I’m sure we all had some similar ideas: cute (i.e. doesn’t scream “I’m a diaper bag!”), big enough with lots of pockets for stuff, over the shoulder or easily hung from a stroller, etc.. When I finally got that coveted bag, filled it up with all of my “necessities,” and slung it around for a couple months, I realized I was practically hauling another child along with me. I was exhausted. With it being a new year, and spring cleaning just around the corner, I thought I would share how I retooled and made my diaper bag more efficient, light-weight, and convenient.
First, I’ll talk about what was in my original bag. I took one of those parenting classes offered at my hospital before the baby came, and we made a list of all of the things we should pack in a diaper bag. I was overwhelmed by the list, but what the heck did I know? It felt good to have something prepared before baby. Here’s what was included in my bag: changing pad, nursing cover, wipes, no less than 5 diapers, 2 complete outfits (onesies and pants), 2 burp cloths, swaddling blanket, small regular blanket, a NoseFrida, a washcloth, a travel pack of wet wipes, extra nursing pads, diaper cream, hand sanitizer, toy ball, stuffed animal blanket, board book, activity toy, WubbaNub pacifier, regular pacifier, pacifier clip, teething ring, extra plastic toy attaching ring, mini sound machine, and 2 plastic bags. I’m exhausted just typing that out. My giant bag was filled to the brim with my “essentials,” but if diaper bag things could collect dust, most of these would.
I didn’t use more than half of these items; however, if there was a zombie apocalypse, I was READY.
Of course, as baby grows, things in the diaper bag change and I needed to retool my bag anyway after my little guy started eating solids, so it was the perfect excuse to get a new bag and revamp. I’m a stay-at-home parent, but I try to get out and about daily, so I feel like my current bag has streamlined our errands and adventures. In all honesty, I could probably get away with just shoving a diaper and a handful of Cheerios in my purse, but that’s always when the worst happens, right?
Here are my current must-haves:
Backpack bag – talk about convenience. Not only is it easy to wear, I can wear it on my front or hang it from a bathroom stall door easily in a public restroom. My bag also has little straps with clips to attach onto a stroller or a shopping cart. The best part, though, is that the wipes are on the outside of the bag.
Changing pad – super lightweight and easy to use.
Nursing cover – I’m personally not afraid to nurse without one in public, but I usually need one to keep the baby from getting distracted by the busy world around him. It also doubles as a quick light blanket or shade on a stroller.
Wipes and 3 diapers – I’ve only ever needed two diapers max, but why tempt fate? I don’t know why I thought I needed 5 originally. I was always afraid of a diarrhea situation, but if that’s happening, the first thing I’m doing is hightailing it home!
1 burp cloth – for all of those fun messes.
1 onesie – like the diapers, if an outfit is destroyed and I’m out of backup, time to head home.
2 plastic bags – for said destroyed outfit or dirty things you don’t want compromising the rest of your bag.
Lightweight activity toy – the ones that used to hang from your car seat/stroller are great – lots of different entertaining options for baby.
A favorite pacifier – I love the WubbaNubs, as they have a little stuffed animal on the end. I’m all about versatility.
A lightweight book – board books can take up more room than you think. I love Indestructibles Books. They’re not only as thin, lightweight, and flexible as paper, they’re non-toxic and machine washable!
Extra food (for solid eaters) – I keep an extra meal pouch, granola bar, spoon, and mini Tupperware full of Cheerios (doubles as a “rattle!”) just in case he gets extra hungry out and about.
That’s where I’m at now. While I don’t use all of these items daily, I have actually used all of them, as opposed to the items in my Diaper Bag 1.0. I also recommend just throwing your wallet into the bag instead of carrying a purse. Of course, everyone has their favorites and must-haves, and these are just what I have learned to keep in my almost one full year of motherhood!