As a parent of a baby or a toddler, your changing bag will probably become your most used item. But knowing what to take out can be difficult, as you don’t want to overpack and make your bag incredibly heavy, but then you want enough out with you to be prepared for every eventuality. So I’ve put together a list of what I think is essential for when going out with your little one. Of course, every parent and child are different so every bag contents are going to vary slightly.
The list consists of the items which I have found useful when out and about with the little one over the past two years.
The Changing Bag
When it comes to choosing your changing bag there a few things to consider, as you want your bag to be something that works with you, not against you. Especially when you’re mid feed and all of sudden your baby suddenly pukes everywhere and you need to quickly rummage in your bag and find a muslin cloth, it needs to be easy.
Having a few pockets within your changing bag and can be a huge help when trying to be organised, as things can be kept separately and in their own place. However, I think having too many pockets may be a little bit of a hindrance, as it could be confusing to find things, especially the small things, also it could make your bag heavy, as you might want to put more things in to fill the pockets.
You also want the bag to be comfortable and easy to carry. I like a bag that can be adaptable and carried in a variety of different ways. A fashion at the moment is to use a backpack style changing bag, which can be really useful as you’ll have both hands free. This might be a good option if you have more than one child.
Also, you want a bag which is easy to attach to your pushchair, as you might not want to carry a heavy bag all the time. If your bag has a long handle, you can just hook it over the handlebar or you can use buggy straps. Some bags have them already attached, but you can buy them separately.
These ones I bought from Jojo Maman Bebe for £6.
Most importantly you need to choose a bag that you like and want to carry around, as it is likely to become your everyday bag.
Now I’ve rambled on long enough about the practicality of the bag, I’m going to talk about what to actually put inside your changing bag.
Nappies – I usually like to have 4. I’m not entirely sure why, I just think that with this amount you are unlikely to run out, and you will have enough if you have any unexpected moments. You might need more if you have a younger baby, as they need to be changed more frequently or if you’re going out for an extended amount of time.
Other things you might want to pack:
- Wipes – So handy for so many things, not just for changing nappies. I like to have a normal sized pack floating around in the bag and then a smaller travel sized pack inside the travel changing mat. I stock up on the Aldi Mamia travel wipes when they have them in their baby event.
- Change of clothes – I like to have comfy clothes, so either joggers and a t-shirt or a sleepsuit (for younger babies).
- Nappy bags – have lots! You can use them for lots of things, not just dirty nappies.
- Changing mat – most bags come with them, but you can buy travel changing mats separately, which to be honest I prefer. They keep everything together and you can take it just on its own, rather than taking the whole bag.
- Nappy rash cream – Use whichever brand you prefer, but I would try and get some travel sized tubes, as they don’t take up too much room in your bag.
This obviously varies depending on your baby’s age and stage and also whether they are bottle fed or breast fed. When you start to wean or have a toddler you then also need to carry meals plus snacks.
- Formula Dispensers/ Ready Made Milk – If your baby is formula-fed you’re going to need to take as many bottles out as you think your baby is going to need and maybe one more, as a just in case. Formula dispensers are the most cost effective option as you can fill the sections with the amount of scoops your baby usually has, and then just add them to a bottle of cooled boiled water. Ready-made milk is pretty much what is says on the carton, just get the brand your baby usually has and then fill up their bottle.
- Muslin squares – I’ve mentioned before in previous postsi, how useful Muslins are with babies. I usually had one shoved in my bag. I have even used them as a bib when I’ve forgotten the actual bib.
- Snacks – For snacks, I like to use things that are already in packets and therefore not likely to spread all over your bag. The little one particularly enjoys Organix Carrot Cake bars and fruit pouches, as quick on the go snacks.
When weaning we used mainly pouches when out and about, as they were easy to manage, but I knew that he was having healthy and organic meals.
- Drink – When the little one was younger we used the Munchkin Miracle 360 Cup, which was absolutely fantastic and we didn’t have any leaks. I only found this cup leaked if it was dropped, but only a small amount came out.
- Bibs – When the little one was a baby, I liked to have at least two spare bibs in the changing bag, just in case he was sick or he was extra dribbly. As feeding bibs go I like to have one wipe clean bib, we are using the Sassy Crumb Catcher Bib at the moment and I absolutely love it! It is wipe clean, machine washable and dishwasher safe.
Small but Essential
- Toys and Books – Smaller toys and board books are ideal to fit into your changing bag, as they don’t take up too much room. One of our favourite toys to have in the changing bag when the little tester was younger was the Nuby Bug-a-loop teether, he absolutely loved it! Now, anything Thomas the Tank Engine is a winner.
- Anti-bac wipes – Some highchairs can be absolutely disgusting, so having some anti-bac wipes is a must (clean freak alert). We use the Milton sterilising wipes, as they can be used on teats as well as on surfaces. I also have the Aquaint Sanitising Water in my bag, I love this stuff as it is 100% natural and kills 99.9% of bacteria. You can put it straight onto your baby’s hands or onto their bottles, dummies or toys and not worry about them putting any nasty chemicals in their mouths.
- Teething gel – If your baby is teething, having some kind of teething pain relief in your bag is an essential. I found the Nelsons Teetha Granules to help relieve some of the little ones teething pain, also they are small and in a packet, making them less likely to make a mess.
- Calpol sachets – Having these in your bag as a just in case is a must, as you just never know when your baby might have a temperature. The sachets just save you from carrying around a heavy glass bottle. Remember to pack the syringe, for easy administration.
- Sun cream and hat – As the weather is starting to become warmer, I now always have a hat and some sun cream in the bag. I like using the Child’s Farm sun cream as it is more natural and suitable for eczema prone skin.
These are the things that I find essential when out and about with a baby or toddler, but obviously, every child is different, therefore every changing bag contents are going to be different.
What do you find essential for your changing bag?
Thank you for reading,