It’s been a while since I’ve taken a baby-change bag out with me. After gradually transitioning away from the cumbersome change-bag for many months, it dawned on me that I no longer have to carry half the stuff I used to when I had babies. Yet another sign that time is flying, eh?
During my first pregnancy and those sweet months of anticipation of the birth of my first child, I would romanticise about all of the lovely things I would have for my baby. I had a list of beautiful baby accessories that I envisaged I would carry in my yummy-mummy-worthy change bag.
For instance, luxury organic baby toiletries, fancy patterned swaddling blankets, an obligatory Sophie giraffe and a darling little rattle. These would all be beautifully, hygienically organised and contained in a quirkily-patterned, designer change bag, proudly slung over the handle of my brand new travel system (because you couldn’t possibly place a newborn in a practical, forward-facing umbrella-fold pushchair!).
For the most part, I did have many of these items in the early days. However, like most bags I own, it soon became a disorganised biohazard of a mess. Not only did it contain all of the lovely aforementioned items, but with the additions of used tissues, food wrappers, receipts, half-finished bottles of mineral water, part-eaten cakes and yucky, empty bottles of formula milk. And don’t get me started on the nappy-change paraphernalia.
You see, I didn’t really anticipate just how much time was dedicated to nourishment once you became a mother. If my babies weren’t eating, then I was. Or both. And it isn’t eating as you know it pre-babies, where you get to choose somewhere lovely and have a meal in your own good time, in your favourite restaurant.
No. It often involves hurriedly shovelling something – anything – into your own gob, whilst simultaneously holding a bottle of milk or boob to your baby’s face (emphasis on face, because you’re likely to be completely missing their mouth while you concentrate on breaking your own famine with whatever cake-based treat you happened to sniff out in the baked-goods aisle).
Once you’d selected the most nutritionally-balanced snack (cake) to keep you going, you would often have no choice but to dine in random places. This is largely because you’re never going to make it to your restaurant of choice before your baby loses the plot with you, or because you just can’t face sitting in said restaurant while your baby loses the plot with you. So your lovely designer change bag metamorphoses into a portable lunch box that rarely gets cleaned out and is regularly perched in/on fairly unsavoury places. Gross.
I’ve had lunch on high street benches, in the car whilst caught out in the rain, in the GP waiting room and even whilst actually in transit, walking somewhere. Things were getting pretty disgusting, so trying to limit mess and maintain hygiene became a priority when I used to head out with packed lunches.
I found that buying individually-packed portions of baby/toddler foods, snacks, drinks and yummy cakey treats were the best way to go (we particularly like the individually-wrapped Brioche Pasquier Pitches in the picture). I could stock them up in the cupboard and just grab them on the way out of the door, without worrying about crumbs and gravy juices seeping out of badly-sealed containers. Fruits with their own ‘wrappers’, such as satsumas and bananas were also great for keeping foods contained within the depths of my change bag. And of course, a simple nappy bag was easily put to use as a rubbish bag to keep everything together once lunch was finished.
I do have fond memories of those baby-days and my lovely baby-bag paraphernalia. I still carry some of those portable snacks, but these days, they’re just in my normal handbag, with a nappy or two and a packet of wet wipes. And happily, I ditched the cumbersome travel-system years ago!
*This is a collaborative post*