Packing your nappy bag efficiently!
What are you going to need?
The Nappy Bag:
Obviously this is the most important thing in the whole process - finding the nappy bag that suits you. Everyone has different tastes and needs so it might take you a little while to find the perfect bag. There are so many out there to choose from, so it’s best you look into what you want a little before bub is born. I was lucky enough to be gifted a nic-nac nappywrap, (and a few years later I bought the business!) and I loved it so much, that when combined with the nic-nac carry-all, I literally had everything I needed for a big day out. I then added the miniwrap and change mat to our collection, which covered our short outings, so I had all bases covered.
When choosing a bag remember it is not all about the look of it, most of all it needs to be functional and practical, and large enough to fit everything you need, but nothing that you don't.
Remember too that you’ll be juggling your nappy bag and your wee bub at the same time so a very practical bag is so important. The nappywrap has an adjustable and detachable strap so it can be worn across the body leaving you hands free, and it can also be worn if you’re a baby-wearer – which I was, so it was ideal! You might also need to pop your nappy bag over the pram handle, and if your bag doesn't have this you’ll need to find a way to store it under the pram. The miniwrap can be used on the pram handle or under the pram, and the nappywrap can be put under the pram too!
A bigger nappy bag is not always better, so that’s why the carry-all came in handy for me. I could pop the nappywrap into it for all-day outings, and include a blanket, kick mat, snack boxes (for us both!) and more.
I loved my nappywrap also for the different pockets and storage compartments it had to put all the changing essentials in, which I’ve listed below. The carry-all also housed my purse, phone and keys as well as other bits and pieces. After Clover had finished in nappies, I still used it for outings with spare changes of clothes, knickers, wipes, and other things – so it was awesome for years!
Once you’ve chosen the right nappy bag for your lifestyle, it’s time to think of all the things you’ll need to pack to keep you and your baby happy. Oh, and also think about if dad or grandparents will be taking bub out, because you’ll want to choose something that is simple for them to use also!
Your change mat is your next most essential thing for outings with bub. The nic-nac change mat is super-sized, so you can use it as a kick mat also. It's wipeable, machine-washable, and packs up super small to pop away into your miniwrap. If you use the nappywrap, it's got a built in change mat. Whichever change mat you choose, you WILL want it to be machine washable!
Nappies & Wipes:
Whether you’re a cloth user or a disposable, you’ll need to keep at least 4-6 nappies with you – because you just never know what might happen! I used gorgeous eco wipes which are beautiful on babies skin, and also packed a wet face washer in a wipes container as they’re great also. If you’re a cloth nappy user (and in fact these are awesome for all wet and soiled clothes while you’re out) you’ll also want wet bags. I used our wet bags for many years after as we used them for swimmers and wet towels too! Our favourite cloth nappies are from Li’l Daks, they have the most gorgeous denim nappies with pockets or frills on the back, very on trend!
Extra Clothes for quick changes:
I never left home without a spare change of clothes for because you just never know what’s coming next! Think poo explosions, projectile vomiting, dribbling and drooling, messy food, oh the list is endless!
Our favourite baby balm was the Nature’s Child bottom balm, and in fact, I still use it to this day, on any kind of rash. The little pot fits in perfectly into the nappywrap insert pockets. It’s a magic kind of balm!
I used cornflour, as it’s not full of any nasties, and kept it in a little snap lock bag, or small container, and it’s lovely to use to keep a bottom dry.
My favourite type of burp cloths were pieces of muslin, and Aden and Anais has a gorgeous selection, or you could make your own, simply by buying muslin from your local fabric shop and snipping it into different sizes.
This is all about you – not your wee bundle. If you are a breast feeding mumma then these things are your best friend! I remember using a beautiful organic cotton pair in my first few weeks of the newborn haze, and forgetting to change only to feel some dripping on my FEET (yes, feet!) in a queue at the farmers market, as I had leaked through my breast pads, shirt, cardy, and out to my feet. Oh, the horror! I quickly learnt to pack an extra set, and even have some disposables on hand … luckily for me this stage didn’t last long, and apparently for some – they never leaked! Oh, we’re all so different aren’t we ;)
Water and Snacks:
Breast feeding mother’s need to eat often, so pack snacks for yourself and for your baby once they’re eating. Little containers into your carry-all bag are ideal, as is a water bottle.
If you have a balloon ball in your nappy bag, chances are, it’s going to be all you need! But if you’re somewhere that a smaller toy would be more suitable then one of our felt puppets is perfect! Sleepy time balls are also a lovely addition in the pram to help your bub or toddler doze off to sleep while you’re out and about.
Disposable Nappy Sacks:
If you’re using disposable nappies, you’ll need nappy sacks, and you can find eco ones in many great baby shops so you can wrap up the soiled nappies tightly and throw them away when it’s convenient. They easily fit in your nappywrap pocket inserts.
If your baby is on the bottle then remember to pack these and the formula! Bottles fit perfectly into your carry-all.
Juggling a baby, or a baby and toddler, or a baby, toddler, pre-schooler and bigger kids too, can be daunting, and yet so much fun! As long as you’re prepared – you can face anything! Our nappy bag system was designed to simplify your life, and if you re-pack your nappywrap (did I mention it's a nappy bag and change mat in one?! BRILLIANT!) as soon as you get home, it’s ready to go, no matter what kind of a rush you might be to get out the door.
My best piece of advice for new parents? Slow it down. Enjoy the journey. It’s such a short time in the scheme of things that you’re so tired for, so sleep when you can, put your feet up and cuddle your baby. The washing can wait. The vacuuming can wait. The weeding can wait too! Put some music on, play with appropriate toys with your baby, sing to them, read to them, lie with them. Trust your instincts … and enjoy!