by Courtney Sullivan
Here are some smart and creative ways you can document your pregnancy. The waiting game can drag along, so let's capture those special moments along the way!
We've broken down our suggestions into four categories: Pregnancy Milestones, A Day in Our Life, My Baby Diary, and Document the Bump. They'll help the countdown to your baby's birth date go by a little faster and help your future teenager to blush!
As an expectant parent you'll want to immortalize certain events throughout your pregnancy for all of eternity...or at least for one generation! From learning and sharing the news, hearing the heartbeat, first photoshoots, naming fun (trust us -- they'll thank you for NOT choosing some on your list), to planning the nursery you're bound to be a hit with your kiddo outside of the womb!
We're pregnant! You just saw those beautiful lines. Now the fun begins!
• Photo ideas: Your test (or tests), a tiny pair of baby socks
• Journal idea: How did you feel when you tested? Did you spend time absorbing the shock or dance joyfully around the house? Put it down in your words.
Sharing the news: Telling friends and family is almost as exciting as discovering you're pregnant! It still can be a bit daunting. Try out these suggestions to make it easier.
• Photo idea: At a family event, gather everyone for a photo. "Say Cheese!" Then, for the second photo, say, "Everyone say, ___'s pregnant (fill in your name)!" Snap quickly!
• Journal idea: Jot down the exact words uttered by your family and friends!
Pregnancy advice: From announcing your pregnancy to your delivery, moms receive unsolicited advice -- some wonderful and welcome, some not. Show how this has affected you.
• Photo idea: Create a collage picture of you and the person who gave you the advice you've appreciated along with their counsel.
• Journal idea: Share the tips you've received this pregnancy, including the outlandish and bizarre!
• More ideas: Baby's first photo, the naming game, prenatal visits and the nursery.
A Day in Our Life
While your baby doesn't have a room-with-the-view, he or she's along for the ride on all the adventures of your family throughout your pregnancy. Since baby won't be albe to remember all those special times, practice your journaling skills and give the tiny tot a glimpse of your world as a pregnant parent!
Family vacation: The family's off and of course you and babe-to-be are joining the festivities. Keep the camera busy snapping shots along the way!
• Photo idea: Bring along baby's first stuffed animal or tiny hat and show off its adventures.
• Journal idea: Was your peanut mellow during the car trip, then kept you up kicking all night? Share the story in your journal.
First Halloween costume: Is/did your bump "make" the costume? What did you end up creating? What are you planning?
• Photo idea: You and baby handing out treats or at a party with admiring friends and family
• Journal idea: How did people react to your costume? Did you manage to get pictures for scrapbooking? How did this activity make you feel?
• More ideas: Baby's first swim lesson, shopping at the farmer's market, "we" tour the birth center, and snuggling with soon-to-be brother or sister.
Show of strength! Show off your biceps and the bump peeking over the top of your yoga pants. The pregnant body is beautiful!
• Photo idea: You and baby doing yoga or Pilates or other safe activity.
• Journal idea: Jot down your baby's response to exercise. Note if your stretches, walking or yoga makes you feel great and more energetic. Perhaps mention what's your favorite activity!
My Baby Diary
Your baby's growing in leaps and bounds. Each week -- each day actually -- brings new milestones! First thump of the heart, first kick, first breath. Our Fetal Development pages showcase your baby's weekly accomplishments. Follow along and plan an "age-appropriate" activity.
Baby has a nose! Tiny nostrils form during week six. You can focus on the "feature" or the "function." Here's an idea for both!
• Activity ideas: Visit the elephant at the zoo, focus on your breathing in yoga, or swing by a botanical garden and smell the outdoors.
• Photo idea: You (and baby) at the zoo or standing by flowers. Perhaps take pictures of lots of kinds of noses for the next idea!
• Journal idea: Your journal doens't have to be just for writing. Make a collage of family noses. Do you think your baby will have one of these or a unique and never seen before nose?
Boy or girl? By week 16 your ultrasound might tell you if you're having a boy or a girl!
• Activity ideas: Go on a shopping trip for baby clothes! Create an announcement that let's family know the news.
• Photo idea: Pictures of baby (and you) with those adorable and irresistible newborn outfits.
• Journal idea: Write down what you think you and your new boy or girl will do together! You could be braiding each other's hair or playing soccer together. How about mani, pedis and the mall, or even a heavy Wii tournament?
Baby can hear! By week 22, your baby hears sounds from outside your womb.
• Activity ideas: Play your favorite music. It doesn't matter what gadget you use. Allow your budding musician to feel the bass or read a favorite book out loud. It's fun to add sound effects!
• Photo idea: Headphones on belly? Catch that! Reading to the belly. These are all great photo opportunities!
• Journal idea: How does your baby respond to sounds? Jot down a few experiments you put together and see if it changes day-to-day.
Document the Bump
What's up with "the bump"? The changes in your belly region can go from turtle-slow to overnight "OMG! WHAT HAPPENED?!?" How are you carrying your wee one-to-be compared to last week? Ever feel that you're waiting to have that "pop-up timer" (aka belly button) push out? Record your changes and look how far you've come!
As the Belly Grows:
• Photo idea: Start where you are now in your pregnancy. Stand sideways and take your picture in the same shirt week after week. You can even make a "growing bump" video or slideshow with the finish as baby in your arms.
• Journal idea: Share the "comment of the week" that's had the most impact on you. If no one is commenting, add your own thoughts about what's going on with you.
All those ultrasounds: Are you having to have a lot of ultrasounds? Take advantage of this by showing off both the bump and the baby!
• Photo idea: Scan your ultrasounds or take a picture of your belly with your ultrasound.
• Journal idea: After everyone's seen the latest pictures, ask the grandparents to write "letters" to their future grandbabies.
How many inches? Snap a weekly picture of your tape measure around your belly or measure with string or yarn. Pin each yarn pieces to the wall and watch them get longer.
• Photo idea: Hold the string up and compare to your husband's or partner's height. Get a picture for the scrapbook.
• Journal idea: Wrap the yarn peices into animal shapes and add to your scrapbook. Make a clever design out of the yarn as part of a scrapbook page.
More Ways to Document Your Pregnancy
There are so many different ways to be creative. We hope that we've inspired you to try some of these out.
You can always opt-out of doing any of these activities or ideas, but you'll probably want to try at least one.
If the suggestions above don't do much for you, try these other creative methods:
• Create a "belly growth chart.
• Have a professional take your pregnancy pictures.
• Purchase a "belly cast" kit and have a permanent memento of the pregnancy.
• For the more tech-savvy, there is always digital scrapbooking.
Have fun tracking and sharing your pregnancy milestones! Share what you've done!
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