Network Blogger: Downsizing the change bag

Do you see that? That little lot there -that’s the contents of Sam’s change bag. It’s everything I need for 3 nappy changes and a set of emergency clothes. Just the essentials. And it’s all packed away in a cosmetic bag, no bigger than a sheet of A4 paper.

And I’m proud of that. That’s my camping instinct that is. Travel light. (I might apply that mantra to my wardrobe one day. But not today) Of course I’d take more if we we’re staying overnight, but this is the daytime change bag, with 3 nappies (for out and about).  If we’re out over a mealtime I’d take food and snacks, but it would be separate from the change stuff, I keep the food handy – in case it’s needed.

At one point I had 4 change bags for Sam: a freebie when I joined Boots parenting club, one that came with my pram, one loaned to me by a friend, and another given to me by my sister in law, which had loads of pockets and tonnes of space.  I didn’t use all 4, I just had 4. I used the one my sister in law gave me from the start. It was amazing. I filled it too, I filled nearly every pocket. I took the essentials and the non-essentials too, well I had pockets for extra stuff, so I thought – why not? And of course the novelty soon wore off as I forgot what I’d put in which pocket.

When Sam was 0-4mths (pre-weaning) I’d go into Newcastle with my trusty change bag. It was stuffed with what I thought were the essentials, consisting of:

  • emergency snacks (for me)
  • emergency cash
  • emergency paracetamol
  • a magazine
  • purse
  • phone
  • keys
  • metro pass
  • a packet of tissues
  • hand sanitiser

And for Sam:

  • 8 nappies,
  • an entire pack of nappy bags
  • a full pack of baby wipes
  • a disposable change mat
  • 2 muslin cloths
  • a full change of clothes
  • sudocrem (even though he didn’t suffer with nappy rash)
  • a nipple shield
  • sachets of calpol (even though he wasn’t ill)
  • an extra blanket for the pram
  • some toys

The bag hung nicely on the pram handles, I couldn’t carry it, hell no it was far too heavy.

But when I bought my first sling (a Beco Gemini from Rachel who runs the North East Sling Library, if you’re interested) things changed, I knew couldn’t carry a change bag with a sling. I couldn’t carry *that* bag with a sling, and I couldn’t carry *that* amount of stuff.

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I needed to reduce the amount of stuff I took with me for Sam and find a new bag.  A bag that would hold Sam’s change stuff and have a bit of room for my essentials (purse, keys, phone, tissues, metro pass). And so I got a rucksack, not a change bag rucksack, I went for a regular (Cath Kidston) rucksack – a birthday gift from my husband.

Once I’d got the bag, I needed to scale down the stuff – to the real essentials…

  • How many nappies does Sam use in a day (approx.)? 4

  • How many nappies for half a day? 2

  • And if you ran out of nappies while you were out – is there a shop nearby where you can buy more? Yes

Right – take 3 nappies. And take 1 nappy bag for each nappy you’re taking – right!

  • Do you need a full packet of baby wipes (every time)? No,

  • And if you run out of baby wipes while you were out, – is there a shop nearby where you can buy more? Yes

So don’t take a brand new pack of wipes for every trip

  • Does Sam get nappy rash? Yes (sometimes)- so take cream

  • Can you decant some cream from that big massive pot into something compact? Yes

  • Are you using muslin cloths? No

So don’t take a muslin cloth

  • Are you breastfeeding out and about? No

So don’t take a nipple shield

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Once I’d got my essentials, I bought a fairly cheap cosmetic bag from ebay (new), no bigger than a piece of A4 paper. And I packed the change things into it.  The cosmetic bag was handy enough to put in the rucksack, chuck under the pushchair, or chuck into the car.

So my new essential kit is:

  • 3 nappies
  • 3 nappy bags
  • 1 small pot of sudocrem
  • 1 disposable change mat
  • half a packet of baby wipes
  • a change of clothes (vest, trousers, top)

And the amazing multi-pocket change bag is now used for swimming – because it’s so big, I can carry towels!

And that’s how I downsized my change bag.

lisa vincent

Lisa Vincent | Loopy Girl

About Janine 583 Articles
I am an antenatal teacher, doula, baby massage instructor, postnatal educator, life coach, writer, mum, wife, friend and, sometimes, just me. As an experienced and qualified practitioner, I specialise in pregnancy, birth and early parenting - my aim is to listen, inform, support and reassure when needed. I have worked with parents since 2002 and I set up Birth, Baby & Family in 2011 to provide good information, a different perspective and links to the best products and services for families. I set up the Birth, Baby & Family Centre in 2014 to provide a welcoming, friendly and supportive space for parents across Tyneside.

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