I can't speak for other mummies but I found choosing a changing bag quite the challenge. It was a case of head vs heart as whilst I loved the likes of the Elodie Stroller Changing Bag, I felt like I couldn't justify £50+ on a changing bag at the time. So I let my head win and I went for the Caboodle Everyday Baby Changing Bag, which was on offer at the time of purchase and much cheaper around the £20 mark. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely changing bag with a fantastic design but I still find myself hanging my nose over arguably more stylish offerings like the smarTrike Infinity changing bag £64.99. Isn't it lovely?!
Anyway enough of me moaning about not having the most stylish changing bag (a true first world problem right there) and onto the purpose of this post - my changing bag essentials.
Other parents will understand when I say that going out with a baby requires you to pack as if you're going on holiday for a week. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration but you really do feel like you need to pack everything but the kitchen sink just in case. And even if you've packed and re-packed your changing bag ten million times, you'll still spend the journey to wherever you're heading thinking about all the things you've probably forgotten to pack. It's not just me, right?
So rather than do a typical what's in my changing bag where I show you all of its likely contents (ten million breast pads can get rather boring), I thought it would be better if I stripped it back to the basics and talk about the things that I actually use for changing Arthur, day-in-day-out.
Nappies are of course the biggest baby essential and Naty is my first choice. Whilst everyone's heard of Pampers, I bet fewer people will have heard of Naty. I certainly didn't know they existed before another mama blogger mentioned them. Basically Naty is a Scandanavian brand that specialises in creating eco friendly nappies. They're as natural as they can be with their choice of materials and work hard to reduce their impact on the environment. They don't contain any nasties and offer excellent performance - something I can definitely attest to.
I've been putting Arthur in them since he was born and he's not had any cases of nappy rash nor have we had many leakages. Naty do not test on animals (unlike other big nappy brands) and they make me feel better about using disposable nappies. Side note: If you're a cloth nappy user, I commend you and your washing skills!
Baby wipes are another big changing bag essential. You could just use water and cotton wool for nappy changes but honestly, I find wipes so much more convenient. Like with nappies, there's so many different brands to choose from but I knew from the start that I wanted to use Water Wipes. They're a great alternative to cotton wool and water as they are free from chemicals and actually contain 99.9% water! Grapefruit seed extract makes up the 0.1% and is a natural skin conditioner. As I said before, Arthur's not had any real cases of nappy rash so the nappy and wipe combination seem to be working really well.
My other essentials include nappy bags (not pictured), muslin clothes, a breastfeeding cover up (though I've not been using it as much recently), a fold-up changing mat and a rattle to keep Arthur entertained. I also like to pack him a change of clothes (vest, leggings and socks), which I roll up into a bundle to minimise space in my changing bag. I actually saw this in Kate Murnane's recent Mummy Hacks video and thought it was such a good idea!
At home I tend to use a lovely multi-purpose ointment from Burt's Bees on Arthur but the pot I've got isn't very travel friendly, so I just throw my Sudocrem samples in the bag instead. Sudocrem Care & Protect* is designed to act as a barrier cream to prevent nappy rash and the Sudocrem healing cream is a great antiseptic. The only thing is, I have no idea whether Sudocrem tests on animals or not? I definitely need to look into this, as if it turns out they do, I'm going to use them up and then move onto a cruelty-free alternative.
*Edited to Add*
The lovely Sudocrem PR emailed to confirm that Sudocrem is not tested on animals and is cruelty-free, which is fantastic news!
Even though the Caboodle bag isn't necessarily the changing bag of my dreams (that sounds so sad when you say it out loud) I've got to say it does tick all of the boxes. It's a great medium sized bag with plenty of room for all of Arthur's changing essentials and much more. There's internal pockets (including a zipped section and phone holder), pockets at the front and an adjustable strap. It also comes with a changing mat, zipped bag for dirty clothes and an insulated bottle bag, all of which are pretty useful. And for £30 (or less if you're lucky enough to get it on offer sometime) you can't really go wrong!
Are any of your changing bag essentials featured here?
What did you look for when buying a changing bag?