In an age of information overload, endless social media scrolling, and a phone gallery filled with literally thousands of photos, screenshots, memes and gifs, it’s really easy to lose touch with those genuinely important small moments of our day-to-day lives.
There are few more important days to remember and cherish than the first 365 of your child’s life. In an attempt to counteract the issue, more and more parents have turned to baby memory books - also known as baby record books or baby journals - to remember the small but significant moments.
Sure, the last thing on your mind in the early sleep-deprived days of parenthood is going to be documenting all the little things that make your baby who they are. However, fail to do so and you might just regret that decision in years to come.
In this guide, we’ll look at what a baby memory book is used for, what to look for, and highlight some of our favourite ones to buy.
Table Of Contents
What is a baby memory book?
A baby memory book really is one of those ‘does what it says on the tin’ type of products. It’s a book designed to keep memories about your baby.
Naturally, they vary in design from simple and neutral to extravagant and gender-specific to meet a wealth of styles and tastes. Inside, some are a totally blank canvas, allowing parents total creative freedom over what they include. Others are more guided, featuring prompts for the parents to fill in - birth weight, birth time, ‘I slept all night for the first time on…’, ‘I crawled for the first time on…’ - that sort of thing.
Baby record books usually cover the first 12 months and are broken down month-by-month, but a growing number of choices allow you to log memories right up to the age of five. And, more recently, you can get some that combine a pregnancy journal.
Many baby memory books will focus entirely on the baby, while others choose to include some information about you, the parents - where you met, what you made you fall in love with each other, what you do for a living, your favourite foods, your favourite hobbies - it makes for a lovely gift back to the child when they turn 18, perhaps. And there are even some that take a deep dive into the wider world - Who was topping the music charts? What was the biggest blockbuster cinema release?
Choosing a baby memory book
Unlike a lot of purchases you will need to make as a dad-to-be, a baby memory book isn’t a necessity, so there are no safety or practicality considerations here. Instead, you have total freedom to choose a baby memory book. There are some things you might want to think about, though.
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but chances are you’ll probably be drawn to certain baby memory books based on their cover and overall styling. Of course, this is totally down to your own taste and preference - but it may help to really think about how it looks. If it’s a very on-trend design, you may run the risk of it looking outdated in years to come. If you plan to give it to your child as a birthday later down the line, it may be better to opt for a more timeless design.
Depth and detail
Do you want your baby memory book to just focus on them? Do you want to fill in the blanks of each section or decide what you want to put? Do you want them to know a bit more about you as parents? Do you want them to know about the world they came into?
Some even baby memory books even include little envelopes to store things like their hospital tag, a lock of hair from their first cut, or their first tooth.
It’s also worth thinking about how realistic it is that you’ll actually complete the thing. You don’t want your child to come across and half-finished memory book one day and have to explain that you didn’t have time and sort of forgot about logging the most cherished moments of their early life!
Most baby memory books are very traditional in their approach, there’s a mummy and a daddy that love each other very much. There are usually blue books for boys featuring, dinosaurs, cars or spaceships, and pink, flowery books for baby girls.
If you’re in a same-sex couple, you are likely to find it more difficult to find. But more and more brands are waking up to the need to be inclusive.
And while there are plenty of parents who don’t want to purchase gender-stereotyped products anyway, you may want to consider your child’s future choices regarding their gender.
It’s becoming more and more common for people to identify as gender-neutral or transition to the opposite sex. It might to worth thinking about what impact seeing a gendered baby memory book might have on them later in life.
Our 10 favourite baby memory books
“As much as most would wish for with a month-by-month of the first year. The prompts are well done and feel perfectly balanced between parents, pregnancy and baby."
This chevron-styled baby memory book from pearhead is modern yet timeless in its appearance and comes in four different colours. The front cover includes a slot for a 3x3 photo of your baby, and comes with an inkpad to take a hand or footprint. Its 50 pages are fully guided with plenty of spaces for photos and cover everything from about mum and dad and their family trees to the baby shower, coming home and all the firsts. Unlike most alternatives, this one doesn’t break down the first year into months, instead opting to jump from birthday to birthday up to the age of five.
"The wife and I got this book a couple days after our son was born. We love the different things we get to write like bios, world events and milestones. I would give this book a 10/10 and comes with foot/ hand print cards." - Marcus
“The theme and design of this is just beautiful."
This 100-page baby memory book from ZICOTO covers everything from pregnancy to five years with an adorable, gender-neutral woodland styling. The first year is broken down month-by-month to capture all those subtle changes before jumping to each birthday to log the biggest highlights of the year. There are plenty of prompts for photos and space for added extras, as well as space for parents to write longer, unprompted letters and notes.
"This book is absolutely wonderful. It was such a good price too. It has everything you would want to remember the most precious memories of your baby being born and growing up. I can't wait for my child to look at it when he's older and be able to see how much he was loved right from the beginning." - Jamie
“Easily one of the most exciting designs. It’s very in your face, but never feels too much."
This camping-themed book from Lucy Darling is ideal for outdoorsy and adventurous parents. It covers everything from pregnancy to five years and starting school in a very concise way, with each of the first 12 months receiving a single page each. With illustration-heavy pages and relatively little space for text, this a certainly one of the more visually focused baby memory books out there.
"Very cute baby book. It’s simple, but not too simple. Exactly what I was looking for." - Tyler
“This really is a baby book for everyone - the cover is very classic, the inside designs are quirky and modern, and the language is brilliantly inclusive."
The Peachly Scandi is one of the more inclusive baby memory books available. Instead of using ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy’, it prefers ‘our’ and ‘we’ to ensure any family can record their most cherished memories. The grey linen cover gives it a neutral and timeless feel, while the range of Scandinavian-inspired designs inside lends itself well to the inclusivity. The guided pages cover everything from finding out to the first day of school, with the first year broken down into months. There are also handy pouches for the little keepsakes, and space for a ‘Dream Big’ letter to your little one.
"I have a little girl but didn't care for the super frilly/girly babybooks or the more boy-specific ones with sports equipment and stuff all over them. This is a very gender-neutral babybook and also very cute. It's somewhat basic, but I like that cause then you can kind of add your own stuff in. It's a little thin at first but I imagine once you add in pics and other various mementos it thickens up." - Mark
“The focus on images is great for parents who are particularly arty, have a love of photography, and those who struggle with words"
This one from Kate & Milo is a lovely floral and heart-themed baby memory book that almost acts more of a photo album than memory book. The pages are guided - including information about mum and dad, the pregnancy and baby shower etc - but they are much more visual, choosing to focus on photos with less space for writing. Although it reads ‘First Year’ on the front cover, it does cover pregnancy and first five birthdays, too.
"For the price it's better quality. It's very nice and detailed. Same quality as $30 books." - KP
Strap yourselves in, the ‘Complete Childhood History’ journal from Promptly Journals is a whopping 254 pages. Why? Because it follows your baby’s story right from pregnancy all the way to their 18th birthday. Although there is plenty of space for photos, most prompts are accompanied by a lot of space for writing - suggesting this is for the parents who can best capture their memories through the English language.
"As the budget option, you can’t go wrong. It’s really simple and straightforward but does the job."
The Tivy Baby Memory Book is gender netural, parent neutral and religion neutral, making it a great option for any family. A little larger than most on the market, it’s arguably more of a prompted scrapbook than traditional baby memory books, but the size of the pages offer ample space to add more text if you prefer. Unlike most on this list, this is one that does only focus on the baby’s first 12 months.
Pages: Not listed
|This is a nice book to graphically sum up the first year of your child's life. he or she will appreciate it when he or she is older. It's a solid construction and the pages are thick. You can easily attach photos and write in it as well. It makes for a nice gift." - Francis
"The number of pages dedicated to the pregnancy is really unique and serves as a really useful (albeit brief) guide for mum and dad."
The Bump to Birthday book from Journals of a Lifetime is really a unique choice on the market. It acts as both a journal and informative baby book for the parents, providing updates about the baby’s development throughout the pregnancy week-by-week. Along the way it offers visual, statistical and textual prompts to log memories of the pregnancy, and takes that format into the first 12 months of baby’s life.
"This is a nice book to graphically sum up the first year of your child's life. he or she will appreciate it when he or she is older. It's a solid construction and the pages are thick. You can easily attach photos and write in it as well. It makes for a nice gift." - Ben
Interestingly, this one comes up when you search for ‘baby memory books for dads’. The Letters To You: A Modern Heirloom Memory Book certainly takes a minimalist approach. Separated by a handful of beautifully designed illustrations and motivational quotes, this option offers nothing but pages of lines - all intended for you to put pen to paper and capture those all-important memories through the magic of the written word.
"Beautifully made. Perfect journal to right (sic) to my daughter. Great keepsakes very happy with this book." - Junior
"The overall feel and quality of this one is amazing considering it’s at the cheaper end of the scale."
As You Grow by Korie Herold is a modern yet elegant baby book with beautifully classic designs and motifs throughout, following pregnancy, birthday, first 12 months, and years 2-5. At 130 pages, it combines hand-drawn artistic details such as a stunning family tree design with textual prompts to give a nice balance of image and word. It also includes a number of handy pocket section dividers for safe storage of all those little keepsakes.
"I’m a graphic designer and artist myself, so I’m super picky about these things! This book is beautifully made from the designs to the construction of the book itself with the linen cover. I love that it’s got the wrapped coil binding and the interior details on the cover. Each page is precious and the designs are absolutely gorgeous, and the language is very neutral and would work for nearly any parenting situation. We are not finding out the gender of our baby, and it was harder than anticipated to find something that was neutral and didn’t look like it came out of an elementary school full of primary colors and basic baby templates from the 90s." - A pleased but anonymous dad
Baby memory book FAQs
Why should I start a baby memory book?
Baby memory books are a wonderful way to capture all the cherished moments of your baby’s first months and years. Many parents buy and complete one with the intention of giving it to their child as a birthday gift (often their 18th birthday). For your baby, it’s a fascinating insight into your lives before they were born and a sentimental look back at times they don’t remember.
For the parents, completing the book gives them chance to relax, slow down and reflect on their time before and as parents.
What should I write in a baby memory book?
Most modern baby memory books are almost entirely prompted, meaning they tell you what to write about and you just have to fill it out. In spaces where there’s a little more room to express yourself, or in an unprompted book, try to really think about what you want to say. Completing a baby memory book shouldn’t just be a quick box-ticking exercise. It should be something you take time to complete, reflecting on your thoughts and feelings, describing everything you can. That will really make the book all the more special when you and your baby look back on it in years to come.
What are some of the important milestones to include?
Again, if you’re buying a prompted memory book, there’s not really anything to worry about on this front. That’s all taken care of. If you’re buying a blank canvas, it’s often the ‘firsts’ that hold the most special memories - their first day, first crawl, first full night sleep, first words, first steps, first cuddles with the grandparents, first day trip etc.