Backtrack to May 2012 – I was dreading potty training my son because I thought it would take forever and, given our different equipment, a messy challenge. I have only once tried to pee standing up while “camping” in our backyard and had to go and change my pyjamas. It didn’t go well. However, I knew he had to be potty-trained because he would start preschool in September. So I gave it a go. I was definitely ready to give up changing and lugging around diapers. To my delightful surprise, and possibly because of the help from watching his sister regularly use the toilet, he was trained in about a week.
Here we are at the end of September, regularly using the potty, me not having to ask every three minutes: “do you have to go potty?” Now we just go to the toilet every three minutes. Or when we are somewhere new and haven’t explored the washrooms there. Or when anyone in ear shot says that they have to go to the washroom… but these are different issues of my curious toddler. He had accidents, and still does, but he is a big boy now and don’t let him hear you say otherwise.
It was about two months into diaper-free living that I realized I don’t have to carry around a diaper bag anymore. Our needs had changed. Now, we need a change of clothes, and several pairs of underwear, some regular things from the diaper bag like a thermometer, allergy and fever medicine, klennex and wipes, but we didn’t need that diaper bag anymore. We needed somewhere to keep things to keep a 4 year old and a 2 year old happy when we were places without toys or crayons, and we needed somewhere to put our huge amount of drinks and snacks – does anyone else feel like they leave the house with half of their cupboard?
On our way home from the cottage I decided to stop at the new Mountain Equipment Co-op in Barrie. I hadn’t been to that location yet and wanted to see if I could get a few deals. If you have never been to the MEC, it is the original source for all things outdoor here in Canada. There are great deals and their store brand is high quality at decent prices. You have to be a member, but once you join for $5, you are a member for life. I went in and, of course, first thing’s first… went to their washrooms (they were very clean, by the way). Then, once the urgency was gone, we walked around and perused the aisles. I came across a very inexpensive back pack which would serve very well for our new hold-all bag. I also wanted a mesh bag to hold all the other little important things that I would also have to bring and found one of those too. I was quite happy with our purchases and managed to stop there for fear that looking more would just send my total into a whirlwind. $25 later, I had my bags. I have to say that graduating from the diaper bag was an important growth for us – it meant our children weren’t babies anymore. Some days I can’t believe how quickly time goes by. If you are done with diapers too, check out my suggestions below for a suitable new bag to hold your new needs.
If you found yourself with lots of leftover, unopened diaper packs that you can’t bring back to the store, check out these charities that donates them to parents who need them: The Diaper Bank Network in the USA and The Diaper Bank in Canada.
My Backpack Should-Haves
- Backpack from MEC, $14.50
- Mesh bag from MEC, $7.50-$11
- Wipes (I can’t imagine I’ll ever stop using wipes).
- Thermometer (this is up to you, but I don’t ever guess about fevers).
- Benadryl Kids (because you never know when an allergy could strike).
- Advil Kids
- Any assortment of snacks and drinks your children like.
- Extra outfits, socks, and underwear in a large ziploc bag.
- Crayons, paper, and small toys to keep children occupied.