Do-it-yourself Pregnancy and Baby Journal

One of my quirks: I usually dislike lined journals. I especially dislike the kind that have “prompts” for you to fill out, such as most of the pregnancy journals and baby books on the market.

So, I decided to make my own.

I used a coupon to get a nice discount on an expensive Italian leather journal and started writing, leaving room for photos that I’m getting developed (of the pregnancy test, for example). Below is an outline of what I’ve done so far, and I also posted a few photos of some of the spreads.

Page 1: Space for pregnancy test photo.

Pages 2-3: A few “journal entries” about finding out and telling people, and a quick “life snapshot” of what our lives were like at that moment. I printed out my announcement blog post (from my private friends/family blog) and stuck it on page 3. There is a small watercolor and ink drawing of the sparkling grape juice, nausea bands, and chips that our friends brought over to celebrate with us.

Pages 2 and 3 of pregnancy journal

Pages 4-5: A printout of the comments from the blog post and more watercolors of gifts from our good friends — a Veggie Tales Christmas ornament where they wrote “Steve,” “Corrie,” and “Baby Haffly” on the three peas, and our first item of baby clothing. The next page has the first ultrasound printout and a journal entry about the appointment.

Pages 4 and 5 of pregnancy journal

Pages 6-7: Two page spread reserved for a list of “trips to the hospital.” So far I have gone five time for various appointments and lab tests.

Pages 8-9: I listed other various events from August and September, then filled a page with a journal entry about impaired glucose tolerance, hearing the baby’s heartbeat, and a sample menu.

Page 10: First trimester summary: Beginning and ending weight, symptoms, and journaling about my emotions during the first three months.

Other ideas I have for additional pages that I can be working on:

  • Family tree with photos
  • Photos and descriptions of our house
  • Photos of our current circle of good friends
  • “Life in Davis” – photos from around town, a printout of a map with locations marked
  • Biographical info/background info on me, Steve, and how we got together
  • Current events, prices of basic things like gas, milk, etc., and other things like that
  • Letters/notes from family members to the baby (I’m thinking of doing this Jolly Postman style with envelopes stuck onto the pages and letters that can be taken out of the envelopes!)
  • Name ideas

And of course, the typical “baby book” pages such as:

  • Baby shower attendees, gifts, summary
  • “Firsts”
  • Birth stats
  • Hand and foot prints
  • Monthly summaries, milestones

Can you think of anything else that would be cool to include? Leave a comment!


30 thoughts on “Do-it-yourself Pregnancy and Baby Journal

  1. Leave lots (page or 2) of room for a possibly eventful (and sometimes funny stories attached) delivery. Also maybe jolly postman style have an envelope ready for first hair cut. Don’t forget to add a bit about Nutmeg. And talk lots about baby haffly’s personality. It’ll be interesting to see how it changes … from the womb and over the years. YEAH!

  2. Oh, thought of one more thing. Keep track of “favorites”, for you and baby. Example, your favorite pregnancy food, your favorite food, your favorite pregnancy outing place. For the baby, their favorite toy, their favorite place to go, their favorite room. All of these will probably have interesting stories and maybe even some very cute pictures to boot!

  3. You’ve got lots of fun stuff included! We had little pieces of cardstock at the hospital when Josiah was born so people could write a little note. I used them on the scrapbook pages of his birth and first couple days. I created my own baby book for Josiah, and I really like how it’s turning out (though it’s nowhere near as detailed as yours!).

  4. You’ve lured me out of lurkdom (I’ve been reading your blog since you posted the workout worksheets). I love the book; your little one will treasure it! This might seem like a funny suggestion, but I’ve always saved the hospital bills, so my little guys can see how “valuable” they actually are.

  5. That looks really beautiful Corrie. I’m sure it will be wonderful record of your pregnancy.

    It took me a long time to progress from a lined journal to plain pages, I think I enjoyed the limits the lines provided! Having made it to plain pages I wouldn’t go back to lines, but I am still not brave enough to try much else.

    It doesn’t appear that you need it, but a book that I have frequently thought about buying is The Decorated Journal by Gwen Diehn. In fact, I am going to add it to my wish list now.

  6. Gilda – great suggestions, thanks!

    Kristine – I like that idea, too!

    The Wife – Thanks for commenting! Also a great idea; although in my case, I’ll probably total up the insurance costs we’ve been paying. 🙂

    Kate – Wow, that looks like a very cool book and very inspirational. I’ll have to flip through it at a bookstore.

  7. this is something you and the little one will treasure for years. i have my mom’s notes from my 98 days in the hospital (i was early, and i wish you thoughts that baby stays in until ready and the right time to come out) and while much is missing, it is something i cherish greatly. don’t forget to let steve write in it too… i have very little from my father and if i could go back in time, i’d force him. (i have a “proper” baby book too, but the notes from my mum are more “true” because in them i can read between the lines and feel that day-to-day)

  8. Thanks, Penny! Steve already assured me that he will write in it occasionally. I like the idea of bringing it with me to the hospital to keep some running commentary – thanks for the idea!

  9. Of course you want to add in there your belly pictures and all your feelings baout what you and your body as well as baby are going through. What baby feels like inside you and how you already feel like a mommy.

  10. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing… I too dislike the idea of most journals being so run of the mill and unoriginal. This gets my creative juices flowing. My first is 3 now and I keep wanting to write down all the funny/inspiring things he says…neat to look back on when he’s older. As this post was in 07 I’m sure you have added a lot. Anyway, thanks again and good luck with pages to come!

  11. THANK YOU!!! I have been looking for page ideas for my pregnancy journal for the past week! I dont like any of the storebought journals and didnt want a boring pregnancy journal with just my thoughts written in it every day or so. So thank you thank you thank you for sharing your ideas, you have inspired me!

  12. Thank you, thank you! I see from comments that this is a rather old post, but I have been wanting to make my own baby journal (as I am pregnant with my 3rd and have pretty much used the only two baby journals out there that I thought were cute), but for some reason couldn’t think of how to start. Thanks for laying it all out for me! 🙂

  13. Great great post! I am late in my pregnancy, and was wanting to start a journal. I think one from scratch may be easier to do. Thanks for all the ideas! 🙂

  14. Great article! I absolutely love all of your ideas. Some other ideas I can think of include: pictures of people holding your new baby when they came to visit at the hospital, people’s responses when you told them you were pregnant, and funny “pregnancy moments”. I absolutely love the letters that family members write. Thank you for sharing!

      1. wondaful stuff, my first son is 11 he adores his journal. when he was young he used to pick flowers for me en i have put them in his journal. interestingly their personality changes over time so u wanna add any pet hates and favourites they have.

  15. This is awesome I didn’t want a baby book (or at least just a baby book) and when I heard about pregnancy journals I instantly Google it and this came up. Thanks

  16. I love this!! Thanks for the great ideas!! You could include snapshots of close family members’ lives as well: where grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles live and work currently, what they do for fun. Our siblings are still in their 20′-early 30’s so their locations and jobs will definitely be fluctuating over the next few years. Our new baby has a few cousins as well, we could add how old they are and a little bit about what they are like.

    I want to include info about our dog too (pictures and maybe a paw print)

    I snapped a few pictures of us setting up our new baby gear (crib, car seat, stroller etc) thought I’d add those

    I’d like to get the records from my doctor so I can record weight gain, baby’s heart beat etc. Mom, Dad, and baby’s blood type

    I could go on and on, I love DIY!

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