Every parent knows the struggle is indeed real when it comes to the sticky black hole that is your baby's diaper bag. You know it must've been clean at some point, perhaps when you received it at your baby shower, but you have no clue what the actual bottom of the bag looks like now. The breakdown would probably be something like this: 10 percent parts to things you no longer own, 20 percent half-eaten snacks, 30 percent out-of-season clothing, and 40 percent unidentifiable mass of trash, goop, and regret. Sound familiar? Then you might need some diaper bag hacks.
Even if you have transitioned from the "bells and whistles" designer-type baby bag you swore you absolutely needed on your registry to something a little more practical (i.e. whatever tote-like thing you manage to grab that day), it can still feel like a circus act trying to get some semblance of organization achieved. From knowing what exactly counts as an "essential" item and how to get the most out of its contents, to clever ways to pack and things you didn't even know you needed to know, there are some truly game-changing hacks and tips out there for any parent that uses a diaper bag.
1. Pack Smart
If you're like I was when I first became a mom, I was guilty of over-packing. In my head, I thought I was just being super prepared. Yet, in reality, I was stuffing the bag past its capacity with unnecessary items which only made it more difficult to get to the things I actually needed. Check out this video from Mom.me that shows how to pack a diaper bag, complete with all the essentials.
2. Use Unconventional Storage
One of the items my son seemed to lose (and get dirty) most frequently was his pacifier. And if you're in the midst of a meltdown, the last thing you want is to be digging around looking for a pacifier. A creative solution is to use empty souffle cups to store pacifiers. You can use just about any kind of disposable sauce container that you could get from a take-out restaurant.
3. Vacuum Seal Things
Vacuum sealers aren't just for keeping produce fresh. You know that you can never have too many diapers, so save room by vacuum sealing diapers.
4. Keep Portable Back-Up
Sometimes the contents of your baby bag are just no substitute for the comfort of your own home. If you're out and about and nature is calling (for your baby), you can keep a portable diaper station as back-up in your car or trunk, like Andrea Dekker suggested.
5. Bring Baby Powder
This comes from my own arsenal of tips I learned "on the job." Living in beachy Florida, there are plenty of opportunities for my son to get covered in clumpy, sticky sand. I've found that rubbing a handful of baby powder on yourself will let the sand fall right off along with the powder.
6. Have A Compact Distraction Kit
If you happen to have an old tri-fold wallet laying around, or want to pick up a cheap one from a dollar store, it can make for a great on-the-go activity kit for your kids, like the one featured on The Billings. Instead of having a bunch of loose toys in your diaper bag, you can keep a compact wallet full of crayons, paper, stickers, and more.
7. Switch To A Camera Bag
Instead of dropping dough on designer totes, you can actually find a used camera bag to use as a diaper bag for super cheap with ridiculous storage, as My So Called Home suggested. Since most camera bags are made to be weather-resistant, easy-to-use, and efficient for precious photography cargo, it will definitely be able to handle whatever your baby can throw at it — or in it.