but we still have the originals as well. Again, seeing the actual physical photo can be a nice reminder of the excitement you felt when you first saw those images.
-Baby shower mementos: I actually have some pieces of wrapping paper from my mom's baby shower. It's kind of cute to see what style of wrapping paper was used back then. I personally saved the menu from the restaurant where we had our shower because it had our names on the top. My awesome BFF planned some cute games as well and I saved the handouts she made for the games. If you do the game where people have to guess how long a string (or how many squares of toilet paper) it will take to go around your belly, it may be nice to save this, although at the time you probably won't think you'll want to remember just how big your belly got. If you have a physical invitation from your shower, you should save that as well. You may want to save the cards you received as well.
-Birthing class diploma: If you attend(ed) a course, you may not get (have gotten) an actual diploma, but any of the handouts or memory keepsakes from the course may be fun to look back on years down the road, even if you didn't remember any of it when it came to the actual D-day.
-Registry: If you have a physical copy of your registry, or even the registry checklist from one of the large chain stores, it may be interesting for your little one to look back at all the things you wanted for them and how much thought and effort went in to their arrival.
-Hospital keepsakes: You and your little one will have matching bracelets that you will want to hold on to. My mom actually kept the menu from her hospital stay. It's actually kind of funny to see the kinds of things they actually served in a hospital back then. If your baby has a name card put in his/her bassinet, you'll want to take that home with you as well.
-Newspaper: Pick up a newspaper from the day of your child's birth. Of course you could always go online later to find out what the headlines were the day your baby was born, but it will be much more fun for your child to see an actual newspaper from that day. Some people even pick up one local and one national newspaper.
-Umbilical cord clip: I only mention this as an alternative to saving the umbilical cord itself. I have my son's, although I'm not really sure if he'll appreciate the plastic "barrette" when he's older. I thought about saving the umbilical cord itself when it fall off, but after taking a look at it, I quickly changed my mind.
-First blanket/hat: You'll typically go home from the hospital with at least one of their blankets and hats. Although they're not the most attractive things and you'll probably have enough of your own receiving blankets and hats, there's something really special about remembering holding your little one in that blanket, peeking out from that cap so early on in his/her life.
-Hand/footprints: My hospital didn't do this for us, even though I brought my baby book with me. But they did give us a couple of single use ink pads for us to do on our own. Of course we didn't get to it until about two weeks later, but I'm glad we finally did it. There are some companies that do this for you in clay as a more solid keepsake.
-Birth Announcement: If you are one of those people who sends out holiday cards every year, you're probably going to send out a physical birth announcement and your son or daughter will definitely want to see how they were announced to the world. I guess you could take a screen shot of your Facebook page and print that if you are going today's more typical route.
-Hair: Many kid's salons offer a special keepsake lock of hair along with a "First Haircut Certificate." We did our first one at home and saved a bit of his hair in a baggie. My mom went a bit further and saved a few locks from a haircut a few years later. It was actually interesting to see how much my hair darkened in just a few short years.
Of course years down the road you'll want to save art projects and "A" papers. I was surprised to find a few birthday party invitations that I made myself for my seventh birthday. Some of them opened backwards and I didn't always color in the lines, but it was fun to find something that I made at such a young age. In today's digital age, I hope to be able to find a away to give my son the ability to create things that will have the same effect on him years down the road.
What kinds of things did you save or wish you saved?