I’d managed to cut down most of what I had to carry as Owen neared three. I could get away with having a smaller nappy bag when we went out, and carrying the basics in a separate bag which I kept in the boot of the car. Just in case.
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Since having Emilia, I’d forgotten how much you have to carry with a newborn baby. (She’s currently 10 weeks at the time I’m writing this). And just to add insult to an already full bag, we started potty training Owen.
So, I had to upgrade my nappy bag. I’d used my Kate Spade one for years; I absolutely love this bag! The various pockets and pushchair straps meant it was so convenient when out and about. It had enough room for everything I needed, kept relatively clean and worked well when pushing a pushchair. Most importantly, it didn’t take up all the basket space!
My nappy bag of choice
Currently, I’m using a Lekebaby Backpack bag, and am loving it! I’ve upgraded to a backpack because Owen likes to walk everywhere now. Having Emilia in the sling and the backpack frees up my hands to hold his. It costs £35.99, and can be brought on Amazon. It might seem expensive for a nappy bag, but believe me it is worth it! Do keep an eye out for deals; I brought this in the Black Friday Sale back in November, when it was £24.99).
It contains a whopping 18 pockets inside and out, including two insulated bottle pockets, a tissues/wipes easy access pocket, an internal zipped pocket and a waterproof pocket for any wet items. Perfect for if Owen has an accident, or if Emilia has any nappy leaks.
I love the fact that the material is waterproof and wipe clean, as any parent knows that nappy bags take a real beating over the years! It just makes it easy to keep clean. Sticky marks or mud just wipe off with a damp cloth and the bag looks as good as new again.
It comes in a stylish grey material with a contrasting dark grey and arrow print pocket. It doesn’t even look like a nappy bag which is why I like it so much.
The best part is the fact that it is tall as opposed to wide, so you get a lot of vertical space to carry what you need. The zipped mouth to the main compartment also extends really wide to allow you to reach anything you need. It also has a bottom zipper at the back of the bag, which means that to reach an item at the bottom you don’t need to root around. Simply unzip the bottom zipper and you can quite easily access the contents at the bottom of the bag.
It’s very clear that whoever designed this bag has children, and knows the limitations normal nappy bags have!
How do I organise my nappy bag?
As I have to carry around items required for two different children of different ages, it gets incredibly busy and messy. 2 different sets and sized nappies, changes of clothes for both children, bottles of milk and juice, snacks etc. It’s very easy to lose things and forget things when you have to contend with this mess!
Instead, I purchased a couple of large personalized makeup bags from EBay, in three different colours. The bags are canvas and easy to clean, and each bag has my child’s name on it.
What do I carry?
In Emilia’s bag I keep her nappies, wipes, nappy cream, and nappy bags. This makes it easy when I’m changing her nappy when out and about. Rather than taking the whole bag to the changing room, I merely have to grab her bag and I know it’s got everything I need in there to clean her up.
In Owen’s I have a spare pair of underwear, wipes, a couple of spare nappies and his child’s knife and fork in case we eat out. I still carry a couple of nappies around despite him being toilet trained; you never know when you may need it!
The third bag is labelled treats; it contains snack foods for Owen (he loves apricots and raisins), a bottle of water, a pre-made formula for Emilia in case I’m caught short and she’s hungry, and a plastic bag for any rubbish.
The beauty of storing each child’s items in their own personalised bag means I have everything I need contained together, and don’t waste any time rooting around in the bag to locate what I need. As I said previously, this makes changing nappies easier as everything is together, and I don’t need the whole bag.
I also keep 2 packs of wipes and two nappy creams in each bag for each child. This might be a little excessive, but it means that nothing gets contaminated and germs don’t spread from one child to the other, especially if they’ve got a stomach bug.
The beauty of keeping the main things in individual bags means this frees up the internal pockets for everything else I need. I keep my hand sanitizers stored near the top of the bag as I’m constantly reaching for them. I also keep a couple of reusable bags in here, in case I’m out shopping and need another bag. Another higher up pockets has a few packs of tissues (for obvious reasons!).
The pockets towards the bottom of the bag contain a few sachets of Calpol and a spoon. The largest internal pockets that extends from top to bottom is where I keep the bibs and Muslin cloths for feeding times. There are fabric bibs for Emilia, whereas I use paper disposable ones for Owen (SO handy!).
The internal zipped pocket at the top is my ‘Mom’ pocket. I tend to put in spare change, my phone, lipstick, lip balm etc. This is a secure pocket, and keeps my valuables safe.
The largest external pocket is the insulated one, and where I keep Emilia’s feeds. She’s bottle fed either expressed breast milk or formula, so this perfect for keeping pre-made or pre-warmed feeds hot until she needs them. I also store her dummies and teething rings in here, as it’s a quick to access pocket.
What else do I have in my bag?
Other than the things mentioned earlier, there are a few little random bits that I find invaluable to carry when you have kids. Whether it be a case of feeding them, cleaning them or entertaining them you find as time goes on that you accumulate the need for more items – the things we carry for an easier life!
- Colouring book and crayons – This is invaluable to keep Owen entertained when we go out for food. I picked up this Gruffalo activity pack in TKMaxx for £2.99, and its perfect for on the go. It contains 4 mini colouring and activity books and 4 sticker sheets. I’ve also included a pack of 12 jumbo wax crayons as they’re relatively easy to carry about and much less messy than felt pens!
- Portable changing mat – this originally came with my Kate Spade nappy bag, and I found it so useful I’ve transferred it over. This is perfect if you’re caught short and need to change a nappy in an emergency. We’ve used this on park benches, at the beach, even in the back of the car. It just wipes clean and rolls up, and takes next to no space at all!
- Lip balm – perfect for both me and the kids on the go. The one I use also contains SPF – another thing I carry all year round!
- A spare £5 – I tend to do this in a lot of bags I’ve got in case of emergency. Ideal if you need change for the car park, or to buy a bottle of water to clean up with. Always best to carry a bit of money on you – especially as I tend to only use card so never have any loose change!
- The sling – this is another fabric sling that I keep in the bag in case I need it. I do have a proper sling that I keep in the car as Emilia tends to be in the pushchair. However, if Owen is tired when we’re out, I can take the newborn insert out of the seat and sit him in there, with her in the sling instead. When it’s not in use I just keep it folded in the bottom of the bag.
This tends to be it, depending on where we’re going. I also have another backpack in the back of the car that contains a few more spare changes of clothes – for the kids and myself – should anything happen to the clothes we’re wearing.
Let me know what tips you have for organizing your nappy bag, or any invaluable items any parent needs to have.