Other Commemorative Items
There are a variety of other ways to commemorate and preserve memories of your pregnancy and birth, as well as special remembrances of your child's birth year. Some ideas include these:
Wine: Purchase wine from your child's birth year and store it (lying on its side in a cool, dark place). In Italy, this birth year wine is often drunk at the child's wedding, but you can also plan to break it out for special birthdays and occasions.
Coins: You can collect one of every type of coin from your child's birth year, or you can purchase a packaged set from the U.S. Mint.
Newspaper or magazine: Save the newspaper from the day of your child's birth, or a weekly news magazine from that week. These items should be stored in a sealed box in a dry place, or carefully preserved behind glass in a hanging display case.
Star map: Many catalogs and Web sites will sell you a print of the way the stars appeared from your location on the night of your child's birth.
Quilts: If you're done having babies, you can have your maternity clothes made into a quilt, which you use for your child or save for when he or she is trying to get pregnant, as a sort of fertility token. Instead of donating baby clothes that no longer fit, these can also be made into a quilt that is perfect for a child's bed or to save as a gift for a grandchild.
Wish book: Get a blank journal and ask everyone at your baby's christening or bris to write some wishes for the baby and sign their names. Another take on this is to ask each person to give the baby a gift of a certain characteristic or quality and to write down what it is and why they chose it in a blank book.
Baby box: You can buy specially decorated boxes designed to hold baby items, or you can buy a box and decorate it yourself. Store your baby's wrist and ankle bands from the hospital, as well as the cap from the nursery. You can also keep baby cards, photos, and more in this box.
Baby hair: Some people like to snip a small bit of their baby's hair and keep it in a small box.
Hand or foot cast or impression: You can purchase a kit to cast or make an impression of your baby's hand or foot so that you can always remember how tiny it was.
Framed footprints or birth certificate: Framing a copy of your child's birth certificate or newborn footprints is a way to capture that special day.
Christmas ornaments: You can purchase a “baby's first Christmas” ornament to remember your first Christmas as a mom.
Baby keepsake dolls: One company (
) will make a doll that is the same measurements as your baby at birth. The dolls come with a shirt bearing your child's name, birth date, height, and weight. www.mybabyforever.com
Many parents like to have videotapes, pictures, or digital media images of the unborn baby during the pregnancy. Recently, there has been a great deal of controversy regarding commercial keepsake ultrasounds, in which the sole purpose of the ultrasound is to provide souvenir images of the baby. Individuals who are not trained in sonography often perform these. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine take the position that ultrasounds should only be done for medical indications and that an ultrasound should never be done for the sole purpose of providing keepsake or souvenir images of the baby. However, if you are having a medically necessary ultrasound, most centers will be happy to provide you with 2D or 3D images of the baby, since such images are routinely taken during the scan. Beware of any center that seeks to charge for or market such images.
You should also realize that most of the national organizations that set standards for obstetrical ultrasound advise physicians and hospitals against videotaping ultrasounds for fear that the tapes could potentially be used as evidence in a malpractice case. You should check with the center where you will be having your ultrasounds to find out what its rules are regarding pictures and videotaping.