One of the things I worried (and still worry!) most about the transition to being a parent is losing the ability to be spontaneous. Mr. Lion and I love to travel, and pre-baby it was not unheard of for us to randomly decide Friday afternoon or Saturday morning to take off for the weekend. Even when we are in town, I often will leave the house in the morning intending to only be gone for a short time, but end up not returning home until evening. I am a planner by nature, but only to a certain extent. I like to be out and about, and enjoy having the freedom to change my plans without having to go home first.
Now that Little Lion has entered our world, we were determined to bring him along and continue to do what we do as long as feasible. That left me with two options. Invest in a rolling suitcase for a diaper bag so as to always be prepared (yikes), or plan thoroughly before leaving the house for every possible outcome. Neither of these was very appealing.
Then I remembered... I already have a "rolling suitcase," and it goes wherever we go! Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to what we keep in my trunk!
Inside I keep pretty much everything I can think of that we may end up needing throughout the day. We use ziploc bags to organize items that can be grouped together (feeding, clothing, diapers, etc.) for easy searching. Having access to all of these things keeps the number of items in my diaper bag to a minimum, and it frees us to be able to do pretty much whatever we want with LL in tow.
Here it is...the junk in our trunk!
1. Diapers - Luvs - We use cloth diapers during a normal day, but often rely on disposables when we travel. We keep 15-20 disposables stocked in the trunk. That way I only have to keep 1-2 in the diaper bag at a time.
2. Purse Essentials - My diaper bag doubles as my purse, so anything that I need to have but don't use daily lives in the trunk. I keep extra chapstick, ibuprofen, nursing pads, pens, a small pad of paper, etc. in here so that they don't take up valuable diaper bag real estate.
3. Outdoor Blanket - Mine is not this fancy, but I love this one! Outdoor blankets tend to be thicker and more water resistant. I like having one to throw out on the ground for LL to lay on. This prevents me from getting our cozy blankets dirty.
4. Umbrella - I don't often use one of these for myself, but I keep one in the bottom of the stroller. Rain comes out of nowhere in NC, especially in the summer.
5. Phone Charger, GPS, Shopping Bags - I have a separate small basket that holds things that are not baby related. We have an old GPS that only gets used if we are lost and don't have a cell phone signal. I also keep a wall phone charger, ziploc bags, grocery bags, and a reusable shopping bag or two.
6. Wipes - Pampers Sensitive Wipes - These can be used for just about anything, so we keep an entire wipes case at all times.
7. Manual Pump and Bottle- We had a difficult start to breastfeeding, and I have never been comfortable doing it in public, so this little gem is a life saver! I can pump 3-4 oz for a bottle in 5-10 minutes. It eventually hurts my hand to use, but it works great and is nice to have when I really need it.
8. Hat - LL hates hats, but you never know when he will need the sun protection.
9. Bottle, Formula, and Bottled Water - LL doesn't typically have formula, but because of my discomfort nursing in public I am always nervous that he will be hungry and I won't be prepared. We got some of these samples in the mail, so I threw them in the trunk just in case. We have never had to use them, but it gives me peace of mind knowing they are there.
10. Stroller - Britax B-Agile - I LOVE this stroller! Our car seat snaps in quickly, and it is so easy to push around and maneuver. It folds with one hand and I can quickly slide it into its designated spot in the trunk. It is in and out of the car at least 3-4 times a day with no trouble.
11. Swaddle Blankets - I love these from Aden and Anais! We have found tons of uses for them, and they were well worth the investment. I keep one in the trunk and one in the diaper bag at all times.
12. Yoga Mat - I hate getting to a yoga class and discovering that I left my mat at home (making it to the gym with an infant is hard enough!), so this lives in the trunk at all times. It also doubles as a squishy layer under the outdoor blanket in case we ever need to sprawl out on a hard spot on the ground.
13. Boba Wrap - This is my go-to carrier. I love that it is stretchy and easy to get LL into quickly. I also love that it comes in its own little pouch, making it easy to keep neatly folded.
14. Large Bin - Thirty One: Short Utility Bin - What I love about this bin is its size, as well as the fact that it is collapsible, making it easier to bend and mold inside the trunk. It is my catch-all for almost all of the other items we keep in the trunk, and fits nicely beside the stroller.
15. Jacket - This seems silly in the summer, but during our last trip to Asheville (in July) it was actually pretty cool on top of the mountain. We keep one with us just in case.
16. Baby Bjorn - This doesn't get used that often, but it is nice to have when Mr. L wants to carry LL (he doesn't like the wrap style carriers).
17. Extra Clothes - We keep at least 3 full outfits (long and short sleeved) ready to go. This allows me to only need to keep one extra outfit in the diaper bag at a time.
I am sure as LL grows the items will change. What would you add for a toddler or preschooler?