Parent Time

Watch Them Grow

Charting your baby's development can be a fun way to watch her grow, especially if you use a scrapbook system to keep track of all the changes. From first smile to first prom, parents who scrapbook their children's lives are doing more than keeping watch; they're providing their children with a record of their early years.

Our bodies work all the time, but we rarely grow in a steady fashion. Instead, you'll see that your child has an occasional growth spurt in between times of relatively slow changes. Your pediatrician compares your child's growth to charts with percentiles; you can find charts like this online if you want to mark your child's progress in relation to the norm. But if you're just planning to chart your baby's growth as a fun hobby, you don't need to worry about percentiles.

1. When babies are born, they are measured in length and weight in pounds or kilograms. You can measure your baby's head to toe length with a tape measure each month, or even draw an outline of your child on poster board. On the outline, note any developmental changes such as new teeth, behaviors such as babbling, or sleeping through the night. Charting these milestones will help you create a fully dimensional picture of your child's infancy.

2. Use a digital camera to take pictures of your baby at regular intervals, noting changes in facial expressions and hair growth. Paste the photos to poster board, label with month and year and add notes about play dates, activities, your baby's reaction to snow or yogurt or dogs.

3. The stages of you child's life pass by quickly! Keep pairs of worn-out baby shoes and make a shadow box to store and display them.

4. Use baby footprint or handprint kits to make molds of your child's hands and feet, then use the molds to create garden stepping stones or wall art.

5. Chart your baby's artistic life by keeping the scribblings, drawings and collages made by your child. If you're lucky enough to wind up with magic marker on your refrigerator or wall, take a photo before cleaning the marks away. Keep the photos and other artworks in a special scrapbook.

Continue reading more baby tips about Feeding a Baby Water

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