What’s In Your Diaper Bag?
The baby I nanny for started daycare recently. It was an emotional ordeal for both myself and BossMum as we prepared to leave her in the care of almost strangers within a daycare facility. Strangely enough (although most fortunately), Baby Viv was not at all perturbed by the turn of events. Excited at the sight of colourful new toys and new friends to play with, she leapt from our arms the moment we arrived and barely gave us a backwards glance. So whilst BossMum and I were a little unsure about how events were going to unfold, we were glad the introduction of a day each week spent at daycare was going to allow her the opportunity to explore her social skills and surroundings.
The morning of the new daycare routine we rushed out the door like any other; in a disorganised chaos.
We arrived at daycare to realise that Boss Mum had left her laptop at home along with the seven-year old’s homework folder, and that the baby was still wearing her breakfast all over her ‘clean’ outfit. So much for making a good impression.
What we did remember to bring however, was the carry-all diaper bag!
To be honest, the diaper bag is one of my favourite possessions. I simply can’t leave without it. Yes the older kids use it as an excuse to discard items they no longer wish to carry, and yes sometimes it gets heavy to lug around. But it’s also my saving grace.
As a nanny for small children, this bag has become my best friend. At any point of time, I can guarantee that at least one child will want something, or need something. Someone will be hungry. Someone will be thirsty. Someone needs spare batteries for their toy. Someone is cold and wants the spare jacket I packed for them when they refused to dress properly. And of course when you’ve got a baby, wipes, diapers, dummies and blankets are essentials.
Everyday I look after my carry-all diaper bag. I re-stock it. I clean it. I protect it from the elements. I also tote it with me across all kinds of distances. My saving grace has accompanied us to the Zoo, the Aquarium, on long-haul plane flights, trudged through mud in the countryside and had sand all through it during summer beach vacations. It has rescued me in times when I’ve been caught out without tampons, or spare snacks for the kids. It’s always got a clean grow suit to change a sick-up covered baby and has even on occasion been to the gym.
Over the years I’ve used many different diaper bags. One was frustratingly tough and rigid and difficult to manoeuvre into the storage below the pram. One was so heavy and long-handled that it tipped the pram right over (with the baby still strapped in). One bag failed the waterproof test and saw the demise of an iPod. And embarrassingly, one sported the stench of mouldy tuna sandwich for longer than I care to admit to.
Over time I’ve come to develop a preference. These days it’s my old faithful, the Longchamp Canvas bag. It’s hardy and durable, waterproof, malleable, and squishy enough to fit into small spaces. Plus, it’s got plenty of inside storage to compartmentalize the various toiletry essentials, baby items, spare clothes, kids toys and ‘busy bags’.
So like any other day, the carry-all diaper bag came with us that morning to daycare. Because even though daycare has all the necessary things like spare diapers and dummies, blankets and extra baby bottles, I’ve grown a little attached. The diaper bag has become my best friend and saviour in desperate times of need. That morning, the diaper bag was reassurance. It was my safety blanket. For even though the baby was old enough, and self-assured enough, and socially adjusted enough to go to daycare for the morning, I wanted to feel as though I were still needed. Having been a part of our lives since as long as we can remember, and so on such a momentous day, it was only natural that the bag should accompany us.
Tips To Packing Your Carry-All Bag:
To ensure your diaper bag becomes part of your family, and your saving grace in desperate times of need, make sure you pack the essential items. You’ll need to cover snacks and food supplies, spare clothes, a travel first aid kit, sunscreen and activities to keep kids occupied (such as colouring books, pencils and ‘busy bags’). You’ll also need to pack some items that may not be used as regularly, but come in handy, such as spare batteries, portable phone chargers, an emergency credit card and a road map.
The nanny life; it pays to be organised.
Do you have a carry-all bag loaded with the kid’s essentials? Do you ever take a gamble & leave the house without it?
A version of this post appeared first in the September/October issue of Nanny Magazine, contributed by Nanny Shecando. Nanny Magazine covers everything from from a nanny’s relationship with their charges to their complex relationship with the parents. The magazine offers provoking features on hot topics such as gun control and obesity, advice for nannies who experiencing ethical dilemma on the job, and even the nanny’s personal life.