“Mom, Why Are There Hardly Any Photos of Me as A Baby?”

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second baby photosOh, no! The dreaded question came this morning from my second born, my daughter. I stood silent. I thought I could spare her feelings by telling her that she doesn’t see the photos because they are digital and we just don’t print them anymore. But she’s pretty computer savvy. She would soon learn the truth.  And the truth being, that I simply did not take that many.

There were many reasons I suppose. Too busy, too tired, and the novelty of every single interaction of my first born had worn off. Every day with two in the first year was like competing in Tough Mudder. You just want to finish and then you just want to shower.  There was no energy to capture “Baby’s First Solids”. I was just happy I fed the kids at all.  If I had time to take a cute photo of my daughter holding a sign it would say, “Send Help Now”. So what could I possibly say to her to make her understand?

Because when I was about her age, I remember asking my mother the exact same thing.  I was in elementary school and I needed a photo of myself as a baby to bring into school for a project. As the youngest of three, I dug deeper and deeper into my mom’s box of photos and came up empty. There were plenty of photos of my brother, and some more of my brother and sister, and a few of all three of us, but just one or two of me alone. Ouch! I remember one of my siblings making a snarky comment like, “Oh yeah, by then nobody cared about you”, because that’s sometimes what siblings do. Ha Ha very funny!  I was wise enough to know that wasn’t the reason. I knew my parents loved me but it would have been nice to see something other than the hospital photo.

And now, I just repeated history. But it turns out I am not alone. Richard Mayfield, creative director of Venture Photography, conducted a survey of 2,000 mothers and found

  • 87% have fewer photos of a younger child (and those photos almost always include older siblings)
  • 83% were too busy
  • 78% forgot (juggling two kids)
  • 92% said they regretted not capturing their child’s first months
  • 61% do not have second child keepsakes (footprints, hairlocks, etc)

Read the full article here: Haley Dixon, The Telegraph (UK)

So as parents, what can we do to capture more moments of Baby #2 in the first year? Here are some ideas;

  • TBT – Set a reminder in your calendar. Set the first Thursday of the month to remind yourself to take a photo of your second child. No props. No special outfits or settings. Take it while in the car seat or high chair. Remember TBT (Throwback Thursday) and how sad your child might feel that they only have a few photos from the first year to look back on.
  • Delegate to Dad – Dad loves to have specific responsibilities. This is a great one. 1x a month is all that is needed.
  • Delegate to First Born – If your first born is old enough, give him/her an old camera. They will love the role of photographer and it will ensure some solo photos of Baby #2.

What are some other ideas? Share your thoughts.

So even though I have a ridiculous amount of more photos of my first born in his first year, when I look back, it’s the first year of my second child that I enjoyed more. Despite the chaos. Maybe I was more relaxed, not so nervous; had some skills. But maybe it was also because I didn’t feel I needed to capture it all because I was enjoying living in the moment. I am not sure my second child will understand that or my first child wants to hear that.  But it’s the truth. So while I may not have as many photos, I have the memories and it’s my job to share those memories with my daughter.

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