What you need 

To understand your fertility awareness you need just two things to Chart your BBT

  1. A basal body temperature thermometer
  2. A place to keep track of your recorded temperatures.

There are two ways to record your temperature. You can use a paper chart (in which case you actually need a third item...a pen!) or electronically.

You can download a free chart to print out here (or in metric here).

A great site I used to keep track was Fertility Friend. They even have a free app to download right to your mobile device. 

The how-to

Now that you understand what your basal body temperature is and what you need to get started now we can move onto how to chart. Ready...

Ok. Take your temperature and write it down, or log it in. That's essentially it. The only thing that makes it different are the important factors to keeping it accurate. In your mind, make them your rules for charting. These rules are

  • Make sure taking your temperature is the VERY FIRST THING you do after opening your eyes. Your recorded temp has to be your resting  temperature. This means if you get up and get a drink, go to the bathroom, you've stirred your body. It's no longer your accurate recording of your body at rest. 
  • Make sure you're getting at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Your body needs this amount of time to come to a full complete rest and have the most accurate reading. If you aren't getting that, you can still record your BBT but realize that it will not be as precise. And therefore you may not be able to pinpoint your ovulation. 
  • Your temperature needs to be recorded at the same time every day. Or as close to the same time as possible. A helpful trick...set your alarm on your days off from work or days that you don't need to be awake early. Take your temp then go back to sleep.

The reason you need a specific thermometer

Here's a picture of my chart when I got pregnant with my daughter

You need a basal body temperature thermometer because you need it to record to the second decimal point. If you notice my temps along the left side of the chart. The day before ovulation (the red cross lines) my temperature was 96.81 degrees and the day after was 97.46. Just a mere few hundredths of a degree but if i hadn't been using a sensitive enough thermometer I may have missed the "spike". The temperatures before and after ovulation aren't a huge difference numberwise but once plotted on the graph you can easily see the significance of the readings.

Now that you know the basics, get yourself a good Basal thermometer and start charting. Remember to get a good 4 hours of sleep and take your temperature the first thing you do.

Wish you the best of luck!

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