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I've spent my fair share of changing diapers and packing diaper bags these days. I certainly don't consider myself an expert at anything motherhood, but I can pack a bag quickly and efficiently with the rest of them. Sometimes I laugh when I think of all of the things I used to jam into Gunner's bag in the early days, I mean the bag was back ache inducing and stuffed to the brim. But now, while I'm still totally an advocate of being prepared, I'm no longer packing everything (and the kitchen sink) in our little diaper bag.
I do want to say this -- when you have two littles, especially two that are close in age, things can get overwhelming in the purchasing and overall cost department; but, I really don't think it has to be that way. Today, not only will I be sharing my diaper bag essentials, I'll be sharing a few areas that you can save money in the baby raising arena, because don't we all need help there?
I promise that this really is all I keep in my diaper bag. If there's any chance we'll be out and about during a time that Titus needs to eat I'd obviously pack his formula, but I try not to keep that in his bag for prolonged amounts of time since it does have a suggested temperature that it needs to be stored at. Now, let's get down to the items...
1: A BIB. I always keep a large, absorbent bib in the bag. I've learned that all bibs aren't created equal in size and absorbancy, so for me, it's worth spending a few extra dollars on something I know will help control the mess. The bib above is from a Texas based Etsy shop called Babiease and I love it. I used this bib through Gunner's baby years and it has held up so well.
2: OUTFIT. An extra onesie or outfit is probably a given, but it is an essential. In colder months, I'd have an extra pair of pants or jacket too, but it's still hot here and those items aren't needed.
3: DIAPER STASH. I try to pack a diaper for every hour that I plan to be out. I don't necessarily change baby hourly, but packing them that way gives me extras in case of leaks or blow outs.
Diapers are one of my areas where I try to cut costs and save money. I know many a momma that would disagree with me in this area, but I've found that you can find great quality diapers for an affordable price. In my opinion, the best value diaper brand is the Parent's Choice brand found at Walmart. They recently improved their absorbancy (find which stores carry the new and improved diapers, here) and I've experienced little to no leaks with them. Plus, when you consider that you can save $240 a year by switching to the Parent's Choice brand, it's kind of a no brainer. For us, with Titus and soon to be Pacey in diapers, that's right around $500 in savings! If you'd like to try out Parent's Choice diapers for yourself, here's a great coupon. You can find Parent's Choice diapers in the diaper aisle of any Walmart near you.
5: SNACK. I love the squeezable yogurts for Gunner and will eventually give them to T and P too, I'm sure! I've found that 95% of the time when Gunner is in toddler melt down territory that he's just hungry. Always having a snack with me also keeps me from breaking down and buying Gunner a more expensive snack when we're at the store or in the car and he gets hungry.
6: WET BAG. These are traditionally used for cloth diapers, but I love them for any clothes that have been soiled due to an accident or a blow out. Make sure to find wet bags that are machine washable and then you can just throw it all in when you're ready to wash. In the picture above the bag is folded in fourths so it's really quite large and can hold a lot.
7: SOPHIE. Oh, beloved Sophie. Gunner loves Sophie more than Titus right now, but she's perfect for the times when baby needs to hold or gnaw on something...much more sanitary than the grocery cart handle, right? This item could obviously be any toy that your kiddo(s) love.
8: MINI ESSENTIALS. I keep a seperate, small zipper bag in the diaper bag that has mini must-have items in it. Lotion for cold weather chapped hands, hand sanitizer for momma and toddler, and diaper rash cream. I learned with Gunner that diaper rash cream is another area you can save money in + a recipe easily made at home is cheaper and even more effective!
I used an old baby food bottle (that was properly cleaned out) to store our diaper rash creme. It's a mixture of coconut oil and lavender essential oil and it has healed some of the worst rashes I've seen...including, ones that aren't solved by prescription strength creme. I'll have a post soon on how to make your own cream. I promise it's super easy!
So, veteran mommas, any other items you consider must haves when it comes to diaper bag packing?
Anything I'm missing? Any place you cut costs and save money? Share in the comments below!