Sunday, October 25, 2009

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Make Room For Cloth: What's In Your Diaper Bag?

After a painful 22 hours of labor, my first daughter was born. I was so excited to start showing her off in the cute clothes, the darling accessories, and of course, the cute little diaper bag I received at my baby shower. Much to my disappointment, those cute little bags failed to hold what I thought were much needed essentials. Four years, two more kids, and a frugal switch to cloth diapers later, presented me opportunities to learn to how to keep my cargo light, yet efficient.

Cloth diapers are naturally bulky, taking up precious space. Therefore I highly recommend the Gro-Baby diaper system. With one diaper on my child, all I need is one additional shell and two soakers. Toss in a wet bag, a few cloth wipes, and bumGenius diaper spray (in a 2.5 oz spray bottle I found at a local drug store), and I have everything I need!

When my son is only wet, I just spray and wipe with toilet paper from the bathroom (Saves the wipes for messes!). Just in case, I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on hand for those incontinent diaper changes. My Maya wrap replaces the need for a nursing cover and a blanket - and since it's conveniently located in my car it's always readily available which also allows for the much needed space in my bag. When I was nursing, all I really needed was some nursing cream- stored in a lip gloss container.. Now that I've switched to bottles, I pack one bottle with enough warm water for one feeding. Although there are formula containers on the market, I’ve found using a recycled M&M minis container can hold 4 oz of formula comfortably. I also have a travel toothbrush with dish soap on the tip in the event I need to wash the bottle.

Other accessories I ditched were my daily planner, camera (replaced by my phone), extra clothes (I leave those in the car), and toys. Instead of toys, I've found the best way to keep a child happy is to engage them in the activity at hand. Playing games like I Spy or Peek-a-Boo help greatly! I do bring a snack cup filled with a healthy snack which hangs on one of the key rings outside my bag. I also found a small container (for pacifiers), which I drilled holes into and hang from a key clip as well. Now with a diaper bag full of essentials, all I need is my wallet, and I’m ready to go!
-- by Crystal H.

20 comments:

Anna said...

Sounds like you've found a system that works well for you. :)

Lauren said...

Packing a diaper bag is a definite science! When I had 2 in cloth, I usually kept just 1 spare diaper per child in the bag, and a few extra stayed in the car. I also have had to do bottles in the past, so bottles, dry formula, sippy and snack for older ones, a toy/diversion or 2...plus my stuff...it's a challenge! Sometimes I would just give up and use my hubs' North Face backpack, ha!

I really *LOVE* the idea of keeping a travel toothbrush with dish soap on it for washing bottles on the go!! I can't count how many times I would just have to use public bathroom soap and shake and hope that it was clean enough. Thanks for the tip!

Jenney said...

Your formula idea is GREAT! Thanks for neat ideas.

Jessica said...

Okay...a toothbrush with some dish soap is GENESIS! I wish I'd read that tip BEFORE all the trips my family went on this summer~

Tina said...

I have one suggestion: JuJuBe diaper bags.....I'm in love :o)

Kelly said...

I am a total overpacker! Even now when my daughter is 19 months old, my diaper bag is still rather bulky. I will admit though, after she was no longer nursing I celebrated having just a little more room once I could ditch the nursing cover. I always pack everything but the kitchen sink!

Love the M&M container idea for formula...

Mama Campbell said...

we use the m&m mini's containers for formula too! I discovered them with my first dd and am using them for my 2nd dd now too. I use both the smaller & larger size. SO much more convenient than a "travel formula container" that's so bulky.

And thanks for the toothbrush/dishsoap idea for cleaning bottles on the go! :o)

Rocketgurl said...

Interesting ways in which you made things work for you: the pacificer holder on the key ring, leaving ceratain items in the car, hand sanitizer, using toilet tissue in the bathroom vs using one of the cloth wipes.. I really like hearing about real moms making cloth diapering work!

R, K and O said...

Great idea on the mini M&M containers! Thanks for sharing.

Rachel said...

Such clever ideas! I love it--I was recently criticized for having a messy bag and I think this will help!

The Jacobsen Family! said...

The mini M&M's bottle is a great idea!! I'll have to share that with my friends who use formula... SO much smaller than the formula containers they lug in their bags!

Attila & Tamara said...

Wow! I'm impressed at your organization! I've been looking at the GroBaby, too. Convenient and compact for out and about!

Crystal B. said...

As a first time mom I'm always packing too much stuff for my 4 1/2 month old daughter. I'm learning little by little to pack more realistically, but I still walk out the door with a huge diaper bag! One thing I've learned for day trips is to only throw 1-2 cloth diapers in the actual diaper bag and put extras in a separate bag in the car so I can refill when I need to. I think one thing that would make a big difference is to have a diaper bag with lots of separate compartments so things stay organized and you don't have to rummage.

Crystal B.

aboverubies15/AT/yahoo/com

Kim said...

I always have clothes and a baby carrier in my car. I am still nursing so no bottles needed, and I am using either softbums (an all-in-two)or Grr Baby for trips.

I keep toys in the car. A trick I use is wearing a Mommy Necklace (love em) and when we go shopping and he sits in the cart, I loop my Mommy Necklace arounf the handle with a small toy hooked on. He plays with the necklace and/ or the toy. :)
But Peek-a-Boo works too, we love it.

J TiBBS said...

It sounds like you have a wonderful system that works for you. I may have to *borrow* some of your ideas for myself. I have two in diapers and even though I've been doing this whole cloth diapering thing for over 4 years now I have never figured out a good system that really worked for us. I normally end up having to pack two diaper bags. One to bring in wherever we go and one to keep in the car as a "just in case". Thanks for the tips!

the monkey's mama said...

so genius to put formula in M&M containers! Wow!

Kealy said...

Packing the diaper bag definitely takes skill. I'm always the one that packs it in our house because my husband seems incapable of fitting everything in, much less making it organized.

I had the perfect diaper bag custom made to my specs for me by a seller on etsy. http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=48294

It's perfect for a full day out, or even an overnight trip if I pack it right, and it's still not too big.
I can fit my cloth diapers, wipes, pull ups for my toddler, wipe spray, bottles, wetbag, everything...I love it, and couldn't imagine a better purchase!

Crissy said...

I too keep spare clothes in the car. I'm really glad that my DD is no longer breastfeeding or drinking from a bottle all day every day. That's going to save quite a bit of room. Those formula containers ARE really bulky and I wish I had known the M&M container "trick". Well.. there's always future babies I can test things out with.

aysha said...

excellent ideas..but im always one to pack too little...hasnt ever been a problem for me...i always feel that i didnt need an extra pair of clothes in my bag since i would most likely go home if i had a huge enough diaper blow out...i bf for a long time so didnt bother with bottles or formula dispenser, and i had toys hanging on the stroller bars so i wouldnt need additional ones. when my son was old enough to sit in the carts, he was so into thomas...and those things fit into my bag so easily! great m&m idea and great toothbrush tip!

Lexi said...

the mini m&ms container is a super cool idea, i'll have to give that a go next time around