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As I got to the end of my pregnancy, my Boss bought me a really good Baby Book. It’s one of the 5 year ones, with cute little bears on the front and back, and it was brightly coloured. The book was compiled and designed by Desmond Marwood and Illustrated by Patricia Ludlow. It was first published in 2001 by Brown Watson, reprinted twice in 2002, twice in 2003 and twice again in 2004. There are 48 pages in total. I’m not sure of the price because as I said, it was a gift. As the book is quite long, I’m not going to review the whole of it, I’m just going to review half of it.
The book cover is shiny and seems to have some sort of padded covering, and the pages are coated too, which gives them a nice glossy finish. The book begins with a contents page. The font through out this book is Kristen ITC. There are six pictures on this page; three teddy bears, a dog, a baby tiger and a rabbit. At the bottom there is a description of the address where the book was published. The book through out is brightly coloured and each page contained little pictures of toys, teddy’s, other little animals etc.
“Meet My Parents”. There is a picture of a little teddy playing with toys, and two spaces for pictures. Above the first space it says, “I was born about…………………after this picture was taken”. I have stuck a picture of me in when I was 7 months pregnant, and wrote “2 months” in the little space provided. Under this picture is asks for the Mother’s name, Mother’s birthday and Mother’s job. It also asks the same questions about the Father’s. Below this is a space for a scan picture to go. I chose to put my second scan pic there because it had more detail on. The description states “This is a picture of my prenatal scan taken ….. weeks before I was born”, I have written “20” in the space provided.
“My Arrival In This Funny Old World.” These pages ask for the babies first ever photograph, a picture of the hospital they were born in, and a space to stick the baby’s hospital bracelet in. Next to the picture of my son’s first ever photograph it asks for his name, the time he was born at, the date he was born on, his weight, his length, his eye colour at birth, his hair colour at birth and his blood group. I filled the correct information in and stuck his photo of him 5 minutes old. The opposite side of the double spread, next to the space for the hospital photograph, it asks for the doctor’s name, the midwife’s name and if the father was present at birth. I filled the spaces in and stuck in his tiny hospital bracelet.
“My Family Tree”. It has a drawing of a tree, like something out of “The Animals of Farthing Wood,” with baby animals dancing around the bottom. On the tree there are circles for pictures to be stuck to, and the name of that person. It asks for pictures of the child’s Mother, Father, both Grandmothers, both Grandfathers and brothers or sisters.
“My Name”. The picture on this page is really sweet. It’s of little baby animals reading a Big Book of Names. The book is bigger than all of them put together. There’s also a picture of a little teddy with a blindfold on. This page asks for the child’s first name, the country where the name came from, what the name means and who chose the name. Also, it asks what other names the child has, why these names were chosen and who chose these other names.
“Register of My First Visitors”. This page is a picture of a huge note book with five titles on. The titles are Signature, Printed name, Relation, Date and Time. Unfortunately for me, as people came to see me and my son, I didn’t think to get people to sign it. So this
page is blank. But I really wish I had of remembered about it, because as the years go by, it’d be nice to look back and see exactly who came to see your child. There’s also a teddy and a rabbit holding a big pen getting ready to write.
“My Star Sign and Symbols”. This page asks for the Birth Stone of the child and his/her colour. Also, the book asks for what sign of the zodiac the child is, what their birth flower is, their lucky number and what their Chinese horoscope symbol is. Down the sides of this page are the Signs of the Zodiac and a picture of a teddy dressed like some sort of wizard. The poem at the bottom says: Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child id full of grace, Wednesday’s child is full of woe, Thursday’s child has far to go, Friday’s child is loving and giving, Saturday’s child is hard for living, And a child that’s born on the Sabbath day, Is fair and wise and good at play.
“Arriving Home”. In the top corner is a little picture of the wall hanging that has ‘Home Sweet Home’ wrote on it. Then the page asks for a photograph of the first house your child lived in and asked for the address. I didn’t stick a photo of my house here, because I’ve never had any reason to go out and take a picture of the house before. I do now and I keep meaning too, but always forget. The page also asks for the date you brought your child home, how they travelled there, what they were wearing, what time they went to sleep at, what time they woke at and who they shared the house with. At the bottom of the page it also asks if there are any other comments about their first night at home. In this space I have written, “I had a lot of visitors, and I woke my mum up every 3 to 4 hours!” I didn’t mind though, in some sorta weird way, I enjoyed it!!
“First Days At Home”. This page asked basically how the arrival of a baby upset everybody’s routine. I couldn’t think how a baby would upset anyone’s routine so I just wrote, “Everyone was excited!” Below this it asks is the baby Breast or Bottle fed, the feeding times and what did they mostly wear, their best positions for sleeping and their sleep pattern. The last two questions were bordered by little teddy’s asleep hugging their toys. At the bottom is has a space for a photograph of baby’s first bed, or cradle. I stuck a picture in of my son’s cot.
“My Bedtimes”. This page was bordered by pictures of bottles, rattles, musical notes and stars. At the top was an owl winking while sat on the branch of a tree. In the top right hand corner was a clock and the left hand corner had a moon sleeping with a hat on. The first sentence on the page said, “My regular sleeping pattern became ….hours until ….hours.” Below was a space for a picture of their first babysitter, their name, relation/friend and how old they were when they had their first babysitter. There’s a nice picture on this page of a baby teddy asleep in a cradle with a rabbit, another teddy and a duckling singing around it. At the bottom of the page it asks the baby’s favourite bedtime toy, when were they moved from a cradle to a cot, when did they sleep right through the night, and the best way to send them off to sleep.
“Getting Used To Water”. This page is just a big picture of a duck in a bubble bath. There are large bubbles coming from the bath with questions in them. The questions are, “Did I like to make a splash”, “To begin with did I like or dislike water”, “My favourite bath toys are….”, “Did I go into the big bath before I was one year old”, “Did I like having my face wiped” and “Did I make a fuss about having my hair washed”.
“All About My Teeth”. It has a picture that shows the top teeth and the bottom set. The teeth are also numbered. The page begins by stating, “Growing or ‘cutting’ first teeth can be a very painful time for babies. The first set of teeth which push through our tender gums are called milk teeth.” Then the page goes on to a set of questions. The numbered teeth in the picture shows that the bottom two front teeth are number one’s and the top two teeth are number two’s. The book says that most babies cut their number one’s first at the age of about 6 months, then proceed on to cut their number two’s at about 7 – 9 months. This page asks to write down the age of the child whenever each set of numbered teeth came through. Also, at the bottom is a little pink box with three more questions in. They are, “Did I have a teething ring to chew on to ease any pain?” “Did I have a dummy to comfort me?” and “Did I have anything else to help get me through my teething problems".
(Wow, this is getting pretty long… I hope I aint boring any of you!)
“My Food and Drink”. This page is bordered by little pictures of food like bananas, cherry’s, strawberry’, apples, grapes gingerbread men, ice cream etc. There’ a chart titled Menu, with three columns below it titled Food or Drink, Date and Age. The chart is straight forward. Next to that there’s a section where you write the child’s favourite foods, least favourites and where they usually sat to eat their meals.
“Getting On The Move”. This is a double spread page bordered by little toys and teddy bears with balloons. One side of the double spread is entitled “Indoors.” It has a picture with a baby teddy led on their back, then on their side and then on the front. The sentence below is says, “On /__/__ I rolled over onto my back and then rolled right over onto my tummy on /__/__.” Below this is has a baby teddy sat up, with a sentence saying, “I began to sit up by myself on /__/__.” Then there is a teddy shuffling along with the sentence, “I began to shuffle on my bottom on /__/__.” And then a picture of the teddy crawling with the sentence, “I began to crawl on all fours on /__/__.” There are two spaces for pictures of the child crawling and one for when they started to walk. The other side of the double spread is entitled “Out of Doors”. There’s a colourful picture of a baby teddy being put into a bar by its mum. Above it, it says, “When I first wet outside I was lifted in and out of the car in a carry cot.” There’s a little space below this asking for a picture of the baby with their first set of reins, and what age they were at. Next to this is a bigger space for a photo of the baby in their pram. It asks you to write how old the child was, who was pushing the pram, who else was present and who took the photograph. At the bottom of the page shows a family of teddy bears feeding the ducks on t pond. This page is beautifully illustrated.
“Some More Of My First Time Happenings.” Again this is a double page spread bordered by the same teddies and toys and balloons as the page before. There are some lovely illustrations on these two pages. One of a father and son playing in the rain, one of a family on a beach, one where the teddy family are playing in the now and one of a baby teddy reading their first ABC book. The first picture it asks for is of the child’s first time in the rain. I thought this would be quite difficult to get, as you wouldn’t take this picture unless you’d read this book before hand. In my case I did not, so I don’t have this picture. The next picture they ask for is baby’s
Pictures of Baby Record Book
First Five Year Diary
first time in the sun. Thankfully, my son was born in November, so as yet we’ve not had any proper sun, but I’ll remember when the summer comes to stick a picture in. The next space is for a picture of baby’s first time in the snow. It did actually snow Christmas day but not for long, but because he was only 6 weeks old I didn’t like the thought of taking him out in that weather, so I’ll wait till next time. There is a space on this double spread for you to place photos of baby’s first shoes, first gloves and first hat. All these picture have a space under them to write the age of the child at the time the photo was taken. The last thing on these two pages is a chart entitled “Some Of My First Words”. There are three columns below this which are headed, “What I said…”, When I said it…” and “How old I was…” This will be pretty straight forward. The options under the “What I said” column are, Mummy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma, Dog and Cat. But there is also a space below that to write other first words.“My First Christmas”. This is yet another double spread page bordered by pictures of snowmen, stockings, candles, crackers and Christmas puddings. The page has a section on Christmas Eve, and wants you to place a photo of your child hanging up their stocking before they go to bed. Above the picture it states, “Christmas Eve is the night before Christmas Day. We hang up our stockings before going to bed. We hope Santa Claus will put presents in them for us during the night.” Another section is entitled “Christmas Day”. This asks for a photograph of your child with their first Christmas presents, and it has a space where you can write the year in. Below that section, is another section called “My Christmas Gifts.” There is a sentence where you fill in the blanks. “I cannot remember how many I received but grown-ups tell me that altogether I had about …. presents. One of my favourite presents was a toy ……………….. that we called by the name of ………………. It was a present from …………………………” The next section was called “During my first Christmas”. This was a chart where you had to tick yes or no to the questions. The questions asked did the child eat Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, pulled a cracker, ate turkey, duck or pork, ate mine pies, jelly, trifle or ice cream. Also what did they eat most and what did they drink. There is a space to put a photograph of your child with Santa Claus, and asks you to write where the picture was taken. There is a beautiful picture of a teddy family decorating their Christmas tree.
“My First Birthday”. This is another double spread page with a family of teddy bears having a birthday party. It has the same border as the “Getting on the move” page. It asks for a photograph of the birthday guests and their names. Also, there’s a chart where you can write what the child got and who they were from. There’s a big space in the top left hand corner where you can place the child’s first photograph of them one year old. It asks for the weight and how long they were.
I will stop there for now but there’s still is a lot more in the book which I will continue in due course. I wouldn’t like to think I was going on, but if you like, I will update this review with the rest of the pages. Other pages in the book are called: -My first presents -My first year portrait gallery -First haircut -My naming day -Favourite toys -Animals in my life -Looking back at my first holiday -My footprints and handprints -My weight and measures -My medical records -My four favourite friends -My early playtimes -My early attempts to paint and draw -My playgroup -More happy birthdays -My first five years of special happening -My first real school -My early school days -Bye bye for now
What a lovely review! I want one of these books for Ollie - 6 months. Enjoyed that! sara x
rosillew 27.05.2005 00:40
A smashing review, I just love these books..... I have still got my Two Daughters books, both slightly different to yours but along the same lines, they contain some hair from each of their 1st haircuts, I have kept them right up to date adding extra pages in the back for their Birthdays, Engagements, Wedding, and a photo of their Children (my 3 Grandsons) I think they are a lovely idea and we all often get them out and look at them....my Daughters are now 33 and 25......Heatherx
sallysmith1973 17.05.2005 15:19
Lovely review, I have two of these books on the go and have to remember to add to them! They would be a lovely keepsake to look at when they're older. Thanks, Sal x