Tuesday 2 June 2015

Be prepared!

Be prepared - it's the first and most useful lesson to know and learn as a mum.

I've always been an organised person and could never function if I didn't do my best to plan ahead. It's true, I can barely get us all out the door if I've left packing the changing bag or checking what we need until the last minute - at the very least, I think of three things I've forgotten by the time we've hit the road.

It is true that children rarely follow rules and being a parent doesn't always go to plan - the real lesson I guess is be prepared to be unprepared - but having a plan, of some kind, can help. At least you know how things should be done.

The best way I try to maintain order when it comes to our little man is by thinking ahead and putting things where we're probably going to need them.

He has certain toys in certain places - the lounge, both in reach and tucked away, the playroom, his nursery, in an organiser on the back of my seat in the car - so there's always something to keep him entertained.

His clothes are organised in his storage cupboard in coloured baskets - red means nursery clothes, blue is PJ's and white are clothes for the weekend - which may seem overkill, but it makes getting him ready really easy first thing in the morning.

And his changing bag is packed with all the key things we need when we go out and about. Since he's been born, we've had three changing bags; you can read about how I prepared his first changing bag when he was a newborn and then what was in our changing bag this time last year when Ethan was one years old, if you'd like to have a nosey and see what essentials we included.

Now, we use this Cath Kidston bike bag to carry all his bits and bobs (if I'm carrying it, then it's got to be pretty) and although we don't need to take nearly as much stuff as we did before, when he was young, spitting up a unexpectedly and needing all sorts to help with teething, there's still a few things that we don't leave home without.

We have two zipped plastic wallets inside to keep things contained and easy to find.

The large one contains nappies (usually 2-3 is more than enough for one day), wipes, nappy bags, nappy cream, sun cream and some Weleda face cream.

The small zipped bag has small snacks (non-perishable) so they can always be kept ready for when Ethan needs something to eat (or needs distracting!).

Changes of clothes are still needed, in case he has any accidents when we're away from home (usually of the food variety) and with the weather at the moment, I have a warmer long-sleeve top in case it's colder than planned and a sun hat in case the sun has got its hat on.

I always try to carry something to keep Ethan busy, particularly useful when going somewhere to eat. These small books are handy, a cuddly toy (or four) always accompany us and I have crayons close by so he can draw me a pretty picture whilst I try to enjoy my coffee or a bite of my food without Ethan trying to get to it first.

I've also decided to make an Ethan Emergency Pack to keep in the car at all times. Not that it's quite that serious, but there's been occasions when we have been without our changing bag (like if I'm late to get to Ethan so his Nanny collects him first) and have had a nappy incident or worse... no biscuits left to bribe him with!

So, I've taken one lunchbox...

Added some snacks...

And put in some nappy essentials and voilĂ  - we'll always (hopefully) be prepared!

I'm glad that we don't have to remember quite so much or carry so much with us as we used to, as most things now we can pick up with ease if we do forget them.

There's a few other essentials, if you ask me, for mum this time, including...

- Lipstick / balm
- Mirror
- Sunnies
- Packet of tissues
- Cereal bar, or something else to eat on the go (perhaps even a sneaky bag of Malteasers)
- Car keys, wallet and phone

What do you keep in your changing bag? How do you prepare for the unexpected?


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