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When I first started going out of the house after Sophie was born I just didn't know what to bring with me. I always brought WAY too much and would end up lugging three or four bags with me just to go to the beach! That, on top of lugging a car seat and baby around - hello sore back! I was the totally mom cliché - drowning in baby stuff.
Since those early days I've started to really cut down on what I bring with me every time I leave the house and it’s made my life so much easier. Now I can fit pretty much most of the essentials into ONE bag if I plan it out properly.
Now, before we dive in, you should know that this is the bare minimum of what you might need in your diaper bag if your cloth diapering. You might also need to add more depending on the weather, depending on how long you're going out for, if your child or your baby needs anything extra, if they have any special needs, or they just like special snacks, etc..
I really like the diaper bags that have a lot of different pockets on the inside. Also if it has access through the back so that you can get everything at the bottom of the bag then that’s a plus! Pro tip: get the backpack style. This will save your back in the long run and they are much easier to manage when you’re carrying a car seat or have a baby on your hip.
You never want to leave the house without diapers, that goes without saying, but how many do you bring? It's hard to know at first how many diapers you're going to need. With cloth diapers you can normally get away with your child wearing the same diaper for two hours, sometimes three, as long as they don’t have a poopy diaper. It really depends on how often you want to change their diaper, how much your baby urinates, and how often they poop. My rule of thumb is bring one diaper for every two hours you’ll be out of the house, plus one extra just in case.
Or wet wipes if that’s what your family uses. I just grab as many cloth wipes as I can fit in one hand and that usually is more than enough. We use water to wet the wipes, however if you have a special cloth wipe solution you like to use then pack it as well.
You can pack as many burp cloths as you feel you need, especially if your baby spits up quite often. At this stage, for our 13 month old, I only bring one to lay down on the surface where we're going to change her.
I always bring a full change of clothes for Sophie because she's messy. Sometimes she gets stuff on her clothes and she often gets soaking wet. You never know what could happen and we want to make sure that baby is as dry as possible going home. That being said you can also bring a change of clothes for yourself! I know there has been too many times when I wished I had a clean shirt to change into.
As far as what you're going to be doing with the dirty diapers when you're out and about - you can actually follow some of the same steps that you would if you were at home. If you have a poopy diaper you can knock some of the poop into a toilet if there is one available. If you aren’t near a toilet I suggest using some compostable bags in the same way you would if you were picking up dog poo. Now, you COULD dunk and rinse if you are near a toilet that you trust, however I don’t usually bother with that until I get home. I generally wrap up the diaper tight on itself, the same way you would a disposable diaper, and then put it in the compostable bag. That way you get an extra layer of smell reduction and it’s not going to be mixing in with the other diapers, potentially making an even bigger mess.
Honestly, I don’t think this one needs much explaining, however it is a MUST! Especially with little ones. You never know when you may need your phone.
Let’s face it - you’re probably dehydrated! Plus if you’re trying to cut down on your plastic waste a refillable water bottle is a MUST!
Always bring your baby's favourite car toy! This is a little trick I use: we have toys that are only played with in the car. That way the little ones never get tired of them and when they go into the car they know there are some fun toys to play with. We do a rotation every once in a while to keep things interesting.
This has saved me on so many occasions!
From there you can add on a few extra things your family might need on the road - bottles, an extra pacifier, snacks for little ones, sunscreen, etc..
Did I miss anything essential? Comment below to let me know.