Now that Jane and Emma are toddlers, I no longer carry a purse, and what I carry around in my diaper bag has changed quite drastically since they were newborns.  When the girls were little, we needed a LOT of stuff, and my diaper bag weighed a ton!  It was so freeing to unload some of that crap, and replace it with lighter, more friendly items.  Here’s what my diaper bag looks like today:
Diaper Bag

As you can see, I am still carrying the very same diaper bag from day one, which is a testament to it’s sturdiness.  It’s only lost a couple of zipper pulls, which, when you think about how often I use it is pretty darn good.
Here’s what the contents look like:
Diaper Bag Contents
As you can see, my diaper bag is now focused more on visiting and entertaining than on maintaining cleanliness!  We still have the staples:  2 diapers for each lady, as well as an overnight diaper for each girl (just in case we decide to stay somewhere “late”, aka 7:00); diaper changing essentials; plastic bags for wet/messy clothes or dishes/utensils, as well as a reusable bag for dirty clothes when we change the girls into jammies;  and Boogie Wipes and face wipes.
The little brown case is used for all of the girls’ hair paraphernalia, such as barettes (which never stay in their hair), hair ties, and a comb.  The pink case is filled with MY necessities, such as hair ties, lip gloss and chapstick, Advil, and some other odds and ends that I don’t want to get lost in the tussle.
I also carry an umbrella, because getting stuck in the rain with toddlers is never fun (“Uh oh Mamaaaaaaaa!”), as well as headphones for when I can get the girls out for a walk, and books and bubbles for those nasty doctors visits when we are trapped in the exam room for half an hour waiting for the doctor.  I also thought that it was essential to have a smaller first aid kit for those little boo boos and ouchies that toddlers encounter along the way.  This was the perfect size AND weight for what I was looking for.
I LOVE disposable place mats, because the few times that we have been able to get the girls out to eat in public, I never wanted to be “that family”.  You know the ones:  they make a ton of noise and a HUGE mess behind them?  So when we are done eating, we just roll these place mats up with all of the mess inside of them and throw them on the plates for the waiter to dispose of in one swoop.  I wish these were around when I was a server!
Recently, I gave up my wallet for something more travel friendly, as well.  It was really hard trying to remember to grab my wallet, and my chapstick, and my cell phone, and everything else and shuffle it from my work bag, to my purse, to my diaper bag, and when I went to work, I was carrying a purse, a school bag, AND a lunch bag, and it just got to be too much.  For Christmas, my mother bought me this little wallet case and now I just hang that by the door with my keys and toss it into whatever bag I’m carrying.  I also put an extra chapstick and lipgloss in my school bag and diaper bag, and did away with my purse all together (for now!).  It is so much easier to only have to remember ONE thing instead of 4 or 5 on top of everything else I need to remember as I’m running out the door.
The most important thing about my diaper bag is that it’s light.  I tried to get it down to the bare bones minimum, because trying to carry a 20 pound diaper bag and drag two 25 pound kids around is exhausting! And while my stroller is fairly light, with over 50 pounds worth of kid sitting in it, every additional pound matters.
All of the other essentials, such as a change of clothes for each girl, blankies, extra woobies, some toys and utensils, I stow in this trunk organizer in the trunk of my car.  This way, my diaper bag stays light, and I still have everything that I need in case of an emergency.  I also have a full sized first aid kit in the door of my truck, books, and some electronic entertainment items stashed in the car for the morning and afternoon rides to and from day care.
What do you consider diaper bag essential?  How do you make sure that you have everything that you need while keeping it light and portable?  I’d love to hear from you!
Hope you are staying warm and hunkering down for this snow storm! Or if you are somewhere warm, enjoy it and thank your lucky stars you are not with us on the East Coast!
Happy Tuesday!  xoxo