I don’t like to overpack. But, we live in the middle of nowhere, and have a toddler who still takes two naps a day.
If you’ve got a little one, here are a few tips and must-haves I’ve learned for short outings. I know it’s tempting to carry around your huge bag to enable you to be prepared for three blowouts and two extra meals in every store and park you go to, but honestly, you’re not going to need it.
Leave the big stuff in the car
I’ve learned it’s a better plan, even for a day trip a couple of hours away, to just leave a bigger bag in the car with emergency clothes, diapers, and baby food. I even leave a couple of cloth wipes in that bag. I always have a bottle of water with me, so that’s my plan for emergency diaper situations. Pro tip: Don’t leave disposable wipes in the car for long periods of time, they get gross.
Plan your trip
I like to take a minute before my activity to make sure the bag I do carry is properly packed. If you’ll be out during a feeding, bring the necessities. You’ll want to make sure you’ve got enough diapers, wipes, and a wet bag. And at this age, you’ll definitely want a change of clothes, because just when you don’t plan for a blowout, you’re bound to have one! I always carry around an extra burp cloth too--those things are so handy for messes! I’ve found it’s handy to keep a little bag with small bottles of the medications you frequently use for your little one in your carry-around bag.
Don’t carry more than necessary
When your baby is less than a year old you’re always carrying a lot of things you need all the time, but you’re also carrying way too many things you probably haven’t needed while you’re out in at least a month.
I try to completely empty my diaper bag out once every month, and if I can’t remember using it, it’s gone. You’d be amazed at how many random items accumulate in your bag that you’ve not touched in ages. Removing those things will be great for your sanity, and your shoulder!
Jenny Ditch is a mother of one in Illinois who hates to haul too much stuff