Now that is a darn good looking diaper bag. Sure, it weighed as much as my newborn when it wasn't packed full of stuff, but I didn't care about that! It had compartments for everything, and an insulated bottle bag, and a changing pad and a separate compartment for dirty clothes. This was like manna from diaper bag heaven!
You know where that bag is right now? Taking up space in my already over packed closet.
I present to you the current incarnation of my diaper bag:
That's right folks, it's a fanny pack, and it fits everything I need for two children, while also being easy to throw into any bag I want to carry, not looking remotely like a diaper bag, and being subtle enough that my Husband won't mind taking it with him when and if he ever goes out alone with our children (so far this hasn't happened, but I'm still holding out hope). This is what Mary Poppins would use if she lived in 2014 and didn't want to carry that out of fashion carpet bag thing.
Here's what you really need in your diaper bag. Please note that nowhere on this list is there an item labeled "fancy bag for poop-stained clothes":
1. Diapers. This kind of goes without saying, but you'd be amazed at the number of times I've found myself without a diaper. Interestingly enough, I forgot to refill my diapers more often when I was carrying the diaper bag large enough to smuggle a small animal through customs.
2. Wipes. Lots and lots of wipes. You won't believe how many wipes you will go through in one day. Forget those adorable little travel packs they sell at the drugstore. Ten wipes will get you absolutely nowhere when your kid has an epic blowout. Put an extra package in your car and in your stroller; you won't regret it.
5. Disposable changing pad. Public restrooms are gross and there's a very good chance you will have to change your kid on the floor of one someday. These come in very handy be it on the backseat of your car or on the grass at the park. Sure, they're eventually going to end up in a landfill, and the hippie side of me feels bad about that, but the last thing you need is yet another thing you have to wash when it gets covered in poop (I'm lookin' at you, fancy diaper bag changing pad).
3. Diaper cream. Burt's Bees is my jam, but there are lots of great choices out there. If you find yourself without diaper cream, in a pinch you can always use unscented lip balm, but you might want to throw out that particular tube after smearing it on your kid's ass.
4. Hand sanitizer. This will come in handy so many times in your Mommy life. Use it for just-changed-a-diaper hands, on shopping carts, on restaurant high chairs and tables, on your toddler after he's put his hands in the public sand box, or all over yourself after you run into one of the gross people you previously slept with.
7. Extra clothes. Babies have this annoying tendency to poop through their diapers, whereas toddlers enjoy playing in water and slathering themselves with food. In both instances you will be glad that you have an extra outfit for your child, because there's nothing more embarrassing than bringing your offspring to a restaurant wearing only a diaper. I'm pretty sure the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" rule applies even to the three and under set when it comes to foodservice.
6. Plastic poopy diaper bags. Try to make peace with the fact that you are, yet again, generating more fodder for your local landfill, and throw a roll of these babies in your diaper bag. They are excellent for both poop-filled diapers as well as to contain dirty/wet/stinky clothing and shoes.
10. Bandaids. Necessary for the inevitable bumps and scrapes that toddlers are prone to, these also come in handy as a form of entertainment while sitting in traffic or waiting for food at a restaurant.
8. Snacks. Children can almost always be appeased with an offering of delicious crunchy things. Mommies who haven't eaten breakfast or lunch may find themselves eating the aforementioned snack in times of desperation.
9. Bib. Assuming your child doesn't respond to wearing a bib by screaming bloody murder, ripping it off, and/or biting you, this is a great thing to have on hand. Worst case scenerio you can always wear it yourself to protect your clothing from food being flung at you by a frustrated toddler.
Bottle (optional). If you're breastfeeding, then you really only need yourself. Please don't bother buying one of those stupid breastfeeding covers, because if you're a first time Mom there is no way you'll be proficient enough at breastfeeding to be able to do it without looking, and most babies don't even like to be covered up when they nurse anyway. Whip out your boob, stick it in your kid's mouth and call it a day. And if anybody gives you shit about it, tell them to mind their own damn business and to go look at some internet porn or, if it's a woman, to get with the program of the 21st century.
If you're bottle feeding, you should be sure and have a bottle with you in case hunger strikes. I love the Mixie bottles because you don't have to carry a separate compartment for powdered formula.
This has been another valuable lesson on laisssez-faire parenting from yours truly. Sure, go ahead and buy that fancy diaper bag. In fact, buy mine! It's in excellent condition, and all the accessories are included. I promise to wash the "public restroom floor" grunge off of the changing pad before I send it your way.