As my kids have grown, my diaper bag needs have changed as well. I used to over pack so much! Some of you may be looking at the huge quantity below and think I am still overpacking, but I promise I’ve come a long way. Buying the small-ish one-shoulder backpack has helped me to limit things, since only so much fits inside. Although D still needs extra clothes and diapering supplies, the rest of the pack is focused on keeping the kids happy via snacks! Here’s what I’m packing for my almost 2 yo and almost 4 yo as we run around this summer…
1. One Shoulder Backpack. I know this isn’t the most fashionable option, but I’ve found it works best for me. I can stick enough things in there to be out and about for most of the day, can carry it hands free as I’m chasing after the kids, and can easily swivel it to my front to get things out. There are also several outer pockets for my wallet, keys, etc.
2. Emergency G tube kit (not pictured). Idea courtesy of the wonderful blog, A Girl and Her Tube. I really should have been carrying around this emergency kit from the beginning – I’ve so far been lucky that D’s tube has only ever been pulled out when we’re at home. Now I keep this kit in the diaper bag (and a duplicate at D’s school). As Brandis describes, the cut off Q tip can be used to stabilize the flexible tubing of the G tube as you insert it back in. Before discovering this technique I would just stress about putting it back in as it bent all over the place. No more! She also very wisely pre-measures out the water and lubricant to make the process even more straightforward.
3. Wet Ones Wipes and 4. hand sanitizer. I mainly use the wipes to clean everybody’s hands before/after we eat or once we get into the car after playing (just so I don’t forget to make them wash up when we get home). Mr T is a bit of a germaphobe and I’ve adopted some of his practices! The hand sanitizer is just for me, to use after changing diapers (why are the changing pads never next to the sinks!) or before dealing with D’s g tube. I like that I can just strap it to the outside of the bag for easy access.
5. Durable Straw Cups. We actually have the Target version of these which I couldn’t find online – but they were inexpensive and we’re happy with them! The straw closes up, holds a reasonably large quantity, and doesn’t leak even when stuffed in the bag sideways.
6. Snacks. D can’t have sugar, so lately we’re packing Veggie Straws, pretzel sticks, and goldfish, often tossed together in a little screw-top tupperware so they don’t get crushed – just think of it like trail mix! I also keep some fruit snacks for K and a pouch for D in case he needs something more substantial – for K I can just buy a meal when we’re out. It’s tough finding pouches with less than 3g of sugar – you’d be shocked how much most of them have! These Earth’s Best all-veggie ones are some of the few contenders.
7. Disposable placemats. Those of you with clean eaters and/or responsible kids who can safely handle heavy restaurant plates can skip these. For me and my little angels, these are lifesavers! I can stick one (or two) on the table and then just plop their food right on it. I bought a large quantity when K was little and am still working through them. I just keep 2 in the bag at all times!
8. Extra clothes and 9. bibs. I am perhaps tempting fate by not packing spare clothes for K, but D is the one who still fairly regularly needs a wardrobe change while we’re out. Depending on how far we’re going I often pack 2 new outfits! D still drools a ton and I change out his bib multiple times a day, so I always have a stack in the bag. I know the Carter’s brand isn’t the cutest for a huge toddler, but I can’t stomach paying $10+ for plain bibs on Etsy when we go through so many! These are $3 each and often on sale at Target.
10. Diapers, 11. wipes, and 12. travel pad. I’ve come to prefer Target brand. The unscented wipes work for D’s sensitive skin, and the diapers are affordable while minimizing leaks – I’ve had issues with Luvs and Sam’s Club brand leaking everywhere! We just have a basic Summer Infant pad – no frills but it works and has held up for years!
What’s in your diaper bag? What am I missing or what shortcuts can change my life? Do share!