Here’s an idea for a gift for a soon-to-be-mom: a pregnancy silhouette. Each month, trace mom’s growing silhouette, and when baby’s born, you’ll have a month-by-month growth chart of both baby and mom.
Creating a pregnancy silhouette of mom is a unique way to chart the course of her pregnancy, and the growth of the baby. It’s easy to do, and can be a great gift after baby has arrived and his or her growth is being charted in other ways.
Things you’ll need to create a silhouette are:
Large sheet of light-colored paper (large enough to capture the silhouette of mom from neck to bottom of her belly)
Light source (strong enough to throw a clear shadow, and big enough to get all you need of mom’s body)
Marker (a Sharpie is about the right size)
It’s best for mom to wear the same clothes, or same type of clothes, and same shoes–or no shoes–for each measuring day, preferably a loose shirt that can be pulled tight. Plain is best, because bows, ribbons, etc. add shapes that can be hard to ignore when tracing the shape.
Pick a day of the week to do the tracing, and then do it every 4th week on that day thereafter. That way each silhouette is four weeks apart, and you’ll get a more accurate chart of baby’s growth.
The first thing you need to do to make a silhouette is to find a wall or a door where you can attach the paper and leave it for the duration of the pregnancy. It’s best to leave the paper in place so that you are always tracing your new silhouette from the same starting point.
Put your paper on the wall, and turn on the light source, with mom in between. Make sure her shadow from the neck/chest area to below her belly fits on the paper. Position mom as close to the left edge of the paper as possible, so that as her stomach grows, there’s room to trace the silhouette.
Leave room at the bottom of the paper so that you can write baby’s name, birth date and measurements. When you’ve got the paper where you want, attach it to the wall so that it won’t be moved.
Before mom moves, mark her spot as well, either with a piece of tape on the floor, or by taking measurements, so that she can stand in the same spot each month. This will ensure that the changes you are marking are from actual baby growth, and not a repositioned model.
When you’re ready to start, put mom in front of the light, and trace her silhouette on the paper, starting around the neck area, and ending underneath her belly. Have her pull her shirt tight around her stomach, so that you can trace underneath.
Then have mom write the date, and the number of weeks (or months) pregnant inside the drawing. The round part of the belly is best to write in as this will be the part of the image that changes, leaving room for the writing.
Each month repeat the process, tracing the silhouette, and writing the date and weeks pregnant. It may take a few tries to get mom in the right position; you’ll need to line her new silhouette up with her old one at the neck/chest area before you start tracing her new shape. Again, this will ensure that you’re recording actual baby growth.
The silhouette ends when mom gives birth, and it can then be taken down and framed, or saved for posterity.