Welcoming a newborn into your home is such a tender experience. The days seem so long but that first year goes by so fast! I’ve found that being intentional about how I experience my baby during his first year keeps the memories of the little moments from fading. I focus on each of the five senses to create a caregiving space that is personal and memorable for each child.

Smell

Before my baby is born, I choose a scent that will be exclusive to him, that I don’t use until my baby comes home. I choose a soap or lotion because there’s more hand washing that goes on during those first few months than I even care to keep track of. Attaching a special smell to a mundane task of washing hands creates memories of caring for your baby. Even to this day, when I smell one of my children’s scents, a flood of memories come back of those precious newborn months.

Sight

I remember reading somewhere that every nursery should have a mirror so you can watch your baby as you pace the room trying to soothe him to sleep. On the practical side, you can tell if he’s asleep without needing another pair of eyes to check for you! On the sentimental side, I’ve loved watching how my babies snuggle into my arms. It’s bittersweet realizing how much they have grown in relation to my body as I hold them. A newborn cradled in my arms quickly becomes a toddler resting her sweaty head on my shoulder with her feet dangling down around my pant pockets. When did she even grow that big?

One week // One year

Touch

Having extra soft baby blankets (Minky is my personal favorite) makes snuggling babies even more magical. But don’t stop there! My mama sized ‘cozy blanket’ as my kids call it is one of my favorite things. There is a reason babies seem so comfortable snuggled in a blanket. They are amazing. Treat yourself.

Hear

I didn’t set out to do this initially, but each of my children has found their own lullaby. Of course I sang several songs to them over the course of countless sleepless nights. But one or two always seemed to maintain their positions at the top of the list. And they have been different for each of my children’s personalities. It’s one of my favorite parts of getting to know my new little one-finding their song.

My son's first night home in our tiny one bedroom apartment

Taste

You’re going to eat a lot. Like all the time. 24/7. Another practical/sentimental tip for you. Choose a mint or hard candy you like and keep a jar full of them in your nursery. I would always eat through the night feedings to keep myself awake and well nourished. But on the rare occasion I wasn’t starving, I would pop a mint in to keep myself awake. And I would pop one in after I finished my snacks to prevent that weird morning breath at 2 AM. The sentimental part comes when I come across those mints years later and am transported back to my nursery rocking chair in the middle of the night - just me and my sweet, tiny baby.

There you have it! I hope this list inspired you to take a look beyond paint color and crib sheets to the details that you’ll actually remember decades from now when your babies are all grown.

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