When Baby K was around four months old, she suddenly got ill one evening; she was crying inconsolably and I noticed a rash I hadn’t seen before. So I called the health services and very long-story-short, two ambulances and paramedics arrived within minutes and informed me that we’d have to go into hospital to be doubly sure she was ok.
Fortunately, she really was fine but I learnt an extremely valuable lesson that evening: ALWAYS have your baby bag ready! Picture this: four paramedics were standing in my living room, taking turns playing with Baby K, while I ran from one room to the next grabbing all the essentials, changing out of my PJs in breakneck speed, and inwardly cursing myself nonstop for not having everything ready in the first place!
So for new mums, mums-to-be, or just anyone interested, I thought I’d share what I now keep in my bag. Some things are in there and topped up at all times; some are added as we leave the house. Of course, you might agree with some things and think others are not necessary; this is just my personal way of managing that thing called “parenthood!” Feel free to use it as a guideline for your own baby bag too 🙂
First things first, where did I get the bag from?
For me, my baby bag was one of the “big” investments. I didn’t want to be using multiple bags, just one. Imagine the stress of shifting everything from one bag to another just so I can have a variety! No thanks. So this meant I would be using this bag almost everyday for at least a couple of years. At least. It had to be something I would not get sick of and something “classic” enough not to look outdated after a few months!
I fell in love with the Timi & Leslie range and was momentarily devastated to discover it is an American brand with no outlet in the UK (gasp). But then I discovered they can be bought on Amazon and shipped here (phew).
So the next part was choosing one. Truth be told, I actually wanted this bag in the chocolate brown. Look at it… *swoon*
But the difference in price between the black and brown was £50 at the time. And now, rather confusingly, the black one is more expensive (by over £110!) so I don’t understand bag-pricing. If I ever become Prime Minister, the first thing I’ll do is demand all bags be one price (£50 is fair for a Chanel, right?!)
I digress. Back to baby bag-packing (for a review of the bag itself, see bottom of post).
The first and most obvious thing that goes into a baby bag is… NAPPIES! These are the nappy-related items in my baby bag at all times:
- I keep between 4-6 nappies in the bag always. You never know when you might get stuck anywhere and being short of nappies if baby does an explosive poop is no fun my friends.
- My bag came with a changing mat, and most baby bags do. Its really easy to open and fold back up even with one hand (we all know how important being able to do things with one hand becomes after having a baby). If you don’t have a portable changing mat, I would really recommend investing in one; you do not want to ruin a lifelong friendship by changing your baby without one on a friends new sofa. Don’t do that please.
- Cotton pads and wipes: I keep both in my bag. Reason being, I prefer to use cotton pads to clean Baby K, but sometimes wipes are a quick and easy lifesaver! Also bear in mind wipes can be used for other things too, like wiping baby’s face after she’s smeared avocado all over it.
- Nappy cream: I keep the 100ml size at home, and a smaller 30ml size tube in my bag at all times.
- Antibacterial hand gel: these are so handy and cheap. I think I picked this up for only £1. Especially handy for when you do a nappy change and there’s no water around… like in the trunk of your car (don’t scoff, I know many people that have done this!)
- Also in the bag at all times is a change of clothes! Those nappies can leak people. And a baby in poo-stained clothes is suddenly not-so-cute. I prefer to keep a babygrow as its easy to change her into. Plus, if we’re out late then I can just let her fall asleep in it once I’ve changed her.
- My Timi & Leslie came with this very handy zipped bag to throw any dirty clothes into. That way you don’t have to get anything else dirty too. You could also just keep a folded up plastic bag for the same purpose.
- A bib: if you’re going to feed baby while you’re out (and of course you are, babies pretty much just eat, sleep and poop!) then keep a bib with you. This gorgeous personalised bib was a present from one of my oldest friends from My 1st Years, along with a bunch of other personalised goodies. Definitely one of my favourite presents!
If you exclusively breastfeed, then you don’t need to worry about this. For the rest of us:
- I pack at least two bottles. Previously, I would pack boiled water separately. For me, this just gave me an extra thing to take out and fiddle with, and now I put the water directly into the bottles and pack them. That way, I have the right amount of water ready and just pour formula in.
- Formula dispenser: at my baby shower, one of my good friends gave me this formula dispenser. Something like this is an absolute must if you bottle-feed! I put varied amounts of formula in each “section” so that if all Baby K needs is a little top-up, then I have a smaller amount available too.
- I keep a microwave sterilising bag in there always. This fits two bottles at a time, and gives you quick three-minute sterlising in a microwave. If I’m going to someone’s house, a shopping centre, a restaurant… all of these places have microwaves available, so I know that if I run out clean bottles, I can sterlise one quickly on the go. These bags come in packs of 5 and each bag lasts about 20 uses.
- Now that Baby K eats solids, I might also take some food depending on how long we’re going out for (not pictured)
The front pockets of my bag are easiest to reach when I’m holding Baby K, so I stash essentials in there:
- Antibacterial wipes for dummies and anything else that might get dirty on the go. Not essential but handy!
- A spare dummy. Though I’m not too keen on her sucking a dummy all the time, if we’re out and a meltdown takes place and the dummy soothes, then I definitely pat myself on the back for packing it!
- Keys: depending on which country I’m in, this could be car keys, house keys, or in this case (pictured) my room keys. Cute Rome keyring entirely optional.
- Face powder. This is Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, in case you’re wondering. It isn’t “the best powder I’ve ever used” but it doesn’t clog or build up, which is great not to worry about on the go when you need a touch-up!
Random other stuff in there:
- I keep a small book for Baby K incase she gets bored… and we all know that a bored baby very quickly leads to a baby-having-a-complete-meltdown! Small books can slot into your bag easily, and I’m pretty sure mine isn’t the only baby that loves books! The colours can keep them happy and occupied for quite a while.
- Phone charger (not always but I do grab and throw this in if I’m going to be away from home for more than a couple of hours).
- Her favourite stuffed toy. Again, not essential but can be reassuring if a meltdown takes place (a lot of the bag-packing revolves around potential-meltdown-damage-control!)
- Painkillers: I had a c-section and fellow c-section mamas will know that muscle/nerve pain can strike at any time. Painkillers are a must for emergency situations! Not pictured because I don’t want you all to think I’m a druggie 😉
And there you have it!
A quick note about my bag: I like it a lot and am happy with my choice. I wanted something that looked nice and was practical at the same time; this ticks all those boxes for me. I haven’t pictured the following things that came with it too:
- An insulated bottle holder that can be taken out. Great for keeping bottles warm. Baby K does not like her milk warm though, so I’m afraid I didn’t use it much.
- A small matching shoulder bag that’s thin enough to slip into the main bag. This is great for keeping my things separate, such as my wallet and phone; saves a lot of rummaging! I forgot this back in London though, hence no picture! I’ll have to take one and update this post when I’m back there.
- A cross-body detachable strap, and stroller/pushchair straps.
All in all, I feel it was worth the price tag and have been using it for almost a year now. No signs of wear and tear (yet)! Here’s how it looks straight out of the box:
DISCLAIMER: All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not paid/given my bag by Timi & Leslie. It is my own purchase. However, if Mr Timi or Ms Leslie are reading this and want to send me another bag for all my praise, I will graciously accept 😉
Do you have anything in your bag that’s not listed here? Let me know in the comments below!