Baby Pictures

I don't know if this is because of tradition or impulse, but I've always wondered why parents take so many pictures of their children as newborns. I'm not saying this is a bad thing that is ripe for Seinfeld-like mockery, but looking through old family photo albums, I noticed that there are plenty of pictures of me and my sister as newborns/toddlers, but there are fewer pictures of us growing up. There are plenty of pictures of me in my crib, in the arms of friends and family and crawling around our house. There are also quite a few pictures of Susan and I growing up after that, but there aren't quite as many as when we were newborns/toddlers.

I am not a father and I am not an uncle, so I have no real first-hand experience with childbirth and all the things that come after it. I'm not opposed to having children myself, but I'm in no rush to have them. I love seeing pictures of newborns, but as I said, why are there so many in this opening stage? Is it because all the child can really do is lie down, nap and look cute, instead of being able to do things like storm out of a room and talk back? Is this trying to capture as much innocence as possible?

Looking at my cousin Karen's child grow up, I see quite a bit of development from such an early age. Karen's daughter is less than a year old but she's looking good with a full head of hair and a big smile. In the cases of Eric and Amy's newborn, Hailey, and Tom and Angela's newborn, Meg, I enjoy seeing the substantial progress from a few days old to a few months old. It's definitely a sight to see.

I do wonder, do the photo-snappings happen less when the child is aware that his/her picture is being taken? Is the roadblock of "Oh, mom"/"Oh, dad" grumbles that much of a deterrent? Jokingly, is this proof of a child's happiness when the child goes through the growing pains of adolescence so the parent can say, "What happened to my baby?"

Maybe I should just chalk this up as another "You have to experience it for yourself and then you'll understand" lesson. Since this experience won't be happening anytime soon and since I always seek more answers, I ask for them now.


Eric said…
I think that (especially for us) the newness hasn't worn off yet. We are both so enamored with our little girl that its almost like we need to pinch ourselves to remember she's real and ours. I also got a new camera over the summer so that could explain some of my eagerness. For the real proof, though, you should follow a few subjects for something like 15 years and see exactly how their cild picture taking habits change. Not.