WHEN DO I NEED IT? From birth.

WHAT IS IT? A book that records all your baby’s momentous milestones in words and pictures, as well as recording your own thoughts and feelings.

WHY DO I NEED IT? It’s a lovely memento of your pregnancy and your baby’s early days. Even though you swear you will never forget the minutae of daily life, like that exhilarating feeling of seeing your baby’s face for the first time or when she gave you her first brilliantly toothless smile, the memory of the specific details will fade as your exhausted brain tries to keep up. This is a wonderful way to keep all those magical moments alive forever.

FEATURES TO CONSIDER Choose a design that suits your own style, for example if you prefer to capture memories with images rather than words, choose a design with more space for visuals and fewer words (there’s nothing worse than a half-filled in baby memory book because you never got round to filling it in!).

You can opt for anything from a beautiful blank book that you choose to fill in when and how you like, to a structured baby book with all the questions set out for you to fill in

For the ultimate in heirloom luxury, the Deluxe Baby Record Book by Aspinal of London, has space to record milestone and memories, and can also be personalised with your baby’s name, birth date or a special message.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS? Memory books are usually set out chronologically, starting during pregnancy, with space for you and your partner to record special moments and attach photographs. Some also have special ‘pockets’ or pouches where you can keep mementoes, like a lock of your baby’s hair, or her hospital bracelet.

The Baby to Five book from Ryland Peters & Small has 144 pages and a place to record everything from the details of the arrival, each parent’s version of the birth, a space for the hospital tag, a list of the first visitors, leading news stories from the day of the birth, and even popular movies at the time. Plus it will take you all the way through to your baby’s fifth birthday!

Another lovely option is the Milestone Baby Cards, a gorgeously illustrated pack of 30 cards depicting the major milestones of your baby’s first year; when your baby hits one of the milestones, simply grab the appropriate card from the pack, write the date in the corner, prop the card up by your baby, and snap a photograph! You can write additional notes on the card and, voila, it is all captured in a magical moment.

Or, if you want to do it all your own way, you could opt for a gorgeous blank book – we think that the 365 Journal from Kikki.K is the perfect option, as there is a space for each day of your baby’s first year. While an entire blank page to fill in each day may seem daunting, the brilliant people at Kikki.K have also produced a series of sticker books that can be used to theme and decorate each page – so you can include your own photographs with pretty stickers to decorate and perhaps only a dozen words to sum up each day. A gorgeous way to make that first year a special one for both you and your child to remember…

SEE THE FULL ‘NEW BABY CHECKLIST’ FEATURE HERE for all those other baby essentials…