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Baby & Toddler, Motherhood

Fill your baby keepsake box | These 10 simple baby memory box ideas should be in all keepsake boxes

somebody looking at some photographs in a wooden box.

I love the idea of creating a baby keepsake box, as it’s something nice to look back on with your child when they’re older. But when you have a newborn, you’re vulnerable, tired and overwhelmed. So making clay footprints may not be up there on your list of priorities. That’s okay. If you stick to my rules and suggestions then you’ll have something lovely to look back on, whilst still having enough energy for the night feed.

Making the best keepsake memory box

It seems that the world is in competition these days. Who can create the best? Who is the most imaginative? Which boxes contain celebrity-endorsed wooden, hand-carved mementos. But sometimes, we are so busy comparing that we don’t do anything. Even though we’d really like to have saved some baby keepsakes to look back on.

So if you’ve been scrolling through Instagram and creating Pinterest boards to display baby memory boxes, then stop right there. Don’t make the process complicated difficult for yourself, because that’s not what the box is about. It isn’t about creating the biggest, or the best, it’s about capturing those special mementos which you can look back on in the future.

My baby keepsake box rules

I have a few rules when it comes to creating a keepsake memory box for your baby:

  1. I’m not spending a fortune
  2. I’m not hoarding loads of crap
  3. No, I won’t be doing anything for a first born that I wouldn’t be prepared to do for a second born (so baby milestone books and clay foot moulds are out)

So what should you put in your baby’s keepsake box? Here are my thrifty, no-fuss suggestions:

1) Scan pictures… a must for any keepsake box

Most people come away from their scan with a picture and if you’re lucky, you’ll have more than one. This is a lovely thing to add to a baby keepsake box.

2) The newborn baby hat

In most UK hospitals, as soon as a baby is born, the midwife puts a hat on the new tot. This means that the hat features in a lot of those first photographs, making it a lovely thing to put in a keepsake box. You can take it out and marvel at how small their head was (even though it probably didn’t feel that small at the time!). 

3) The going-home outfit 

You might have picked out something special to take your baby home in. If so, why not save it to look back on? My mum knitted my firstborn a cardigan, which he came home in. It sits with the hat in the keepsake box.

4) Your baby’s hospital tag

That tag that’s put on your baby at birth. The one with their name, the date and the time of birth. You’ve got to save it, right?

5) Newborn pictures should go in the baby memory box too

Those first pictures may go in an album, but it’s also lovely to print some of them off to go in your baby keepsake box. That way, when you’re going through the items, you can be reminded of those first moments. 

6) A keepsake document for the box

By ‘a document’ I don’t mean anything official, but instead, something that depicts a moment in time. Perhaps a newspaper covering that month’s big news story, or a local newsletter, or even an order of service from your baby’s christening or naming day. 

7) Craft keepsakes that you can make yourself

You don’t need to go overboard here. But I found that by going to baby groups, I ended up with a few pictures and footprint keepsakes. I kept a selection. Pieces that were made around Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas made it into the box. I also added the date of my child on there, to give the keepsake a bit of context. 

8) Cards can go in keepsake boxes

If your baby got some ‘welcome to the world’ cards then were born, then why not keep a selection of your favourites in their keepsake box? That way they can reflect back on the words of their grandparents, aunties and uncles in the years to come. 

9) A 1st birthday personalised baby keepsake

You might decided to add a personalised baby keepsake for your tot’s first birthday. We put a birthday crown and a first birthday card in our son’s keepsake box. You could include a picture, or a birthday vest as an alternative. Any item that reflects the day would work. 

10) Their first pair of shoes

You might have a story associated with your little one’s first pair of shoes. We do. We bought our son’s first pair from Asda, after measuring his feet ourselves, as the UK was in lockdown when he first started walking. I’d had visions of taking him to a shop and getting him measured, but it wasn’t to be. This is a story we can reflect on when we open the baby keepsake box though!

Is it worth making a keepsake box?

I do think it’s worth creating a baby keepsake box, but don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Having a baby is a tricky enough time, without remembering to fill in a milestone book, or worrying about ordering in craft materials so you can create personalised pieces for the box. It is possible to save a collection of keepsakes that have meaning, without putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and spending hours crafting. 

You might also find that you stumble across other things that you want to add to the box. After all, you might have received a thoughtful keepsake as a gift, or maybe there’s an meaningful item within one of the gift sets you were given, that you’d like to add your collection of memories. At the end of the day, baby keepsake boxes should be personal and it’s up to you what you decide to add.

If you found this article on keepsake boxes useful, you may also be interested in reading about my top 5 second-hand baby buys, my 3 travel cot hacks and how I recycled my baby box.

The image shows a baby asleep on a white sheet. Over the image the text reads: ’10 no-fuss items to put in your baby keepsake box’.