As promised in my previous changing bag post, here are the highlights of what I keep inside my trusty tote. I’m not talking nappies, muslins and baby wipes etc as I would hope these are already a given, but things that I didn’t know existed when I was pregnant, and have found to be invaluable since.

Clockwise (starting from top left):

Kiddylicious Wafers
These handy packs take up little space and weigh virtually nothing, but keep Caspar engaged just long enough for us to wolf down a coffee or quick meal when out and about. The fact the remnants cement themselves to his little hands and sleeves is the only sticking point (pun unapologetically intended).

Milton Antibacterial Wipes
These are brilliant for wiping over toys that have made contact with the floor, or sanitizing a surface you can’t guarantee is clean (this isn’t a comment on the cleanliness of local eateries –  I find these most useful for after we’ve torn through a cafe. We are like a tiny, sticky tornado).

JoJo Maman Bebe Changing Pouch
I keep all nappy changing essentials in this handy pouch, so when we need to head to the Baby Change I can just grab everything I need with one hand.

Sudocrem
Specifically, this tiny travel-sized pot. I got this in one of my free Bounty packs, and despite having used the original contents months ago, I now top it up from the full-sized tub as it’s just so much easier to pop in the bag.

Ikea Soft Book
Like every other sane person, before becoming a parent I sped through the baby & child section in Ikea faster than you can say ‘meatballs’. These days, I relish in their sweet, simple designs and affordable price tags – nearly every baby-populated household I go into has one of their highchairs.

Ring O Links
These are one of my best buys. You can use them to attach toys, teething rings etc to the pram or highchair, but they also provide entertainment on their own – Caspar enjoys manically shaking them together at any given opportunity.

Sophie Giraffe Harness
All new parents know about Sophie Giraffe and her natural gum soothing qualities, but not so many seem to know that you can buy a harness* to stop her making a quick dash to the floor every 5 seconds.

*Don’t worry – it’s not long enough to cause any safety concerns.

Cath Kidston Travel Bags
Available in a number of their iconic prints, these zip-up, waterproof bags are handy for holding anything you’d rather not come into contact with everything else (the less of which said, the better).

As always, I’m all ears to hear your recommendations!

We’ve been reading Caspar a bedtime story since he was just a few weeks old (when he reached that magical baby developmental stage where suddenly they have a notion of night/day and you can finally change out of your pyjamas). We started with picture books, the kind with bold black and white shapes, moving on to more colourful books with identifiable animal pictures and textures for him to reach out and feel. More recently though, we have started to introduce real story books, the kind with an actual narrative and characters, and I can’t tell you how much we’ve all enjoyed it. Sure, sometimes Caspar’s main aim is to stuff every page into his mouth, but I’m certain he is also listening to the words, looking at the pictures and, on occasion, attempting to turn the pages himself.

Although we have acquired a few favourites from our own respective childhoods (Peace at Last and Each Peach Pear Plum etc), we have also been exploring some of the relative newbies in the world of children’s literature, and a series of books by Jon Klassen has really caught our eye.

The series, currently containing three titles – ‘I want my hat back‘, ‘This is not my hat‘ and ‘We found a hat‘ – written and illustrated by Klassen, offers simple stories alongside beautiful imagery and a really dry sense of humour, which we love.

Although these books are really aimed at children a little older than Caspar, we wanted to add things into his routine which challenged him, and unlike toys that advise a minimum age for health and safety reasons, there really is no reason not to be a little more ambitious with story books – especially when they’re just as entertaining for the parents (if not more so!).

Do you have any favourite titles you’d like to share with us (new and old)? Please comment if so, we love a recommendation!

You may also be interested to know that Waterstones have a buy one, get one half price offer on lots of children’s titles at the moment – a great excuse to get reading.

 

I’ve written before about my search for aesthetically pleasing baby kit, and an appealing changing bag was without a doubt one of the most fiendish to find items on my pre-baby wish list. My issue with so many of the designs is that they are a) styled to look like a souped up laptop bag or b) seem to be geared towards the baby, rather than the parent, who will actually be carrying and using it day to day (I’m talking cupcake prints and chintzy bows).

After a fair bit of research and one too many YouTube reviews, I plumped for Baby Beau’s ‘Ellie’ bag – a simple black leather affair with tan details and gold hardware. What I love about it is that for all intents and purposes it looks like a regular handbag, but open it up and the contents are just as practical, spacious and waterproof as any of the more traditional designs. What’s more, the innards can be zipped up into a standalone pouch and completely removed, super handy for dropping off the essentials with grandparents/nursery etc, whilst you use the shell of the bag like any other handbag. As standard, the Ellie also comes with a range of removable accessories, notably a chestnut coloured bottle holder with humbug striped lining, and a matching changing mat. I’ve used mine almost daily for the last 5 months and have yet to fault it.

Other bags I have seen (but not tested) that seem to fulfil my particular criteria include the Noa from Storksak, pretty much anything from Jem + Bea and Tiba and Marl, as well as other products from the Baby Beau range.

 

Coming soon – My Changing Bag Unpacked | The Contents