If you are anything like me and like to be organised, well prepared and have everything on hand then a well stocked nappy bag is a must for you. As I embark on the newborn phase again with our latest arrival (hopefully welcomed into the world by now) that I would once again be packing my beloved nappy bag.
If you are a first time mum you can get a little carried away with stuffing every imaginable thing into the bag for "just in case" and I totally understand that, I did it too. As you slowly transition through the early phase of motherhood you slowly recognize the important things that you need to have in your bag and the rest is just optional. Let's talk nappy bags for a bit first.
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This kind of is the most important thing in the whole process - finding the nappy bag that suits you. Everyone has different tastes and needs so it might take you a little while to find the perfect bag. There a heaps and heaps out there so it’s best you look into what you want a little before bub is born. I was lucky enough to have some very thoughtful friends spoil me with a Vanchi 'Doctor' Nappy Bag that I had been eyeing off in the early stages of my first pregnancy. When choosing a bag remember it is not all about "looks". It needs to be functional and practical, be large enough to fit what you need but also small enough not to be to overbearing. You do need to remember you will be juggling this bag and a newborn at the same time so factor this in when making your purchase. Bigger is not always better. I also made sure my nappy bag had a long strap that could be adjusted to slip over the handle of my pram. If your bag doesn't have this you will need to figure out where you will store it when you are on the move. Most bags come with a few inclusions such as a fabric change mat and insulated bottle holder. I loved my nappy bag for the different pockets and storage compartments it had to put my phone and keys in and other bits and bobs. I only used my nappy bag until J.D started walking then switched to a small backpack which was more suitable to his age at that time.
Once you have bought you’re beloved nappy bag it’s time to fill it with things are essential in keeping you and baby happy and possibly a toddler if it’s your second or third time round.
Nappies & Wipes:
Obviously! I kept at least 6-8 pairs of nappies in my bag so I was stocked for a couple of trips without having to think about restocking them every time. Same goes for the wipes. I would also keep a spare packet of wipes and a few nappies in the car for just in case.
Plastic Nappy Sacks:
These things are great little keepers of wet and poopy nappies. They tie up the little smelly bundles nicely and can be set aside to be thrown out later if need be. You can buy special dispensers for these but I was cheap and just rolled up a few dozen and popped them in one of my many compartments in my nappy bag.
Spare Change of Clothes: I would always keep a spare change of clothes for bub and include a jumper/ long pants and a pair of socks in case the weather got cool. Having a spare change of clothes allows for those unexpected events such nappy explosions or projectile vomits when you are out in public. If you are paranoid maybe keep an extra shirt for yourself and/or your toddler in there. Isn’t motherhood glamorous?
Nappy Rash Cream:
If your baby is prone to a rashy bum it’s important to always have this on hand. I remember a few times I didn’t have a pot of this to use and by the time we got home poor J.D had a nasty nappy rash coming on because I couldn’t nip it in the bud straight away.
Keeps your baby (and even you) smelling fresh especially if they have just pooped or spewed all over themselves or you. I tend to go for the travel size powder so it doesn’t take up heaps of room in my bag.
If you have a spewy baby like I did these things were invaluable. I always kept a spare one in the bag in case the first one got overloaded and couldn’t take anymore burping. You can buy them from your local baby store or even make them yourself using my tutorial here.
This is obviously more for you than bub. If you are breast feeding these things are GOLD! I remember forgetting to put a set of these on before going out shopping and to my horror I looked down to see two nice sets of wet patches on my shirt. Nice. I didn’t have a spare shirt or and extra set of breast pads packed in my bag so I had to quickly put my jumper on and wrap it around me tightly. I didn’t linger shopping that day. Again isn’t motherhood glamorous?. I bet the Duchess of Cambridge had never had that problem?
This is either for you - read starving breast feeding mother or your toddler who needs a little distraction while you feed if you are out. I always keep a packet of something in my bag for emergencies if I get low blood sugar or my toddler is demanding NUM NUMS NOW!!!
Toys: As bub gets older you might need something to offer a little distraction. Especially if you are trying to run errands close to a feed time or the toddler has had enough of being in the trolley/stroller. I would change the toys every known and again for a little something different.
Formula/Bottle: If you aren’t breast feeding then a bottle and formula will be a must. You will find most shopping centres now have parent’s rooms which are a god send. These are usually fitted out with a microwave of sorts which will allow to warm your bottle up without fuss.
I am sure there are many many more things you will add to your bag apart from this list, however these are probably the most basic items you need to have to keep you and your baby happy during the first year of their life. I have now put my own advice into practice and stocked up my nappy bag as I make my first expeditions out of the house with our Little Miss. I have found it to be pretty daunting to try and juggle a toddler and a newborn and I think we will be staying at home a little more often until I get the hang of handling two kids.
Any tips mum's on the best way to cope with two?
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Having trouble during nappy change time with a wriggly baby? Try BabyLove Nappy Pants - with no tabs to contend with, the 360-degree stretchy waist allows you to pull them up quickly and easily, so your active toddler can get back to action in no time! Request a sample.