Venturing out of the house with a newborn or toddler is intimidating, regardless of whether it’s your first run or you’ve done it a thousand times. Heading out solo (ie without your spouse, parent or fellow mum) can be terrifying, and I remember the first time I boarded a train for a day-trip into the city, wondering how many things I’d forgotten to bring for my newborn.
Being the neurotic woman I am, I’ve worked out a list of things to bring with me every time we leave the house or go on a trip to the city, park or museum. This way I’m not stressing about packing things last minute, which (for me) means I forget things.
Here’s what I bring:
For bub I bring the following:
- spare clothes (when he was a few months old I used to bring a spare top for me too, in case I got thrown up on)
- spare nappies, nappy bags, wipes and a change mat (all in a handy Bbox Nappy Wallet – pictured)
- tissues (for snotty noses) and anti-bacterial wipes (for dirty toilets, tables and hands)
- antihistamine (because my kid has allergies)
- moisturising ointment (because my kid has eczema)
- water bottle and dry snacks like sultanas, crackers, carrot sticks or fruit (bananas are a genius fruit for kids of all ages – they require no refrigeration, washing or cutlery)
- for days when I’m packing food from home I bring an insulated lunchbox which clips onto my baby bag and contains disposable cutlery (this isn’t pictured, but I have the Skip-Hop Zoo Lunchies one, in case you’re interested)
- a muslin wrap, blanket and/or nursing cover (not pictured, because I keep it in the stroller and use it as a cover when he’s napping)
Then there’s my stuff:
- Back-up phone charger
- Sunnies and/or reading glasses
- Pen and notebook
- Mobile phone and headphones (not pictured because I was listening to music and using my phone when I took the above shot)
- Comb, hand sanitiser, sunscreen, mints, lip balm, concealer, Panadol, pads/tampons, perfume
- And… (when I want to take pretty pictures) my DSLR and its spare battery and remote control
Now that I’ve listed this, it’s hard to believe this actually all fits into my baby bag. But it does. Because I have the best baby bag.
Seriously, I love this bag. I’ve used it almost every day for the past 2.5 years and am more in love with it today than I was when I first found it on the Epiphanie Bags website (which is saying a lot, because I remember emailing my workmates asking them if I was “allowed” to buy it, because I was infatuated). Back then this beautifully crafted chocolate brown bag cost me a small fortune, but I justified the purchase (and crazy price of shipping it to Sydney from the US) because I had a plan to double it up as both a camera bag and a baby bag. I get a lot of compliments about it; it’s a classy, sturdy, Mary-Poppins-esque bag that fits practically everything I need when I’m out and about with Mr 2, and still has room for a Canon DSLR camera. Back when he was a newborn and I was carting around spare clothes (for both of us), bottles and muslin wraps, I was using this bag.
The bulky stuff (clothes, nappy wallet and nappies go in the main compartment). I keep my camera on the right and his water bottle on the left.
“Emergency” things (bandaids, medicine, pads) go in the interior pocket.
Snacks, water bottle, and my wallet go on top for easy access.
Bibs, wipes, moisturiser and antihistamines go in the front pocket.
My stuff (cosmetics, mints, sunscreen) goes in one of the side pockets:
Camera accessories go in the other side pocket. Epiphanie Bags come with padded velcro panels so you can create compartments inside your bag. I put one of the small panels in the side pocket to protect my camera in case the bag hits something during our travels.
The bag also comes with a detachable shoulder strap which means it hangs perfectly from our stroller.
(A word of caution though: with all that camera gear, the bag can get quite heavy so make sure your stroller has weight evenly distributed or avoid hanging it on your stroller altogether because it might cause it to tip back, and that’s dangerous for bub!)
This bag hasn’t failed me (though these days with all this writing while I’m out and about with bub, I do wish I had one big enough to hold my Macbook Air).
So if you’re looking for a nice gift for someone expecting, or want a sturdy, practical camera bag with plenty of space for your gear (but doesn’t look bulky and can still be teamed with a girly or smart-casual work outfit) or a classy baby bag that can carry food, nappies and clothes (but doesn’t look like a baby bag), check out Epiphanie Bags. Shipping to Australia might be a little dear, but the bags are a lot less expensive than they were 2.5 years ago and it looks like their range has grown.
What’s your must-have item in your baby bag? Have I forgotten something?