baby growth, baby album

Documenting Your Baby’s Life and Growth

Anyone with adult children knows the following reality: one minute they’re newborns entirely dependent on you for every aspect of their existence, the next they have flown the nest for university or their first full-time job with their new-found independence as a badge of honour.

This is why it is so important to document your baby’s growth and to mark their major milestones. If you don’t do this, you will be relying on your memory every time you wish to reminisce; it is far better to document the whole experience and have keepsakes that will forever transport you back to these precious early years.

This begins right from day one with your newborn. Yes, you may feel cast adrift from the rest of the world sometimes and overwhelmed by all the care and love you have to give to your baby, but, for many new parents, the first twelve months are over in the blink of an eye.

The good news is that in the twenty-first century, with digital cameras and smartphones in almost everybody’s hands, documenting your baby’s growth is easier than ever before.

In the article below we take a look at some simple and sometimes creative ways you can document your baby’s growth and developmental milestones.

Record your baby’s physical growth

Every baby has a “red book” (the personal child health record or PCHR) to record critical aspects of their health and development, including their physical growth, but it’s a bit clinical and if you buy a growth chart now, when your baby is tiny, you can place it on a wall in your home and keep updating it throughout their lifetime, so that you are able to document their growth in one place until the day when they reach their full height (usually between18 or 20). And the great thing about this type of growth chart is that you can take it with you if you move house.

Photo albums, baby journals and scrapbooks

There may be a whole raft of digital storage solutions available for you but there is still a place for hard copy photos, photo albums and baby journals. And why not? There is nothing quite like being able to hold a photo album in your hands, flicking through its pages, and to share the experience with those around you (particularly grandparents who may not be so keen on today’s digital alternatives).

In fact, your children will almost certainly love returning to baby photo albums and journals as they provide a really strong sense of identity, their life journey and their ongoing development.

You can put almost anything in a baby journal and scrapbook, from photographs and sketches, through to diary entries about visits to the park or recorded notes of some of their first – and frequently funny – words and sentences. By making a record now you will ensure that the memory lives on somewhere even if your brain forgets.

But a baby journal and scrapbook is not just a place for you to store photos and details of your child’s verbal development, you can put, more or less, anything in there, including records of all their milestones, from first breastfeed and first smile to first solid feed and first infant friend; through to first independent steps and the first day at nursery.

Baby photos

Take photos regularly so that you have a record of the early years, and be sure not to just restrict your photography to the big events such as birthdays, first steps and first meetings with family members; there will come a time when you will want to remember the everyday stuff at home such as mealtimes, playtimes and bedtimes that might seem inconsequential as day-to-day life advances but one day will be looked at with warmth, sentiment and nostalgia.

One great and easily achievable idea is to take a photo of your baby in the same place every day, every week or every month. This gives you an opportunity to really track their growth and development and, in the future, to create a timelapse style series of photographs that, when viewed in sequence, will allow you to literally see your child grow before your very eyes.

Baby audio files

One great way to document your baby’s growth and development is to record audio files of your baby’s gurgling, babbling and talking. Yes, you could shoot videos instead, but by putting down the device and letting it just record for a while you and your baby will just get on with feeding time, a play session or whatever it is you may be doing, unhindered by the camera.

Baby videos

We really are lucky that we live in an age when we have the ability to record an infinite number of video hours. You can always go back to edit and delete video files, but once you have created a wide range of clips you can create montages that allow you to look back on your baby’s progress.

Of course, documenting your baby’s growth and development in this way can be demanding on your storage capacity so you will want to be sure that you have somewhere to safely store all your files.

Safely store all your baby photos and videos

It is a horrible thought that all your photos and videos could easily disappear into the ether if you don’t store them correctly. Fortunately, however, there are plenty of options when it comes to storing digital media files that document your baby’s growth and development.

Ideally, you should make at least three copies of all the files you wish to keep as this is likely to provide adequate insurance in the event that something goes wrong. While this might sound excessive, in most cases it’s a simple copy and paste scenario.

Some ways to store your photos and videos include the following.

External storage

There are various external storage solutions for your personal media files, including DVD or Blu-ray discs, SD cards, USB sticks and external hard drives. However, bearing in mind that you will almost certainly be documenting your baby’s growth and development into toddlerhood and beyond (perhaps for the rest of your life!), it is a good idea to get something with plenty of storage.

As such, an external hard drive is probably a wise choice for the storage of your entire collection. These portable storage solutions can connect to your computer using USB or Thunderbolt ports. Ideally, you should get at least two external hard drives with a minimum of 3TBs of storage as they will offer plenty of space and one can act as a backup.

Another option is to invest in a NAS box, which, essentially, is a small computer that is exclusively used for storing files. These are pricier than external hard drives but are very flexible, allowing you to upload and download files easily from all your devices by using your WiFi connection.

Cloud backup

You should consider cloud backup in addition to backing up with a physical device. Nowadays, there are many options, including companies that will back up a whole hard drive. However, you will almost certainly need to pay to store your files as the amount of storage you require increases. So, it’s a good idea to shop around to compare the long-term cost of various cloud plans if you are going to rely on this storage solution.


The early years may feel like they will be everlasting, but the truth is, one day you will look back on them and wonder where all the time has gone. Fortunately, by taking steps to document your baby’s growth and development from the very early days, you can make sure you have a lifelong and treasured record.