Two kids means twice the amount of stuff to bring with you when you go out. Let's be honest about diaper bags - the bigger the diaper bag, the more stuff you cram into it. Extra space is taken up by forgotten things, extra things, and "maybe we'll need this one day" things. Yes, over preparation is always the best plan when you have small children, but there comes a point when you're carrying around everything but the kitchen sink and feel like a pack mule.
Recently, I scored a Ju-Ju-Be Be All diaper bag on Baby Steals for about 50% off retail price. This thing is awesome! It has pockets after pockets, a memory foam changing pad and strap pad, zipper areas for your cell phone and wallet, plus the entire thing is stain and water proof and comes in amazing prints and colors. Having it now, I would have paid full price for it if need be!
Though Ju Ju Be makes diaper bags of all sizes, this one isn't tremendous and that's okay. Again, the bigger the bag, the more crap ends up inside. I took stock of all the things I'd need to tote around and thought I'd made a mistake. Diapers, wipes, clothes, snacks, toys, first aid, burp clothes...the list goes on. The problem was that I didn't need everything for every time I left the house.
Grab a snack for the park, remember a bib for the restaurant this time,
and don't forget something to keep him entertained at the doctor's
office! Ever do that? You're trying your hardest to get out the door and keep realizing you need things for where you're going? Yeah, every time I leave the house. I don't want to carry EVERYTHING, so I'm left gathering up individual pieces. Not anymore! I saw something on Pinterest that showed diaper bag things divided up into clear make up bags. The intention of the post was to organize a full diaper bag, but I took it further - a modular diaper bag. I divided up our supplies by trips and activities so I could easily grab what I needed and leave what I wouldn't.
Yes, surprises happen, but for the most part if you have a diaper, some wipes, and a first aid kit, you will survive. Otherwise, you can generally account for what you will be doing when you leave the house. Heading to a restaurant? Then I should bring the toddler feeding pouch and activity pouch. Going somewhere with just G and not C? Why not leave C's extra clothes and diapers at home then? Going to the doctor's office and then running some errands? Might want to bring some activities and snacks. Customizing what you'll need is as easy as putting the right pouches and a few diapers in the diaper bag.
I got these pouches at the dollar store and WalMart, so each only cost a dollar. The larger ones are pencil cases and the smaller ones are make up bags. You can use any kind of pouches/bags or even make your own. The pouches I made up are:
Toddler Feeding - food scissors, bib, toddler size utensils
Baby Feeding - burp cloth, bib, nursing pads, lanolin (sample size packs)
Activities - flash cards, cars, crayons, a small book, paper scraps, a tiny bottle of bubbles
Extra Cloth Diapering - cover, Snappi
First Aid - Bandaids, Tylenol, tweezers, thermometer strips, Neosporin, Pedialyte to Go
Extra Clothes - one outfit for C, one outfit for G
These pouches won't stay the same forever. Outfits change with seasons, feeding supplies and activities, change with age, I won't always need nursing stuff, etc. I can change out what is in the pouches very easily though, adding or subtracting as we go. There are some things that I always keep in the diaper bag (first aid kit, hand
sanitizer, sunblock in the summer, wipes, and wet bag), but everything else can be
changed out as needed.
To make things extra easy, I keep all of the pouches right near the front door where we also keep the stroller and diaper bag. A quick change of pouches, a few diapers, and we're ready to go.
As long as I restock the pouches in between trips this system will get us out the door in record time. At least that's the plan. ;-)