That first year of baby’s life is full of so many milestones. They’re born (it’s a pretty big deal). They come home. They meet their family. They learn to feed. They may have their first haircut. They wear their first pair of shoes. It’s an exciting time and one that parents probably want to hold onto.
Keepsakes have been around since the beginning of human culture as a way to remember what that phase of life felt like. Now, thanks to internet giants like Pinterest and Etsy, nearly anything can be made into a keepsake. However, that doesn’t mean nearly anything should be made into something that lasts forever.
On our list of these less-than-beautiful items are teeth, hair clippings, umbilical cord stumps, and booty molds. People are really molding their kiddo’s tiny cheeks so that they can forever remember the way it fit into Dad’s hand.
While most keepsakes are beautiful, like the one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments made out of a child’s hospital band, others are a little left of center. Read below to find out what works, what’s acceptably off-kilter, and what just made us say, “Eeew, really?”
20 Birth Stat Stuffie
Over at Etsy, a shop by the name of MamaAndBabyBears sells stuffed elephants that look incredibly plushy and soft. Their large ears are emblazoned with a new baby’s name, monogram, and birth information like weight, length, and time of birth. All the reviews are four to five stars, and if the product actually looks like the customer-posted pictures, we can see why.
The little pachyderm comes with a number of color options and the choice to have it decked out with a bow or left plain. This is a great way to remember and memorialize baby’s time of birth and size without nailing something to a wall. Plus, we can easily see this becoming one of baby’s favorite snuggle buddies.
19 Unique Art For Her Baby
Over at Pokidots, ateliers take a baby’s most important outfit and shape it into fashion art. It sounds a bit convoluted, but the effect is a beautiful display piece that can feature the outfit baby came home from the hospital in after it’s outgrown. The end result is totally customizable, giving patrons the choice of hair color for the fashion plate, skin color, and design style. Everything from the color of the frame, included in the price, is left to a buyer’s preference.
However, be warned that these keepsakes do not come cheap. They run upwards of $200.00 for an 8x10. The artist behind the keepsakes says she can also use receiving blankets and other important linens instead of clothes.
18 Holiday Keepsake
We fell in love with these glass bulb ornaments stuffed with baby’s hospital bracelet, outgrown pacifier, and socks or a onesie. This keepsake is for the Pinterest parent or crafty gift-giver, though.
Third Stop On The Right lists the instructions to make the ornaments and gives step by step picture examples. The best part about this keepsake versus some others is the overall price. It’s a custom ornament that uses things baby actually touched that costs about $5.00 to make.
Even if there aren’t any crafty people in the house, it may be worth giving it a try since, at most, what would be left is $5.00 less and an empty glass bulb. However, completed, this may be a family’s favorite decoration to put up every year on the tree.
17 It’s The News
Mother And Baby says it’s a good idea to keep a copy of a newspaper published on the day of baby’s birth. This is adorable, and we can see framing the interesting pages or gluing them into a scrapbook for baby to peruse when he or she is a little older.
Times change quickly, and it can be fun to look back on the ways the world was different when baby entered the world.
Papers can be local goings-on or national news outlets, although parents might want to make sure nothing too horrific makes it to the lamination stage. Let the new baby bliss last a while longer so parents can pretend like the world is made up of sugar cookies and rainbows. Reality will set in all on its own.
16 A One-Of-A-Kind Print
While plaster casts of hands and feet or, even more expensively, silver or other metal molds to show baby’s tiny birth size are popular, we’re a bit confused about what to do with these things. Are they for shelves? Look, there’s baby’s shiny foot! Are they paperweights? Seems too sentimental to use to hold down mail so it doesn’t blow away.
Instead, we dig this idea from Centime. There, they take a photo of baby’s thumbprint and engrave it onto a beautiful square pendant necklace. It’s a forever keepsake that can be worn and tucked close to the heart. It’s a functional memento that will last far after baby outgrows the newborn phase without becoming a dusty relic.
15 Memory Clock
This is a really interesting way to mark family milestones that begin before baby and even happen after (like siblings). Families have been pinning their clock keepsakes that mark the time of each event—the time Mom and Dad met or tied the knot, the time a baby entered the world, etc.
These can all be customized with photos, items from the event, or anything else a family values.
We like the Alice in Wonderland vibe to these clocks on Pinterest. After all, weddings and baby arrivals are a whimsical, otherworldly time for most families. There are tons of ideas floating on the net to personalize this trend, and we say go for it.
14 The Sound Of Baby
Thanks to Etsy and the shop The Memory Wave, any interested parent or gift giver can turn a sound bite of baby’s heartbeat into unforgettable art. All there is to it is sending in the digital file of the heartbeat, and the people behind the shop print a custom keepsake that turns baby’s heartbeat into art.
The prints can be customized by both color and size, with lots of options to choose from. We can see these special pieces of art first adorning a nursery before being put into a baby book. It’s a unique reminder of when the baby was cradled in the womb, heart beating fast. Mom’s heartbeat during pregnancy could also be used as inspiration.
13 Put It In The Book
While baby books are great, that first year can be an incredibly busy, surprisingly trying time. Not all families have the energy or desire to write down each milestone baby reaches. However, books are a vital part of any small child’s life.
Recently, libraries across the country have been recommending that children be read 1,000 titles before kindergarten.
One way to make a dent in that number is to get a personalized book where the main character is the little guy or girl of the family. Wonderbly offers these books for sale and personalizes them with baby’s name for as little as about $25.00.
12 Weird—Tooth Jewelry
Until now, we had no idea some people take their baby’s teeth and turn it into jewelry. Yup, after those pearly baby whites fall out, they get molded into a ring or necklace or jangly bracelet. While wearable keepsakes are great, wearing someone else’s teeth (or even one’s own, really) seems a little out there.
Apparently, this was a more common fad in the Victorian period, with one UK leader herself wearing a brooch made with her eldest daughter’s first lost tooth.
11 Weird—Mama's Bedroom Appeal
While it’s great if Mom’s feeling alluring and loving her new curves during pregnancy, some folks are a little stumped by maternity photoshoots that take a turn toward the dark and lacy. Mostly, who does one show these to besides their partner? They’re certainly not for the new baby. Maybe they’re for husband or partner if he really enjoyed the lush pregnancy body? They definitely don’t seem social media announcement appropriate.
Still, there’s nothing wrong with feeling great while pregnant and wanting to capture that unique moment in time, but it's clear it's not for everyone. What some think takes it a step too far is having Dad in the photos, too. However, props for being pregnant and comfortable, ladies.
10 Weird—Replica Baby
While we know that babies don’t stay little nearly long enough, trying to freeze time by having a replica baby made from newborn pictures and dimensions strikes some as a little ...off.
However, this is definitely a trend, and it’s all over the internet. The dolls are called ‘reborn babies,’ and artists charge hundreds of dollars to exactly match what babies looked like right after birth. Some companies even try to match the baby’s birth weight so that holding the baby doll feels realistic. Alexandra’s Babies allows customization options for their replicas that include a warming pouch and breathing mechanism.
They’re these monster-looking plush dolls that people are using to store their children’s lost teeth.
The dolls look like handmade versions of Monsters, Inc. hopefuls with mouths full of pearly white lost teeth. Apparently, fugglers have been making the rounds on social media and are given to children to use as teddy bears. They’re also number 13 on the list of 14 Things To Do With Baby Teeth, according to What’s Up Fagans. We looked at the fuggler pictures there. It’s nightmare-inducing, but we guess some kids like the little monsters that look like they want to eat human fingers for breakfast.
8 Weird—Cord Teddies
When baby’s cord stump falls out, parents are often curious about what they should do with it. Most simply throw it away. Others bag it. Some plant it in the Native American tradition.
Now, parents are bagging it and then using it like a Build-A-Bear heart. They’re cutting open or sewing new stuffed animals that have the cord stump inside as a way to keep a piece of Mama close to her little one in a favorite plushy.
There’s a WikiHow article on this that warns that the bag needs to be taped closed and stuffed far into the creature so that it never poses a risk as a choking hazard.
7 Weird—Milk Jewelry
Breastfeeding is a wondrous thing in that Mom makes something her baby needs to survive and gets awesome baby cuddles while providing it. It’s a special bonding ritual that is being promoted throughout most of the world as the natural way to feed a hungry infant. However, it’s a finite thing. Most parents stop breastfeeding within the first year or soon thereafter, although research shows nursing into toddlerhood until a child self-weans is best.
Mothers wanting to memorialize the experience can now purchase breastmilk jewelry.
Pieces include rings, necklaces, and other one-of-a-kind creations. Made With Love Keepsakes suggests that moms send in at least one-half ounce of expressed milk for each piece ordered through their site. To be honest, some of us are on the fence about this one. Many sing its praises, acknowledging that nursing is a commitment and hard work. So, is it really any different than a push present? Others still argue it’s out there.
Full disclosure: I stumbled upon someone who creates these pieces at a local birth fair last month and jumped on board, feeling that exclusively pumping through two years meant I was well-deserving of such a gift. I love it—and what it symbolizes, but I can still acknowledge it's a little non-traditional for sure.
6 Weird—Gender Don’t
Pictures of Mom and Dad’s stunned or uncertain reactions after a gender reveal are cute. These help to immortalize the surprise of the moment. However, for a little extra cash, parents can have prints made so that their friends and family members can guess which gender the baby will be.
This seems like it could get a little tricky. “Hey, little Jane. Look here! Grandpa guessed you’d be a boy. After your five girl cousins, he really wanted a boy. Huh, too bad.” While some of the Etsy prints are cute, we wonder if half of a party being wrong about the gender really needs to be remembered forever.
5 Just No—Drying And Pickling
Ever wanted to see what an umbilical cord looks like when it’s been dehydrated or pickled in order to be shaped into jewelry or art? Nope, us either. However, this is a trend taking off for some new mamas. They have to hire specialty companies who have a several-step process to creating the keepsakes.
The owner of one of these companies says that she feels these keepsakes maintain the oneness of the mother-child bond after the cord is cut.
The owner says that it is the societal pressure that keeps women from wanting to have part of the umbilical cord handy. Some moms are even having dreamcatchers made out of them!
4 Just No—Umm, Booty
Via Pinterest, we learned that some parents are making bum plates. It’s exactly what it sounds like, too. They paint a baby’s bottom orange, plop that booty onto a plate, and draw a pumpkin around it. Tada, bum-kin! We hope these are just decorative and not functional dinnerware.
Okay, we get that babies have cute little tushes (when they don’t stink), but this may be just a few steps too far. Why do we need to memorialize baby’s cheek size? Aside from a prop purposefully used for later embarrassment, this one seems way strange.
3 Just No—Haircut On A String
Here’s another bizarre Pinterest find—who knew Pinterest could get this odd? Instead of putting baby’s first trimmed hair in an envelope, how about making a resin necklace out of it?
While we’re all for usable, purposeful keepsakes, this one is another bit of too much. One thing all these just-no’s seem to have in common is that they require someone to carry around or wear someone else’s DNA in one form or another.
Teeth aren’t meant to be jewelry, hair isn’t meant to be worn in a necklace and placentas shouldn’t be handled by anyone but trained medical staff. There. We said it.
2 Just No—Ultrasound Nails
Again, this one is exactly what it sounds like. Mom goes in for baby’s ultrasound. Mom gets a printout of baby’s profile. Mom stops into her nearest nail salon so that the ultrasound image can be shrunk and gel cured onto her fingernails. Evening Standard did a piece on this trend, saying that though one photo in particular went viral, a simple search through Instagram will reveal tons of mamas who’ve plastered their unborn babies’ faces to their middle or pointer fingers. The site says the new fad is “absolutely” the way to go for baby shower fashion. We say, let’s just not.
1 Just No—Belly Keepsake
We wonder what one would do with a life-sized cast of their pregnant belly and bust? By searching through Pinterest, we found these uses—as a lampshade, dressed up and used as a headless nursery decoration, and as a prop if Mom ever wants to show her friends how uncomfortable she was in the last months of pregnancy. Famously, Daily Mail reminds us that Kourtney Kardashian had a mold of her pregnant form made when she was expecting Penelope. Wonder what she did with the finished product? While having memories of carrying baby in the womb is truly special, we think pictures do a fine job of it.