Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bag Lady

I have a secret.


I have two children, two and under, and I don't use a diaper bag.


It's true, and it's amazing.  I use my now four year old, Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Hillier Hobo.  I used the diaper bag I purchased before having Ashlynn, a Nest Hudson diaper bag, until she was around 8 months old and then pulled the switch-a-roo.  I'm pretty sure it all happened the same time we switched from the infant carrier to the convertible carseat.

I still have deep feelings for my diaper bag, really the only drawback in my opinion is that it's big.  Which is also it's greatest highlight.   You can see it's size on me here.  I think once I was carrying her to and from the car seat to shopping cart, I asked myself why am I carrying this giant bag to the grocery store, when I never need any of it's contents other than my phone, wallet and sippy cup?  I soon realized a smaller bag with just the need-now essentials could get me by.

Of course, that list of need-now essentials changes every few months, but I've been able to manage the change from baby to toddler and even the addition of a newborn to infant all without having to add a giant bag back to my routine.


The contents of the bag I actually carry looks like this, give or take a snack trap of gold fish, a few band aids, and an extra pair of contacts that I keep in the zippered pocket with a contact case and eye drops.


Of course, this picture is missing my phone, but honestly thats usually in my pocket and not technically in my bag. My keys, wallet, pen, chapstick, and sunglasses are pretty much my only needs.  

For the toddler, her water, a small toy like her Minnie Mouse keys, sunscreen stickhand sani, hair things, and her sunglasses.  She has some other toys in the car that we keep there permanently and my one cup holder is filled with bow clips... since she usually takes them out mid trip and I get a "mommy take it" and then they live there until I hit Starbucks twice in one day and actually need the second holder.

For the baby, two diapers, wipes, paci, a bib or burpcloth, and a teether... and her sunglasses too. 

I know, you are probably asking "What about diapers for Ashlynn?  What about a change of clothes?  What about tissues? or First Aid?"  ...not to mention anything related to dining out.  So, how do we manage?


I keep my diaper bag fully stocked, in the car.  If Ashlynn were to need to be changed during a Target run or while at the playground, I would never actually change her right there on the spot, so no need to keep those items on me, we'd most likely be doing that in the car.  Even if at a friend's for a playdate, I can just run out to the car to grab her bib or diaper, or a change of clothes for the baby.



More burp cloths, an extra swaddle blanket for warmth or to block the sun (and also doubles as my nursing cover), diaper cream, tissues and boogie wipes and snot sucker, change of clothes, sun hat, an extra paci just in case we lose the other, bib for Ashlynn, and some more toys. And of course, more diapers and wipes for back up. 




This is probably overkill, but I also like to have a separate bag for when utilizing the gym's child watch.  The baby room has numbered cubbies when you walk in to leave items - bottles, milk/formula, toys, diapers, the general necessities that baby might need while your gone.  I wouldn't want to leave my handbag since I have items like my wallet and I wouldn't want in a public storage area, so I use a separate bag.  I could use my regular diaper bag, but it's stocked with so many items that either aren't for Kenley or applicable to the hour that'd I'd be gone so I pack a separate bag to drop off with her on gym days.  

Diapers, wipes, the wipeable change pad that came with the bag, teetherpaci, her favorite crinkle book, and a change of clothes and socks.  She really wouldn't need anything else except for milk and that I would pack with us, along with my own water and snack.  Otherwise this bag stays just like this in my car so I don't have to bother unpacking and repacking each trip.

JJ Cole was so sweet in offering to send us the backpack bag for our review and overall, I think it's a great bag.  With two kids, it's so much easier having the backpack option since there is always at least one child on my hip, or the times I'm wearing the baby and a cross body or shoulder bag isn't practical.  It's spacious and has pockets for everything!  Unfortunately, the biggest drawbacks are that my husband refuses to use it because of the print (another reason we keep bags stocked in the car, so he doesn't have to worry about packing a bag) and I also prefer a less "babyish" baby bag.  If it came in solid black, I'm pretty sure it'd be the only bag we'd use. 


Lastly, I keep the above items in our stroller's basket.  Our JJ Cole Agility wrap, which has been a life saver at the playground more times that I can count.  Some sunscreenhand sani, and a JJ Cole travel changing clutch for the necessary on the go changes.


I'm sure it seems like a lot to manage, but it's so much easier to travel with well prepared cargo rather than a well prepared carry on!  With 40lbs of children to carry, a lightweight bag with the bare essentials keeps me from needing a weekly trip to the chiropractor or spa - though I don't think I would complain about weekly trips to the spa!


Do you use a diaper bag with a child over one year?  Multiple kids?  Share your organizational tips!!


*****

JJ Cole was kind enough to provide backpack diaper bag and changing clutch  for our review, but all opinions expressed are solely my own.  All other products mentioned were purchased with my own money and their brands are unaware of this post.  

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30 comments:

  1. I used a diaper bag with Noah at the beginning. It was filled with bottles, eventually food, and diapers and changes of clothes. Eventually I decided to use a cooler lunch bag once I was carrying real milk vs formula. When I did that I was able to carry a regular purse instead of the huge diaper bag. I also find I don't need to change Noah much when we are out unless we are gone for a long time. I love being able to use my regular purses again! I love the idea of just stocking the car!

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  2. With my first, I always carried a diaper bag FILLED with everything possible - even bottles even though we were only making a quick errand. Now I have what's called "second child syndrome" lol. When we run any errands I do exactly what you do - I keep a diaper bag in the car (just in case) and grab the essentials - a paci for Audriana in case of a meltdown and a snack for Bella. I honestly have never needed to make a diaper change because we live 5 minutes from everything so I usually just wait until I get home. Life is so much easier without worrying about packing 10 things when you're trying to get out the door with two under two!! :)

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  3. good to know! i dont have any kids (yet!) but i have seen some cute bags that look more like purses instead of a traditional diaper bag! xo jillian - cornflake dreams stop by! I'm hosting a tasty giveaway.

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  4. I carried a skip hop diaper bag until she was 18 months. But it was also my purse. Loved it! Then I carried a child sized backpack. Now that she is potty trained I don't generally carry anything with me (I have a few toys and stash snacks in my purse). I have a plastic shoe box in each car with a change of clothes, panties, wipes, ointment for a cut, alcohol wipes, and band aids. If we do take a "kid" bag I still have her backpack. It includes a change of clothes (in a zip loc so I can have a place for the soiled clothes), snacks, bug spray, sun screen stick, colors, wipes, kleenex, etc. She can even carry it as well, so that helps.

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  5. I am impressed! And you know I have that same purse now, so it's good to see that it's was a worthy investment!

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  6. So smart about carrying the change of clothes in a ziplock to store the dirty! I used to keep a wetbag in my diaper bag when I carried it with Ashlynn, but have since taken it out. I'm definitely going to add it back! And potty training will definitely bring a whole new level of items to be prepared with - potty seat!!

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  7. I definitely am drawn to the non color diaper bags, but some of them really do have great storage.

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  8. I think my new advice for new moms should be don't stress so much over the diaper bag decision!! Honestly, a giant canvas tote would the do the job if organized properly :)

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  9. I've only have done about 3 diaper changes while "out" I think two were at restaurants when A was a baby and we were at baby showers, and once at Ikea lol. I usually do them if necessary in the tailgate/trunk of my Jeep. But A rarely goes while out (girl holds it all day I swear) and Kenley is easier to manage too.

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  10. I barely ever change Ashlynn while out at this point, and usually Kenley doesn't get it until we get home either. I'd opt to both of them in the car instead of a germy restroom anyway!

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  11. Seriously N, the thing is a bottomless pit!! My wallet is giant, plus wipes, and baby diapers, and phone, keys, toys, snacks... the only thing it won't fit is my DSLR! You made a great investment! And cross body/hands free is the way to be with kiddos :)

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  12. I'm still using the Perry Mackin Rachel bag and I actually just blogged about how I'm not ready to give it up! I do have few larger purses that I use for short trips, but I gave up that Nest Hudson bag a LONG time ago. I think I fell in love with it on your blog and was SO excited about it until I used it for two months. Once it's filled up that thing is heavy! I was able to resell it on ebay for a really good resale price though, so when you're done with yours you should give that a shot!

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  13. I got rid of our diaper bag about a month ago when my daughter was 10 months. I have a 4 year old too and resorted back to my backpack. I carry a purse and that backpack. The diaper bag just annoyed me. I keep a 31 bag with "extras" in my trunk.

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  14. I just stumbled across your blog and noticed you have a daughter named Kenley! I have a two year old named Kenley and also live in PA! Nice to "meet" you!

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  15. No diaper either. We keep everything in the car.

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  16. Seems like everyone goes from carrying it all, to carrying the bare min!

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  17. Hi Jamie! Nice to "meet" you too, I rarely come across other PA bloggers!

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  18. I have a feeling the backpack deal will definitely come in handy during the preschool years, when coloring books and other preschool type toys come into play

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  19. Aw, that's too bad you didn't like the bag (I feel bad if you went solely for it based on my review!) I still really like it, but with a toddler and infant carrier it's just too much. Plus I just dont need all those items actually on me. That bag, the Perry Mackin, looks great! And I'm glad you got a good resale!

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  20. Oh no, don't feel bad! I loved the bag so much when I got it and actually considered keeping it for a carry on bag. I was definitely the most prepared mom on he block for the two months I used it. I brought everything!

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  21. I do exactly the same thing. I keep my diaper bag fully stocked in the car, but pretty much never use it. I just carry my purse (which is usually on the larger side anyway, or a tote style) and throw whatever I need in there. Actually, I needed something out of the diaper bag the other day and saw the spare clothes I had in there for the girls...they were 6 month clothes, and the girls are 17 months. oops!

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  22. Haha so funny! And I have random diapers all over my car and in the diaper bag that I'm not sure the size! (Seventh Generation, they aren't marked.. I'm glad I use ones now that are)

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  23. I keep trying to take things out of our diaper bag to leave in the car so it isn't so packed but Thomas loves to have everything with us. I love a diaper bag but sometimes feel that we just have so much shit we are carrying around to go through the aisles at the grocery store, it's a bit ridiculous. But then again we tend to have marathon days where we need all that stuff so I like that it's convenient. Aside from that we are also uncomfortable leaving our bag in the car while out and about. Only one of our cars has a trunk so when we take the other it would be exposed.

    Let me tell you I am looking forward to no more bottles or diapers (at least for Ellie - I'd gladly welcome them for another baby like yesterday!)

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  24. this post reminds me of the "what's in their bag" from Us Weekly. I love seeing what other people carry around in their purses and diaper bags! I'm nosy like that ;)

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  25. I love that you just have a few things in your every day, go to bag and that you have the things they might need kept in the car. I might have to start doing it more like that. I like a little bit of a smaller bag and some times toting around a big ol' bag and a toddler [can't imagine trying that with two!] would be too much. And you are so right, usually you don't need any of it right then and there anyhow. :)

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  26. Love this idea! I travel light too and keep some things like a change of clothes in the car because we hardly ever need those things!

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  27. Yay thanks for linking this post up with us!! xoxo Great advice!

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  28. Your bags are the cuuuuuutest!! I seriously need to size down, at least for small errands around town! I bought 2 new bags and I'm dying to use them!! It's time!
    Also, genius idea to keep some items in the stroller (less I have to pack around, which I need since I want to downsize!)

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  29. Dying over your Marc Jacobs bag. I have two, two and under too and I don't use a diaper bag most of the time anymore either. Love it!

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