What To Put in a Baby’s Memory or Keepsake Box

When you bring home a new baby, there are so many special moments you may wish to remember, and items you want to preserve. How can you maintain these cherished mementos to revisit as your children grow?

One way many parents organize and secure the trappings of babyhood is in a baby keepsake box. You can store your child’s precious things, such as a tiny hat, favorite book, and a lock of baby hair, to cherish as they grow. Eventually, you may choose to give it to your child so they can enjoy the artifacts from their earliest days.

Read on to find out more about what a memory box is, how it can be used, and some ideas for items to save in your baby’s keepsake box.

What is a baby keepsake box?

A memory box or keepsake box is a small container you use to hold your baby’s mementos.

Your baby’s memory box may be simple and utilitarian like a filing box or cardboard box, or you could create or buy a decorative or personalized version, such as a small wooden chest.

Separate sections like folders, pouches, or envelopes can help you organize the keepsake box and find things more easily the next time you take them out.

What is a baby keepsake box used for?

You can use a baby keepsake box to house all of the most special items from anticipating baby’s arrival, the newborn days, and beyond.

A keepsake box can be a cache of childhood memories for parents to cherish as their children grow, and to eventually pass along to older children as reminders of their earliest experiences.

The best things to put in your baby’s keepsake box:

As you prepare for your baby’s arrival, or if you are already a parent, you may want to make a memory box to save the most precious items for your sweet bundle of joy. Be sure to add pieces that may spark a memory or represent your baby as an individual.

You may want to fill your keepsake box with:

  • Pregnancy or adoption journal
  • Ultrasound images
  • Bump photos
  • Cards and letters
  • Items from the hospital
  • Hand and foot prints
  • Newborn photos
  • Special clothing or accessories
  • Favorite board book
  • Baby’s lovey or first doll
  • “First” items: first haircut, first lost tooth, first christmas ornament, etc.
  • Baby memory book

Use your imagination and have fun making your keepsake box – this is something for you (and your child) to treasure, so whether it is listed here or not, you should choose things that have significance and meaning in your journey as a family. Be sure to include meaningful pieces that best represent your baby and your family.

Pregnancy or adoption journal

While anticipating your baby’s arrival, many parents like to document their journey as moms- and dads-to-be in a special journal.

Documenting pregnancy milestones such as cravings and first kicks, or adoption milestones like passing a home visit and getting matched with the birth parents can help your child construct the story of how they became part of your family.

It may be a prompted publication with templates to guide the writings, a free-written notebook full of musings, or something in-between.

Ultrasound images

From the first images of your tiny bean, to a clear profile of your baby sucking his thumb, ultrasound images are a sweet reminder of where your baby first grew and an exciting thing for your grown child to look back on.

If you had more than one ultrasound scan, they can show your baby’s development while getting ready to be born. It could also be special to include a DVD of an ultrasound video if you have one.

Bump photos

Many pregnant mothers like to document the weekly changes in their “baby bump” via a profile shot of the growing belly, sometimes adding to the fun by comparing the baby’s size to a different fruit or vegetable.

Including these photos is a fun way to remember your journey to parenthood and a reminder of the awesome feat it is to bring a baby into the world.

Cards and letters

You will almost certainly receive notes from loved ones celebrating the baby’s arrival, and these can make a lovely addition to your keepsake box.

Some new and expectant parents choose to write a letter to their baby, which would be especially meaningful to include if you plan to give the box to your child.  

Other similar ideas are pregnancy and birth announcements or baby shower invitations.

Items from the hospital

There are many things you might want to save from the hospital where your baby was born.

The little ID bands with their name and birthdate, as well as your own matching ones, are a great addition, as well as the baby’s name card from the bassinet, and their first photo.   Other items you might want to save from the hospital are a receiving blanket (if you are allowed to take one home), that first cozy hat, and their pacifier.

Hand and foot prints

It may be easy to forget just how small your baby was as a newborn.

Keeping their tiny hand and foot prints is a sweet reminder of your little bundle in their first days.  

Some parents also choose to make casts of their baby’s hands or feet. Many years from now you may open the keepsake box and find that tiny print preserved and remember your baby’s fingers curling around your own.

Newborn photos

Whether you take your own photos at the hospital or have a professional newborn session, you will want to preserve those images for years to come.

You can save the prints in your keepsake box, and for a personal touch, you could affix a photo of your baby on the outside of the box.  

Your first family photos together can also serve as a sweet reminder of how your family grew.

Special clothing or accessories

There may be several outfits or items that your baby wears which hold sentimental value.

If you have enough room in your box, you could include their whole coming-home outfit, or simply the accessories such as a hat or booties. You may even want to save the baby’s first pair of shoes or an outfit worn for a special occasion.

If your box is short on space, a photo of their special outfit is another option that can save you room for all your baby’s treasures.

Favorite board book

If you have a book that you frequently read together or one that has a special meaning for you and your baby, it would make a thoughtful addition to the memory box.   

A small board book may be a good choice if your box is not very large. You could also inscribe a short message in the book for your child to treasure in the future.

Baby’s lovey or first doll

Many babies and children have a special doll, toy, or another small item that they find comforting. They might sleep snuggled up with their teddy or bring their blanket wherever they go.

When they get older and no longer need the lovey, you might want to tuck it in the keepsake box to preserve their beloved for your child to have when they’re older (and maybe even give their own child!).

“First” items

Everything is brand-new for babies, so they experience a lot of “firsts”.

Saving something to represent these experiences can be truly special. It could be a lock of hair from the first haircut, the first lost tooth, an item from a first holiday, or a small decoration from their first birthday, among others.

If you had to travel with your baby, a train or plane ticket from that first voyage can also be a nice addition.

Baby memory book

If you are keeping a memory book or milestone book of your baby’s first year (and beyond), you should consider making it a part of your keepsake box.  

While many of the items kept in the box will help you return to the memories of your baby, writing down milestones, events, and fun tidbits about your baby can help complete the story.

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