The Art of Packing a Low-Maintenance Diaper Bag
I was the epitome of low-maintenance. Hair in messy bun, yoga pants on, and I was out the door in 5 minutes flat.
...then I became a mom.
Somehow becoming a mother made me high-maintenance.
As a first time mom, it was so easy for me to get caught up in believing I needed to bring a suitcase with me full of baby stuff everywhere I went. I mean I definitely had enough baby stuff to choose from! I would pack for the day using the “what-if” mentality:
Why do you need to bring 10 different outfits?
Because, what-if he poops through 9 of them?
Why do you need to bring 12 different toys?
Because, what if he gets tired of the first 11?
Why do you need baby shoes?
Because, what-if he decides to jump right out of my arms and start running?
..You just never know!
After about a month of this nonsense, I decided I needed to downsize and go back to my low maintenance routine.
I put my hair in a messy bun, put my yoga pants on, and grabbed only the essentials I need!
I now carry a toddler-sized backpack with everything I need for a full day of activities! The bag is packed and ready to go whenever I decide we want to have an adventure!
What to include in your low-maintenance diaper bag!
I always have four diapers. I don’t know why I chose four, other than the fact that we rarely go through more than two. I would see how many diapers your child typically uses and and one or two extras… not 10 extra... only one or two!
I just buy the wipes that come with the flip top lid and throw a pack in my bag. We are at the stage where eating is also a creative art project, so enough wipes is pretty essential.
Just one. This is only for blowouts. Your baby does not need to be changed because they got a little dirt on them. I typically just throw a random onesie in there. He doesn't need pants. Totally overrated.
As I mentioned above, my son’s meals are somewhat like a creative art project, so a bib is essential. I carry a silicone bib because it’s super easy to wipe off with a wipe and throw back into the bag. I don’t want to have the extra maintenance of remembering to take the bib out when I get home so I can wash it.
If you are not breastfeeding (or if you are breastfeeding and still like to give a bottle), definitely pack a bottle. I love the Playtex ones because you only need to pack one bottle and you can just change the liners out.
The key to this is that it’s pre-portioned. I do not pack an entire tub of formula. I use milk collection bottles (just because I breastfed for several months so I have a ton of them). I’m sure they actually make containers for formula, but small storage containers work fine. I scoop out as much as I need for each bottle. Then when I’m out and about I just pour the pre-portioned amount right into the bottle and voila!
Honestly, I only bring water if I’m going to be somewhere that I can’t get water. In that case, I will throw a water bottle in there.
Not 12 different ones! I typically pack one teether type toy and a book. My son loves books, but if your baby prefers another toy, bring that instead. The point is to entertain them.
My son currently only uses a pacifier for naptime and bedtime, but I always like to have it handy in case he is extra cranky. If your baby is very reliant on a pacifier then I recommend packing more than one, just in case!
I always pack my three essentials: wallet, keys, and cell phone. I have packed the same three things for the longest time that every time I leave my house, I instinctively run through them in my head to make sure I have them. That’s really all I ever bring for myself. Sometimes, I also add in my water bottle.
All of the above items I have carried since my son was born. Of course as he grows up, the things I need have shifted a little. Here are the few age-appropriate items I added to the bag.
0-6 Months Old:
My son loved to be swaddled. It was nice to have it handy when he was little to swaddle him if he started to get cranky. The swaddle also doubled as a burp cloth and a small blanket, if needed.
Babies’ immune systems are still developing, so cleaning your hands as often as possible is important. I basically bathed in hand sanitizer for the first few months. Now, I typically change his diaper in the bathroom, so I can just wash my hands after.
6-12 Months Old
As we are transitioning away from bottles, I always keep a sippy cup of water in the bag. My son personally loves the cup with a straw, but any cup works.
My son eats like a linebacker. I always make sure I have some snacks with me to entertain him. His personal favorites are puffs and Cheerios, but even if I packed broccoli he would be happy.
There you have it!
That’s everything I pack in my diaper bag. No extras, no frills, just necessities. Now I throw my hair in a messy bun, put on my yoga pants, pick up my son, grab my diaper bag, and I’m out the door in 5 minutes flat!
What other things do you pack in your diaper bag? Are there any other items that are necessities for your baby?