I was at a baby group the other day when a lady walked in with her baby pinned to one hip, and the opposite arm perpendicular to the floor. Why? Because she had a changing bag the size of a small suitcase. That beast wouldn’t have even cleared hand luggage restrictions with BA. She eased it gently from her whiplashed shoulder and let it fall to the floor with a thud, before unzipping it to reveal contents vomiting themselves all over the show. Perhaps she was going straight from the group onto a long haul caravan sabbatical, and her bag held all the worldly belongings of her entire family. Ladies, you do not need all of this stuff. I promise you. Save your arms and take a look at my minimalist approach to keeping the essentials covered. After all, if things get utterly catastrophic you can just beg, buy or borrow more stuff, no-one is ever THAT far from Boots!
1. Wipes. One pack. Make sure these bad boys have a plastic lid so that they don’t dry out. These Aldi ones are the best we’ve found and lovely and cheap too. Just don’t flush them! The wipe is not for flushing.
2. Nappy bags. Can also be substituted with dog poo bags, if you have a dog. Don’t bother with the scented ones. A really smelly shit will smell the shit out of your scented bags.
3. Cutesie little shopping bag that folds into itself, then resembles a novelty item. I’ve gone strawberry, I have seen apples and bananas. Don’t overload it, but equally don’t pay 5p for a bag for life anyway. They split, and the whole thing is a con.
4. A giant muslin. Moo repeatedly does ALL THE SICK so rather than carry a rotational 5 muslins, I just opt to have one ‘beast mode mus’ which has many, many folds of fabric in which to catch what is basically my own superfluous breastmilk. The sodden rag then goes into the wash each night to repeat the performance again the next day. I covet the Aden and Anais ones but sadly not the price tag!
5. Nappies. You only really need four in your bag, five if there are teething poos going down in brown town. Refer to my intro – you can always buy more, or borrow from a mum buddy. If you’re out for long enough that your child goes through four nappies, then you’re more than likely on what’s known as a Day Trip and I salute you. Did you lock the back door?
6. Zippy clothes bag. I found these on eBay and I bloody love them! They’re not exactly waterproof, but they keep wet clothes semi-contained and clean clothes away from all the other nasties lurking at the bottom of your changing behemoth. Worth having a couple, these are my only frivolities.
7. Anti-bac hand gel. For when the toilet cubicle has run out of soap, or you need to wipe excrement from the changing table surface before you plonk your baby down. If you use a wet wipe to administer the gel, then you’ve basically delivered a double cleanse – practically a bath / shower combo.
8. Nappy cream. When it’s hot and humid (gazes wistfully out at the July squib), Moo always gets quite bad nappy rash around her burgeoning fat folds. I used to find the grey tubs of Sudocrem a bit drying on little skin, but this stuff seems a lot more breathable and works both as a barrier cream and a treatment. One tube lasts ages, and I also dab it on her chin to soothe dribble rash (which is both annoying and disgusting).
9. Outfits. I used to take 5 vests and 5 sleepsuits out with me, seriously. If you reach the stage where you’re cracking out vest number 5, then you probably need to nip home and pour yourself a stiff drink while putting a wash on. I don’t even pack a full outfit now – I take one sleepsuit, slightly too big so that when I come to need it in 5 months’ time, it’ll probably still fit. So what, your baby wears a sleepsuit for a couple of hours? Better than re-washing a vest and two-piece outfit.
10. I do insist on a bib though. Did I mention that Moo does ALL THE SICK? These bandana ones are brilliant, especially the ones with soft terry towelling underneath for double the moppage capabilities. I did see one the other day with a little triangular teething section at the bottom of the bib. Don’t bother with those – purpose-designed teethers can never quite match up to your hand, their hand, or your nice necklace.
You’re most welcome.
– SJW July 2016