Having a baby is both difficult and rewarding: recovering from labor can be extremely difficult; adjusting to a newborn's schedule seems nearly impossible; and I'm the first to admit that cleaning up from blow outs and constantly trimming microscopic fingernails isn't the funnest. However, experiencing the joy of a baby sure outweighs the negative aspects. After having my son, I realized just how quickly the baby stage zooms by. In the blink of an eye, he outgrew his newborn clothes. Then seemingly overnight he was sitting up, and soon after that he was in size 3 diapers and no longer much of a baby at all. I'm now going through the same thing with my daughter. She's growing so fast, and I'm really trying to cherish the moments I have with her.

On my blog I wrote a post 19 Must-Make Memories for Parents of Toddlers. I want to add a prequel to that post and write about 21 Must-Cherish Memories for Parents of Babies.

1. The day he was born

The moments starting when you went into labor and ending in the instant you first laid eyes on your baby comprise a unique and special experience to be cherished forever.

2. Her teeny-tiny-ness

Her tiny perfect finger and toenails are fascinating. Or how about her eyelashes? Can you believe something so perfectly tiny is yours?

3. Sleeping in your arms, on your chest, or right next to you

I love to hold my daughter and watch as she sleeps.

4. His toothless grins

When did having no teeth ever look so cute?

5. Darling tiny sneezes

I don't know why babies sneeze so much, but it sure is endearing.

6. When she starts to recognize you

I love it when, in a crowded room, my baby turns her head and eyes to me. A month and a half after giving birth to my son, I had to have an emergency surgery. I couldn't carry him for a week. One day he was screaming and crying until my mom laid him next to me. He immediately calmed down, cuddled up and fell asleep. I feel so privileged to be my baby's favorite person in the world.

7. The innocence

I think babies have invisible crowns on their heads. Their perfect innocence is incredible to observe.

8. Dressing her up

Playing 'doll' has never been so fun. You get to pick out darling clothes and dress her up. Although it can be a bit tricky at times (bobbling head and all), I sure have fun dressing them and showing them off.

9. How easy he is to move around

Picking up a 15 pound baby and moving him around from place to place is easy. Once he starts getting into the high 20's and 30's, it's a bit more strenuous. Cherish the 'light-weight' stage.

10. His immobility

Yes, this is something to cherish. If this isn't your first, you know what I mean. When he starts crawling, the stress factor goes up a notch. Right now you can enjoy your baby without worrying about baby-proofing everything in sight.

11. Kisses

Although she can't kiss back, I love to kiss those chubby checks, squishy hands and toes, and soft face.

12. Her squishy chubby thighs

When Aurora (my daughter) hit 2 months, her thighs and arms became so chubby. I love squeezing her little fat rolls.

13. The simplicity of her diet

Toddlers know what they want to eat (and what they will refuse). I love having a baby because they are easy to nourish; being able to just feed her milk is less stressful.

14. Babies have such amazing facial expressions, even when little

I love to see their smiles, frowns, confused looks, and the like.

15. The ability to have the baby fall asleep anywhere

With my 2 1/2 year old, we are at the stage of the game where he needs to be in a bed for nap time (if we have any hope for him taking a decently restful nap). Babies fall asleep in your arms, in the car seat, in the carrier, the wrap, the restaurant, you name it. If they are fed and tired, they'll sleep anywhere.

16. How friendly and happy everyone around you is when you have a baby

Having a baby seems to make people overly nice, happy and kind. At church, the grocery store, a blog conference, etc.-anywhere I go with my baby, people are always so friendly, smiley, and attentive. Somehow babies have a special power to bring the best out of those around.

17. Baby chattering

Nothing is so cute as when your baby looks you in the eyes and tries to talk. his little chattering noises are music to the ears.

18. The softness of her skin and hair is just so cute

19. Cherish the 'free-pass' you get on looking should I say, 'not the best.'

It is no secret that new moms don't get much sleep, and for the majority of us it does take awhile to get back into our pre-preggo jeans. I try to cherish that 'free-pass' and even slack a bit on putting on make-up and curling my hair " but it usually is because I'm busy enjoying the baby cuddles.

20. Sibling love, if applicable

One of my most favorite things about having a baby is to see her older brother adore her. He is always saying, "babee cute, babee hug, babee hold, babee sleep." I can't get over the joy I feel when I see my children bonding.

21. Finding out what makes them unique

My son was so observant and would love to suck on his binky while looking around. My daughter is totally different. She won't take a binky and has to be held. Loud noises scare her. No noise seemed to startle my son. And he was always blowing raspberries, which made us laugh. My daughter smiles huge each time she sees me and has the most gentle constitution. Their unique characteristics are so darling and endearing.

These are the things about my babies that I will do my best to cherish forever.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on Anita Fowler's blog, Live Like You Are Rich. It has been republished here with permission.

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