I’ve written posts about Pagan Baby Books before, over on Book of Mirrors, but those were before I was remotely pregnant. But like some Pagan parents I plan on raising my child(ren) in my faith and thus wanted a memory book that marked certain magikal milestones with certain themes and even had certain Witchy/Pagany information about said child.
As I’ve found, Pagan Themed Baby Books are few and far between, so the best way is to Do It Yourself! And why not? No one’s path is cookie cutter, and those books tend to generalize anyway. What some parents may want to remember, another won’t. Like I don’t particularly care to know the world news and world leaders, or fashion trends, around the time my kid was born, whereas another person might find that interesting to note.
I’m currently working on three baby books (one for child) trying to find a good method. Right now I’m working from a general, mundane Baby Book (from my son’s great grandma—which I’m actually surprised that it’s not a Christian themed book!). Yeah, I’m recording, but I’m also working on rough drafts for a Scrapbook and a Photobook from Shutterfly (given that Target gave me a $20 gift card and I love that site!).
In making your own Baby Book, ask yourself about the medium you wish to work in? Do you want a scrapbook, which you can either purchase one already put together from any craft store, or buy the binding and the pages separate. Most books you can add pages to anyway. Many craft stores, at least in the states, have a section for Scrapbooking, as it’s a popular medium to use. Sections which include 2D and 3D stickers, picture holders, stamps (I’m a stamp lover, personally), and other accessories. Crik It’s are awesome; you can make your own cut outs with it from what I’ve seen (one of my friends is a scrapbooker). Or you can get a stencil, some colorful cardstock/paper, or draw it yourself and make the cut outs yourself, or just grab some markers, crayons, inks, paint, and decorate the pages yourself.
Instead of buying a scrapbook binding, you can also just buy a binder, some pretty stationary, and plastic page protectors.
With any book, you can tape or glue in objects like cards, hospital hats and bracelets, and other documentation, other items of memory. And/Or you can just keep these things in a box, be it a decorative box or a tote!
Maybe that’s just doin too much and you’re more of a photo album person? That’s fine, too! Don’t forget to write dates, people, and other things of memory on the back of your photos!
Going the book method, now ask yourself what kind of information is important to you? Flip through baby books for ideas. Here’s some of the mundane:
· Title Page: Picture of Baby, Title, Date
· Letter to Child
· About Your Mom: Name, Birth date, Parentage, Sibling(s), Hometown, Education, Talents/Skills, Feeling on being a parent (picture of mom)
· Ditto with Dad (picture of dad)
· How Parents Met: First Date and Marriage/Handfasting
· Family Tree: From Baby to Siblings (if any) back to Great Great Grandparents (or however far back you want to go), on mom and dad’s side. Family Photos.
· Getting Ready/Preparing: Learned of Pregnancy, First People Told, How Did You Celebrate?, Original Due Date, First Ultrasound, First Heard Heartbeat, First Felt Movement, Favorite Foods, Least Favorite Foods, Favorite Part of Being Preggo, Least Favorite, Did You Gain or Lose Weight?, Research? Include photos of your journey, from the positive test to the ultrasound photo(s), weekly/monthly preggo pictures.
· Baby Shower: Hosts, Date, Location, Theme, Guests, Gifts, Invitations, Pictures
· It’s Time: Labor Pains Begin and End, Where Were You?, Hospital, Doctor, Parent’s Reactions, Who Was in Delivery With You?, Before Delivery Picture, Who Was in the Waiting Room?
· The Birthing Story (Pictures)
· Baby: Name, Birth date, Time, Length, Weight, Eyes, Hair, Blood Type, Godparents, Who You Looked Like, Reason Why Name Was Chosen, Other Names Considered, Nicknames, Other Observations?, Weather?, Pictures of Baby and Family, Birth Certificate, Hand and Foot Prints, Hospital bracelets, Other Keepsakes,
· Announcement: Newspaper Clipping or Screenshot (if done on Facebook, like us)
· Visitors and Gifts
· Coming Home: First Day Home, Weather?, Address, Baby’s Room, First Memorable Moments at Home. Pictures of Coming Home Outfit, House/Apartment, Baby’s Room.
· News of the Day: President, Leaders, Popular Entertainers, Top Songs, Top Movies, Sports, Best-Selling Books, Fashion Trends, Shared Birthdays. The Price of Gas, Bread Loaf, Diapers, movie ticket, stamp, cost of living, etc.
· Growth: Monthly measurements of weight and length/height.
· Doctor’s Visit? Name, Address, Check-ups, Vaccines, injuries, illness
· Dentist? Name, Address, First Tooth, Dates Teeth Came In On, Lost Teeth, Braces, Retainers, etc. Pictures.
· Other Firsts and Milestones: Smile, Roll, Steps, Word, Potty Time, etc.
· Child’s Favorites: Songs, Toys, Stories, Games, Clothes, Animals, Foods, etc.
· First Birthday
And the good stuff, the Witchy/Pagany ideas(depending largely on your tradition, beliefs, and what’s important to you):
· Element kid is born under? Some books have the Elements and their correspondences listed, including the Zodiac associated. Below, I think, is from a Scott Cunningham book:
o Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
o Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
o Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
o Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
· Depending on the Element discovered, you can plug in other details like Direction, Energy, What the Element Represents (Strength, Love, etc), Spirits, Time of Day, Cycle of Life, Season (season the element is associated with and/or what season your kid was born under), Colors, Senses, Stones, Metals, Herbs, Trees, Animals, Tools, Symbols (Rocks, landscapes, flame, river, etc).
· Sun Sign
· Moon Sign
· Ascendant Sign
· Spirit Animals/Guides/Guardians (if you think you know it; or perhaps the child’s favorite animal?)
· Moon Phase
· Lunar Month: Nature Spirits, Colors, Herbs, Flowers, Scents, Stones, Trees, Animals, Birds, Deities, Power Flow
· Celtic Tree
· Natal Chart
· Baby Blessing/Wiccaning/Paganing? Date, Who Performed It, Family/Friends/Covenmates Present, Gifts & Cards, Story, Other Observations and Notes? Pictures!
· Magik or Rituals: Any magik or rituals held during pregnancy or child’s growth, specifically for your child, such as Protection Against Miscarriage, Safe Delivery, Protection as they grow, Charms/Talismans/Amulets created, etc.
· First Sabbat/Holiday/Circle: Date, Reason, Moon Phase, Chants/Music, People Taking part in Ritual, Memorable Moments
· Child’s First Altar: Baby’s Altar (if had one), pictures of the child’s altar throughout the years.
· First Tools: Handmade, Found, Bought, or Gifted
· Child’s First Spellbook/Book of Shadows (whatever it may be called): Pictures and additional information
· Childhood Deities: Any Deities/Spirits/Creatures they feel a special connection to?
· First Spirit/Ghost/Paranormal Encounter?
· Child’s Intiation
· Any Other Observations? Witchy/Pagany Behaviors like making “potions or spells”, riding a broomstick, learning about nature or magik, etc. Perhaps messages from your Deities/Guides/Spirits related to your kid that you’d like to share?
Remember your first days or years of being a Witch or Pagan; what were some important events? Relate this to your growing Witchling/Pagan.
Maybe you’ll want to include other things, too, like (if Wiccan) the Charge or the Three Fold Law? Maybe a prayer, spell of protection/love/growth? Pictures of your deities or other parenting deities? Runes? Or other images or symbols you feel would be a great addition to the baby book? Perhaps infuse it with love and/or protection? Blessings? Maybe included a page telling your child about your path/tradition at that particular time (could be included in your Letter to Child).
Get creative and think outside of the box. This is a book for your child; what memories do you want to keep for them? Do you want to tell them a little about your beliefs? About your hopes and dreams for them?
In addition to a Baby Book, you can also start keeping a starter Prayer/Ritual Book or Spellbook for them, ideas that I’ll be going over at a later time.