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Becoming Mary Poppins
October 3, 2012 4:05 pm | by
When I take out my children for a few hours away from home, I often long for Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpet bag full of necessary items. Keeping little ones entertained at a restaurant, family function or public venue is usually a monumental task. With little ones, it can be hard to keep a well stocked diaper bag while also keeping the items inside fresh and interesting.
With a few kids and many outings under my belt, I have a few tips to share if your diaper bag needs a refresher or you are just beginning to venture out with an inquisitive toddler. Here are a few of my must have items:
Mirror – Even the youngest little ones love a mirror. Our household favorite was a round one sized just right for toddler hands that had a nice black plastic frame. It was a freebie with a cosmetic bag, but an old compact will work nicely too — just beware of it pinching fingers if it is hinged.
Small book – I always carry a book or two in my bag. Not only can you read the story, you can ask a toddler about details in the pictures, creating even more interest in the book and buying yourself a bit more quiet time in that waiting room. Book sets are nice because you have options that are all the same size to rotate in and out of the bag without your little one getting too bored with the same old story.
Chewable toy – If your little one is teething, this is a necessity.  Sophie is a favorite among the Cotton Babies office, but if you need something a tad quieter, we also like Haba‘s Sunni and Kringelring clutching toys or Lifefactory’s Silicone Teether.
Activity toy – This one took me a while to figure out. At first, I stocked my diaper bag full of little toys, but nothing that actually provided an active experience. Now, I love to carry an active toy. Something small with few pieces, but that encourages creativity. I love Tegu’s Pocket Pouch for preschoolers, Plan Toys’ Mushroom Kaledioscope for toddlers and Haba’s Trix clutch toy for babies. All allow some exploration and fun, but with few pieces and are friendly to confined spaces like a waiting room or restaurant table.
Cloth cozy – Aden + Anais Issie or washcloths are great diaper bag multi-taskers. They are great for a game of peek-a-boo or can comfort your little one when they are sleepy. Both are washable, which means you can use them for drool, as a burp rag or a bib in a pinch.
These are my diaper bag entertainment must haves. What are yours? Do you have items that I forgot? Maybe another great multi-tasking piece that babes of all ages love? Share with us in the comments below.

About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.


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