Melissa C. Koh

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The Diaper Bag Essentials For Every Mom

Just recently (after he turned 30 days old), we started to bring Noah out of the house more frequently. It was kind of a mental leap for us because, firstly, we had never done it nor practised for it before and, secondly, several scenarios would play out in our minds: 
“What if he has as a poo-nami (our term for a super huge and wet poop. One that potentially could overflow out of his diaper) in public and we can’t find a clean and suitable location to change him” 
“Breast feeding a cranky / hangry baby is stressful enough at home. What if he cries out during the priest’s homily?”  
Nonetheless, we took our friends’ and fellow-parents’ advice and threw ourselves into, what seemed to us at that time, the deep end. 
Soon enough, we realised that it wasn’t so bad (most of the time) and when it did get a little out-of-hand (like a double poo-nami in quick succession), being prepared and staying calm helped us manage the crisis. 
One crucial aspect about being prepared for a day out with baby, apart from mentally preparing oneself, is having a well-packed diaper bag. Leaving the house for a day out with baby without a properly stocked diaper bag is like going to war without bullets in your weapon. Not to be melodramatic or anything but this is one of the parenting mantras that we repeat to ourselves every time we plan to take Noah out on a little excursion. (Scroll to the bottom of this blogpost for our checklist of what we pack in your diaper bag. Feel free to use it or adapt from it!) 
When packing your baby pack, it’s useful to keep these 2 words in mind; “Sufficient” and “Efficient”.  
Pack sufficiently based on the duration of time you plan to be out with your baby and, also, for worst case scenarios. An example of this would be packing at least 4 sets of diapers and an extra set of clothes (in case of aforementioned poop party). Don’t forget to replenish your ‘supplies’ after each outing. 
Conversely, certain items don’t need a buffer and it would be wise not to clutter your diaper bag with an arsenal of swaddles, wet wipes and multiple nappy creams and hand sanitisers. 

Selecting a particular brand of each essential that you’ve tried and trust is sufficient. For James and I, we use cloversoft for our wet wipes, Betadine for our hand sanitisers and Buds for our nappy cream. We alternate between Le Petite Basics’ and Aden and Silky Swaddles and last but not least use Hegen as our feeding bottle of choice. It’s anti-colic and the elliptical-shaped silicone teat closely mimics a mother’s breast. So far we haven’t faced any issues with bottle rejection. Moreover, the Hegen breast pump, feeding and storage bottles all use the same containers which it very easy for to transfer milk that’s in the fridge or breast pump to the feed bottle (just switch the attachments!) before a day out.

Which brings us to “efficiency”! 
We make sure the items in our diaper bag are always placed in the same location and in the location that makes the most sense! Our diaper bag from Petunia Pickle has many compartments which allows us to … well …  compartmentalise our diaper bag essentials! 
Our wet wipes and nappy cream are always placed in the pockets next to the built-in changing mat so that we have quick access to them while changing Noah’s diapers. 

Bonus section: These aren’t exactly essentials for a diaper bag, but I like to sneak in a few products for mummy  just in case I need the added boost or glam up! There’s a small detachable pouch in the diaper bag in which I put a lip stick from Shu Uemura to look instantly made up, Thermal Spring Water Spring from Avene for a hydration boost to my skin and the Lancome’s Genifique Light Pearl Eye & Lash Concentrate to help the puffy eyes and ever-growing eye bags. If there was a memo which says mums taking care of newborns have to be haggard, I didn’t get it.

After the initial anxiety was overcome and we got a few public feeding and diaper changes under our belt, we started to really enjoy bringing Noah out. Largely because of how much he seems to enjoy it. His eyes light up the minute we put him in his car seat and drive off and he’s constantly alert and taking in his new and unfamiliar surroundings! So far his favourite places to go to are super markets and shopping malls (we bring him to less crowded and hectic ones.). Looks like we have another shopper-holic in the house! 
Bringing Noah out of the house doesn’t feel like a huge operation anymore especially after we’ve gotten used to packing and using our diaper bag! 

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