The changing bag: my mobile miracle
We women lug over a dozen items around in our handbags every day, regardless of how heavy they become. Alongside our keys, purse and phone, these miracle bags often contain painkillers, hand cream, lip balm or lipstick, tissues, chewing gum, pens, diary, safety pins and much, much more. Have you ever ripped your trousers? I have. I was curling. Thanks to a safety pin, I lasted the evening, albeit only just. And «Honey, do you have a tissue?» or «Do you have any chewing gum?» are unfortunately not rare questions. But we women like to keep our cards, well bags, close to our chests. We silently carry our trusty helper around in the hope that we have everything we need for any situation.
Unfortunately, my changing bag is, likewise, full to the brim. The bigger the bag, the more I cart around with me. To start with, I thought a small sports bag would be enough as a changing bag. Since then, I've upgraded to a real changing bag, but only because the sports bag has bitten the dust. And even that is jam-packed! I want to be ready for (virtually) any situation. It should help me to survive everyday life with children without any major complications or screaming tamtrums. I'm good at improvising, but this way I can combat all recurring «problems» and minimise unnecessary stress. It's good for my heart!
I'm definitely not a benchmark for other mothers, but these things make being out and about much easier for me:
1. Nappies for sticky situations
- At least three nappies, depending on how long I’m away
- Changing mats
- Wet wipes
- A nappy bag for used nappies
- A toilet cover as protection for older children when using public toilets
2. Clean clothes for potential accidents
If a nappy leaks, drinks get spilled, food goes everywhere or anything makes a mess, you'll need clean clothes. In keeping with the old adage «misfortune seldom comes alone», I mostly keep a second outfit in my bag.
3. Snacks are a child's best friend
Around 70% of the time, problems are down to hunger. Water, a Farmer bar and fruit are all it takes to keep my eldest happy. Depending on the time of day, my youngest might need food and, because I'm no longer breastfeeding, a bottle and the accessories. This includes:
- A bottle
- Baby food (perfect in containers)
- Thermos flask with warm water (around 40°C or cold water to balance it out)
- Temperature gauge, if needed
4. (Replacement) dummy as a comforter
You run out in a rush and only notice that you've left the dummy at home once you're on your way. If you can't do without one, I strongly recommend keeping a replacement dummy in your bag for all eventualities.
5. All-powerful muslins
For me, muslins are the best all-purpose items. They're perfect as bibs, sun shades, wipes, comforters, cloths, privacy screens, scarves and changing mats, whatever I'm currently using them for. I always have at least two muslins in my changing bag.
6. Bibs for (hopefully) clean clothes
I admit it. Despite putting on bibs, a lot can fall by the wayside. It's still a necessity for me, though, as it's the thought that counts. Disposable bibs are an alternative which doesn't take up any space.
7. Sun cream for fair-weather days
It's often cloudy when I leave the house in the morning. Do you think to take sun cream out with you? I don't. That's why a small tube of it is always in my bag. Leaving children's sensitive skin without sun cream is a big no-no. I even need it myself from time to time.
8. Tissues to combat runny noses
In autumn and winter in particular, runny noses are all too often daily occurrences, which makes tissues indispensable. They're also ideal for covering tables when out and about, as well as cleaning mouths, hands and any spillages.
9. Toys for keeping busy
10. A first-aid kit for emergencies
Nappy rash, fevers, blocked noses, stomach aches and grazes always strike at the worst-possible time. For these emergencies, it's worth keeping a first-aid kit handy. Mine contains: - Antiseptic cream - Suppositories - Saline solution - Plasters - Merfen disinfectant solution - Fennel tea sachets - Among other items
11. Occasional oral hygiene
Toothbrushes and toothpaste are also on my inventory. Our youngest often falls asleep in the car and we don't want to wake her to brush her teeth, but she has eaten chocolate and sweets. The small, fictitious bacteria creatures we know from toothpaste adverts are gearing up for an attack, and my guilty conscience has made itself heard too. If we're heading home after dinner, we quickly brush her teeth beforehand.
12. Hair ties and slides for keeping things in place
They go missing when we're on the go or at the playground, or I forget them before we even leave the house. That's why there are always hair accessories in the bag.
13. Sunglasses to protect little eyes
There need only be one ray of sunlight for my little one to want to wear sunglasses. Children's eyes are much more sensitive, so it's understandable. The summer sun isn't the worst for me; it's when the sun reflects off the snow. That's when I can hardly go without sunglasses myself.
14. Last but not least: Spoons and a penknife
Have I forgotten anything that's an indispensable item in your changing bag? Do you dislike or even hate your changing bag? Add a comment below and join in the discussion.