Toting around babies and toddlers is no joke. The one thing that shocked me our first year of having Hayden is the gear that appears necessary when having a baby. The gear inside the house and the gear you lug with you wherever you go! After juggling the baby with so many items, my shoulders and back were out of whack; I had to simplify. At times, I found myself going to the opposite extreme and forgetting extremely necessary items — not fun running out of wipes on a day your child is quickly digesting food. You suddenly become more creative than you ever imagined!
Like most things, I figured out a few life lessons through trial and error (and copying other moms, let’s be real).
Hayden’s bag and my purse have melded into one at times. Regardless of how great I am at organization, I undoubtedly find ridiculous things in my purse at any given moment. For instance, my bag recently started singing a Mickey Mouse tune at an incredibly inappropriate time during church (hello, toy that seems to never turn off!). With food crumbs, wrappers (I also have a 5-year-old stepson), etc., it’s imperative that my bag cleans up easily and has plenty of compartments. I’m a fan of things that multitask. So, I look for options, like a Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag that moonlights as a great purse/tote. I also like ones that have a built-in changing station that zips out, like the one pictured below (www.petunia.com). And not to discriminate — they also make amazing bags for men, too.
Looking back over the past year, these were the items that I found “essential” to put in said bag.
the don’t-leave-home-without-it list
Diapers and small, travel-size wipes (Petunia’s bags come with a hard container for wipes … or you could easily buy your own). I keep portable, disposable waste bags (like doggie waste bags) with me for obvious reasons. It’s never great if you’re at a friend’s house or just out and about and need to contain the evidence!
smart to have:
Our go-to is Sophie the giraffe. I remember going to baby showers prior to having Hayden and undoubtedly Sophie always attended by way of a gift. Now I know why! For us, teething has been a very long phase and we are far from out of the woods. Plus, we love our animal themes!
If you have an infant, you are toting around bottles. We still use the occasional bottle, though more at bedtime. If you’re a mom using formula, check out the new on-the-go bottles by brands like B.Box. You store the formula in a bottom container, have the water in the bottle and push the containers together to mix when you’re ready. This is great when traveling or out and about all day.
Now we keep a sippy cup with water and a container of snacks. (who doesn’t love Goldfish?).
Oh, and stick-on disposable placemats for restaurants are genius (so I can put the food directly on the table). These are compact and cheap (on Amazon). And I’m grateful for my Lil’ Sidekick that ties to the sippy cup (it’s a strap that wraps around essentials so they don’t get lost or end up on the floor!).
Let’s not forget the mamas: lipstick, sunglasses and my Booster Cs. Must keep that energy and immunity up. Usana Booster C packets mix with water at any time. I also keep their on-the-go protein shake packets in case I get hungry. These keep me functioning. You wouldn’t believe how many times I end up sharing them with other desperate mamas. I am an ambassador for Usana and also a fan of their products.
if you can fit:
Some sort of a distraction, like a musical toy or game. What saves us often is Baby Einstein Take A Long Tunes Musical Toy (again, Amazon). We have one that stays tied to the car seat and one in the diaper bag. This toy does turn off.
I now keep a car essential kit, too. Just an extra-large Ziploc bag in the trunk with wipes, diapers, antiseptic wipes and a travel-size diaper cream. In another bag, I keep a thin blanket and an extra change of clothes. I learned this the hard way. If your child uses a pacifier, I’d keep an extra in the emergency kit, too.
Until next time … chime in at AshleyAJones.com or write in to Soap Digest! We love your comments!