If you’re a new parent, you will have discovered that babies need a lot of equipment. Your home quickly becomes full of everything your little one needs, such as clothes, bottles, and toys. Bulky items such as baby bouncers and cots take up space and there are endless diapers and wipes! You will find you need to carry a lot with you when you venture out of the house. Keeping your baby clean, warm, fed, and entertained requires a lot of stuff! You’ll find that transporting everything you need becomes second nature with time, but here are some tips for what to look for in the perfect baby bag – and some essentials to carry in it.
When carrying spare clothes, diapers, wipes, snacks and more, you need space. There’s no point trying to squeeze everything into a bag which is too small – you’ll need to unpack it every time you need to retrieve something, which will inevitably be right at the bottom! Although there are specialist nappy change bags on the market, a tote bag is perfect for everyday supplies and easy to carry. They also have the advantage of being available in a range of designs to suit all styles and a designer tote bag is a wonderful way to show your personality and keep your own style – being a mom doesn’t mean giving up on fashion. Whether you prefer bold patterns or plain, natural materials, there is a tote bag that will match your taste.
Carry the Load
When purchasing a bag to carry your baby equipment, consider how you will use it. If you regularly go on long walks wearing baby in a sling or baby carrier, a rucksack could be an ideal option. Tote bags are great if you have a stroller with hooks to carry bags or if you travel by car and are looking for something you can easily grab from the trunk of your vehicle. Long straps are often a better choice than short straps – this leaves your hands free for carrying baby or holding hands with a toddler.
Your baby bag is likely to be used regularly so choose a practical material that meets your needs. Wipe-clean options such as oilcloth are popular because any leaks or spills can be easily cleaned. Cottons which can be spot cleaned are also a good option. Be wary of delicate fabrics such as silks – save these for handbags for special occasions.
Organisation is Key
When your baby is crying, all you want to do is meet their needs as quickly as possible. Knowing where each item is so you can find it when needed will give you reassurance. Bags with individual pockets or sections can work well for this. You could also use your own organisational system if you have a tote bag or bag without pockets – this is easy to do. Either put all of one item together in a zip-up washbag (e.g., one for diapers, one for sleepsuits) or put together packs containing everything you need for one change so you can easily grab it and be safe in the knowledge you have all the items you need to hand. A well-ordered baby bag will give you the confidence you need when out with your little one.
What to Carry in Your Baby Bag
When you are at home you have the reassurance of knowing your baby has everything they need in easy reach. It can be tempting to take far more than you need out with you, but rather than carrying excess weight and bulk, be selective about what you pack. A well-stocked bag will contain –
- Two or three fresh diapers (remember liners if you use reusable diapers)
- Wipes/cotton wool for cleaning baby’s bottom
- Bags for soiled diapers (disposable or a washbag for reusable diapers)
- Two spare outfits/sleepsuits (for those exploding diapers!)
- A wipe-clean, foldaway changing mat
- A muslin square
- Feeding supplies e.g., breast pads, bottles, or snacks if your child is weaning or older
- A tactile book
- A toy or comforter
- A pacifier (if you use them)
You will soon learn what you use on a regular basis and can adapt the contents of your bag to meet your needs. Remember, there is always the option of buying what you need when you are out, or if you are at a playcentre or baby group another parent may be able to help you if you are caught out. Most of all, being a parent is a constant learning journey, so be kind to yourself – every mom has had the experience of being caught without something they need!
Find a baby bag that is practical and attractive and keep it well-stocked and you will soon find carrying it is second nature.