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Bet you’ve never thought of the words “baby” and “bucket list” in the same sentence, but think about it for a second. If you’re familiar with what a reverse bucket list is—and if not, see my resource page on this—aren’t baby’s firsts really just a reverse bucket list? Yes, there are certain milestones we all reach, so those aren’t really “goals” baby is achieving, but not every baby gets to travel out of the country to visit family, right? And not every child gets to tag along on a day trip to see ice castles, do they? Those are certainly nontraditional firsts worth tracking. These moments are the beginning of your baby’s reverse bucket list!
Building Baby’s Reverse Bucket List
Think of how EVERYONE nowadays are glued to their internet devices. Whether it is a laptop, tablet or phone, we are all connected one way or another, so why hang onto the idea that a photo album (or even a photo book) would be a good way to preserve your child’s reverse bucket list?
There are a number of phone apps out there that help you track major firsts for your baby, but I am a bit of a control freak; I want things to look a certain way and be organized how I like, and apps do not always provide that type of flexibility. Building a page to keep track of my baby’s firsts was the only way I felt as though I had full creative and organizational control. This is where WordPress.com came in handy.
Whether you’re a novice with tech or someone who is smarter than your average bear, WordPress.com has its advantages for building your child’s reverse bucket list.
It’s Pretty Intuitive… And Free! (Unless You Want Upgrades)
I wasn’t looking to build an extravagant website with menus and pages upon pages of information. Something simple where I could put up a post for every milestone and organize it by post category was what worked for me. I also wanted it to be in reverse chronological order, which blogs generally are, so I started a WordPress.com account and picked a theme that worked for what I wanted. DID I MENTION IT CAN BE FREE? As long as you do not want customization upgrades, WordPress would not cost you a cent.
There are hundreds of themes to pick from on WordPress.com. Again, creative control was important to me in this process and I certainly got that. I browsed the free themes, but there are a range of premium themes that are really beautiful.
Here a few free themes I felt worked best for what I was trying to accomplish:
- Dyad 2 – I decided on this template at the time because I wanted some visible text next to the photos I was collecting of my baby’s firsts. I am a bit scatterbrained and forgetful, so having journal entries with each photo helps remind me of all her special moments.
- Cubic, Pictorico or Sketch – If I had to rebuild my daughter’s site again, I would likely use one of these themes. I like the grid layout, but more importantly, I like that the main focus of the theme is photos. You can click the photos to then go to a journal entry, which to me feels cleaner. Next time!
Like I mentioned, I creative control was top of my list. All WordPress.com themes can be customized to a certain extent; if you’d like to customize further, you may end up paying for it. If you’re anything like me, the fee isn’t too much of a bother for the extra creative control, but it’s still a cost. Pricing for the
Costs for Specialized Domain Name
Sites on WordPress come with a standard domain name (e.g. example.wordpress.com), but again, if you’re willing to put a bit of money towards it, you can purchase your personalized domain name (e.g. www.babysname.com) for $18. Or, if you’re really willing to commit, you can purchase a personal or premium plan that will cost you either $4/month or $8/month, billed yearly.
Not feeling like you want to open the internet up to your baby’s reverse bucket list? Neither was I, so it was crucial I find a way to password protect the blog and control who was viewing my precious baby’s firsts. With WordPress.com, you have the option to make your blog “private” and require prospective visitors to enter a password before being allowed access. You cannot always share access with others to an app, so being able to share the blog and have it be protected was a plus for me.
If You REALLY Need a Photobook of Baby’s Firsts…
I am not a huge fan of the photobook idea, but if grandma is twisting your arm, you might as well go with a site that is going to make your life easier. Shutterfly is easy to use and pretty self-explanatory in regards to building your book. If for some reason you run into a hiccup, they offer a service where they will build the photobook for you. Talk about service! As I mentioned, it is pretty easy to upload your photos and pick a pre-set theme for your photobook. Shutterfly will try to sell you every add-on under the sun before checkout, but even at its bare bones, their photobooks are a quality product. I made one for my wedding that hangs out in my living room.
Jazz Up Baby’s Photos
OMG, I was obsessed with the Baby Pics app when my daughter was first born. So many fun stickers and illustrations to make your photos fun and eye-catching… And FREE (unless you want to unlock certain sticker sets)! Here are a few of my favorite creations with the Baby Pics app:
The app makes it easy to share your photos on social media, but there is also the option to order prints of your baby’s firsts, which is a nice option if grandma and grandpa are not tech savvy.
There are likely tons of ways to track baby’s firsts in this day and age, but WordPress has been my favorite by far. The creative control allows control freaks like me the ability to customize as much as you want, depending on how much you want to spend on preserving your child’s memories. Shutterfly is also a favorite for when you are in need of a creative gift for grandma and gramps.
Learn more about why you should have a reverse bucket list and where you should keep your bucket list.