Baby’s first year is full of so many milestones and memories. You may feel like you try so hard to capture them all that your camera becomes an extension of your arm! But what are those pinnacle must-capture moments? From the first smile to those precious early laughs and the deliciously messy first ‘real’ meal… be sure to document these 13 special moments. 

The ‘Fresh 48’ Photo

Photo: @sarai.jacobs

Those first precious days in the hospital, birthing center, or at home are absolutely monumental. Snap some “Fresh 48” photos in the first two days of life, whether you do it yourself or tap a professional photographer.  

Newborn Stats Canvas

Photo: EmmybugDecor on Etsy

It’s easy to forget the tiny details as the years roll by; immortalize your baby’s length, weight, time of birth, and other details in some special way. Nowadays there are so many options from nursery throw pillows and blankets to canvas wall-hangings and more. You can also create your own in a phone app to save and share with family and friends. 

Swaddle Stretch Video 


Video: @gem0521_

The quintessential cute newborn moment: emerging from the swaddle with a big arms-up stretch and sleepy yawn. A baby’s swaddle-stretch days are limited, so be sure to take a video in the first couple of months of life! 

Early Smiles

Photo: @elisanatalieb

Nothing will light up your day like those first gummy grins. Keep a camera handy so you can catch your beaming baby in action. Scribble down the date and what made baby smile for posterity, too. 

Monthly Milestone Pictures

Photo: Shop White Loft

Track the months as they fly by. Baby’s first year is bittersweet; so many changes and milestones you don’t want to miss or forget. Taking a monthly photo in a similar setup or spot will help track their progress—and makes a precious keepsake to enjoy for years to come. Handmade wooden monthly photo markers are an adorable option.

Baby Laughter 

Video: @katmhogan

Has there ever been a sweeter sound than Baby’s little laughs? Hit “record” when that first giggle erupts. This is one video you’ll want to be able to cue up for years to come! (Hint: Tickles can bring on the laughs pretty easily if your goofy faces aren’t doing the trick).

Bassinet or Crib Shot

Photo: @the_girl_jessie

In a year’s time, you’ll hardly remember how tiny and peaceful your baby was at the start. Grab a sleeping photo in the bassinet or crib as early and as often as you can—you can line them up to show how much baby has grown!

Mommy & Me Matching Photo

Photo: The Beaufort Bonnet Company 

Throw on some coordinated duds, and get out the camera. Eventually your baby will be a big kid who might not be so thrilled about matching Mommy anymore. Do it now while you still can! 

First Food Photo

Photo: Our Life in Rose Gold

Whether you choose baby-led weaning, purees, or a mix of both, those first tastes of real food should be documented! Not only does it make sense to record what Baby tried and liked as you embark on your solids journey, but the messy food pictures are too cute to miss. 

First Tooth Photo

Photo: @bvw1201

Baby’s first tooth might poke through within a few months or it might take a whole year, but once that drooly grin gets its inaugural pearly whites, whip out the camera. Once your baby has a full set, it’s hard to remember what those tiny teeth looked like when they were brand new.  

Obligatory Footprint Craft 

Photo: Bubzico 

It doesn’t matter whether you do it with a newborn, for a first holiday, or even the first birthday: Don’t forget to capture baby’s footprint in the first year of life. Imprinting these tiny toes might seem corny or silly (or downright frustrating if you have a wiggly tot!) in the moment…but down the line you will definitely want to have this keepsake.  

Save a Lock of Hair

Photo: Rachael Burgess 

Baby’s first haircut is such a sweet milestone. Save a lock from that first snip. Pinterest has a ton of ideas on what you can do to preserve it, or you could go the classic route and place it inside a baby book.

Cake Smash

Photo: @eatsleepwear

Did Baby even have a birthday if you didn’t capture the mess they made of that cake? For many babies, their first birthday cake is their first experience with sugar—and their reaction is a can’t-miss moment. Load up the cake with all the frosting they can bear, and snap away. You’ll want these messy memories forever!

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.