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Preserving Your Favorite Baby Memorabilia After They Outgrow It

Children grow up fast, and the baby stage never lasts as long as we'd like it to. While there's no way to slow the process, preserving your precious mementos will help to make the transition a little bit easier.

Store It

If you haven't already done so, you should digitize as many photos and videos as you can. This way, you can store them in the cloud and view them as often as you'd like, without the clutter and potential damage that hard copies can suffer. You can print a few physical photos for display (see "Frame It," below), but the majority of your snapshots can be stored digitally. If space is a major issue, you can use the same technique for early artwork, but a photo might be a poor substitution for the real thing.

To preserve baby clothes, artwork, and favorite toys, invest in some sturdy plastic storage containers. Make sure the boxes are well-sealed and labeled before you consign them to the storage space. If you're planning on re-using the toys or clothing (for example, if you plan on having another child a few years down the road), keep those boxes in an accessible spot. Also, if your storage space is particularly damp or humid, you might want to invest in a special archival box to preserve paper goods.

Frame It

Many families choose to immortalize their baby's first footprints by displaying them in a frame. Other two-dimensional items are candidates for this treatment as well, photos from the first introductions with close friends and family members, cards from well-wishers, even favorite outfits. You can hang the results in the nursery, or put them on full display in the family room. If it looks a little bland, you can use a shadow board to make it pop.

Scrapbook It

While this option obviously won't work for everything, many flat items can be easily preserved in your baby book or scrapbook. A lock of hair, a flower from the arrangement given to you by someone special after the delivery, a birth announcement—all of these are candidates for the baby book. Just make sure they're well wrapped (or laminated, in the case of paper goods) before you tuck the book away for safekeeping.

Remember, you might think that you're doing this for yourself, but your children will also appreciate your efforts when they get a little older. Think of yourself as a loving custodian of not only their childhoods but their memories.

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