A good baby journal is a hard thing for me to find. I went to several stores to scope them out and I still didn’t get a home run on my first purchase, even though I tested this one out in the store. I have requirements to fulfill, just like I do for everything. I’m a hard one to please, what can I say?
Here are some of the things I am looking for in a journal:
- The journal needs to look nice, not too girly, not too baby. Gender-neutral is fine but a little girly without going over-the-top is nice, too.
- Kiddo1’s baby book was formatted like a three-ring-binder, so I could add pages of pictures. It was also in a box so I could throw in other stuff like the hospital bracelet. This baby book needs to have some of that flexibility too.
- The book can’t be religious, because Mr. Handsome and I aren’t religious and I feel like the book should definitely jive with our philosophical preferences (although that sounds way more heavy than it is, I think!).
- Preferably only a year’s worth of pages to fill out, but it can go longer as long as the focus is the first year.
- Also, there can’t be too much to fill out. I’d rather spend my time experiencing baby’s milestones than recording them!
After perusing the selections at several bookstores, I picked up The Humble Bumbles Baby Journal. Here are some things I like about Humble Bumbles:
- No pastels! This book has a nice color scheme. It’s also gender-neutral, which wasn’t exactly a requirement for me, but I wouldn’t want the book to be too feminine either.
- There’s a generous pocket for the trinkets that I would throw in Kiddo1’s box journal. However it is made of flimsy vellum paper and could tear easily. Three-dimensional objects won’t fit too well (you could get a flat hospital bracelet in there but not a little hat or sock or something).
- There are appropriate blanks to fill out, but there aren’t too many and the blanks aren’t too long. There are only a couple pages that might be meant for pre-birth, which is great because I don’t want to focus too much on that either. It’s a book about the baby after all!
- The attached growth chart. We always meant to keep one for Kiddo1, but I never thought to keep one on paper. As a child, mine was on a post in my basement. We never moved until I was in middle school. I knew we’d be moving a bit while Kiddo1 was growing (surprisingly enough, though, we’re only on our fourth place since he was born, if you count that apartment will lived in for the first month).
Things I don’t like:
- The characters and the graphics in the book are a little too… cutesy. Not good cute, kind of cheesy cute. I could look past this because the book is for a baby, after all, but it’s for Mr. Handsome and me, too. Maybe more for us than for her, really.
- There’s a page in each section for a picture, but it’s a small page. I would like more room for photo and memento space.
- This book is a little too religious for my taste. The focus of the book is not religion per se, but there are quotes at the bottom of every other page and a good majority of them are bible quotes. There’s a little angel character that shows up now and then; again, not a focus, but it’s there.
- This is a three-year journal, but the pages for years two and three are minimal, meant to be filled out at the little one’s birthdays. Kiddo1’s baby journal was like this and I never filled these pages out. I guess I had other things going on…
In the end, I couldn’t get over the religious tones of the book, so I ended up returning it and buying another. I was on the fence for awhile but ultimately I need something that suits my family preferences. Still, this would have been a fine book if I had to keep it. It’s good to know there are more options out there!
A note about options, though: it’s really hard to find baby journals at your typical Barnes & Noble-type bookstore. They had a very small section of books at two stores I visited in my area. Ultimately I wound up purchasing a journal at Amazon, sight-unseen. Perhaps a Babies-R-Us-type store would have more of a selection, but then I kind of doubt that too.
Next Review: Petit Collage Deluxe Baby Book and Memory Box