What to Pack in a Diaper Bag

Ok, now that my son is three months old, I feel a bit like a pro when it comes to running errands and not losing my head. There were a few panicky times in the beginning where we found ourselves without a diaper or with a poorly-stocked diaper bag.

I've learned from my mistakes and I'd like to share with you how I pack the diaper bag. I always make sure to restock the bag whenever I think of it so I'm not left in the lurch. Also, I try to keep diapers in the center console of the car just in case I forget to bring the bag, God forbid!

I'll explain the contents just in case the photo isn't clear. Click on the photo to enlarge.

1. Nursing Cover -- This takes up very little space and I like to have it in case I nurse in public where people might be uncomfortable seeing a little boob flesh.

2. Book -- I keep a book in the bag for when I drop Jack off with a babysitter. I'll change the book from time to time. It's always good to give babysitters a little something to do with your baby besides watch TV.

3. Changing Pad with Wipes -- This is my all-time favorite item in the diaper bag. I made this "clutch" from a pattern on the Internet. It unfolds and reveals a pouch that can keep two diapers and a wet wipes case. Click here for the tutorial.

4. Toy -- Again, another good thing to have when you drop off your baby with a babysitter. Also, it doesn't hurt to have if your baby is getting cranky on the go.

5. Diapers -- Ah yes, the item for which this bag is named. I try and keep my bag stocked with about eight diapers. That's enough for several outings throughout the week. Not pictured are two cloth diapers and a small wet bag since they aren't a necessity.

6. Blanket -- You never know when a beautiful sunny day might get cold and blustery, as I learned earlier this summer. A receiving blanket doesn't take up much space and it's a must for all seasons.

7. Burp cloth -- This is a no-brainer item. Whether it's spit-up or drool, I always keep one on hand for quick clean ups.

8. Nursing Pads -- This is the one non-baby item. I sometimes have my own accidents so I always keep a couple of disposable nursing pads in the bag to prevent unsightly leaks.

9. Baby Powder -- Just a typical diaper bag item, but instead of hauling a huge container around I put some in an old poultry seasoning jar. Make sure to place it in a plastic baggie as powder tends to get everywhere.

10. Rash Cream -- Another must-have.

11. Baby Shampoo -- I keep a travel-size bottle of shampoo in my bag in case we have to give Jack an emergency not-at-home bath. You never know when you might have a blowout!

12. Change of Clothes -- I always keep a Onesie, set of jammies, pants, outer layer and socks in a gallon Ziploc bag. Babies will tend to go through more than one outfit a day, what with the drooling, puking, peeing and pooping they do. Be sure to restock whenever you think of it. Don't want to be stuck with a dirty, wet, stinky baby while running errands or while he's with the babysitter.

13. Bottle -- A must-have if you bottle-feed or if you leave your baby with a sitter. Make sure to clean it when you get home.

14. Grocery bags -- These are free and are great for messy clothes, burp cloths, diapers or whatever you want to keep apart from clean stuff or politely toss in someone else's trash.

15. Gallon Ziploc Bags -- I like to be a polite mama-on-the-go. Would you want someone to leave a stinky diaper in your trash? Seal it up in a Ziploc so you don't have to share the smell with others. Also makes a good wet bag for dirty clothes and cloth diapers.

So, that's our diaper bag! Is there anything you put in your bag that I left out? Leave me a comment!



Pasta Alfredo with Peas and Salmon on a Bed of Arugula

In case you don't live in Southcentral Alaska, it's sockeye salmon season. If you do live in Southcentral Alaska then you, your brother, your coworker and your landlord's cousin have a freezer full of salmon. My husband came home with 36 gorgeous fish and after 4 hours of processing we now have to come up with ways of eating this healthy, delicious animal.

Last night we grilled up simple salmon steaks with just butter and lemon pepper, but tonight I wanted something fancy. No, I just wanted pasta.

This turned out amazingly. Here's how to make it. Please keep in mind that I eyeball everything so these measurements are approximate.

Serves 2-3

1 small salmon fillet
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 lb. pasta of your choice
fresh baby arugula
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place salmon fillet, skin side down, in a baking dish. Spread butter all over your fillet. Salt and pepper to taste.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Bake your salmon for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it. When you see white "sweat" coming out of the edges of the filet, it's done. Remove from oven and set aside.

Cook your pasta al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant, about one minute. Add the cream, cream cheese, and milk. Stir until cream cheese is melted. Add the nutmeg and cheese and pepper to taste. Turn down heat as soon as sauce thickens.

When pasta is almost done, add the peas to the sauce. Drain the pasta and add it to the saute pan. Mix till pasta is thoroughly coated in the sauce.

With a fork, flake the salmon into bite-sized pieces.

Line each serving plate with baby arugula leaves. Add the pasta and top with a serving of salmon.



Hooded Baby Towel and Mitt Set -- A Tutorial

Our son is a tall little fellow and store bought hooded towels are too short for him. I want him to be bundled up and cozy after a bath so I decided to make my own hooded towel out of a plush bath towel.

He's not too sure about this bath thing...

Here's how you can make one too.

1 large towel
Sewing machine
Heavy duty needle (optional, but makes the job easier)
Fabric scissors or rotary cutter


1. Fold your towel lengthwise or "hot dog" style. Cut a 12 to 14-inch piece from one end.

2. Turn under the raw edge of the big piece and pin in place. With a straight stitch sew across. Go back along this seam with a zig zag to prevent the towel from unravelling. Since my towel had stripes I didn't pin. I just made sure the stripes lined up.

3. Take the big piece and line up one corner on top of the 12-inch piece with the finished edge of the small piece on the bottom. The finished edge is going to be the edge of the hood. You're going to cut a triangle form the little piece so you want to make sure it's the right shape of triangle. I eyeballed how big to make the triangle. I just imagined it as the hood and how big my baby's head is.

4. Cut out the two edges of the triangle and pin it to the corner of the big piece. Save the scraps.

5. Sew along the two edges with a straight stitch.

6. Turn the triangle inside out and there's your hooded towel!

For the mitt:

1. Place your hand on the scrap of towel to figure out how tall you want your mitt. Fold your scrap in half and cut out a rectangle with one side being on the fold.

2. Unfold your rectangle and turn under one of the long edges and sew down.

3. Fold the rectangle in half with the turned under edge on the outside (right sides together) and sew the raw edges.

4. Turn right side out and there's your mitt!


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