If you’ve ever tried to leave the house quickly with a little one in tow you’ll know it can sometimes become a losing battle! Whether it’s a lost shoe, an emergency nappy change or a forgotten essential item, getting ready to go out can be a major feat. Babies, toddlers and young children need so many items for a whole day spent out of the house, it’s no wonder many parents are exhausted before they even reach the car! In an effort to make life simpler, we’ve listed the five items you should keep in your changing bag at all times, to avoid your day out turning into a disaster.
We’ve chosen items that are always good to keep on-hand ‘just-in-case’, as well as daily must-haves you’re bound to use frequently. This isn’t necessarily a light-weight changing bag list – for a quick pop to the shops or a school run you can probably get away with the bare minimum – but for a few hours out and about packing your baby bag carefully is essential.
- Nappy Changing Pouch: Never leave home without it! It’s a good idea to carry your nappy changing items in a separate, removable section inside your main changing bag. That way if space is minimal in the toilets or changing area, you can just take the essentials in with you. Similarly, rather than lugging your entire baby bag to school and back every day, you can just pop your nappy pouch in the bottom of the buggy and know you’re covered in case of an unexpected change being needed. You can find travel changing mats complete with zipped pockets for your wipes and a nappy or two, which fold up into a handy pouch, so everything you need is all together and easy to grab.
- Spare Outfit: Once your child is past the nappy stage, you still need to be prepared for impromptu costume changes at a moment’s notice! Whether it’s a nappy explosion, a potty-training accident, a spilled drink or a fall in a muddy puddle, little ones get messy really easily. Keep a clean, basic outfit in your bag for days out and you know you’re prepared for whatever mucky mishaps come your way! A baby’s vest and onesie can be rolled up small and secured with a hair band to keep them neat in your bag, a space-saving tip you can apply to keep outfits together and maximise space in your suitcase when packing for holidays too!
- Snack and drink: Whether it’s a spare carton of formula or a pre-prepared bottle, or for older children a snack and a drink to keep them satisfied on the go, it’s essential to have something quick and simple on hand to satisfy hunger pangs. You might choose a changing bag with an insulated bottle pocket or a compartment to keep food and drink separate from the rest of your items. Make sure your bottles, cups and snack containers are spill proof. Great snacks on the go which require no prep at all could include bags of mini rice cakes or bread sticks, baked oat bars, and boxes of raisins. Steer clear of anything sticky, spillable or squashable, for obvious reasons!
- Emergency first aid: We’re not suggesting you stock up on bandages and sterile dressings, but a few plasters, a couple of sachets of Calpol, a tube of antiseptic cream and a hand sanitiser take up barely any space and could prove valuable if your little one becomes unwell or hurts themselves while you’re out.
- Comforter: Toys, books or other items to entertain your little one are nice to have if you think you’ll need them during your trip, but don’t need to be taken everywhere with you. If your baby uses a dummy, comfort blanket or something else to soothe them, help them sleep or just for comfort, it’s a good idea to have a spare (or two!) on hand at all times. These are things that are easily lost or forgotten, so having more than one in various places can save a lot of tears.
There’s a fabulous selection of changing bags on the market, whether you’re looking for a luxury statement bag, or something low-key and practical. Of course, any bag you can carry easily and fits all the essentials will do the job, but most parents like to have something designed specifically as a baby bag. Plenty of pockets, an insulated section and an adjustable strap are all key features.
At Ickle Bubba, we’ve designed a classy Changing Bag that ticks all the right boxes, and comes with a foldable change mat too. It’s available to buy separately, or is included as standard with our Stomp All-In-One Travel System. For shorter trips or times when you know you won’t need a whole changing bag, you could try our handy Buggy Organiser. Designed to clip onto the handlebars of your pushchair, there’s just enough space for your purse, keys, phone and other smaller items. This too can be bought separately, or comes as standard with our Discovery Prime Stroller.