Which pregnancy journals are best?
Pregnancy journals are a wonderful way for expecting parents to document and record special moments throughout the journey to childbirth. Every journal comes with its own design, pages, sections and unique features, but they can all become an important memento for the family. With one, you can keep track of everything from random cravings to photos of your first ultrasound. If you’re looking for the best pregnancy journal, try Bloom Daily Planners Pregnancy and Baby’s First Year Undated Planner/Journal.
What to know before you buy a pregnancy journal
Most pregnancy journals share a similar format that includes key moments such as when you first found out you were expecting, when you told your partner and the results of the first ultrasound. Some journals take a more formal approach and let you fill in every piece of information in a more structured way. Others are more informal with bright colors, stickers and fun sections.
Some journals are arranged by trimester with the corresponding days, weeks and months. Others are less organized, which gives you the opportunity to freely write your thoughts and different events within the pages.
Many journals also have pockets for special photos, tabbed sections for ease of use, fill-in-the-blank sections, checklists and stickers.
Some journals are softcover while others are hardcover. They either have a spiral binding that makes it easy to flip over pages or look more like a traditional book. On the front cover, there’s a title, such as “Bump for Joy!” or “My Pregnancy Journal.”
Each journal has a fun cover design, ranging from bright colors and creative designs such as cute animals or floral patterns, to more neutral graphics. The one you choose can drastically influence the tone and feeling you get when using the journal.
Many of these journals are gender-neutral as well, meaning they’ll work whether or not you know the baby’s gender. The color scheme used on the front and back cover is typically the same inside the book and in each section.
At around 9 by 9 inches, most pregnancy journals are small enough to fit in a purse, on a desk or under a pillow. Some journals have more pages or pockets, which makes them larger. Even so, they’re usually lightweight and handy enough to carry around.
What to look for in a quality pregnancy journal
Since the purpose of a pregnancy journal is to help you keep track of and organize everything that happens during the journey, it should have several sections to make this easier for you. Common sections include:
- Health: To record the general health of the baby and mother during pregnancy, as well as medical tests, vaccines, nutritional supplements and general symptoms
- Photos: Space on the front cover, first page, throughout the book or in separate pockets for photos of the expecting parents and loved ones at different stages of the pregnancy
- Checklists: Everything you need to do prior to the baby’s arrival, such as having the baby shower, preparing the nursery and packing an overnight bag for the hospital
- Appointments and dates: Estimated due date, doctor’s visits and reminders for upcoming appointments
- Important milestones: The first time you feel the baby move or kick, the first ultrasound, the actual date of delivery, etc.
- Free space: Fill-in-the-blank or free pages where you can express yourself and how you’re feeling during and immediately after the pregnancy
- Pockets: For extra photos or special mementos
- Pregnancy facts and tips: Tips for first-time parents who could use the help or encouragement
- Stickers: Extra pages at the front or back for cute, fun stickers
Some pregnancy journals also have a section for the first few months up to a year after giving birth. In this space, you can record more memories such as how the delivery went or the feeling of holding your child for the first time.
Expect to find journals ranging from around 74 to 144 pages of fully usable space. If the journal has stickers, there’s also another page or two of dedicated sticker space.
Many pregnancy journals have numerous prompts for the expecting parents to fill out. These prompts include:
- Your experiences during pregnancy
- Moments for reflection
- Useful graphs or Venn diagrams to help you choose a name for your baby
- Food cravings
- Changes to your body
- Your hopes and dreams for the baby
- Funny or strange occurrences at different stages
- The birth plan
- Baby gifts you want or need
Prompts can be very helpful for keeping you on track throughout the journey. Plus, by using prompts, you can look back on and share the journal with your child when they get older.
How much you can expect to spend on a pregnancy journal
Journals with a simpler design cost around $15. Those with more space for prompts, photos and stickers cost $25-$40.
Pregnancy journal FAQ
Are there pregnancy journals for first-time mothers?
A. Yes. These journals usually have specific sections that help expecting mothers create an organized schedule every step of the way. They often include useful tips and facts that make each trimester easier.
Are pregnancy journals worth it?
A. Although journals aren’t a required part of pregnancy, they provide a beautiful opportunity for expecting parents to record their special moments so they can look back on them for years to come.
Can I use my journal after giving birth?
A. Some journals have extra space for up to a year after childbirth. That way, you can add more photos that include your baby, as well as the early memories you make as a new family.
What’s the best pregnancy journal to buy?
Top pregnancy journal
What you need to know: Doubling as a scrapbook and journal, this book is creative, organized and spacious enough for expecting parents to document every special moment.
What you’ll love: This hardcover journal features several tabbed sections, including a medical log, each trimester and the baby’s first year. It comes with two pages of colorful stickers. It also has monthly and weekly sections, which makes it easy to keep track of any appointments and record important milestones.
What you should consider: The calendar starts on Mondays rather than Sundays.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top pregnancy journal for the money
What you need to know: This small, colorful hardcover journal comes with multiple decorative, functional sections designed to keep expecting mothers organized throughout their pregnancy.
What you’ll love: It features whimsical artwork throughout its 144 pages. There’s space for 32 photos, as well as five pockets for additional pictures. The journal also has enough room for plenty of reflection and personal notes and is highly detailed.
What you should consider: The spine gets in the way of the left side of the page, making it tricky to write neatly on that side.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This gender-neutral journal has several guided sections that make it easy to record key moments up until your child’s birth.
What you’ll love: With 74 pages and tabbed sections, this journal is well-organized and easy to use. The prompts within are mainly education-focused and are designed to help you keep track of things like weight gain or other changes throughout the pregnancy. There are also sections for photographs and memories.
What you should consider: There isn’t as much space for free writing.
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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