A well-stocked nappy bag can make the difference between a fun day out and going home early and in tears (and the baby might cry too). Generally, nappy bags quickly turn into bulging sacks of every possible item your child might need while you are out of the house. Believe me, if you think about it even for a minute the list grows unwieldy and long. Below is a list of “must haves” if there is space, by all means, take that rain machine and their favourite bath toy. Just get the essentials in first.
Nappies and dirty nappy bags. Always do a stock take before you leave the house. Yes, you put ten nappies in the bag the other day but that does not mean they are still there. Toddlers love to empty bags and partners are known to occasionally use a nappy from the bag because it is closer than the nursery. Realising there is a nappy crisis when you are in a café toilet is not fun. Same with dirty nappy bags. Walking around with a pooey nappy in your hand trying to dispose of it casually is practically impossible. Wrap it up in one of those preferably scented bags and you can get back to your coffee and deal with it at home.
Changing mat, wipes and any cream you may need While it is true that nappies will probably get changed on a lot of different surfaces as your child is growing up. On beds and couches and in the boot of your car outside the supermarket (or is that just me?). However, changing mats and wipes are the best way to protect your child from mucky shopping centre change tables (and to protect surfaces from your little ones’ mucky bottom). Wipes are not just for changing time. Food spills, sticky hands, spat-out rusk sticks wipes are a parent’s best friend, keep them close.
Full change of clothes for baby Young children are prone to many different things at any given moment. Milk vomit, explosive diarrhea, putting entire arms into food bowls, or plant pots. Nearly everything they do leaves clothes somewhere between quite dirty and unwearable. The easiest option for spare clothes is the onesie. They come in summer and winter fabrics, are easy to change and are available up to 3 years old.
Bottles and formula If you are bottle feeding and just gave your child a bottle before leaving the house. Still take two more feeds worth, particularly if they are not on solids yet. Life is unpredictable and anything from bad traffic to running into a friend and having a chat can delay your return and push your child into the hunger zone. A hungry baby is not a happy baby.
Snacks for you and your child It is not just your children who can be pushed into the hungry and unhappy zone. It is important to make sure you have a snack packed for yourself for when you are stuck feeding in a parent's room or decide it is easier to drive around while your baby sleeps. Nothing saps patients like hunger. So keep an emergency muesli bar or other non-perishable in one of your nappy bags many, many pockets.
A spare dummy or ten If your child uses a dummy then you will not need to be told this. Entire day trips can be derailed by a lost dummy. Keep spares in your nappy bag, the car, and the letterbox. Never too many dummies.
Entertainment This is one that people often forget but without the abundance of toys most people have in their homes, little ones can get bored, which can move to niggley then straight to unhappy and no one wants that. So take a couple of small rattles or sensory books. If you forget then you can always improvise with your keys. Babies just love keys.
Congratulations, now that you have all of these ducks in a row, you can leave the house with your child. Though after getting yourself and your child ready, packing the bag and organising the pram, you are probably too exhausted to go anywhere!
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