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Sentimental Keepsakes for Babies First Year

I just might be sentimental to a fault, but it’s just part of who I am. I love to document everything, keep items that are meaningful, and do so in the most organized way possible.

Compulsive organizing might be a fault of mine too. I may need to see a therapist.

Looking back over the girls’ first year, I’m SO glad I took the time each week to take their pictures in the orange chair. I still love to go back and flip through them to see how much they changed in such a short time.

I had them printed and put in little albums, one for each girl.

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I may have gotten my sentimentality from my mother, because she kept boxes and boxes of my (and my 6 siblings’) clothes from our childhood, bless her heart. And I LOVE that she did that. A few months ago, at my sister-in-law’s baby shower, my mom gave Carrie two tiny outfits from my brother Tim’s babyhood (Carrie’s baby daddy and husband), neatly in ziplock bags… and complete with a very vintage photo of Tim wearing that specific outfit 20-some years ago.

Now, because the girls ‘share clothing’ (at least for now), it made me a little sad that… someday I won’t have a box of baby clothing to hand down to each of them, nostalgia and all. And that’s when I decided to steal my Mama’s idea.

After printing two more sets of their weekly pictures, I separated out all the outfits that they wore for these shoots. (If I’d stolen this idea much earlier, I would have just put these outfits aside when they grew out of them so I wouldn’t have to dig for them).

I made piles, and put the photos with their corresponding outfits. 50 outfits for each girl! (yes, I know there’s 52 weeks in a year, but since the girls were in the NICU for a few weeks, we didn’t get started until they were 3 weeks old).

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I picked up some cheap-o generic ziploc bags, got comfortable, turned on some Christmas music, and got busy!

Would you look at these tiny little sleepers? Ugh… makes my heart ache.


I started by laying out each outfit in a way that would be the most flat, and fill the ziplock the most evenly. Does that make sense?


With the corresponding photo, I slid the outfit into the bag.


Here’s where things get real sophisticated… using my feet, I squished all the air out and zipped ‘er up!

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I was surprised by how well this worked. It was almost like they were vacuum sealed!



I mean, this is a stack of 7 outfits. Crazy compact, no?


Then I just stacked them into each girls’ box, in order of month!


I know sometimes blog posts tend to make things seem easier than they really are, and sometimes the really ARE very easy!  But this process of folding/bagging outfits (though very simple) TOOK FOREVER if I’m being honest with myself and you… which I always am! The whole time I was doing this, I kept thinking to myself am I a little CRAZY? And then I would think this is such a GREAT IDEA! It was like I had two little guys on each shoulder saying conflicting things!

I’m ok with being a little crazy. Because it was SO worth it. I could just stare at this sentimental-organization all day.

Sentimental Keepsakes for Baby's First Year {Sawdust and Embryos}

And now each of the twins will have her own box of baby clothes (complete with photos and memories) to reminisce over someday, and possibly pass onto their daughters! This brings me immeasurable joy!

And believe it or not, after pulling out these 100 outfits, I still have PLENTY of clothing stashed away for a possible future baby girl (or two?). We had so many generous people give us clothing (both new and hand-me-downs) that we definitely weren’t hurting for baby clothing that first year!

UPDATE! A reader made a good point that it’s important not to store anything of value in cardboard boxes. I’m planning to pick up some totes next time I’m in town, I just needed to first find out what dimensions I would need! The last thing we need is little critters chewing away at our cherished memories! (thanks Susan!)

Do you have special memorable outfits from your little tyke’s childhood that you are saving for him/her? Or do you save ALL their clothing? Or are you able to purge, and pass along or donate your kids clothing? Do you think I’m a little neurotic? It’s ok to be honest. blank-001

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  • Nicole Goodwin

    WOW! THAT IS UBER ORGANIZED! I Love it though!! Micah said, that was a lot of baby clothes. I’m amazed at the quantity, 100!! Wow. Nice job! Are you going to continue to save little outfits?

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Yes, but not NEARLY as many. :) Maybe just one or two from each size

  • Meagan B.

    You are good. Too good. I am totally jealous. I don’t do anything close to this awesome. The best I can manage is taking my girlies for monthly pictures at a portrait studio and snap as many pics as I can on my phone and camera (when I can find it). I didn’t even finish my pregnancy and birth journal… It’s still got blank pages and is stuffed with all of our hospital bracelets and stuff. I have a small box of sentimental clothing of the babes that I have kept, the rest has either been given away to friends and family or is set to be sold at consignment (could totally use the extra cash).

    It’s not that I am super sad that I am not the crafty/organized mommy that does all these ingenius things, that’s just not me… But I am terrified that I will forget just how tiny they were, the changes in their appearance and personalities, milestone moments and even just everyday precious moments that I want to remember forever so I can tell them about it.

    My simple answer to this problem is to write something on my wall calendar (free from Avon this year :/ ) each day so I can have some sort of record of goings-on. Somday I can get these out and reminisce and perhaps give them to the girls later on. Ah well. Such is life. I do what I can. :)

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      I do the same thing! Only instead of a Calendar, I just use a notepad and write the date next to the notable ‘event’.

      And DON’T feel bad about sell/donating baby clothes! There’s DEFINITELY no right or wrong way to do these things! Having the good-sense to remember to take as many photos as possible while they’re young is the most important thing BY FAR in my humble opinion!

      Oh, and the girls’ baby books are half-filled-out. Another project for another day! :)

  • Nikita

    I saved all my daughters outfits.. I got rid of a few, ones that were really worn through from crawling or play play clothes but for the most part, new born socks, her sweet little sleepers, going out outfits.. I kept everything looking new so.. I can pass it down to her when she has her own..I only would that I can stuff her into them now to take pics as I didnt get pics of her in quite a bit of the outfits.

  • Anonymous

    Such a sweet Idea! I have both of my girls “going home” outfits hanging on their walls in their rooms but I never thought about doing this. Even if not 50 at least a handful of the good ones and putting a picture with it is the best!

  • Mom

    You always did like to organize things. One of your favorite jobs as a little girl was to straighten out the bathroom drawer that held combs, hair thingies, miscellaneous tubes of stuff, etc. Everything had its own special place.

    • Suzanne Martin

      I just need to tell you that you raised a fabulous daughter, mother and wife! WOW. And this idea of yours now passed on as a special tradition to both families. Having lots of admiration for both of you. I only kept my boys’ christening outfits and swapped all the others at POMBA meets as there were lots of poor families with twin boys in the group. Mind you I got lots of stuff in return.

  • Anonymous

    I wish I had a time machine to travel back (almost) eight years ago and do this. Over the past years I’ve come across so many wonderful ideas I wish I’d had when my daughter was tiny. I hope she isn’t jealous if I do them with other children I might end up with … I just wasn’t prepared. What a great thing to pass on to your little girls!

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      I know there’ll be things wish *I* had thought of down the road from now too! You just have to roll with it! Having pictures is the most important thing.

      And remember, WHO KNOWS if your kids will even be the sentimental ‘types’! My girls might grow up and be like… ‘Mom, why did you keep all these old ugly outfits?’ HA! And that will be ok too. I can’t expect them to be mini-me’s!

  • tony &marissa

    this is a great idea! i am very sentimental and would love to do something like this for my kids (when the eventually come… they must have my stubborn genes!! haha)

  • MrsTerri

    I saved a couple of outfits for each of my kids…didn’t think of the ziploc bag and photo…what a good idea!! Makes me wonder if you should print the blog page, too. You had such cool things to say. When they’re older, they’ll get to know the young woman you are!!

  • SandyQuilts

    You might consider taking some of the clothes and make or have someone make quilts for the girls. They make the cutest quilts or even 2 wall hangings.

  • byLGD Glass Jewelry

    oh bethany. this is lovely. simply lovely. your girls will love having these when they’re older someday. great job!

  • Susan

    I saved everything I made/sewed/knitted for my twins. I love that I have that stuff now-and had I had digital photography available back in 1985 I would have taken pix of them in the outfits, too! Love that idea.

    I also kept a journal for each kid with funny stuff they said/did ( you will NOT remember everything by the time they are. say thirteen)as well as baby books and school books.

    I also made sure I kept their all time FAVE toys-Brio trains, Lego people, an American Girl’s doll/clothes…and I collected Night Before Christmas books every year, so I have a bunch of those.

    My two are 26 now-so when I get to be a Grammie, I’ll be set!

    PS-I would NOT store your stuff in cardboard boxes. Varmints of all kinds can get into those, and even though you have zip locks, I’d get either plastic storage boxes or use space bags-well worth the $$$ to keep your precious girl memories intact.

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Susan! You are VERY on-the-ball! I love that you’re a fellow twin-mommy, and have a similar sentimental urge! :)

      And I love your idea of saving their favorite toys.

      Also… GOOD POINT about the cardboard boxes! I’m planning to get some plastic totes, but wanted to wait to see what dimensions I would need. I probably should update the post to include that little important tidbit. You make a very valid (and timely!) point about rodents… we’re having a bit of a mouse-sitch in our kitchen as we speak. YUCK!

  • Anonymous

    GREAT idea, Beth! I might have to steal it 😉

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Cryst… SEVERAL of those outfits in those baggies are handed down from YOUR sweet girls! THANK you for helping contribute to our memories… and clothing my family! HA!

  • Mel O’Drama

    My mom saved TONS of my stuff from my childhood and when she just moved and gave it all to me, I gave it away. I am not sentimental at all, but she keeps everything. It was nice to see it, but to me it’s just taking up space.

  • Jen

    My husband is very sentimental as well and he saved tons of his kids’ (my step-kids) clothes and their hospital bracelets. Even the cast from when his daughter broke her arm when she was 5! It’s so tiny! And his son’s first pair of tiny cowboy boots and little Levi jacket. It’s adorable and I can’t wait to be a grammy and pass those things back to them.

  • valerie

    Love this idea. Ive been going thru my sons clothes (he is 4 now) from when he was a baby until now. I was having a hard time deciding which ones to keep amd came across your blog. In the past I always liked the idea of making quilt with hem but to me that seems like such a waste of clothes that other kids can use plus I dont know that I would ever get around to doing it. I do t think he has one outfit that he did not get his picture taken in so this idea is great. Not keepig quite as many as you lolbbut the outfits that I loved on him I will be doing this for.