First off, congratulations on the new addition to your family! Whether this is your first child or nineteenth, the joy of bringing home a new baby is always exciting. However, you quickly learn that the task that was once so easy—getting out the door—has turned into a large, planned out event.
Baby … check
Diaper bag … check
Keys … check
Wallet … check
You … check
Sounds like you’re ready to hit the open road, but are you really? Learn some tips to make it out the door faster and with fewer items left behind.
First off, congratulations on the new addition to your family! Whether this is your first child or nineteenth, the joy of bringing home a new baby is always exciting. However, you quickly learn that the task that was once so easy—getting out the door—has turned into a large, planned out event. Even if you do have multiple children, adding one more still makes the task harder as you have to remember everything for everyone so when a meltdown happens away from home, you are ready!
An Extra Bag for the Car
A diaper bag and stroller are the main two items that go with you out the door besides the baby, so don’t leave them behind! To make your life a little easier and your back ache a little less, opt for a bag just for the car. Store it in your trunk so it doesn’t clutter up your seating space. Include the following in the bag:
- Diapers and wipes
You might be thinking, isn’t that what the diaper bag is for? It is, but instead of packing so many in there, carry one or two knowing that you have extras in the trunk. That way if you get caught out doing errands a lot longer than you expected, you have diapers on hand in your car.
- Extra change of clothes for you and your baby
Depending on the season, you can throw in an extra sundress or shirt for you in case the spit up gets out of control or an occasion arises out of the blue—you don’t want to meet a friend for dinner with spit up on your shirt. Of course, a baby goes through many outfits a day, so it’s always good to have more on hand. Just remember to switch out the outfits in your bag periodically as the baby grows.
If you choose to allow your child to have a pacifier, then having an extra on hand could be a lifesaver in case the original falls in the dirt.
Basically, the point of this extra bag is to make your life a little easier and your diaper bag a little lighter. Who wants to lug around a bag that weighs as much as the baby you have to carry? It is not good for you or your back. By having all these extras in a bag in the trunk, it’s there when you need it but compact and out of the way when you don’t. Don’t put anything in the bag that might melt though. With summer here, it’ll be ruined in minutes.
The Mystery of the Missing Stroller
More times than not I have seen people forget the stroller. Typically, the stroller is used away from the home, so always remembering to return it to the trunk after use is a great way to not have to lug it in there every time you are trying to leave the house. Maybe you go on a walk while at home and want to use the stroller. Go right ahead, just when you get back, instead of leaving it unfolded in the garage, get in the habit of folding it up and storing it in the trunk. That will give you one less thing to remember when you are running late. As a parent you are busy, but taking a few seconds to close the stroller and return it to the trunk can save you the pain of having to carry your baby through the mall instead of pushing him or her because you forgot the stroller.
Goodbye Purse (or Man Bag)
With a child, your purse becomes non-existent and is replaced with the diaper bag, unless you enjoy carrying a purse and a diaper bag and a baby, then be my guest. If not, here are some tips to keep from losing your keys and wallet in the diaper bag.
- If you take your wallet out of the diaper bag to do some late night online shopping, put it back in the diaper bag after you are done. None of this, oh I’ll set it right here and remember tomorrow. No, do it right away, otherwise you’ll be running late the next morning and that perfect spot will be a mystery to you.
- Try to have a specific pocket in the diaper bag dedicated to your wallet, phone, and keys. That way you don’t have to dump everything out to find the one item you’re looking for. Putting the item back where it belongs ensures that later it will be there and not under the couch or in between the cushions.
- Now for the keys. Most of the newer cars come with the keyless entry, meaning you don’t need to have the keys out to get into your car. If this is the case for you, then placing the keys in a specific pocket on the inside of the bag will still make them easy to locate if needed, but they won’t fall out so easily.
- If you have a car that is not keyless entry, then select a diaper bag with either a zipper pocket or a deep pocket on the outside. This will keep your keys from falling out and will also make it easy for you to find them without digging through the whole bag.
- The other item I would place in an easily accessible place would be your phone. Typically, I would pick an outside pocket so you can hear or feel it vibrate easier, and it is also more easily found when someone calls.
A lot of moms and dads, new and experienced, think about how they are going to be organized when the baby comes, then life gets crazy, and before you know it, you find yourself standing outside your car, dumping the entire contents of your diaper bag out, trying to find the keys. Just like budgeting or eating healthy, being organized takes time and practice. Best of luck to you and again, congratulations on the new addition.
Share your tips to get out the door quickly in the comments below!