Sometimes I have to face reality. My (now seemingly) glamorous life as a free and independent young adult ended pretty much the moment I saw the word “pregnant” appear on that little purple stick. Now, most of what I am, and what I do, are all to do with being a mom. I spend most of my time, money, brainpower, and energy on my kid. So when I find something that saves me at least a little of any of these — or even just a little space in my cluttered home, car, mind, and life — I am all for it. So this post is for the moms out there, and maybe some dads too.
One thing I can never leave the house with out anymore (besides my kid) is his diaper bag. Now, that thing is only so big and my non-Schwarzenegger shoulder can only carry so much. Here are some items you should be sure to pack up for your next venture with baby because of their multiple uses for both you and the kid.
Diaper wipes. Obviously if you have a kid in diapers you are going to take wipes. But, maybe you haven’t realized that what cleans sticky kid hands also cleans sticky mom hands. They can help everyone cool off on a hot day and they are usually mild enough to remove mom’s errant eyeliner and other makeup.
Snacks. You CANNOT forget the snacks! You are probably already keenly aware of how snacks can occupy your kid for that crucial last 5 minutes at the bank or post office. But, in all your activities as a supermom I bet you usually remember to feed your kids but often forget to feed yourself. Now, one problem I had was that my kid loves to eat dry Cheerios and raisins, whereas I will not touch the stuff. So I need to also include some crackers or squeezable applesauce packets that I can share with the kid. Bottom line, having a snack in your bag that you and your baby can both eat may save you from a panic-driven, between errands, run through the drive thru, where you have to get them something too even if they don’t need it, just to save you from the whining. Don’t unnecessarily spend time and money.
Color pencils. Instead of crayons that can melt in your car and smoosh all over, try keeping a few colored pencils in your bag, maybe even the clicky or peel away kinds that don’t need to be sharpened. Not only are they minimal on mess but they are also easier for you to use to jot down a shopping list, or write a quick note (Sorry my car door hit your car as I was trying to pry my kicking toddler out of his carseat. Call me if you find damage…). To go along with the pencils a small notebook for occupying kids with doodling and for your own purposes is essential. BONUS– Save room by not putting the whole box of pencils in your bag. Just take three or four and keep them together with a hair tie. Because when isn’t an extra hair tie helpful?
Picture book. Here, I am talking about a specific kind of baby picture book that I have found extra helpful for both myself and baby. Ours is little 5 x 5 inch board book called Peek-A-Who? and first of all, my kid loooooooves it. And I love it because after peek-a-moo and peek-a-zoo, in the final “chapter” shall we say, the topic is peek-a-YOU. And it includes a pretty excellent 4 x 4 inch mirror (bigger than any compact) that has come in handy quite a few times, like– “oh no, did you get finger paints in my hair again?” or “here, Mommy needs to fix her lipstick and look like a non-crazy person before brother’s teacher joins us for this meeting.” So, a little book with a mirror saves the day for mom and baby.
Diaper disposal bags. LOVE these things! They come in a tiny, single dispense roll that takes up no space at all and they are genius. Not only are they great for quarantining a massive poop-bomb of a diaper but they also work for pet messes, wet or extremely dirty clothes, trash collecting, nasty bibs after a restaurant meal, grabbing freaky bugs out of the sandbox, or impromptu stops for nectarines at the farmer’s market.
Those are a few of my favorite double duty diaper bag items. What about you? I would love to hear about any you have come up with. Please share in the comments below.