Nowadays, more and more of us are on the look out for unique gifts to give to a parent when a new baby arrives on the scene. The market for personalised clothing, pictures, story books, blankets etc. is at an all time boom. But one thing that has never gone out of fashion, even with all the technology on the market – are baby keepsake books.
As a mum to three daughters (and another baby on the way!) I loved these little memory books – almost religiously I would fill in all the important dates – the time they were born; their first haircut; taking their first steps; their first birthday. I would put photos, letters, hospital bands, their first tooth inside – every moment precious to me, a new mom.
Admittedly however (and I hate saying this!) the book which got the most attention – was that for my first born!
With all the best intentions in the world to keep my second and third children’s booklets filled in and up to date, the reality was, the amount of time I had to devote to filling in memory books dwindled as time went by. I instead devoted this time to my girls needs. This seemed more important to me than filling in a book! My priorities had changed.
But I’ll tell you a little story that may resonate with other parents…
I had thought I had got away with not completing all of their books until one day my youngest, who had just turned 10, said she was doing a project in school about her baby years. I started panicking – her baby book was nowhere near as full as my eldest or second daughters – immediately the guilt kicked in. So before she got her hands into our memory drawer, I quickly started adding random dates and pulling photos from albums to put into her book. I even used different colour pens on the pages so it would look “real”.
Thankfully, my little white lie and fast thinking worked and the crisis was diverted – that was until my middle child decided to go look at her own book and I had to go through the whole process again. The joys of parent hood!
Now, I don’t think I’m the only one out there who has experienced this – and if I am, slap on the wrist for me – but I’m sure this is a reality for many. With all the want in the world to capture precious milestones, life gets busy: sleepless nights, school runs, housework, jobs, bills to be paid, homework and play-dates, to name but a few – a memory book is the last thing on our minds; never mind printing off all the photos stored on our smart phones! And truthfully, the books were mainly geared up to about five years of age so as they got older, I simply forgot about them.
But this is the thing – I learned the hard way how keeping track of a child’s milestones is actually very important.
No parent ever thinks that their child could become sick – and nor should they – but when it does happen, that’s when we realise real life health records are needed. It didn’t even take a serious illness for me to realise this. I recalled how a simple trip to the emergency department threw me off and made me think: “I wish I wrote that down somewhere”.
Taking my first born as an example, at the age of seven, in 2009, she presented to hospital with a rash, vomiting and high temperature.
Upon arrival, I was asked questions like:
“Did she have a normal delivery/what weight was she at birth?”
“When did she crawl/eat/walk/talk?”
“Did she have all her vaccinations?”
“What operations, accidents or illnesses has she had?”
“Did she ever have chicken pox or measles?”
“When did you last give her paracetamol?”
With one child – this may be easy to remember – but add a few more to the mix and things can get quite blurred. Add the worry of having a sick child along with the tiredness of being up all night, and this makes things even more confusing.
And the thing is, these are questions are asked by most paediatricians, even for the most minor of illnesses and viruses.
Then came the next round of questions:
“Is there a family history of a, b or c?”
“Have your other children a history of…?”
“Have all your other children had up to date vaccinations?”
“Have you travelled abroad or visited other hospitals in the last two years?”
The list went on and on. I had no clue if I was giving the right information or the right dates for the right child – truthfully, and guiltily – I was winging it. Thankfully though, my daughter ended up being discharged, diagnosed with a 24 hour virus and she got much better over the next few days.
But the experience of feeling like a mom who didn’t remember her children’s medical history stayed with me.
Wouldn’t it have been fantastic to have had a proper medical history book that could not only capture memories of milestones, but also of important health history? Especially in an emergency situation.
And that is what MediStori is.
MediStori is a modern and personal memory book where you can add sentimental photos, important milestones and memories of you or your loved one – while also tracking important medical history too. Parents can also store details about the pregnancy and other family’s history, and there’s even space inside to write a little letter to your newborn.
Over 50% of our customers buy MediStori as a gift for a new baby – many of these customers are actually grandparents. They often tell us how they wish they had kept a log of their own children’s health history, but hadn’t, which is why they were buying MediStori for their grandchildren.
MediStori is not something that should be stored away in a memory drawer for taking out at birthdays or “school projects”. It is an all in one family organiser, allowing parents keep up to four separate booklets for each family member inside – it is a diary which can help parents be grateful that they “wrote that down somewhere”. There’s also storage wallets for hospital/GP letters and results, so if a parent doesn’t have time to fill in the book, they can leave the letters inside.
Over the years, many new parents told us: “I will definitely remember everything about my child” so a number of years ago we ran an interesting focus group and asked new parents (children under one years of age) to sit alongside parents of teenagers (over 12 years of age).
We asked the new parents if they knew when their child was vaccinated or when their next one was due. All of them were able to answer almost immediately. We then asked the same question to parents of teenagers – 92% of them had difficulty remembering if their child was fully vaccinated and weren’t sure if their child was due any more in the future. This statistic stayed more or less the same as we asked questions about childhood illnesses, such as chicken pox or measles. One parent told us that her oldest child was travelling to the USA for college and they were required to have a full history of vaccinations, illnesses and accidents – the poor mom was at her wits end trying to pull all the information together. She had pulled out her baby memory book for him, which had helped her somewhat put the pieces together, but she made a statement which made many of the group laugh – she could hardly send her 19 year old to the USA with a blue ribboned baby book full of photos and first haircuts!
Another mom told us how when she was pregnant she was asked questions regarding family history of preclampsia and gestational diabetes, but her mom had past away when she was young so she didn’t have any of this information to hand.
This really opened eyes for the new parents in the room, and most of them started thinking differently about how they logged information about their child, and their family. It also opened the eyes for the parents of teenagers – they had completely stopped tracking any information about them.
You see, unlike a newborn memory book, MediStori is not just for babies – it is a booklet for life – and can be started at any age: from teen years, right through to old age. It is not a “babyish” looking book either and doesn’t come with pink or blue ribbons – meaning that when the child grows up they won’t be embarrassed if they need to bring it with them to health appointments, such as was the case for the child going to the USA. But we know that photos and precious family memories are just as important as medical history, so that is why we incorporated these features inside it, with loads of space to add personal, non health related milestones and memories.
Much like a memory book too, MediStori can be handed down through generations.
I know many might think – we don’t need a health organiser – we’re not sick. “
We are often asked: “Will I be insensitive to a new parent giving them such a gift?”
No, not at all. As an expectant mom myself at present, I would definitely prefer the practical gift over the sentimental. And the good thing is, MediStori combines both. Many parents who have received theirs, love it.
Leonora O’Brien: Mum, Pharmacist and CEO of Pharmapod uses MediStori for her beautiful new baby girl Fódla.
Colleen Cahill (11) pictured here with her own decorated MediStori. Her Mum Rachael finds it very helpful in managing her health history.
You see, health is not about illness, it is about wellness. It is part of our every day lives and when we are going through good health, we rarely think about it. But it is the times when we are not feeling so good when we may need a helping hand to help get ourselves or our loved ones diagnosed or treated.
We may need a helping hand in gaining a little bit of control in worrying situations.
Time is everything when a child is sick and having important information to hand can be crucial.
And giving that gift to a new parent can be invaluable.
“Why not pass down more to our loved ones than just photo albums?”
To buy your own MediStori for yourself, or as a gift for a loved one click here to shop now
To see testimonials and endorsements about the MediStori click here