Thursday 17 April 2014

Changing needs

For me, choosing the right changing bag was a big decision. In my pre-baby planning days, I spent hours and hours searching online, reading reviews and comparing products. I wanted to find the 'right' bag for me, that provided lots of storage for all of baby's things and would look cute on my shoulder or hanging across the bars of the pram.

It was one of those things I could buy early on that would make me feel 'prepared' for our new arrival. At least, that's how I felt at the time!

I wrote this post just before Ethan came along, and it proved very popular as other mums were keen to see which bag I had finally chosen and why. Everything I said still holds true for me now, but what I have learnt is that you have changing needs from your changing bag and it's unlikely you'll find one that will take you through from bump to baby to toddler, without finding a few limitations or simply wanting something new to use.

Changing needs - choosing the right bag

I'm currently in a changing bag limbo, as we outgrew my first bag within a few months, as soon as Ethan's clothes got a bit bigger and I had to take more out and about with us.

Here's our first changing bag, which you can read about here:

Then, my very talented friend made us a bespoke changing bag, complete with matching changing mat. Isn't it lovely? You can read all about it here, and we still use this bag, particularly for small trips out or as Ethan's nursery bag. Trouble is, as he gets bigger, so do his clothes and I'm finding we need to take even more bits and bobs out with us.

From snacks to toys, I take pretty much everything but the kitchen sink it seems when we leave the house, even more so when we go out for the day. At the moment, we're using a backpack as a shared bag solution; it's not great for organising things in an easy to find way - very annoying when it comes to changing Ethan on the go - but I can cram in most things, including my purse and car keys if needs be.

Changing needs - what's in my changing bag?

So, what's in my changing bag now that Ethan is almost a year old? Well, what isn't?! Of course, there's the obvious items - travel changing mat, nappies, nappy sacks, baby wipes and Sudocrem - but a changing bag is much more than that these days. It's a lunch bag and entertainment pack too!

My mummy changing bag checklist:

  • Folding changing mat
  • Nappies (at least four, just to be on the safe side!)
  • Nappy bags (I use these to put dirty clothes in too if Ethan needs a change while we are out, keeps the bag from getting damp)
  • Wipes
  • Cream
  • Bongela (for help with teething spells)
  • Calpol (just in case they get a little poorly out and about)
  • Complete change of clothes (bodysuit, tshirt, trousers, plus Ethan's shoes as he refuses to keep them on!)
  • Spare bibs
  • Muslin cloths
  • Snacks (I pop Ethan's organic savoury snacks and baby biscotti into small plastic tubs to keep them fresh and avoid crumbs in the bottom of my bag)
  • Meals on the go (if we're going out for a while or I'm not sure if they'll be something suitable for Ethan to eat, I pop a jar of food, some fruit and a spoon in my bag, plus his drinking cup and possibly a bottle and mini bottle of milk to have all bases covered)
  • Hand sanitiser 

Other items which may find their way into the changing bag as well...

  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Purse and keys (if I don't want to take my own bag!)

To help with the load, I have a stock of things in the car just so I don't get caught out - you don't want to forget your changing bag and have a case of an explosive nappy! I have some of the basic bits and pieces in a small bag in the car, plus Ethan has a basket of toys that 'live' in the car, which are smaller and easier to play with and can help to keep him entertained if we're going for a longer trip. I always know I have something to hand for him to play with and as they're different toys to those that he plays with at home, it helps to keep things fresh.

I'm sure as Ethan gets bigger, they'll be a must-have travelling companion and all sorts of other things he wants to bring out with us, so I might end up hauling a great big holdall around with us before long!

I'm currently browsing the wide range of bags that Kiddicare has on offer to find a new bag that can handle everything we need now. I've always wanted a Pink Lining bag but will have a good look at everything on offer before picking the one that's just right. 

I'm like the Goldilocks of changing bags!


The other day, I asked some of you lovely mamas on Twitter what your top three things you absolutely must have in your changing bags were, and here's what some of you had to say:

Thank you to everyone who shared their changing bag must haves with me - great to see what items help you out on the go, think I might add some bubbles to my bag soon!

I found it really useful to read about what other mum's take with them, particularly when I had a newborn on my hands, so why not share the contents of your bag on Twitter, using the following hashtag, to help other mums pack everything they may need? #whatsinmychangingbag

* PR collaboration 

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