Emails to My Daughter: A Writer’s Take on the Baby Book


My two-year-old daughter had a Gmail account before she had even been assigned a Social Security number. A few months after she was born, once the postpartum haze had lifted a bit and I could remember my name on the first try, I started sending her stories and updates on her growth. 

I’m just not the baby book type of mom. Crafting is not my specialty (nor is making time for boring projects). And furthermore, traditional baby books don’t capture the truly important details, in my opinion. In twenty years, I really doubt my daughter will be super curious about the exact date she received her first tooth. I wanted a way to preserve precious memories in a format that makes sense to me. 

I email her general updates:

Life advice:

To relay milestones:

And even just to share funny moments I never want to forget:

These emails feel like snapshots in time. They capture the spirit of a beautiful memory for me: those in-the-moment pangs of beauty and love that you can only hold for a moment. I take a few minutes to jot down a funny story, send a few photos, or tell my daughter of a time I learned a lesson the hard way. I have already re-read the emails from her first year, and they often bring tears to my eyes. This feels like a natural and more organic way to preserve our family’s memories than a chore I would dread. And the best way to preserve memories is the thing you will actually DO.

We plan to give our daughter the password to this account on her thirteenth birthday, so I try to keep that maturity level in mind when writing the emails. My heart swells to think of her opening her inbox to 13 years worth of memories and love.

How does your family preserve memories?


  1. I’ve been doing this for my grandson?
    Nobody else know yet. I try to keep in chronological order but sometime I’ve gone back and filled in.

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