Suffering from a serious case of Baby Brain? The joys of new parenthood bring with them many changes to our routines, and the way we function both physically and mentally can be affected too. It’s important to stay one step ahead of the baby game so that you’re totally prepared for those inevitable forgetful days. In the first few years of your baby’s life, the one thing that you’ll want close at all times when you’re out and about (aside from your baby, of course!) is their baby bag. This vital piece of equipment will prove to be your saviour in the normal day to day as well as through any unexpected accidents. Read on for our list of baby bag essentials that will keep you sane in any scenario.
Choose the right kind of bag
Before you start filling up your baby bag, you will need to make sure that it’s fit for purpose. Your normal handbag or even those strong supermarket carriers are simply not practical for all of your baby’s needs. Choose something sturdy, sensible and stylish (you’ll be carrying it around everyday, after all!) Make sure the bag is big enough for all of your needs, with plenty of pockets to keep it tidy, avoiding any lost key moments! An insulated bottle pocket is a handy extra if you can find one, but you can buy insulated bags separately if not. Easy cleaning makes messy parent life a whole lot simpler, so choosing a bag with a washable interior and wipeable exterior is a must. Finally, make sure your bag is easy to carry. Whether you opt for a backpack or a shoulder bag, adjustable shoulder straps will soon become your new best friend!
The Changing Essentials
A clean place to change your baby is not always readily accessible, which makes it so important to always keep a changing mat inside your baby bag. Changing mats make it possible to do the deed almost anywhere - the back of your car, the not-so-sanitary toilets, or even halfway up a mountain! Changing their nappy will, of course, be a very regular occurrence, so keeping the nappies topped up, whether disposable or reusable, is really important too. Make sure you have a full pack of wipes as well as nappy rash cream to sooth your baby on the go, and always keep a change of clothes in there - you never know when the next nappy explosion is going to hit!
The Feeding Essentials
Keeping your baby fed and satisfied is another regular routine that you will stick to when you’re out of the house. If your baby uses a bottle, make sure you have enough for the day and keep it in an insulated space. If you choose to breastfeed and you prefer to cover up in public, keeping a nursing cover accessible inside your baby bag will be especially convenient. Breast Pads can also come in handy in between feeds for any breastfeeding mums, so having a few spare in your bag is a good idea. After the feed, a muslin over the shoulder can save any outfit from gaining a milky accessory, so keep one close at hand for burping (these will come in useful in many other ways too!)
The Soothing Essentials
Nothing soothes a baby’s tears quite like their favourite toy, and whether it’s hanging from the pushchair or tucked inside the baby bag, be sure to grab one on the way out of the door. In the same way, a blanket can provide comfort and also keep their temperature stable on the cooler days. And (unless they’re a thumb sucker) you’ll thank yourself for including a clean supply of dummies when their current one is thrown headfirst into the dirt!
Remember to restock!
Keeping these essentials stored in your baby bag will save a lot of unnecessary lugging of things better left at home or in the car. And even with the essentials, taking just the amount you need will save your shoulders from any avoidable aches and pains, so don’t stock up too much within the bag itself. Instead, when you get home, take a moment to refill your bag with what you might need for the next day. This way, your baby bag will be ready to go when you're rushing out of the door and will be one less thing to worry about. And remember - you can alway stash any added extras in the bottom of your pushchair, or in the pockets of your partner!