nappy bag essentials
Baby basics

Nappy bag essentials

The nappy bag is an absolute necessity for busy mothers, find out what this all-important bag should contain.

The nappy bag will become your ultimate accessory which you will never leave the house without. It is important to get a sturdy, waterproof bag that will withstand some wear and tear, as well as fit the long list of essentials that your baby requires. Get a clip to attach your bag to your pram, as this is most likely where you will carry it most of the time that you are out with your baby. Alternatively, some nappy bags come in backpack form to make them easy to carry and leave you with both arms free.

Put your name and number somewhere on your bag to avoid any mix-ups with other mums and crèches and public places. Another good tip is to empty the bag and repack it as soon as you get home. Otherwise, you may forget to do it and you could forget some essentials on your next trip out and end up carrying around dirty laundry!

A good nappy bag will be able to fit all or at least most these things in a way that makes them easily accessible (and easy to see when you need to restock essentials like nappies and wipes). Nappy bags with exterior storage like insulated pockets for bottles and snacks as well as additional compartments for your mobile phone, changing pad, nappies, and wipes are particularly functional.

“A bag with multiple pockets is the best type of changing bag. I assigned certain items to different pockets, so I always knew without looking where everything was, it’s also great for directing other people who are using the bag. I always have, nappies, wipes, cotton pads, talcum powder, a change of clothes and some teething gel in my bag.”

– Hannah Boylan

“I had a waterproof, insulated bag, which was the best thing ever. Multiple pockets are a must for me. I never leave the house without muslin clothes (multi purpose) spare set of baby clothes, a nappy and a pack of wipes.”

– Kacy Downes

What to pack: 

  • At least five nappies 
  • Changing mat 
  • Nappy rash cream/ barrier cream 
  • Baby wipes 
  • A change of clothes for baby and you (just in case) 
  • A toy for your baby to play with during changing 
  • Cleansing hand gel 
  • Antiseptic wipes 
  • Bibs  Muslin squares
  •  Drinks and snack (when your baby gets older)
  •  And depending on the weather: baby hat
  •  Sun cream (if your baby is over six months old)
  •  Disposable nappy sacks

Top tip

Invest in a waterproof lining for your bag that is easily removable. This will make it easy to clean up if there are any spillages from creams or bottles.

More like this:

Complete guide to nappy changing
Top 5 Lidl baby products
Top 5 life hacks for new mums

Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.

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ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.