Shaking Down My Bag After the Potty Training Years
- What: Contents of my purse
- When: After you retire your diaper bag
- Why: Kids still need stuff
- Where: In your bag
So you have passed the diaper bag stage, but it turns out you still have kids and your bag contains all sorts of odds and ends that make life simpler for them and heavier for you. I decided to dump out my bag before a trip, thinking I could get rid of some flotsam and make it a bit lighter (and less likely to set off security alarms – either official ones or my own when I stick my hand in there and it comes out sticky).
I didn’t lighten my load by much, but I did get a good look at all the contents, and thought I’d share. In the main compartment, I still carry a portable container for wipes. None of my kids wear diapers any longer, but wipes still come in handy everywhere from the park to the car to restaurants. Because my son has a severe nut allergy, I also carry a junior Epipen every time we leave the house. I had a spare pull up in the bag just in case of any accidents with my youngest, who was two when I last did this clean out. I keep several Band-aids in there with different designs, because it never ceases to amaze me how the tears for the most grievous injury will dry up while they kids debate which Band-aid will best heal their ills.
For my own personal use, I had my wallet, which holds my ID, credit and debit cards, public transportation card, cash, membership cards, pen, and fingernail clippers. I have one pair of earbuds, lip balm, lip gloss, sunglasses, and hand cream, which I mostly use for myself.
For dual use, I have a small container of solid sunscreen, a travel pack of tissues, a sanitizing wipe, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. I also carry a packable bag rolled up, in case I buy something and don’t feel like paying for a bag or hauling home one without handles (or worse, with painful unrealistic handles), or a bunch of sandy toys after a trip to the local sandbox. I also stash am empty plastic sandwich bag in there, because it takes up zero room and comes in handy for all sorts of things, from leftovers at restaurants (after we’ve already packed up to go boxes, of course) to newfound treasures and sticky licked lollipops.
Speaking of lollipops, I found one of those in there, too. You shouldn’t leave them in your bag too long, or you will learn, like me, that even brand new in their wrappers, they can get too warm and ooze, becoming part of the bag lining.
For other snacks, I found one pack of fruit gummies (probably leftover from a previous trip since I don’t buy that brand), and three fruit leathers in my kids’ favorite flavor to use as a bargaining chip in case of emergency. Unlike the lollipop, I’ve never had one of those ooze and they don’t go bad no matter how long I keep them in there. The only issue is remembering to replace them when I use one so I always have three, one per child.
After all that, I removed the lollipop and stuck the fruit gummies into an actual snack bag designated for food. I shoved everything else back in as follows.
In the front pocket, I stashed the ear buds, hand cream, sanitizing wipe, plastic sandwich bag, and lip gloss. Inside the bag proper, I stuck my wallet, the wipes case, the reusable packable bag, the pack of tissues, and the sunglasses. (Those would go in their own pocket if my bag had more interior pockets of the correct size.) One open pocket held the Epipen, while the other holds the hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and usually a pen (mysteriously missing on this content dumping). Inside the larger but flatter interior zipper pocket, I stuck the fruit leathers, bandaids, and lip balm. I swung the whole kit and caboodle back on my shoulder and called it good to go.