A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of exhibiting at the spring Toronto Baby Show, where thousands of expecting moms, new parents, grandparents to-be and supportive friends came out to explore and shop the latest products and services. It's an energizing atmosphere and I love talking to hundreds of excited (and perhaps a bit anxious) attendees about what to expect and how to mark milestones when their wee one arrives.
*Public Service Announcement: 95% of the expecting mommas I spoke to are due in July. If your due date is July, get to the hospital early because it will be busy!
Within the first few minutes of the first day, a woman walked purposefully up to my booth. I started to explain the Baby Charm Blanket to her and how it marks the baby's age at each special milestone when she cuts me off by saying, "I know all about it! I bought one from you here last year and my daughter loves it so much that I want to buy another one for my niece." What a wonderful start to the weekend and it filled my heart to know that this unique little product, conceived by a tired and remorseful mom, was helping other parents capture these fleeting moments that we wish would last forever.
There are many different ways to document and record baby milestones. More traditional and tangible methods include filling out memory books, boxes, calendars, plaster molds, or printing photos for an album or scrap book. Digital photobooks are popular and are becoming more and more user friendly, and of course there are always apps for your smart phone to log pictures and take notes. Figure out what's most important to record so that you can create those cherished keepsakes.
When you have a new baby, whether it's your first or fourth, no parent wants to feel like they have homework. That's what the baby books felt like to me because they ask a lot of questions and demand a lot of writing. While I wish I could say I documented all the details of my babies, I inevitably left sections blank and felt guilty. So I therefore banished those bad books and felt more guilty. This was a key factor in my invention of the Baby Charm Blanket—to provide parents with a "go-to" list of special milestones in baby's first year and a quick and easy way to mark them. No matter how sleep deprived, any new parent can work a little Velcro.
Furthermore, I figured some parents might like to actually display these developmental milestones or have something that could be regularly admired by family and friends, unlike a book that is stuck on a shelf or an app that is confined to your phone. Babies love playing with tags, they love bright colours and textures. The Baby Charm Blanket is designed as a soft, cuddly blanket with vibrant milestone ribbons that end up lining the calendar perimeter for you and baby to enjoy. Each tummy time session can be a reminder of how old she was when she said "mama" for the first time, when she had her first laugh, or sprouted her first tooth. The Baby Charm Blanket can go in a gentle machine wash and the milestone ribbons won't come out—your memories are safe!
If you would rather avoid any stains or spit up, another practical design feature of the Baby Charm Blanket is to simply place a curtain rod through the top looped ribbons and hang it on the nursery wall. You can both feel proud of her accomplishments and experiences, and as she grows you can show her how old she was at each marked milestone and tell stories about these special first moments.
Finally, while I would never diss the benefits of hard drives and clouds, there is something to be said for having a solid, tangible item to preserve and pass down to your children in years to come. I am a sentimental mom, but only in moderation; I don't hold on to every adorable little sweater, package up all their hilariously tiny baby shoes, or store bins of favourite toys and books in the attic (no judgement here! I just gain a sense of calm from purging). Every parent no doubt goes through a similar battle of the psyche that sounds like this, "Purge! The less clutter in your life the better." vs. "Keep! Your kids will think this is awesome in 20 years." This 30"x30" customized keepsake blanket is an item worth holding on to.
As an expecting new mom, it's hard to anticipate what the first year of life will be like with your tiny bundle. Spend some time researching the various developmental and memory keepsake products to find which fit with your personality. Wee & Charming was launched with the goal of helping parents always remember their baby's first moments and it brings me such joy to know that these priceless keepsakes are being created and cherished.