**I originally shared this on Spoon Fed Baby as a guest post. It’s been awhile since I first wrote it and my younger girls are now two and four. Although we are fully potty trained and done with diapers the rest of the items on the list still live in my bag at all times. Like the Boy Scouts say, always be prepared!**
As our babies get older it becomes more of a chore to tote around the good old diaper bag. They are growing and in turn so is the amount of stuff that accumulates in the bag. A recent trip to the grocery store caused me to make a tough decision. After dragging the giant bag, two toddlers under the age of four, a tween, and myself through the snow I decided that I need to streamline my 18 month old’s diaper bag or else risk a hernia!
That’s right. Just the essentials, ma’am! In fact, I’ve downsized the actual bag itself to a simple hobo bag that couples as both a diaper bag as well as a purse and now only keep the following five items in it (aside from the obligatory diapers and wipes, of course).
1. A favorite book or two ~ This is a great weapon for those long and boring waiting room visits. Whether bringing your little one to the pediatrician’s office or simply keeping them occupied during the car ride, a good board book can go a long way. My youngest loves flipping through her books while sitting on my lap in the waiting room.
2. Crayons ~ Speaking of the pediatrician, have you ever noticed that roll of white paper that covers the exam table at the doctor’s office? Bring on the crayons, my friends! These can provide endless entertainment for your little ones. Both my 18 month old and my three year old LOVE coloring on that paper! Plus it is a good distraction from any nerves that they might have about seeing the doctor.
3. Toddler Spoon and Fork ~ Planning on making a pit stop to grab lunch while out running errands? Reinforce the table manners and skills being taught at home by bringing along your toddler’s own utensils. I know I don’t want to spend my lunch spoon feeding my daughter when she already does it on her own at home. Bringing along an extra spoon and fork makes it so much easier for her to eat independently while we’re out.
4. Baby’s Favorite Lovey ~ This can help to soothe your little one in the car, while visiting friends, or simply when she’s maxed out in the grocery cart. Having a familiar comfort item from home will help to keep your toddler at ease in unfamiliar surroundings. This also works if you are visiting a friend and want to put them down for a nap. Having one of the comforts of home can go a long way!
5. Toddler Friendly Snacks ~ This is a must when you aren’t sure how long you will be out and about. Sometimes an hour long errand turns into an entire afternoon of running. I know that I tend to turn into a complete crank when I’m hungry & so do the youngsters! A bag of toddler puffs or a granola bar can work wonders to fend off the crazy hungries! PS….bring extras for mommy too!
Of course these items may need to be tweaked a bit from time to time depending on the weather, where you are going, how many kiddos in tow, etc. but these are my current must-haves during this transitional period between baby and toddler.
I would love to hear all of your thoughts. How have you altered the contents of the diaper bag as your little one has grown?