Baby bags.. are so personal and really depend on how old your child is and what their particular needs are.

My toddler is currently 2 years and 7 months of age.  He has admittedly been toilet trained since 18 months of age (though we still use overnight nappies for security and also for completely selfish reasons (he used to wake up at midnight and again at 5am to use the potty))!  But.. until last week, I still carried his baby bag every single day that I was with him (an LV Totally MM in monogram canvas).LV Totally MM $1540 There’s a lot of stuff in his baby bag: first aid kit, hat, sunscreen, moisturiser, a spare set of clothes, tissues, antibacterial wipes, snacks, water bottle in one of the side pockets, iPad (yes.. I am one of those mums – but don’t laugh – his educational level is mind boggling and I think a huge chunk of that is due to his father’s carefully selected iPad apps) and a couple of sets of small child cutlery for when we eat out.  He hasn’t had to use his spare clothes for well over 6 months though so theoretically the rest could easily fit into one of my normal handbags.  But hey.. it would seem I am a creature of habit.

So with my second child just under 2 weeks away, and a toddler in tow, the subject of a new baby bag seemed pertinent.  Especially seeing my LV Totally MM was at capacity.

After much research, I settled on the larger LV Neverfull GM in monogram with fuchsia lining and removable zippered clutch and gave my LV Totally MM to my mother for her to use as her travel handbag as she travels overseas multiple times each year…LV Neverfull GM with fuchsia lining and removable zippered clutch $1410 ($1170 without clutch) LV Neverfull GM inside LV Neverfull GM cinched inI like the GM cinched in on the sides as it makes it a tad smaller and makes it more secure.  But as you can see from the second view, it lacks a zipper.  So that led me searching for the ideal purse organiser which led me to Purse Bling.

Purse Bling has the Purse Bling exclusive zippered purse organiser in extra jumbo which is made with the LV larger sized bags in mind.  And I believe it’s a must if you are going for a bag like the Neverfull for security when you travel and when you’re out and about and momentarily distracted by your baby.  It also helps you to keep everything in place so that you can find things on the fly (I used a large Borne Naked purse organiser for my LV Totally MM).  The Purse Bling exclusive zippered purse organiser comes at a fair price US$39.95 but unfortunately the postage to Australia will end up doubling the cost!Purse Bling exclusive zippered purse organiser in extra jumbo Purse Bling exclusive zippered purse organiser in extra jumbo (inside)They come in a number of colours.  I couldn’t help but choose the hot pink liner to match my bag’s lining though.  There are a couple of good YouTube videos which review these organisers so please check them out before you do decide to order them.  There are also a couple of discount / promo codes online that you can use as well (eg. Kattz or Angel) which take 10% off the product price.

Anyway.. why spend so much on a baby bag?  Well it’s completely optional.  But I will admit that after I purchased my first baby bag, I wasn’t one of those women who tried out multiple bags afterwards which at around $300-500 a pop can easily add up to the equivalent of one LV bag if you try two or three (the Neverfull GM retails for AUD$1170 without the zippered clutch).  Perhaps it’s my personality as I’m always decisive and do a lot of research before making significant purchases.  Perhaps it’s due to the fact that it was just easier for me to lug one bag around the whole time.  But you can use LV bags after your baby grows up – or you can give it to your mum like I did (when you’re just over it)!

The canvas damier and monogram LV bags are great because you can just wipe them clean with a baby wipe.  They’re also extremely durable and they’re timeless.  In addition, they are very light which is an important consideration when you’re not only lugging a baby bag around but also a baby that obviously grows in size, and therefore weight, over time…

So what do I recommend that you carry in your baby bag?

1. SPARE NAPPIES – these go without saying and the actual number you need will depend on how long you are going to be out for.  But generally, if you’ve got a newborn, carry around 3-4, and then as your child gets older, make sure you have 2 handy…

2. WET WIPES – You will see all sorts of carriers but nothing is cheaper or more effective than this Huggies travel wipes case.Huggies travel wipes caseIt’s refillable and it just seems to carry the right amount of wipes.  It’s easy to use and they’re great for wiping pretty much anything!

3. NAPPY RASH CREAM – try out all the samples you get at the hospital but what I ended up sticking with was the Burt’s Bees diaper ointment which smells of lavendar!Burt's Bees diaper ointment

4. CHANGE MAT – you can use disposable blueys or you can be a bit more environmentally friendly and use a washable change mat.  A lot of women just use cloth nappies or a swaddle but when hubby and I were expecting Lil’ E the first time around, we were suckers and attended a Baby Expo where we purchased a Melobaby nappy pack.Melobaby nappy packIt turned out that the nappy pack didn’t really suit our needs but the removable change mat was perfect for when we were out and about…Melobaby change mat

5. TISSUES – I just carry Kleenex purse packs like these..TissuesBut when Lil’ E has a viral respiratory illness, I usually just grab a handful of aloe vera tissues from the box before we leave the house because they’re a lot more gentle.

6. ANTI-BACTERIAL WIPES – these are the most priceless things in the world and I use them to clean grubby hands after being out and about as well as before eating.  I am sure they’ve prevented many potential gastro epidemics through our household..Antibacterial wipes

7. RESEALABLE SANDWICH BAGS – I recommend these because they’re a great size for almost anything.  Soiled nappies, rubbish, crayons, snacks, left overs, dirty bibs and cutlery – you name it…Hercules sandwich bags

8. FIRST AID KIT – I have been carrying one around ever since Lil’ E was born but fortunately, I have never had to use it!  So I just opened it up to see what was in it…  Turns out there are 3x ‘sting’ wipes in it (which contain a bit of alcohol and local anaesthetic), 3x antiseptic wipes (alcohol swabs), 5 bandaids, a pair of tiny scissors, and a pair of tweezers.  Whilst I wouldn’t recommend buying a first aid kit (I got mine for free when I purchased some other baby products), I would probably recommend making up one for your baby bag comprising:
a. bandaids
b. betadine swabs (which you can buy at a chemist) and would be a lot more useful than alcohol swabs or ‘sting’ swabs
c. small nail clipper / pair of scissors.
Any crepe bandages, saline packs, tourniquets and resuscitation masks can probably remain in your car!!

9. SPARE CHANGE OF CLOTHES – Lil’ E was the posset king so we carried bibs, burping cloths, and multiple changes of clothes with us each and every day…  Most kids will get away with just a solitary change of clothes for those unexpected moments!

10. SWADDLE – these are great because they can be used for multiple purposes – eg. a nursing cover, burping cloth, change mat, blanket, shade cloth, etc.  These bamboo swaddles from Aden & Anais are great..Aden and Anais bamboo muslin swaddleThey’re exquisitely soft and they’re made of muslin – so they breathe!  Plus they come in the most adorable designs.

11. NURSING COVER – optional – obviously only if you choose to breastfeed (& then again, some women don’t feel the need for a cover).  I tried so many when I had Lil’ E because I found I was incredibly self-conscious breastfeeding in public and I just wanted what would be easy & effective to use.  Lil’ E hated all nursing covers that I tried but admittedly, I never tried one of these Bebe au Lait nursing covers.  They seem advantageous because you can mould the top wire lining so that you can actually see your baby whilst you are nursing as opposed to covering them up with a massive scarf-like device which Lil’ E detested.  I also think that it will allow the child to feel less claustrophobic and allow more air circulation – especially in the middle of summer..Bebe au Lait nursing cover

Note: If you are BOTTLE FEEDING, you will find most change rooms these days have a microwave where you can re-warm your pre-prepared formula bottles.  An experienced mother that I know always carries a thermos of boiling water with her and a bottle of boiled water at room temp.  She carries a formula dispenser and mixes up bottles of formula to the correct temp on the fly.  She’s a true pro (after having three children) and the reason she started carrying her own flask, etc was because she got sick of asking waiters at cafes to microwave her bottles or for boiled water in order to make up a fresh bottle…

What we did once Lil’ E was converted from breast milk to formula (at 7 months of age) was to carry his pre-prepared formula around in a cooler bag and use Yoomi bottles which have a warming device within the teet.  At the end of the day, it’s important to research what your options are and then to decide what’s best for you and your family… xx

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