Does not having a diaper bag disqualify me from writing this? Of course not! One of the biggest trending blog and vlog subjects recently is mothers sharing “What’s in My Diaper Bag!” After seeing roughly 75,000 of these posts go up, I figured it was time for a father to jump in and break down what’s in his diaper bag. Who do people really want advice from? A man able to pack for two weeks all inside his airline carry-on or someone like my wife who forces us to take out several Payday loans to manage the thousands of dollars in excess baggage fees for a three day trip? It’s definitely time for a man to enter the conversation and provide sage wisdom on the essentials every modern day parent must have.
One of the most important items I make sure I NEVER pack when thinking about what I might need out in public with my munchkins is…the diaper bag. The diaper bag is the last item you’ll ever need to survive an outing with young children. And here’s the parenting hack you’ve been waiting for: there’s only two items you’ll ever need with your infants and they both can be stuffed into bulging pockets. When I take my two daughters anywhere without my wife, I grab 2 backup diapers for each girl and half of a pack of wipes. The diapers and wipes get stuffed into my back pockets and BAM! I’m ready to take on anything!
The beauty of this simplicity is that it leaves both arms unfettered to pursue the inevitable shenanigans of my kids. Diapers, wipes. Wipes, diapers. Why are we complicating the true necessities and what else could you possibly need? Diaper cream? It can wait until we get back home. Nursing cover? Don’t need one of those, but if I did it’d be crammed into another pocket. Snacks? Can either be purchased during the trip or the kiddos can wait until home. Extra outfits? The “naked-in-a-diaper” backup outfit is always on standby. Burp cloth? My shirt has been stained plenty already, there’s no going back.
Are there downsides to this approach? Barely. You do have to deal with a massively protruding backside as wipes and diapers hang out your back pockets. Also—one mistake I regrettably made—you need to make sure to remove the wipes from your back pocket before getting in your vehicle or sitting down. I drove to the store with a wad of wipes tucked neatly in my back left pocket, only to suddenly feel wet a few blocks down the street. Apparently too much pressure on a pack of wipes can result in some leakage. Regardless, minor setback.
We have ditched the diaper bag and embraced a new twist on Minimalism. Now that we’ve outlined your path away from the chains of the diaper bag, let’s review some of the other associated benefits. First, why spend $50 (or $100 or $300 or $500) on a mangled web of cloth and zippers when your pockets can do all the work free of charge? No more worrying about matching your shoes to your diaper bag because diapers hanging out of your pocket goes with anything. No more searching endlessly through unlimited zippered compartments.
Not only will bailing on the diaper bag save your bank account, but it will also save your back. How uncomfortable is it to lug around a 90 pound bag of junk containing dozens and dozens of items you don’t need? It’s hard enough carrying babies and toddlers around, give your back a break and lose the bag. On the rare occasion I’ve been stuck carrying my wife’s diaper bag around, I’ve been shocked by how heavy it is. I don’t have the time or patience to actually open it, but I’m guessing there’s six dozen backup outfits, four cases of diapers, 12 trees worth of wipes, six gallons of diaper creams, an emergency potty, 150 different parenting items I’ve never heard of, and a complete set of Encyclopedia Brittanicas from 1982 (or a rock collection or something else to make the bag weigh as much as it does).
So there you have it, a dad’s guide to diaper bags. It’s time to be brave and live dangerously. Fill up your pockets and head on an adventure unimpeded by a stylish designer bag full of unused trinkets. This is how dads do diaper bags.