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Book Review: Petit Collage Deluxe Baby Book and Memory Box

PhotobucketSince the Humble Bumbles journal didn’t work out, I needed to find a replacement. I really wanted to buy a journal in a store so I could see it and judge it without having to buy it, even though I bought Humble Bumbles from a store and returned it anyway. Alas, I found the Petit Collage Deluxe Baby Book and Memory Box on Amazon after freaking out realizing that Humble Bumbles wasn’t a good fit. To my surprise, it not only arrived just before Baby2 was born but it is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Here’s why…

First, a recap what I’m looking for:

  • 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!

Here’s what I love about this new journal, the Petit Collage Deluxe Baby Book and Memory Box:

  • It’s cute in an OMG-I’m-dying-from-the-cuteness way – super adorable baby bird motif that is not at all “too baby” but perfect for a baby! It could be gender-neutral but I think it leans to girly. Most importantly, it is not pastel pink, thank goodness!
  • PhotobucketThe book rests within a generously-sized box with a drawer to keep all the mementos. It comes with small and large vellum envelopes for giving precious objects a little extra protection. Like the vellum envelope in Humble Bumbles, these aren’t iron-clad containers, but within the protection of the box they just work just fine.
  • There is space for lots of pictures and the picture spots are thoughtfully placed. There’s even a piece of vellum between the month-by-month pages that have pictures facing each other (there’s only one page per month so the pictures could stick to each other without the vellum). There’s also enough room within the box’s drawer for a small photo album, if the picture count gets a little crazy.
  • This book is in no way religious, not even hinting at it. Fantastic.
  • The book only covers baby’s first year! So I don’t have to feel guilty about loosing track of keeping up with each birthday. Whew!
  • There aren’t too many blanks to fill in. Only a few “before baby” pages – one for mom, dad and a couple for the pregnancy. Then there’s a few birthday pages, a few “baby’s firsts” pages, pages for baby’s favorite things and then it’s on to the month-by-month section, with a page for every month containing a picture spot, height/weight and milestone blanks. In the back there are a couple pages for baby’s first birthday and a family tree.

I’m so in love with this journal right now that I can’t think of much I don’t like. One thing that jumps out at me is that, while there is a sheet of vellum between the months to protect the pictures, there isn’t a sheet between other opposing picture pages (baby’s first haircut and first bath pages face each other, for example). I can stick a piece of vellum in there myself, but it’d be nice if it was already attached. Oh, the price was a little steep, too; I found it on Amazon for $31 but suggested retail is $55! I don’t love this journal 55 dollars-worth.

Overall, a great find for blindly trusting the other Amazon reviewers!

Next Review: On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo, MA and Robert Bucknam, MD

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Book Review: Humble Bumbles Baby Journal

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!

Sorry I didn’t get any inside shots while I had this!

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