Frugal and fun ways to record milestones for your baby, toddler and older kids. Save your sanity, time and money! Spend the extra time enjoying your kids!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mott’s®. All opinions are mine alone.
“Mama, watch me!” – those words normally send a chill down my back. I know, I am about to witness some daredevil trick performed by an accident-prone little boy. But today, the words stop me dead in my tracks.
The boy who called for my attention is our baby. Our little toddler, Jonah Bear, is bravely climbing the playground equipment while I am relaxing on the bench. This has never happened before.
When did he grow big? When did he become so brave and independent that he climbs, explores and plays without me within arm’s reach? I am proud, but admittedly also a little sad.
It’s been a running joke in our family that Jonah Bear hasn’t realized that the doctors cut the umbilical cord three years and four months ago. Up until today, he has never left my side – or at least that’s how it has felt.
With a big proud grin, he runs towards the bench. His arms are stretched out as far as they can go and he yells: “MAMAAAAAAA!” I stretch out my arms equally as far, and within seconds I feel his little arms wrapped tightly around my neck.
“Mama, I hungry!” he says as soon as he has released his Hulk-like grip on me. We take a break from playing, sit down in the shade and grab some snacks. I always have Mott’s Applesauce in my purse – yes, it’s a total mom-thing to carry around, I know!
But it sure comes in handy today. Jonah always wants two applesauces, because one is never enough – especially after a busy morning of independent play. I love handing him a Mott’s Applesauce as a quick snack on the go. Whenever I head to Walmart, I always make sure that I am stocking up on Jonah’s favorite Mott’s juices and sauces. I know he’s eating something healthy, so my mom-guilt for having him run errands with me all morning isn’t bad.
Mott’s is full of real fruit goodness and is an excellent source of vitamins to help my little guy start strong and grow strong. No matter the occasion, I love that Mott’s helps my child be healthy, whether its daytime snacks, or family meal time.
I watch Jonah as he’s eating his applesauce. His face is changing, he’s changing from toddler to preschooler – ever so slowly.
How can I freeze time? What’s the best way to live in the moment, enjoy the kids – and somehow document their transformation from baby to toddler, little kid, kid, big kid… oh I can’t even complete the thought. Time, FREEZE! You MUST stand still!
We want to preserve the past and find ways to recall these memories for a lifetime. Instead of completing piles of baby books filled with canned impersonal questions, these are fun (and easy) ways to record your child’s growth and milestones – without breaking the bank – or feeling baby-book-guilt.
In order to successfully start a new way to record milestones, remember a few things:
- Keep things simple. We rarely complete baby books because they are elaborate and time consuming. However, a quick photo or measurement is doable for most.
- Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to complete this task, whether it’s monthly, quarterly or annually.
- None of these ideas will cost you a lot of money. You can even use a nice journal instead of photo albums.
- Start NOW, there’s no need to wait for their birthday or other milestone day. Start tracking and preserving this special time TODAY!
10 better ways to record milestones than in a baby book:
- Growth Chart:
- Measure your children quarterly, semi-annually or annually.
- Use different colors for each child, mark their height, age and the date.
- Right now, Mott’s has a great promotion going with Walmart. With a $10 purchase of qualifying Mott’s products, you can get your own (incredibly cute and high quality) growth chart. Complete details of this promotion are listed below – don’t miss them!
- Birthday Photo Book:
- Print ONE picture from each birthday. Pick the picture that captures your child’s special day perfectly.
- Keep this book simple without added decorations or notes. Let the photo speak for itself.
- Handprint Birthday Book:
- Long gone are the days of casting your child’s handprint in clay and storing hand-sized hockey pucks in an old dusty drawer.
- Instead, get a nice journal with thick paper. Make sure the pages are large enough to fit one of your own handprints (because kids grow…).
- Monthly Baby Pictures Next to a Favorite Stuffed Animal:
- I did this with all four of our kids – and I truly feel that was the single cutest thing I did. It was so much fun too.
- Use a relatively large stuffed animal. Every month place the baby next to the stuffed animal and take a picture – so simple.
- The first few months the baby just lays there, helpless and then towards the end of the year, you struggle to snap the photo before he throws the toy across the room.
- Birthday Picture in Dad’s or Mom’s Clothes:
- Dress the baby boy in dad’s shirt and tie or his shoes.
- Put the baby girl in mom’s wedding dress or fancy shoes.
- Take the same picture every year – the results are adorable.
- Write a Birthday or New Year’s Letter:
- Share your child’s milestones, favorites and measurements each year in a sweet letter you save to give to him on his 18th birthday.
- Birthday Balloon Picture:
- Take a picture of your child holding one balloon on his first birthday.
- Each year, give him one additional balloon to hold.
- (Stop this tradition before he flies away with all the balloons.)
- Birthday Tree Picture:
- Plant a tree the year your baby is born.
- Take a picture of him next to his tree every year.
- Family Table Cloth:
- Have your family decorate a big table cloth with their handprints. Make a new set every year in a different color than the year before.
- And finally… if you have more than 3 kids: Write down your baby’s milestones on an old stained napkin.
- Search frantically for THE napkin every time your baby reaches another milestone – and hope you didn’t throw it out with last night’s take out dinner.
- (Or am I the only one who did that to baby # 4?)
Watching your kids grow, is either one of two extremes.
Some days it feels as if you are watching paint dry. Especially when your kid is working hard to reach a milestone, such as potty training. You are convinced he will never EVER catch on and you will be stuck changing diapers until he’s off to college.
Then other days, watching your kids grow is like watching a nature documentary narrated by James Earl Jones where they fast forward through the life cycle of the African Blue-Spotted Butterfly. You find yourself screaming “slow down! Do NOT skip through all these important parts. I need time to take all this in!”
Thankfully, with the adorable growth chart from Mott’s, you can document your children’s growth, compare their sibling’s sizes and even save the growth chart for when they have children of their own.
Getting your own growth chart is really easy, just follow these simple steps:
- Head to Walmart where they have a big selection of Mott’s sauce and juice.
- Buy $10 worth of Mott’s qualifying products.
- Register for the offer online at http://motts.com/walmart.
- Upload your Walmart receipt on to http://motts.com/walmart from now through 9/15/2017.
- Watch the mail for your Mott’s growth chart, once your receipt has been verified.
Now we have reached confession time: How many kids do you have and how many baby books have you completed?
We have four kids! I have one baby book 80% completed, the second child has a baby book with lots of loose pieces of paper stuck under the front cover. The third child has a baby book, but all his stats and milestones are written in a journal – somewhere. The fourth and last boy… he has the stained napkin – I hope!