The diaper bag should have you prepared for whatever situation a seven-month old several hours away from the nearest drugstore could throw at you. The contents of our bag have changed over time. Daniels is really really fidgety and isn’t as content when being held as he was when he was younger, so our diaper bag has a lot more toys in it then it used to. He also grew out of posseting after ever feed, so there are few muslins and fewer changes of clothes.
- Toys for Daniel to play with – a selection of toys, how many you bring will depend on the duration of your journey and your comfort level with not having them on hand. Toys that Daniel is currently interested in include toys with mirrors (airline bathrooms have mirrors that Daniel loves even if he’s in a bad mood), maracas are going over greatly right now, his favourite soft book (Hoot the Owl – he can chew on it, there are ribbons he can try to pincer grip and there’s that crackly fabric he likes), Sophie the Giraffe (Daniel hasn’t been a big fan but all the other babies loved it), some sort of soft and hard chew toy for teething – we have a stuffed dog that he loves to gnaw on, but sometimes a hard toy goes over better – we like the Tommee Tippee teethers – they are great for applying teething cream, we also packed a small hard book, and a bendy wiry ball. NOTE: in a pinch straws, plastic bottles, plastic cups from the trolley all go over like gang-busters.
- Bag for toys – I use an old shoe bag to stuff all the toys into. I also have a smaller bag for the teething toys and I put the teething cream in there as well.
- Soother on a clip – (if you’re using a soother) – you don’t want to be fumbling to find the soother when the seat-belt sign is on. Soothers are great for take-offs and landings to help keep the pressure in babies’ ears manageable. An alternative is feeding – but I find that Daniel feeds too quickly to be sucking the entire time that his ears could potentially be popping. I also bring soother wipes with me – I’m not so fussed about giving the dummie a ‘mommy-wash’ and popping it back in his mouth on most occasions – but there are times when I’m thankful for another option.
- Nappies – at least 1 for each hour in the air (something about the pressure on their bowels – he never poos as much as when he’s on a plane), and then 1 for every 2 – 3 hours in transit. Also, bring wipes and a portable change mat. I have a Storksak diaper bag and it came with a great washable change mat which I wrap around the wipes and a diaper so it’s all i need to grab when it’s time to go (Daniel doesn’t suffer from nappy rash very often).
- Change of clothes for everyone – (this means a sleeper for Daniel and a t-shirt for both Mum and Dad). Poo-namis happen at any time and nothing ruins a travel day like poop on a shirt. Ditto for vomiting. Dark bottoms mask most things and we can’t fit a change of trousers into the carry-on luggage.
- Food – we are in the early days of solids and we’ve been mostly breastfeeding, so we relied mainly on the boobs for feeding Daniel in transit. We would hand him bits of our sandwiches that he could eat but we’re not at the full meal stage of things. We also packed some dry formula already measured out into an empty bottle in case of emergency (just add boiled water that’s been cooled – most coffee shops will be ‘happy’ to provide it to you). I’ve gotten used to feeding in public with just a muslin square over me and a Boob top on (in my opinion a must for any breastfeeding mom) – but if you’re going somewhere where it’s not acceptable or you’re less comfortable, I often bring a feeding wrap with me. By the way, I love the look of their new muslin cover that you can see here.
- Muslin squares – I have a few friends who don’t use these, but Daniel used to spit up a lot so we always keep these close at hand (he’s actually gotten much better in the past few months, but muslins are also great for cleaning up messes, hands, faces, worn as a scarf to hide puke stains (Aden and Anais ones are my favorite). I also like to bring a larger swaddle (the bamboo ones are particularly gorgeous), that I can drape over Daniel if he’s sleeping, or needs protection from the elements for a brief period of time.
- Liquids – teething gel, hand sanitizer (although I’m not a fan of using this on a regular basis – poo happens and there isn’t always a bathroom with soap when you need it), diaper cream (a great time to use all those samples the companies sent you when you were pregnant), calpol sachets – for the inevitable plane illness that seems to strike after every other flight.
- A wet-bag – I have one that’s designed for reusable diapers – it’s a medium Monkey Foot Designs one, but it’s great for dirty clothes, wet breast pads, muslins, or anything else you don’t want co-mingling with the rest of the diaper bag supplies. We also keep some extra plastic diaper bags in another compartment just in case – a friend keeps ziploc sandwich bags handy and I think this is something I’ll add to the list – a myriad of uses come to mind.
- First aid kit – Pete and I took first aid classes through the Red Cross and feel it’s as important as a first aid kit.
- Digital strip thermometer – I keep a few of these with me for checking his temperature on the go.
- Sunscreen – a travel size container of it is always in the bag – you just never know.
- Bibs – at this point just dribble ones – these Marks and Spencers ones are super cute and have lasted through a zillion washes and still look great.
- My stuff – keys, wallet, lip chap, earphones, Tide pen (a must for stain removal on the go), cell phone and a hankie.
Phew, I’ll stop there for now and I’ll continue with things to look out for with the ground transfers in my next post.