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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Diaper bags: Take it all or just a diaper?

I'm sure we've all seen (or been) the type of mom who lugs around this diaper bag (or one similar). It's big and bulky and contains every possible thing that your baby might need. Every. Possible. Thing. This is usually the same mom who is also carrying her own purse alongside the diaper bag. I am not that mom. In fact, I never really was. Here's what I do instead-

This is my purse. Yes, I carry a giant purse. It's convenient. Plus always important to have room for your book,right?
(review of The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden to come)

You can see my wallet, my book, the edge of my planner, and the edge of cute little bag, with animals on it.  This is what it looks like when you take it out of your purse:

And this is what you'll find inside it:

Mine has two onsies, two size 1 diapers for the baby, one or two size 4 diapers for the Bug, and a burp cloth for a changing pad. You could also fit a small disposable package of wipes in there, if you only had an infant to deal with. I go through way too many wipes and keep them separate.

Here's the thing. You don't NEED all that other stuff, especially if you are breastfeeding.  You don't need lotion and clippers and full outfits and butt paste every time you leave the house. You need a couple diapers and an outfit in case of a blow out. For most errands, you won't even need that! Surprisingly, a baby can live an hour or three without a diaper change. Shocking, I know. 99% of the time, she won't need fed.  I regularly take the Pirate to school, stop by the bank and the grocery store, or maybe the library, and never once have to get out her diapers or feed her.

Sure, if you know you're gonna be out of the house long enough to feed her you'll want to take a bottle (if she's bottle fed), but you don't need the whole can of formula. And here's the trick to that- leave it in the car. Take that giant diaper bag you got for your shower, and fill it with duplicates of all that stuff- spare outfits, extra bottles, formula, what ever it is you might need- and stash it in the trunk. Just remember to pull it out every so often to add larger clothes as your baby grows. (Though to be completely honest, I don't even do this any more. I do have spare clothes in the car for them.)  Once you've lugged that bag everywhere for a few months you'll realize how little of it you really need. Just take the basics, anything else you can come home for or buy a new one since you're at Target anyway. Make sure your purse is big enough to toss this little bag in and you're good to go!

(Want one of your own? Email me. They're cheap.)

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  1. When our son was born, I started out with one of those huge diaper bags with everything under the sun in it. It didn't take me long to figure out that wasn't necessary and scale down to just sticking a few things in my purse.

  2. With baby 1 I went with a ziplock bag with a nappy, wipes, change of clothes and muslin. It lived under the buggy (we walked everywhere).

    Now there are two (4 years and 2 years old) I have a separate bag that contains one nappy, wipes, muslin, markers, comics, small toys from comics and a tupperware container of toast.

    I often think of adding a hip flask for my own personal use.

  3. George, a zip lock back would work just as well! In fact, I think I might fold one up and stick it in the bottom of my bag for when things get wet. And if I weren't nursing a flask would be brilliant.

  4. I got a new backpack which the baby was a good justification for, so it has room for all kinds of stuff, but mostly I'm using it to try to enforce some organization on myself so I know where my keys, wallet, cell phone and camera are. It can hold blankets, a jacket or whatnot for me or my older child, etc - but for the baby, it mainly has a few diapers, wipes, changing pad, spare outfit and a little tube of cream. And that stuff all comes out separately if we don't want to take the whole backpack with us for some reason.

  5. pekmez, there is a good chance a cute animal print drawstring bag, as pictured, is in your immediate future.

  6. Yup, you know I'm eating these posts up, right?

  7. I'm the mom you are talking about. I carried it all, in a fashionable bag mind you but if an earthquake happened, I was prepared.

    To this day, my purse is always the heaviest of my friends. I carry everything neatly, but I could run away for three days and still have enough stuff.

    Most of the junk I carry is mine though. That was the case even with the diaper bag. My fave dual purpose item is when I whipped out a diaper to use as a breast pad after leaking in public.


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