The Diaper Bag

Baby diaper bag“Ugh, what IS in this thing, Junko?” exclaimed my friend Betsy as she attempted to pick up my diaper bag, suspecting that I hid a bowling ball in there.  A seasoned mom of teenagers by then, she was trying to be helpful as we walked around a desert park in Palm Springs while our husbands golfed together.  Obviously, Betsy had long ago lost the muscles we moms build up on our arms and shoulders as we carry a baby on one hip and a toddler on the other while slinging a diaper bag the size of New York.  Josh was almost a 9-month old by then.

When David and I walked out of the hospital with our first born, I had a cute little diaper bag that was the size of a fashionable tote.  In it, I had neatly organized the following:

  1. About half a dozen newborn-size diapers
  2. A travel-size package of baby wipes
  3. Two tiny onesies
  4. A mini-bottle and a package of formula, just in case I’m not around to nurse
  5. An extra pair of socks
  6. A cute bib, just for looks
  7. A burp cloth

I also always carried around a bottle of water because nursing got me so thirsty, and there was still plenty of space in that baby tote to throw in the water bottle along with my car keys.

Fast-forward almost nine months to that fateful day in Palm Springs with Betsy.  Baby Joshua had grown and had gained some healthy weight, but not nearly in the same proportion as the size and weight of my diaper bag, now as big as an 18-wheeler.  Here’s what you would have found inside it:

  1. A full package of medium size diapers
  2. Another package of large size diapers, in case he suddenly grows
  3. My own set of disposable changing pads
  4. A full box of baby wipes, enough to last a month in case there is a nuclear fallout
  5. Three full outfits to change into, in case there is a diaper explosion
  6. Three pairs of socks plus a pair of Nikes just in case he decides to start walking because, my intuition told me, he would be an early walker.  Ha!
  7. Five bibs, because he was a big drooler
  8. Two tubes of Desitin
  9. Nail file and tools to make the permanently embedded Desitin look like French Nails
  10. Three burp cloths because he regurgitated so much
  11. Two changes of clothes for me, in case he missed the burp cloths
  12. A baggie full of Cheerios
  13. A pound more of stale Cheerios, loose and rolling around the bottom of the bag
  14. Three jars of baby food — a starch, a veggie, and a fruit
  15. Two baby spoons
  16. Some plastic toys on a plastic key chain
  17. Teething toys to chew on
  18. A flip chart of the alphabet
  19. A laminated place mat with a map of the world on one side and the periodic table on the other
  20. A travel size Good Night Moon board book
  21. A tube of SPF50 sunblock
  22. Hand sanitizer
  23. Two bottles of water, because I was still nursing

Whew!  Did I forget anything?

Betsy’s little comment was both embarrassing and eye-opening for this mom who was still trying to be a perfectionist about covering all the bases.  I really let this diaper bag thing get out of control, didn’t I?  “Just in case” seemed to be my motto at that time. Did I dare to let go of the notion that I had to cover all possible eventualities?  A little bit.  Another moment to make me a little less Tiger, a little more Panda.

I bet you’re either…

A) laughing at how ridiculous my diaper bag had grown because your bag is or was small, neat, and tidy, or

B) thinking to yourself, “Wow, my bag’s even worse than hers!”

So, which diaper bag camp do you belong to?


8 thoughts on “The Diaper Bag

  1. OMG Junko. I was somewhere in the middle, though closer to A. Mine also included a first aid kit. My future gymnasts walked between 8-10 months, and had NO FEAR. I carried neosporin, scissors, band-aids. They would climb or jump out of shopping carts or fall into clothes racks or other metal obstacles. This was before everyone could carry pictures around on their phones (I didn’t even have a cell phone) so I also had a full flip book of photos of my darlings to show anyone I could corner into looking.

    • Wendy, you were always well-put together, so I can see how you would be organized. Your babies were made to be a gymnasts! With parents like you two, I bet your kids were and still are beautiful.

  2. You are too funny! My bag was always full of junk & had tons of gross old food in the bottom! So happy to be finally out of diapers with our 3 year old. Nice to be back to just my purse, which is also usually full of papers and junk unless I have recently cleaned it out. Still like to carry a small ‘mom’ bag for those snacks and waters and things to do at restaurants though to keep busy hands occupied. Love your panda stuff! God Bless you!

    • Thank you, Anne-Marie! My kids are 11 and 13, yet I still have a big mom bag with lots of surprises inside. I guess once a mom, always a mom!

  3. “A laminated place mat with a map of the world on one side and the periodic table on the other.” Junko, we must be related! However, when I was a wee kiddie, my Mom would throw us in the back of the car (no seatbelts) and take off to visit family with not much more than her wallet and some clean underwear for each family member! Such a different world in the old days!

    • And we all lived to tell! Thanks for your comments, Viki! I think you’re an honorary panda mom.

  4. LOL at #9 and the French manicure! You nailed it, Junko! I am really enjoying reading your blog.

    • Thanks, Kim! You see, I’m far enough away from the early days that I can laugh about a lot of stuff now. I’m sure you’ve got stories to tell…:-) Miss singing with you.