Airing Out My Dirty Diaper Bag


One year ago, I was very pregnant with my daughter.  Those were the days!  I sometimes get nostalgic for those times when I laid around with my feet up, planning nursery colors and picking the prettiest nursing cover. Another hilariously huge thing was the diaper bag, the piece around which I would be constructing my entire mommy identity.  Although I had originally planned to be in that camp of women whose diaper bag didn’t look like a diaper bag (because obviously I was going to be a cool, glamorous un-mom), the bag I chose online ended up looking like the diaper-baggiest diaper bag that ever diaper bagged.  And by the time I needed it, I didn’t care in the slightest.  Now my mindset is that I will save my right to one lifetime Louis Vuitton bag for a time when I’m not putting human waste inside it.


In any case, I spent a ton of time worrying about my diaper bag itself and basically no time thinking about what needed to go inside of it.  In a panic before leaving the house with baby for the first time, I looked at about a billion of those “234895 things to keep in your diaper bag” lists online (in all seriousness, I kept a checklist of 48 diaper bag items on my iPad for months).  Now I thought I would pay it forward to other first-time moms with another kind of list.  These are the items that are actually in my diaper bag right now, after many months of daily use and editing:

-My wallet.  Crazy heavy considering there are zero dollars in it.

-Baggie of rice puffs.  Or “ricey-poofs” (any South Park fans out there?), as we call them.  AKA baby junk food.  AKA all my kid will eat.  And she knows the difference between a ricey-poof and a Cheerio too.  She’s already too smart for me.

-A pen.  With a special feature that makes it sink to the very bottom of the bag whenever I need it.

-One sparkly lip gloss.  One strawberry chapstick.  One lipstick.  You can tell that my husband is all over this thing, huh?

-One peanut butter oat bar, very smooshed.  Basically flat.  I totally plan to eat this anyway – it will save the world from an Emily tantrum one day.  You’re welcome in advance.

-A whole compartment filled with balled up ziploc bags.  This is completely justified because these have saved my life more times than I can count.  Upon unballing them, I find one large one and four small ones.  This is nowhere near enough.

-A little matchbook of mini nail files.  Regardless, my daughter is just one giant ragged hangnail.

-An almost absurd abundance of feminine products.

-Changing pad.  Filthy, I’m sure.  I only use this if the only option for changing is on the floor, which is disappointingly often.

-Two food pouches.  Yup, my kid eats these, so many of these.  Sue me.  I used to also carry a spoon, but then I realized that you can squirt these babies right into your baby’s mouth.  Incredible.

-Rattle!  Thought I lost that thing!

-Baby sun hat.  Good tool for teaching baby how to snatch things off themselves.

-Clothes baggie – containing 2 pairs of socks, a short sleeved onesie, a long sleeved onesie, a pair of pants, and 2 bibs.  Shockingly, it is all the right size.  Not shockingly, not all the right season.

-Baggie of diapering products – containing five size 3 diapers, a travel sized thing of wipes, and a travel sized tube of diaper cream.  A note about diaper cream: It seems that you can only purchase a giant, lifetime supply-sized container of this stuff or a tiny tube that is good for three uses. I do not understand this.

-A duck toy that clips to baby girl’s car seat and vibrates when pulled.  My mom cut the tag off, which was a shame since that was baby’s favorite part of this toy.  A butterfly rattly/crinkly toy.  A duck rattle.  Gotta cover all your duck bases.

-Crumpled Target bag.  Saving this for the day when someone needs something to throw up in.

-Hand sanitizer.  It appears full.  Have I ever used this?

-Oooh, binkie in a plastic bag!  That was a good thought, Emily.

-Baggie of Cheerios.  Clearly at the bottom of the bag because baby girl won’t eat them because they aren’t junky enough.

Ladies, how does my diaper bag stack up next to yours?  What items are/were indispensable in your bag?  What diaper bag tips do you have for new moms?

4 comments on “Airing Out My Dirty Diaper Bag”

  1. By baby number three my diaper bag was my very large purse…and my car. In the car I had the diaper stash, wipes, and extra clothes. I never thought to change the size of the extra clothes stash until I needed them and my daughter spent an errand in long pants that came up to mid-calf. In my very large purse I had at least one diaper, a travel sized packet of wipes, a ziplock bag large enough for whatever it may need to hold, and a bag of cheerios or puffs. When she was still on bottles I had a small container with enough formula for a bottle. The actual bottle I kept in the car along with a couple of water bottles to mix with the formula. No first time mommy has ever believed me when I said ditch the diaper bag. And that’s ok–it’s a right of passage. 🙂

  2. The best bit is when hubby, unused to the counter-intuitive workings of the hot water flask, put it in upside down in the (unknown to him) ‘open’ position…then I stick my hand in to check if we have enough nappies = one badly scalded hand! ouch!

  3. I love this! It was thoroughly entertaining :). My daughter still adores those fruit/veggie pouches and she’s four. I’ve also heard you can freeze them and use them as ice packs for your kids’ lunches – brilliant! My diaper bag sounds pretty similar to yours – I would just add: a large bag of almonds that opened and entire contents spilled to the bottom.

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