Parents love to keep special keepsakes from their children’s early years.
But how can you ensure that the memories you capture are available for you to enjoy for years to come?
Here are our top tips for protecting your collection of photographs, whether physical or digital.
Though the world has largely ‘gone digital’ since the turn of the century, many parents still like to take snaps using Polaroid cameras - or hire a professional photographer to capture a special occasion.
To stop your most cherished photographs from fading, invest in a high-quality album that protects the pictures from dust and direct sunlight.
It’s best to use albums that contain acid-free archival paper and ensure that your collection is stored at room temperature, so not in a loft or garage.
Digital photography allows you to store images without taking up physical space, but it’s still possible to lose photos if you don’t properly back them up and your device goes missing.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a cloud solution in place.
Platforms like Facebook allow you to upload snaps, but the quality is often compressed, and security may be an issue
Apps like Lifecake are tailor-made for families wishing to preserve pictures of children, while most modern Android and iPhone devices offer the facility to automatically back up your images ‘on the cloud’, so you can retrieve them even if you lose your phone or tablet.
The most important thing to know when it comes to storing your baby’s first teeth is that preservation and preparation are key. Before storing your baby’s teeth in a safe place, such as a silk jewellery bag or plastic baggie, it's important to clean the teeth with soap and water first and then with an alcohol-based cleaning product. After cleaning, it's very important to thoroughly dry the tooth, otherwise bacteria and mould can grow. Cleaning and drying the tooth will preserve it and help keep it shiny for years to come.
Your baby’s first haircut is often an emotional event and many teary parents like to keep a lock of hair as a keepsake. Before storing your baby’s first curl, it's important to remember to take a suitable storage container to the hairdressers to keep it safe in transport. Hair can get caught on the sticky part of an envelope, so we wouldn’t recommend this; instead, use an old-fashioned camera roll holder, if you can find one. A second, more sentimental option, is popping the hair into a small plastic baggie and sealing it inside the back of the photo frame holding your baby’s first photograph.
Like your baby’s first haircut, growing out of their first pair of shoes is another emotional milestone for many parents. To preserve your baby’s first footwear, thoroughly clean with a suitable cleaning product, before putting them in a dust bag and then the shoe box they came in. This will ensure they don’t get squashed by other nearby items, while the dust bag will help keep the shoes pristine.
Your child’s first school books are something many enjoy reading over together in years to come, so it's highly important to keep these safe. We recommend storing them in a sealable plastic sandwich bag and away from direct sunlight, as this can fade the pages. Keep the books away from direct heat too, and store upright or flat to protect the pages.
Paintings and drawings
Even a scribble on a page can be a special memento for parents if their child drew it. Drawing and painting are much-enjoyed hobbies for young children and they often love gifting their parents with their masterpieces. To safely store your child’s paintings, it's best to follow the example set by artists and professionals. Lay your child’s art on a flat surface of acid-free board or paper and cover with a clean, dry cloth. To avoid creases, it's a good idea to keep all the art together, sandwiched with protective paper. Once pressed between acid-free paper and cloth, pop it in a large plastic sealable bag, and, for large pieces, use a professional painting carrier, which are available from arts and craft stores.