My now-toddler has been a life changing transformation for me. Not least in the amount of effort it now takes to leave the house. No longer is it a quick check for keys, wallet, phone; oh no, leaving the house now requires military precision, the nappy bag, the kitchen sink, numerous toys and a few dashes back in the door having realised something essential has been left behind. Most of the time I’m listening to comments like “You’re not going for a week!”, but most things in that bag are things I know that if I don’t have them, I will somehow need them.
Here are my nappy bag essentials!
This is in the name, so you’d think that would mean I wouldn’t forget them. Ha. We’re currently in Tesco Size 4+/Aldi Size 4, dependant on what stage of the day I remember that we’ve only got two left and panic. Both have proven to be miles better than the much more expensive Pampers ones which our little man always managed to pee through while leaving the nappy drier than you’d think. They’re also a lot more pocket friendly (the Aldi ones at €5.79 for 48 (12c each) instead of Pampers at 11 euro for the same amount on offer (23c each). Keep a big stash of them in the bag at all times, you never know when those days where they seem to be constantly wet/dirty will arrive. I’ve contemplated potty training him many times already and he’s only 12 months old!
As essential as the nappies, these are multipurpose. Not just for dirty bums, they do faces, surfaces, hands, baby food on clothes, the works. We’ve gone through a number of brands for these, the ones I find best are either Huggies Pure or Waterwipes. Keep a big stash of these and if the bag is running low it’s always best to keep a second pack – it’s never good to be left without the wipes!
There is nothing I hate more than going into a changing area in a shop or public area and being confronted by the stench of a nappy bin. It just makes for a horrible experience and is so easily avoided by using nappy sacks. They’re cheap and cheerful – we get the ones on a roll in Dealz, €1.49 for 2 rolls, they last ages and eliminate smells. Especially handy for on the go explosions or vomiting episodes – you can throw dirty clothes into one making sure it doesn’t get into the rest of the nappy bag, as well as disposing of dirty nappies in an odour free way.
Some kids are really lucky and don’t get sore, but I’ve found that when teething, it can be too easy to wind up with a cranky baby in pain from a rash. Trial and error has gotten us using many different creams, but mainly Sudocrem and Weleda cream have been winners here. A small tub is easy to stash in your nappy bag and is also handy for any dry skin patches you may have yourself, or any burns. The key to this bag seems to be everything being multifunctional.
Change of Clothes
More important for the younger baby but still essential for the toddler; the day you leave without it is the day they drench themselves in juice/throw up/have a poo explosion. Don’t forget the vests, this is the mistake I always make and only ever realise mid changing the child. For a smaller nappy bag (and a smaller child) a babygro is good here; for an older toddler a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, vest and some socks should do the trick.
As E was formula fed from 9 weeks, the bottle and formula powder dispenser has been a staple of our nappy bag from early on. It’s always handy to have a spare just in case it is sent flying (we have a throw-er) and winds up somewhere not very clean. (Obviously if infant is breastfed you don’t need to take up space in your bag – save it for snacks for you!)
Obviously with younger babies this one is somewhat less important but for carrying a toddler around, snacks are non-negotiable. I like to use Babypotz for carrying combinations of grapes, blueberries and apple slices as on the go snacks, while having rusks/Organix biscuits handy for a quick distraction for an upset child seems to be a winner. It can be good to stash something for yourself here as well, as a hungry adult is less likely to fare well from the toddler tantrums. We’ve found the Ella’s Kitchen pouches or even supermarket own brand mixed fruit pouches great too – you can sneak some veggies into them in a smoothie and they’ll stave off the hunger rage for a bit!
Not exactly the entire toy box, but one or two small rattle type toys or “loveys” are a good idea to stash in the nappy bag for moments of boredom/frustration. A little distraction or a favourite toy can be the difference between a peaceful twenty minutes in a cafe with a coffee and a happy child, or a tantrumming toddler who is bored and wants to do something else NOW. We’ve got two Lamaze toys (Morgan the Monkey and Freddie the Firefly) who come with us everywhere, as well as random rattles and a toy fire engine which is the latest obsession.
So that’s a quick look into our nappy bag, what are the essentials in yours? Let me know in the comments below!
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