For new moms, having afternoon tea with some girlfriends or a play date with fellow moms has important therapeutic properties. Our souls need their sanity restored. But have you traded in a heavily-pregnant belly for a back-breaking diaper bag that is like a black hole? Follow these simple tips for an field kit that will make your trips with the baby much more enjoyable.
While bespoke diaper bags are great, they can cost a pretty penny. Try going with a gender-neutral tote, messenger bag or backpack instead (so that the mister won’t mind carrying it too), preferably in a washable material. The key is in compartmentalizing the storage space so your things don’t turn into a ball of clutter in the bag.
To create compartments in a large bag, simply insert a few inexpensive purse organizers into the bag and you’ll be on a roll. These can be had from Daiso or your friendly neighborhood homeware store for $2 or under. Just throw them in the wash if they are dirty.
Diaper bag items fall into 3 broad categories:
- Clothing: changing pad, diapers, change of clothes, ziplock bags, baby wipes, etc.
- Feeding: baby formula, feed bottle, thermos with hot water, snacks, burp cloth, etc.
- Entertaining: pacifier, toy (notice the singular) and books.
Organize your diaper bag by keeping items of the same category together. That way, you can grab what you need quickly without unzipping every darn pocket there is. Place an item in the same location every time – it’ll be easy to spot what’s missing.
Line ‘em up, don’t stack
Try not to stack items on top of one another. Stand them upright – the side with the smallest surface area should face up – so it’s easy to grab exactly what you need without having to remove other items in the way.
Be adventurous – try different placements until you find something that works. Or else, if you are fortunate enough to have an industrial engineer for a husband/wife, ask him/her to figure out an algorithm to solve what is essentially a box-packing problem.
Packing solid/semi-solid meals
Instead of packing feeding spoons separately from the food container, consider chucking both the container and the foldable spoon into a ziplock bag, or wrap them together using cling film. That way, the teeny spoon never gets lots among other things in the bag. Plus you know you’ll always have a spot for used spoons. And when you get home, just dump the cling-wrapped package in the sink or the dishwasher.
Pack up as you use
Some moms blame their pregnancy brain for leaving things behind – we see it as a workflow problem. Don’t leave your things hanging out. Once you’re done using an item, always put it back in the bag before taking out the next one. It’ll be easier to make quick and clean (pun intended) exits.
Take a leaf from the Boy Scout’s book – be prepared
Keep a diaper-bag checklist handy – Evernote is great. Once you get home and settled the baby, take 3 minutes to rid your diaper bag of rubbish or laundry and replenish it. It’ll come in handy when the mood strikes for a quick trip round the block.
Have two diaper bags, if you can
When one becomes dirty, throw it into the wash, and use the other. Diaper bags can take a while to dry because of the lining and padding inside, so it is best to have two, if you don’t want mold growing in it.
Emergency supplies for drivers
If you drive, consider placing a second diaper bag in the car boot, with the same contents as the first, minus perishables like food and milk.
On the occasion that you do use it, always replenish the second diaper bag the moment you get home, then place it by the door, so you’ll remember to grab it the next time you head to the car.
Now you’re ready to tackle a field outing without working up a sweat. Time to book that divine high tea with your BFFs.
Have a comment or a tip to share? Drop us a comment.
Hear from one of our clients
“I really learnt a lot through my first session with San, even though we started off with something as simple as a diaper bag. Her tips on grouping items of the same category together and minimizing touchpoints helped me see how I was frustrating myself with inefficient planning previously…Already I am seeing a vast improvement when I’m out and about trying to find stuff from my bag with one hand, with my active baby wriggling about on my other arm!”
– Hospital Administrator, mother to baby A
Next week: Taming the kitchen mania, part ONE.
About Edits Inc
Having a baby is one of the major turning points in a couple’s life. Somehow, time, money and space seem to shrink with the new arrival. For sleep-starved parents, keeping the home clean and clutter/dust/insects/germs-free often feels like raging war with an unrelenting tide.
Edits Inc is on a mission to decode home management (with a new baby in tow) into simple, easy and quick tips that’ll make your home run like clockwork, yet are light on the pocketbook. No more laundry pile-ups, diaper-change frenzies, toy hazards and milk-powder-dusted countertops. Just peaceful and unhurried time to enjoy your little one’s company, in an organized, spacious, clean and safe environment. In fact, you’ll enjoy having a baby so much that you’ll want another one!!
Visit us at www.edits-inc.com