Every moment of a child’s first year is absolutely precious, from your first child to your last. Unfortunately, there are only so many pictures that even the most click-happy new parent can take, especially around baby number 3. While every picture is a treasured memory, there are select photo ops that will bring you and your family priceless joy for the rest of your lives.
The following photos are must-haves for every parent and child:
1. The Triumphant Mother – This is the first bedside picture that you take with your new little family. There is no photograph that speaks of a parent’s unconditional love like the picture that a family member or nurse takes of you and your spouse with your newborn baby. Generally, parents don’t look like rock stars after a long labor or surprise c-section, but that moment, that precious, perfect moment, when you get to hold your tiny miracle for the first time as a family is unparalleled by any other moment in your lives.
2. The Total Pass-Out – This moment happens to every parent within the first 3 months. You’ve lost track of the last time you had 4 solid hours of sleep, and neither you nor your baby can keep your eyes open any longer. When the conscious parent takes this picture, it is usually in jest, but it is truly a testimonial of your devotion to your child. There is something so simply sweet and pure about a photograph of you sleeping with your little one on your chest, that you will always look back on it and smile.
3. Bathtime Fun – A lot of parents take a picture of their baby’s first sponge bath. Firsts are always great pictures, but I’m talking about when your baby is around 10 months old, learning to splash, and smiling so widely you are sure it has to hurt. Don’t worry. If your child is seated in the tub it is easy to take an excellent G-Rated picture that captures the true essence of the moment and can be comfortably shared with anybody (especially future girlfriends) for years to come.
4. Group Picture With Extended Family- All first year photo albums are rich with pictures of the honored baby in the presence of immediate family members, but don’t underestimate the power of a photo with your extended family. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, major holiday, or reunion, make sure you get a picture of your baby with your whole family. The occasion isn’t nearly as important as showing your child that he has generations of supportive, loving family. Don’t forget to write everyone’s name on the back of the picture so that when your baby becomes a daddy, he can share it with his children.
5. First Birthday Cake Demolition- This is a two to three picture set that will bring many laughs to your family for years to come. Give your baby a small, personal cake and let her rip. I always strip my boys down to their diapers for this big event! Take a picture of your baby before, during, and after she’s enjoyed her first birthday cake. This series of photos will tell a story that words can’t even begin to describe.
The most important thing about documenting your baby’s first year is not to stress yourself out about missing a picture of the first smile or step. Babies have an innate ability to perform a spectacular feat when you least expect it and are completely unprepared. If you capture these special moments, which you have complete control over, you are sure to preserve memories that your family will hold dear for generation after generation.
Jessi Arias-Cooper is a work from home mother of 3 boys and has been married for 10 years. If she had time for hobbies and interests outside of parenting and keeping house, they would be jewelry making, baking, watching bad B-movie horror flicks and creative writing.