This post may include affiliate links.
It took me a long time to figure out what kind of baby book I wanted for Beckett. I scoured the internet for books that were customizable, different, and allowed for lots of pictures. The ones that I found were so scripted and asked questions like how much milk cost the year your baby was born. Who cares? What I wanted for Beckett was a way to see him progress in photos, and a place to keep developmental information: like sleep habits, first laugh, first roll over, weight each month, and all those little mini milestones that I knew I would look back and wonder when he did them.
Also, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I would want to have tons of pictures. I started thinking about scrapbooks, but scrapbooking is hard, takes forever, and you need supplies for that. And then it hit me. Shutterfly. I have been making Shutterfly books for years and love them. Then I started thinking about what pictures I would want to use, and I realized that at this point, I had a picture of Beckett for every day since he was born (he was less than a month old). I collected one picture from every day, and made an album in my phone. I had also been taking weekly photos, so I put those in another album.
Then I started thinking about how I would keep up with all of the things he was learning and doing. My cousin suggested I just keep a list on my phone. I started a Note, organized by month, and each time he did something new, I added it to the note.
Then, I started my book. For each two page spread, I captured one week of Beckett’s life. On the left side, I put one picture of each day and numbered them. On the right side, I put his weekly photo shoot pictures.
At the end of each month, I wrote a summary, using the info I had gathered in the Note on my phone.
I talked with my mom for a long time about what to include in Beckett’s baby book. She pulled out my old book and we looked through it together, discussing what parts we were really glad she included, and which parts were less important. For her, she said that it felt really special that it was hand written. The part that I loved most wasn’t even part of the book. It was a sheet of notebook paper with a list of words I could say, and my first full sentence. To make sure I included all of that, I added a page at the back where I can hand write Beckett’s first words and sentences.
I also included a page for recording dates of vaccines and milestones. I’m typing these in as I go, so I don’t have to remember all of it later, once the book is printed.
There are several reasons I love Shutterfly for making books. If I don’t have a lot of time or energy to devote to making a customized book, they have tons of themes, idea pages, and layouts to use. However, they also allow you to truly customize every page, so you are not bound by the layouts provided. For this project, I know that I will be working on it once a week for a whole year, and I want it to be really special and exactly what I want.
Oh, and FYI, they have so many sales and coupons. I almost never pay full price for the things I order. For example, new customers get 50 free 4×6 prints, one free magnet, and one free set of address labels. There are always coupons around the holidays. With Father’s Day coming up, you can use the Father’s Day coupon code to get 50% off hard cover photo books and 40% off everything else!