Third Trimester

Digital Nesting: A New Parent's Guide to Memory Management

April 10, 2024

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Nesting is an important right of passage for expecting parents. We talk to Certified Professional Photo Organizer and Co-Founder of Mae Nichole Healy about digital nesting and a better way to manage our memories.

What is Nesting?

Expecting parents prepare for a new baby’s arrival in many important ways. Most notably, they thoughtfully design the nursery, pick out a cute collection of newborn onesies and perhaps purchase what will quickly become their new favorite piece of furniture - the rocker!

Nesting usually happens in the build up to the new baby's arrival.

How about Digital Nesting?

Nesting is an important right of passage for expecting parents, but I’m here to propose we think about an often overlooked kind of nesting. I call it “Digital Nesting.” Universally, parents experience an inevitable (and exponential!) uptick in their photo-taking when the babies come along. In fact, parents produce on average 3,000 photos and videos per year. During a new baby’s first year, it’s nearly five times that amount!

How to Get Started with Digital Nesting

Taking steps to prepare for this means parents experience less stress and worry around the safety of their precious memories and less guilt because they are more likely to actually do something with them!

Implement a Family Memory Plan

Implementing a plan means first deciding who the Memory Manager will be in your household. This is the person responsible for managing the family memories. 

The plan will consist of 3 important decisions

  • Backup: Which cloud provider will the family use together to backup memories securely? 
  • Manage: How will you curate memories or manage them? 
  • Print: What physical products do you want in your home and how often? 

Now, let’s dive into some details to help you make those decisions.   

Don’t just Backup, Centralize

Backup is essential in the digital age. My current recommendation is Amazon Photos. There are a few reasons for this, but the most important is that you can easily share storage with your spouse or partner. This enables you to centralize ALL of your memories from the family unit. I guarantee you that your partner will have thousands of cute photos you will want and if they are locked down in their camera roll, access to them will be cumbersome. Having a centralized place where everything is backed up means you can curate your best moments from the entirety of the collection and streamline your management process - which I will cover next.. 

Curate in “Real Time”

Actively managing your memories means you are “curating in real time.”  This means you sort through your photos and videos and decide which are the best on a regular schedule you determine. This is important long-term because a cluttered collection of memories is a less meaningful collection of memories. If you don’t tackle it in real time, you’ll end up overwhelmed. 

First, decide on a cadence that works best for you. For simplicity's sake, I recommend choosing just 12 to 20 of your absolute favorite moments each month. Move them into an album labeled Baby’s First Year or Best of 2024, etc. Since you have shared access to all of the family’s photos in your backup provider, I recommend you do this curation here.

Why IRL is Magic

The final piece is deciding when and how you will print your memories. This is important because tangible memories are lasting memories. When our memories are stuck in the digital void, our stories go untold and we connect less to our memories and to each other. When your memories are tangible and accessible, you will experience the magic of family connection and storytelling your memories were meant for.  

Once your memories are curated, all you need to do is decide where you want to print them and what type of products you want in your home. I recommend for new parents just starting out, you first capture your baby’s first year in a customized baby book. For some great tips on how to do this, see this article. Beyond this important book, you might consider Family Yearbooks or a monthly print service where printed photos are delivered to your door for your family to enjoy together.  

You Can Do This!

Digital nesting will put you far ahead of the memory management process and get you started off on the right foot. Implement these tangible tips, and I promise you will love your memories more.

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