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Whenever you go outdoors for a stroller walk or car ride etc., you must pack some essential items, for instance:

  • Diapers & towels
  • Extra clothing
  • Food & water
  • Medicines
  • Favorite toys

Finding these things and making sure they are packed could take forever.

What is the best way to minimize the time it takes to pack these things before going out?

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3 Answers 3

We have a bag that is always packed with diapers, wipes, food pouches, crackers, sippy cup, a bowl, fork & spoon, and a couple of small toys.

Before leaving the house we do a quick survey of the bag and make sure that it includes enough of everything for the trip we are taking which only takes a minute or 2 to replenish anything running low.

Keeping the bag ready to go has not been a big deal for us, I haven't really put much thought into it lately.

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+1 This is exactly what we've been doing for the past four years. Highly recommended. Also, include a change of clothing that matches the current season. Accidents are bound to happen. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Oct 2 '13 at 6:42
    
Haha, oh yes, the extra change of clothes. We now keep and extra extra pair of clothes in each of our cars and have had to use them a couple of times. –  Dave Nelson Oct 2 '13 at 15:37
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I kept this technique up for over a decade. When it wasn't the diaper bag it was the "arena bag" for skating lessons, the "karate bag" for karate lessons etc. Never unpack it. Top it up the moment you come home needing something topped up. You will appear magically organized. (Eg I always had things for the younger to play with during the older's lessons and the other parents thought we were organized to remember them. Ha.) –  Chrys Oct 2 '13 at 20:41
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It really doesn't take much time to pack a bag, even if it is empty to begin with. What you may find as a new parent is forgetting to pack an essential item, so the two steps to maintaining a baby bag with everything you need are:

  • Keep it packed, as Dave suggested. Monitor the contents and remember to stock up when you are getting low on wipes etc

  • Have an inventory list. Either in the bag or on your fridge/noticeboard so you know what you need. Without a list, sometimes it can be difficult to remember some item - especially if you have been up all night with a screaming child and can't even remember your own name :-)

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The problem with a standard bag is that all items end up in a muddle and you have to dig deep to verify that something is in it. If you have many small items (such as medicines), this is really a pain. It usually results in all objects being thrown out on the floor in frustration, or that you put something in the bag that already is there -- resulting in an ever-growing bag.

For this reason, I'm considering buying a fishing bag which has lots of compartments (including layers of plastic boxes for smaller items such as medicines), where you easily can store items so you quickly know where to find them. That such a bag is waterproof doesn't hurt.

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We use a Lässig nursery bag which has just the right amount/size of compartments (see picture). These things are amazing and practically indestructible. And it's a bit more stylish than a camo fishing bag ;-) –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Oct 3 '13 at 10:31
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