The time that you spend with your new little bundle of joy is some of the most amazing, challenging, and precious time that you get. It is also, however, some of the most fleeting time you will ever have. Before you know it, months have gone by, and your little one has changed faster than you thought possible. While each new month brings new things to enjoy about your little one, there is no escaping the feeling that you wish time would stand still.

Because of this, it is important to make the most of that first year. While there are certainly going to be unexpected ups and downs throughout this time, you should look to plan for a few things in advance so that you can capture the most precious moments so that you can look back on them for years to come. Such things will come in handy as the first year with your baby can often feel like a whirlwind.

If you are anticipating the arrival of your little one and are hoping to plan for a few things that will help you to preserve some of those precious memories, here are three things that you should plan to do before your baby’s first birthday.

1. Have a Family Photo Taken

The first year with your baby is no doubt going to be filled with plenty of photo opportunities. That being said, there will likely be very few chances for your family to take the time to get together for a nice family photo. Since your family has a new precious addition, you will surely want to plan a day when you can all take the time to have a nice photo taken.

Start by getting in touch with a family photography expert who can stage and take the perfect photo. While many families opt to wear coordinated outfits, you can certainly go with a more relaxed and mismatched look if that is what you want. Make sure that you plan things for late enough in the day so as to give yourself enough time to get everyone put together for the photo.

Not only will this photo be something that you will cherish for years to come, but it can also serve as the perfect gift for new grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

2. Get Your Baby’s Handprint

In those first months, the feeling that you get when your little one wraps their hand around your finger is going to be one of the things you cherish the most. However, their tiny hand won’t be that little for long. For this reason, it is a good idea to get your baby’s handprint preserved in some way within their first year.

There are many options for doing this. You can buy a stamp kit and take it yourself using baby-friendly ink, or you might want to have the handprint taken in something more substantial like clay or porcelain. Either way, you will end up with a beautiful keepsake that reminds you just how tiny and precious your little one’s hands were in the beginning.

3. Keep a Journal

Even though it can feel as though each day of your baby’s first year is a blur, there are still going to be the little things that you want to remember. While you might not have time to write a full record of every day, you can still keep a journal where you can document the moments you want to remember. There are some journals designed to let you write one or two lines for each day. These can make it easy for you to look back on those early days years down the line.