We’re assuming you already know about the pitfalls of leaving your home without the obvious essentials; diapers and wipes, breast pads if you are nursing, a bottle of water to hydrate the life back into your tired skin (it helps, honest), so we asked our savvy and experienced moms about those extra diaper bag necessities they constantly carry – and couldn’t live without. Ready for the reveal? Read along as we rank them in order of necessity.
1. The Bag
First, let’s start with the actual bag. Thankfully we have more stylish options to choose from than past generations did with their embarrassing baby themed prints and patterns, Now, we can spend a fortune (though hopefully not) or make a minor investment in a smart stylistic unisex version that either parent can be proud, or at least not humiliated, about carrying. Our favourite, more affordable brands include options like the SkipHop Chelsea Diaper Satchel, or do some good with a purchase of FEED brand of diaper bags which support expectant mothers in need.
2. The Case
As parents, we experience both the highs and lows of raising kids. Finding yourself with a package of dried out baby wipes minutes after your child has deposited the remains of their breakfast all over their car seat and surrounding leather interior of your car, is one of them. Keep your wipes – and sanity – in good stock with a secure solution like a Grab and Go Snug Seals Wipes Case that will allow you to continually clean up their inevitable messes (and your coffee spills, too.)
3. The Cream
We could go on about how your baby loves your soft hands and a tube of L’Occitaine hand cream – a diaper bag must-have – is dedicated to their happiness and well-being … but we’ll admit that this one is just for us. We make no apologies for it. Sometimes, we moms need to be soothed too. Absent mindedly applying a dose of our favourite hand cream as chaos erupts around us, can sometimes be just the five second sanity check we need to soldier on.
4. The Kitchen Aid
Depending on your child’s age and stage, at some point your daily excursions out get longer, days become more varied with the number of activities you engage in and suddenly you’ll find yourself more likely to feed your babe on the go, especially as they get to the solid food stage. Our favourite products, like squirt spoons or snack traps that prevent food from spilling all over your bag are – to us – completely ingenious.
5. The Extra Onesie
On their best day, your child will end up with no fewer than three layers of food and/or bodily fluids displayed all over the adorably perfect outfit you first put them in that morning. On their worst day, a leaky diaper has made a tragic statement all over their backside. Keep them comfortable – and clean – by packing a change of clothes (and don’t forget to adjust the size of the backup item as they grow. No one looks good in too tight pants. Not even your baby).
6. The Nursing Cover / Swaddle Blanket
For nursing mothers the ability to feed your babe anytime, anywhere is awesome. Having a little privacy shield on hand to aid you as you need to suddenly nurse in the appliance area of Home Depot or wherever necessity strikes, is even better. Same goes with being able to soothe your babe and bundle them into their burrito-like state should you decide to extend your stay at a friend’s house over naptime. Keeping a clean muslin blanket on hand can serve many purposes, including a fun game of peekaboo on the fly.
7. The Mini Changer
We’ve come the conclusion that whoever designed most restaurant washrooms had long since forgotten the ick factor around having to change your child in a public toilet space. That’s when the small, compact but effective mini changer comes in handy, not only to keep our child somewhat sanitary but to provide some additional padding on those hard surfaces that sometimes are the only option when diaper duty calls.
8. The Portable Charger
Of course, the first time your newborn smiles or your baby garbles out something that can be approximated to the word, “mama,” “dada,” (or possibly, “Beethoven” or “zebra” if we are being honest) your smart phone will have proven to be less than that — as its battery just drained to a zero. For all those cute kid moments – and there will be millions in your lifetime — keep a portable charger on hand to capture it all.
9. The Foaming Hand Sanitizer
You probably thought you had this covered with the baby wipes but trial and error has taught us that taking extra precautions around the germ and dirt-covered worlds that seem to be central to life with kids, means that a little extra cautionary froth should always be available. Spend five minutes at your next pediatric appointment and watch as your baby or toddler yearns to touch every surface and you’ll appreciate the extra weapon in your arsenal. Sure, kids can’t grow up in a bubble, but to fend off sickness and keep things a little more sanitary, pump away.
10. The Instruments of Distraction
Books, teething toys, stacking toys whatever you have in your arsenal of items that can distract your babe mid-cry while you are trying to stock a grocery cart or wait in line at Ikea, is worth its weight in gold and thus a must have on our diaper bag essentials list. The key is to rotate this item, so your delightful and obviously smart newborn/baby/toddler isn’t over it already every time you really, really need it to keep them quiet -and happy.
Check out these time-saving tips, so that you can free up time for the things that really matter.
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This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.