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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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How To Pack a Trim Diaper Bag

When we were shopping for diaper bags my husband insisted on a small black one. “I don’t want to carry something that looks like a purse” he said. Since he was so supportive with my plans of natural childbirth, breastfeeding and cloth diapering, I acquiesced. It really was a small request.

Fast forward a few months and that small diaper bag is actually a huge blessing. It’s a lot easier to haul around a 3 month old when you have a lightweight bag that fits easily into the stroller, and doesn’t put much extra weight on your back. Having a small bag has also forced me to pack efficiently. Here are some tips

1) Pack your trimmest diapers: In our house those are 2 GroVia Shells with Organic Cotton Soakers snapped in, 2 additional soakers, and 4 disposable bio soakers. When flying or on a day trip I up the cotton soaker count to 4. That’s 10 diaper changes, an entire day’s worth, in one bag!

2) When possible, roll things up and store them vertically: Stored this way a nursing cover, Planet Wise wet bag, premium sized prefold (for a burp cloth), receiving blanket, and pint sized zip- top bag of pre moistened cloth wipes fit easily into the main compartment with our cloth diapers.

3) Breastfeed: Do you really need another reason? While I understand this doesn’t work for everybody, it’s nice not to haul bottles and formula around town.

4) Make the most of extra pockets: This is how all the little extras stay within easy reach. The front pocket of my bag is my purse, holding a wallet, coupons, phone, car keys, etc. The side pockets contain our camera, some dry cloth wipes for spit up emergencies, hand sanitizer, sunglasses (mine) and a sun hat (hers). Inner pockets keep CJs butter, a backup outfit, and a travel pack of antibacterial wipes handy. (Those antibacterial wipes are key. Have you seen the public changing stations?? You know what happens there. Clean before and after every change.)

5) Keep it stocked: Every other day after putting away the diaper laundry, I take a moment to restock and reorganize the diaper bag. This is probably the most challenging part of keeping it all together, but also the most important. I once changed an extra poopy diaper and then realized that our wet bag had been left at home. I ended up carrying that dirty diaper around in a black 55 gallon trash bag for the rest of the day!

When you pack only the essentials, there is plenty of room for extras. Depending on the occasion, I’ve also thrown in my e-reader, some children’s books, a knitting project, the Moby wrap, snacks, or a light jacket for mom. It all still fit!

Melissa Lindsey is taking a short hiatus from her nursing career to care for her infant daughter and move across the country. In the short space between Evelyn's bedtime and her own she enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her fabulous husband.


Alison said...

Great post, it's not hard to travel light with cloth nappies, just needs a little extra thought!

She likes metal flake... said...

Much agreed! I am also a cloth diapering minimalist... My "getting ready for baby" requires a crib, stroller and carseat. You should see the looks on my lovely Type-A Girl Friends. Kudos to you!

Julia Star said...

Melissa, I would love to hear what diaper bag you used! I have a love/hate relationship with big bags and would love to find a slimmer alternative! Thanks!

Mrs. Butler said...

I'm with you girl! When I was registering for diaper bags, I asked my friends what kinds they liked...and I decided on NONE of them! I didn't want to be stuck carrying something in which I could pack everything AND the kitchen sink...because then I WOULD! So far, my small bag keeps me limited to only taking the actual things I need, not all of the "what if" items. We'll see how it does once my daughter gets older and is eating food, but as long as I put things back in my bag in an organized way, it is just the right size for necessities, but doesn't break my back or kill my shoulder.

Melissa said...

No problem Julia! We use the LL Bean Diaper bag and love it. Their products are very durable and come with a lifetime guarantee.

The day before this post published I ended up running across an airport with the diaper bag over my shoulder and our 4 month old strapped to my chest. I sure was grateful for the slimmed down diaper bag!