It’s a toddler fact of life - as our babies get bigger, their “gear” requirements get smaller. And as a parent, it’s a welcome relief. After all those months of lugging around a diaper bag filled-to-the-brim with diapers, three changes of clothes (babies are messy), pacifiers, back-up pacifiers, blankets, bottles, toys and more, it’s a relief to be able to scale things back.
But you might be wondering - what should you scale it back to? How far should you go?
Of course, it depends on your child. If your son or daughter tends to be a little messy, then you’re still going to want a few changes of clothes. You know your child best, after all. But beyond that, consider this list a good place to start:
- A great bag - choose something with lots of pockets, that isn’t too heavy on its own. Compare - you’ll be surprised at the weight of some bags even when they’re empty. Pick something with a good strap, too. If it’s flexible enough to be worn cross-body or as a backpack, too, that’s even better!
- Diapers and wipes - yes, you’ll still need them. Just not as many. Don’t skimp on the wipes, though. As you know, they’re not just great for cleaning dirty bums - they’re also great for wiping dirty faces and fingers.
- Snacks - your child’s non-perishable favorites are a must-have. Include a few whether you’re planning to be out at snack time, or to cover those times when you’re caught unaware. Afterall, a hungry toddler is not a happy toddler.
- A change of clothes - as we mentioned, you’re still probably going to need at least one outfit. Pick something lightweight and roll it up so it doesn’t take up too much space.
- Travel size hand sanitizer - you know what this is for, and you’ll use it all the time.
- Sunscreen - include a small tube or bottle of sunscreen for those impromptu stops at the park or the beach.
- Blanket or towel - throw in a small, packable blanket or towel that your little one can cuddle with.
- Toy - if space allows, include a small toy that your child loves.
While your toddler’s needs are on your mind, don’t forget to include the things YOU need, too. Make sure the bag you choose has room for your wallet, keys, makeup essentials (if you carry them with you), etc.