So, mums/dads and mums to be/dads to be, let us talk baby bags and what goes in them!
Recently I have chatted to many mums from within our Grin community, and the topic around baby bags and what should go in them seemed to be a common theme. I remember my baby bag drama as if it were yesterday. So much trial and error and believe you me there were lots of those so it felt like the right time to write something around this and hopefully it will help a lot of mums feel better prepared, less stress and grin together with their partners, kids and friends.
Like every new mum I wanted the best baby bag and I too got caught up in the features, and aesthetic design of a bag. And that was just the bag, let me not get started on what was in the actual bag. Like most new dads my husband just did not get it. He was Mr. Practical and could not understand why I needed a bag that looked good. In his world the bag needed to serve one purpose and that was to carry Milo’s goodies. I think he would have put the stuff into a shopping bag if he could have (I’m laughing on the inside now, but not so much then😊).
Three key things to remember when choosing a baby bag:
- It needs to be functional and practical. Sorry mums but this is where dad will win. No point getting a bag that has 5 compartments but none of them hold any baby product, right?
- It must be durable, both on the inside and out and ensure that the material is easy-to-clean with a sturdy strap or handle. Leather bags are great and interior fabrics such as microfiber and nylon go a long way.
- And lastly, it should be stylish, after all this is the bag you will be carrying around every day which means that expensive Gucci or Saben might be staying in the closet. Do you really want to be carrying around a baby bag and a handbag? Surely not. So why not invest in a great looking bag which serves both purposes.
Now let us talk about what goes into your baby bag. What I did learn very quickly from watching other mums, close mates and just from my daily routine with Milo is that less is more. You do not need your entire changing station from the nursery. Take it from me, after carrying a growing baby daily, you really do not need to lug around nice to have baby goodies which you will never use. And remember dad will be carrying that bag as well, so we must be considerate of his feelings as well. These are some of the essentials I carried with me. You may want to swop things in or out, but I think they contain the key items for most mums.
- Water bottle and snacks for you – notice I put this first? You know how we are always told on an airplane to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first, well the same goes for the baby bag. A well hydrated and nourished mum is a happy mum. I breastfed Milo for two years solid and water became my best friend. The rule of thumb is 4L of water daily if you are breastfeeding. But even if you are not water is a must.
- A small hand sanitizer – with the pandemic I suppose this is a given, but us mums were practicing great hygiene prior to the pandemic anyway right.
- A small hand-cream for you. With all that constant washing of hands and wiping of bottoms your skin is sure to dry out.
- Nappies (3-4), wet wipes, and a wet bag. I found keeping these items together was so much easier as opposed to hunting around for them individually in the bag, especially when it was dad’s turn for a diaper change.
- Diaper rash cream or Barrier Cream. A good brand is Made4Baby Botty Barrier Crème which is all natural, fragrance free and quite affordable as well. I especially like that is suitable for sensitive skin.
- Baby bottles (at least 2), a small flask with warm water and formula container. Once again, I recommend keeping these together in the bag in one compartment, so you are not hunting around.
- Dental floss, fluoride free natural toothpaste and baby finger brush. Yes, you read correctly. Believe it or not pregnancy can lead to dental problems with some women such as gum disease and tooth decay due to the hormones affecting your teeth and gums. Murphy’s law I was one of those women! Suddenly my teeth and gums felt super sensitive. So, I upped my oral care routine, switched to more natural toothpastes and started flossing more regularly. I would literally sneak out to the bathroom to floss when I was out and about as opposed to leaving bits of food stuck between my teeth for an entire day. My girlfriends thought I was crazy, but it worked wonders for me. The toothpaste and finger brush on the other hand is for baby. Teething as you know will become the bane of most parent’s life and for us Milo started teething early as a baby, and I discovered that baby toothpaste is great for that. Who says you must wait till they sprout a tooth to start practicing good oral hygiene? I would highly recommend carrying a tube of Grin Toothpaste Gel which is the kid’s fluoride free toothpaste because it will help calm your baby’s gum and sooth their teething pain. What a lifesaver! And the finger brush is great for helping to soothe your baby’s gum and get them used to having a brush in their mouth. I especially love the Grin baby Silicone Finger Brush because it has a dimpled side on the back which is great for massaging your baby’s sensitive gums. It’s also 100% biodegradable packaging and safe to sterilize.
- Extra bib, extra outfit for baby and a blouse or scarf for you. Yes, babies throw-up and generally on you so best to have a spare blouse on hand, or a scarf that you can throw around yourself in case of an emergency.
- A muslin blanket to wrap baby in or even just to wrap yourself.
- A toy/teether. Milo loved having something in his hands which meant it went into his mouth. I loved the Sophie the Giraffe teething toy. It is 100% natural rubber, safe and has many chewable parts (ears, legs, horns, and rings) so it keeps baby entertained for a while especially when they are teething and provided relief from painful gums.
- Extra pacifier. Milo never took to a pacifier, but I saw that my girlfriends always carried an extra one. Babies drop or throw these things around like they are toys and sometimes the 30 second rule just does not apply so better safe than sorry I say.
- Breast-pads, pads, or panty liners. You do not want to be caught unawares.
Lastly remember you are packing a baby bag which will go either over your shoulder or back, so try not to get the super-size in every item. Small and compact is the way to go.
Hopefully, these were some helpful tips in choosing an appropriate baby bag and how best to create your checklist. Remember you are not fickle for wanting a great looking quality brand. You pay for what you get right, and in my mind quality out-trumps everything else when it comes to something you will be toting around every single day. A well packed and organized baby bag with the key necessities will keep you and hubby happy. Now that is something to grin together about!
About the author
This blog was written by Grin’s passionate brand advocate and career mom Jess Mason. Jess is hugely interested in health, fitness, and living an organic and preservative free lifestyle. She loves sharing stories of her family and her son Milo. She can be found on her Instagram page @jessmason911 where she posts updates on her family life, Grin experiences, travels and settling into New Zealand as her new home. We are super excited that Jess will be also sharing her own mom experiences, learnings, and knowledge with our Grin community. It’s going to be fun!