Baby Fever!


Okay, so whilst there’s a lot of royal baby fever sweeping the media, I’ve dusted off the baby book that my mother kept in my first few years. I’ve also got my sister’s book too. Do you have something similar to these?

Two books containing the first years of a baby's achievements

The blue one is my baby book – printed by Wm. Collins Sons & Co Ltd of London & Glasgow. It’s illustrated throughout (see example at foot of this post).

Inside are a collection of notes written mainly by my mother, but include some of my own writing later on where i’m listing and describing my birthday presents (apparently my sixth birthday presents included “marbles, a r2d2, a smurfland, cars”).

It’s funny reading this back. I’m the second baby, but it’s clear that every entry was written here with a great sense of pride at my achievements. Even my first haircut gets a mention – with a lock of my extremely blond hair, carefully tucked away in a little airtight bag that’s taped to a page.

Apparently it took me 5 weeks to smile and 12 weeks to laugh. By the time I was 5 months old, i’d mastered that old ‘got big toe in mouth’ trick – a great ice breaker!

At 6 months i’d mastered my first word ‘dad’. Sorry Mum, but you had your turn within the next 6 months alongside ‘bow-wow’ and ‘no’.

Both books are fascinating, all carefully noting baby’s progress – weight, words, birthday presents, crawling/standing, and scattered with photographs and names of gift givers (and their gifts).

Independently from these books, the other day I was looking through a photograph album that my aunt had lent to my mother (so that i could look through it, and scan what i wanted), and I found the earliest photo i’ve ever seen of myself – just 4 days old.

For William and Catherine, their baby will be well documented. Probably one of the most documented babies yet. They probably won’t need to keep their own record, but I bet they do.

I know for one thing, that if and when it’s my turn, I’ll be keeping a book too, and perhaps in another 35 years, you’ll read the next generation’s blog post about it here too!

Have you ever stumbled across a baby book in your family? How did/do your family record their new arrivals?

baby illustration

About Andrew Martin

+Andrew Martin is owner and lead writer for History Repeating and Family Tree UK. Genealogist, historian, writer, photographer and would-be archaeologist. He'd love a time machine, but worries that it might take all the fun out of it.
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