Not everyone knows or cares what a Pregnancy Journal is, and if you are like me, you didn’t even know it existed until someone mentioned it in conversation or found it while browsing the web. But when I leaned of them, it didn’t take long to decide that I wanted to have them to pass onto my children. But, I knew I didn’t have the time to create my own. And so began my own search!
While journals for this special time are amazing books you can some day gift your children, not all journals are created equal. Shocking, right? I’m not sure if it was pregnancy brain, or something else that originally made me think funding the perfect Journal would be as easy as 1, 2, 3, but it wasn’t… At least not for me. There were several questions I found I needed to ask myself to figure out what I was really looking for in a journal. Once I did, it helped, though some of these questions didn’t get answered until some time after purchase.
And so, friends, with this post, my goal is to help you get a feel for what’s out there, what to expect, what to look for…and hopefully, I can help you find the perfect Pregnancy Journal for you to pass on to your little ones.
Now, without further ado, here are the questions (according to me) that you should be asking yourself:
1. Do I want totally blank pages or a pre-prepared pages? If you are a writer, and know you’ll have the time to dedicate to journaling every step of the way for nine months, this will make your selection process the simplest of all. But if you know you need or want pre-prepared pages in the journal, your search may not be that easy.
2. Do I care more about cover appearance, content, or both? One of the things I felt was a roadblock for me in selecting a journal was the fact that some covered were girly in appearance, some boyish, and others gender neutral. But each seemed completely different from the next content wise. And since I was purchasing the journal prior to finding out gender, I felt as though it would be appropriate to stock with a gender neutral cover, making my task feel especially difficult and limited.
3. Do I want lots of blank space to write a midst the prepared questions, or do I only want blanks to fill in? Some journals may shock you on how little or how much space they offer you for writing.
4. Do I want a scrapbook, or non-scrapbook format? There are journals that offer easy to fill scrapbook formats, while still maintaining the special journal content options for you.
5. Do I trust the journal to convert everything I consider to be important milestones in my pregnancy journey?
6. Do I care what order/time some of the questions are asked? Some journals that ask specific questions throughout will be focus them on specific weeks… But this may not be the week you experience those milestones.
7. Do I have a good enough memory to wait until gender discovery to purchase? If so, you may want to go ahead and scout out the journal that you think would be the best for for either gender and then order immediately after your ultrasound. But as soon as it’s in your hands, be sure to set aside time to document your journey. You don’t even have to to it in chronological order if you think your work best doing the opposite, out mixing it up!
8. Do I just want a Pregnancy Journal / Baby Book combination? The benefits of having this could be that you have everything in one place and don’t have multiple books to keep track of!
9. Is this my first pregnancy or do I need to shy away from journals that focus more one first time mom’s?
10. Am I looking for something different than the norm? Like informational pages along with journaling pages?
11. Is it important to me to have intentional pages for father environment? It may surprise you how few of these there can be.
12. Are you a single mom? If so, you’ll be wanting a book geared towards you, without questions focusing on this you discuss with “your partner”.
So, do you have a better idea of what you are looking for now? If so, here are some related items to each question that may aid in your search:
1. For those interested in blank page journals, you might check out this one, this one, or this one.
2. If you care about outward appearance: Boyish covered journals like this, this, or this may interest you; or girly covers like this, this, or that may be just the thing for you. However, if you don’t want to wait for Gender knowledge to purchase, you may decide gender neutral covers like one of these four (option one, two, three, four) fit you best.
3. If you are looking for a fill in the blank/decent journaling combo, you might check out this book. Or, you might even look at this one right before taking a peek here.
4. If you are looking for scrapbook formats, while pricey, this book may be just the tool you are looking for! Or perhaps you would rather something like this.
5. If you want to be super cautious to insure your important milestones etc., are covered, you might check out this journal.
6. Now, if you care about being accurate and neat in the precisness of when certain milestones are reached, I’m just going to encourage you to plan to stear clear of journals that are completely or mostly all guided journals (with full in blanks/check boxes, and very little room for journaling) you may find you are weeks behind or ahead in what they choose to cover each week, and that you haven’t been left space to alter or add. These can also have questions or sentences prepared for you to complete that just don’t make any sense for you or fit with your story. So, just beware.
7. Want to purposely choose gender specific colored book covers? See options on #2!
8. For those searching for a journal/baby book combination, never fear! These journals are here! (option one, option two)
9. If you are a first time Mom, there are plenty of journals meant just for you! (This one being one among them.)But for second and third time mom’s, etc., it’s a little harder to find just the right one. This journal will accommodate any number of pregnancies. In the first page, below your name, there is a blank for you to document the what pregnancy number this is for you! And this journal also accommodates multiple pregnancies according to the product description.
10. This calendar journal may fit the bill if you are looking for something unique. Or if you really want to do something even more so, you should check out this devotional journal for expecting mother’s that can record prayers, notes, and reflections. And here a new and unique angle not everyone thinks about; a book that includes a section for preparing for pregnancy, child care searching and classes, in addition to the normal sections.
11. And for those looking for a special place in the book for dad to join in, check out this journal, or even this one. But, while pricey, this one had dad in the tile and may be the one for you. Or better yet, check out some of the books specifically designed for dad! This journal, while reviewed as being blank inside, was created with dad in mind. So, if dad is a writer, and journaling fan it may be perfect for him.
12. Single moms, there are journals or there for you to: reviews state this one doesn’t mention dad anywhere.
I hope this article has been helpful to you in finding a list of journals you would like to explore more, but even so, I want to stress that before making your selection I recommend checking them out in person if at all possible and do your own research. Read the descriptions, read the reviews, both good and bad; find it why people rated then with a 2 or 5 star. Sometimes the con’s are pro’s to you and the pro’s are con’s!
I’d like to share at this point that I’m hoping to have a follow up article to go hand in hand with this one. Keep your eyes peeled!
So, in your own great search for the perfect pregnancy journal, what are you looking for? Do you look for the basics? Do you look for uniqueness/diversity; and what do you have in mind for that? If really be interested to know what things are important to you to share with your little one in you keepsakes.