Sweet baby tradition of letters to children featured in Letters to Scarlett on the Southern Momdays blog“To my Scarlett,” the title page reads, just inside the front cover of the journal.

“Momma loves you.”

I’d purchased a package of three journals while I was still pregnant with Scarlett in 2016, with the grand idea of writing to her regularly after she was born. Part of me naturally gravitated towards this idea. But, when my mom handed me the letter she wrote to me when I was a newborn back in the 80s, I realized that I wasn’t some creative maverick of a new mom; I was merely carrying on a tradition.

So, I planned on writing weekly or monthly at the least. But then…postpartum life was a lot harder than I ever imagined. I didn’t write to Scarlett for the first time until she was at least a month old.

“Dear Scarlett,” that first entry began. “I really have no idea what I’m doing…”

What followed was a brief recounting of her birth: unexpected plan changes, unanticipated c-section, jarring intro to baby life, isolation and desperation, and on and on. I realize looking back that the desperate determination in my writing is so important, even though it’s not as eloquent as I’d wish it to be. When she’s a new mom, I’m hoping she’ll feel a connection to me when I was her age because of it. I’m hoping she won’t feel so alone or scared like I did. (I was so terrified!)

Her current journal says “Chapter 1” on the front. (The pack continues with Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.) I’ve honestly only written to her every 3-6 months since that first entry, but I’m hoping to get better at sticking to a timeline soon.



I imagine I’ll have a lot to say as she grows up…

Like, after we have a big fight when she’s a preteen and just doesn’t understand (but will one day).
Or after she gets mad because I set boundaries for her as a teen (but she won’t believe I had her best interests at heart until she’s older).
And after we have one of thousands of heartwarming moments together that we’ll both cherish for a lifetime, and I’ll not want her to forget a detail.
Or like my dreams and hopes and fears for her as she gets older and leaves the safety of my arms…

My mom’s letter to me is such a precious possession. I imagine whole journals of love-filled letters will be even more lovely for my daughters.

Here’s how I plan to make this more of a tradition moving forward with Scarlett and with my new little lady, arriving early this November.

  1. Get a lovely, acid-free journal and acid-free set of pens that’ll stand the test of time.

Making sure it’s acid-free ensures that it’s archival quality – meaning, the ink won’t run, and the pages won’t disintegrate for many, many years. In other words, it’ll look great for a long time!



  1. Set a calendar reminder to write!

Life gets busy. Setting a calendar reminder is so key! I obviously haven’t until lately, and I plan to keep it up. Otherwise, I’ll only write to her once a year at this rate – eek!

I use Google Calendar Reminders for this, in case you’re wondering!

  1. Keep a list in my phone of things I want to say throughout each month but don’t have the time to write down in a sweet letter at the time.

I think of little things I want to tell Scarlett all the time, but by the time I finally sit down to write to her, I draw a complete blank! A list will keep me organized with fun writing prompts.

My two favorite list apps right now are Trello and Google Keep.



  1. Don’t feel pressured to write if there’s nothing to say.

For real…otherwise, the letter will be a rambling collection of not-so-important details, taking up space in the journal and time. I want to keep things interesting for my daughters and me!

  1. Hold on to little mementos and tape them inside with entries.

I don’t like to do this with big items because it breaks the binding on the journal, but with paper items and flat things, absolutely. Like, for instance, the four-leaf clover I found in my parents’ yard before we announced we were carrying my second daughter. I took it as a good-luck sign for my unborn baby, and I’m excited to add it to her first journal entry!


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Sweet baby tradition of letters to children featured in Letters to Scarlett on the Southern Momdays blog


If letters to children sounds like a baby tradition you’d like to start for your littles, it’s never too late or too early.

Much like everything else, it just requires you starting! I hope you’ll join me.

What traditions have you started for your babies? Do share in the comments below!

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