When I was pregnant, the thought of carrying around a diaper bag packed with all of the essentials seemed daunting. How was I supposed to know what I'd need, the things that were unnecessary, and how I'd be lugging it all around? Luckily it turned out to be one of the many intimidating-only-until-you-cross-that-bridge things about parenthood and I perfected my pack pretty quickly. Here's a glimpse into what I take for Sloan and myself anytime we leave the house.
These are the items that I pretty much always have on me, no matter what (we learned the hard way early on once when we went out and forgot to pack diapers).
Diapers: I usually have a few diapers on hand at all times, especially since Sloan skips her afternoon nap now, which means we can go out and do things for longer than before.
Wipes: While I typically use these for cleaning her after she goes to the bathroom, they're also great for spills and messy faces as well.
Changing Pad: I get a little skeeved out by changing stations in public restrooms, so I make sure to bring along our own pad so that it feels a bit more sanitary (plus it means we can create a makeshift changing area no matter where we go).
Baggies: These fall under the you-learn-as-you-go category since carrying around soiled diapers until you find a garbage can isn't an ideal situation.
Neosporin: I carry a tube of Neosporin + Pain, Itch, Scar with me at all times so I can put the salve on everything from my scrapes and scratches to stubborn hangnails. I've always been a fan of Neosporin and particularly love that this new product minimizes scars as well. It's ideal for someone as accident prone as myself.
Antibacterial Wipes: Though it kind of goes against my personality, I'm actually not a total germophobe. That being said, I still make sure to wipe certain things down before Sloan uses them (i.e. the swing or the grocery cart).
Not pictured: Large iced coffee and concealer.
Making sure that you're well stocked with toys is a must-have when you have a baby. Though Sloan appreciates books, balls, and musical instruments, sometimes she's just as happy when we hand over some sugar packets and a spoon at a restaurant. As long as we have new things to entertain her while in the car/at the post office/running errands, she's usually very happily independent.
Since I require snacks on pretty much an hourly basis, it's no surprise to hear that Sloan is just like her mama. I like to split up her food by things that will help fill her up (they make some great protein-heavy pouches that are easy for her to eat) and things that are more like snacking entertainment with little puffs and teething wafers. We'll also periodically get her a little smoothie while we're out, but also make sure to always have a sippy cup with water in it as well. For me, I usually just throw an apple or a granola bar into the bag for those times when I get hangry.
These are a few additional items that I don't reach for every day, but are good to have on hand.
Burp cloth: We're out of the spit-up phase, but I still carry around her old burp cloths since they're great for mopping up spills.
Socks: Sloan either is in the mood for shoes or not, but for those times when she tears them off, I like to keep an extra pair of socks around in case she gets chilly.
Bib: Sloan has an obscene number of teeth for someone her age (12 and counting!), which means she's also still realllly drooly. We always leave the house with her wearing one, but make sure to have an extra dry one with us as well.
Lip balm: I like to bring an unscented balm for myself in case my lips/elbows/knees get dry (it can also double as a flyaway tamer).
Extra onesie: There's not a food that Sloan doesn't enjoy, which essentially guarantees that she's going to want to try whatever we're eating and make a big mess of herself. That's why having an extra outfit (or two) always makes sense.
Tiny rubber bands: Since Sloan's hair is in a current awkward phase of growing out - it's very '70s rock band - I keep these tiny rubber bands with me so I can throw up her hair into a quick top knot or pigtail situation easily.
While there are a lot of great, utilitarian diaper bags on the market, I went with an old tote I've had for years since it holds everything and isn't an eyesore.