Monday, June 6, 2011

How We Pack Our Baby Bag

This is probably one of those posts that was better in my head than on my (long neglected) blog . . . but I'm proud of how little baby stuff my husband and I schlep around and I thought I'd share how we pack. Everything fits into one (not jammed, not too heavy) backpack and I've yet to have an "oh shit, I don't have x,y, or z" moment (although we've had our share of shitty moments. And moments involving shit.)

Here's our hero, a big, navy blue Jansport backpack with one large back compartment, one narrower large compartment and 3 smaller front compartments:

In the first front zipper compartment, we keep small things that we're likely to reach for over and over, a) a small pack of wipes (I've actually had this one for months, I keep refilling it from my big packs), b) a packet of Advil (23lb 13 month old = back pain for mama!), c) gum, d) a mini tube of Aquaphor (is there anything Aquaphor can't fix?) and e) a tube of baby sunblock (I love this Coppertone stuff because it is clear and it glides on easily):

The larger front zipper compartment behind the first compartment is designed to hold pens and whatnot. It has a place for my sunglasses, which is handy, and a hook for my keys (when I've got them). This is where I keep my personal, purse type stuff: f) wallet, g) sunglasses, and the following items which I leave in the backpack at all times, so I don't have to worry about packing them each and every time we're going out for the day: h) glasses cleaning cloth, i) hair bands and clips, j) concealer, k) lip gloss and l) roll on perfume (lavender vanilla, which doubles as aromatherapy for a fussy baby)
The uppermost, and smallest small compartment is where we keep Rhys' food: m) a few squeezeable fruits and/or veggies, n) a toddler fork and spoon set (we like the First Years Take and Toss ones, because it is no big deal if we lose them or decide to toss them for whatever reason), o) a few disposable bibs, p) a covered bowl filled with snacks (Rhys' current assortment: a few Miltons crackers, an apple Nutri-Grain bar and either goldfish crackers or cheerios filling up the remaining space). Also, q) (not pictured) Boobs (mine). Boobs are an important part of our minimal schlepping plan.

The next compartment is the narrow large compartment. I use that for: r) A few toys (varying cast of characters, always including a few baby rings to use to hook toys on to high chairs or on to the straps of my Ergo carrier.), s) A sweatshirt for Rhys (and one for me, if necessary), t) a baseball hat for Rhys (or a knit hat, if it is cold) and u) our camera (not pictured, for obvious reasons).

Then the final, biggest compartment contains v) our diaper kit (more on that in a sec), w) a cloth diaper (awesome for cleaning up messes), x) a nursing cover (My thoughts on nursing covers can be found here. In short: I'm not a huge fan and I only use one under one, specific circumstance (while nursing Rhys in the Ergo). I carry one in the backpack because, in the event I find myself in close quarters with random people and I can't sit down to nurse (i.e., in lines at Disneyland), I find the cover helpful. In other words, I carry a nursing cover for the express purpose of using in lines at Disneyland. What can I say? It happens more than you might expect. ) and y) a bottle of water. The biggest compartment is actually big enough, even fully packed, to fit our folded up Ergo carrier as well, which is very handy now that Rhys is becoming more mobile:

Our final player is z) a flip top straw cup of water for the Meyers, contained in a side pocket of the backpack:

Our diaper kit is the Skip Hop Pronto which I adore and can't say enough good things about. It has become my go to shower gift. It has enough space for all of our diapering essentials (even a spare outfit!), a nice sized stash of wipes and FIVE diapers. It includes a huge changing pad (with a padded area for Rhys' head), it comes in adorable colors and (key point) it can be opened and closed with one hand. I love that I don't have to carry my whole diaper bag into a restroom and either struggle to fit it on the changing table or put it down on a questionable bathroom floor. I simply pull my diaper kit out of the backpack, loop the wrist strap around my wrist, pick up my monkey and go.

Our diaper kit is outfitted with: 1) five diapers, 2) another mini tube of Aquaphor, 3) A mini tube of Aveeno diaper cream, 4) a little tub of Motherlove thrush cream, 5) a mini tube of cream baby sunblock and 6) a spare pair of baby socks . . .

. . . 7) a spare outfit and 8) the included wipes container, filled with wipes from our big container . . .

. . . and a stash of rarely used items in the front zipper pocket: 9) infant Tylenol, 10) a Tide pen, 11) individually wrapped boogie wipes, 12) Q-tips, 13) a Band Aid, 14) a wash cloth, 15) teething drops and 16) A teeny tube of Lansinoh. We also have a cute little hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works looped to our diaper kit (and a second one looped to our Ergo).

We also keep a stash of things in our car as backup: diapers, baggies, wipes, hand sanitizer, an ear thermometer, saline and a Nose Frida, teething drops, infant Tylenol and Advil, toys, a blanket, jackets for everyone, a stack of books and snacks.

Looking over the list all spelled out this way, I can see we have a few redundancies (do I really need a washcloth AND a cloth diaper?), but overall I think we've worked out a tightly edited packing list that keeps us in wipes and baby spoons without making us feel like pack mules.

If you've read this far, I've got your medal right here. Thanks for letting me share!

How do you pack your baby bag or purse? Any tips or tricks you're proud of?

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