Through the last 20 months or so, my diaper bag / “to go gear” for Anneliese has gone through many incarnations. There was the newborn phase I wrote about before, the next phase which included all of the same things plus “entertainment”… a few toys or books, then later things like bibs and snacks were added.

Then I melted most of my bibs in the dryer and never really replaced them, but Anneliese was getting to be a less-messy eater, so I didn’t really worry about replacing them. And while I still try to bring snacks for most outings just in case, it isn’t 100% necessary now because she seems to be okay with waiting until the next meal in most cases.

And of course there has been a shift toward potty-training, so she is out of diapers now. Which means a whole other grouping of necessities for when we’re out and about.

In my “big purse”:

  • A straw cup / bottle (like a sport bottle, not a baby bottle) of water for Anneliese. She LOVES water and gets thirsty a lot, and if I forget this, it’s bad news.
  • 1-2 spare training panties. Normally, Anneliese doesn’t have accidents when we’re out and about, but if she falls asleep in her car seat, it’s pretty inevitable. Or if we get stuck somewhere for a long time (like when I was test-driving the van, and then again when I was doing paperwork to buy it), an accident may happen.
  • A small zippered wet bag – for wet panties or dirty clothes (messy lunch?), and so forth.
  • A small container of disposable baby wipes. Not just for her bottom, but for messy faces/hands, wiping gross tables or high chairs at restaurants, and so forth.
  • A snack or two, just in case. I can keep a container of freeze-dried veggies in there pretty much indefinitely (well, until she eats them all) because they won’t go bad. And I’ll often throw in a banana or a few clementines as I walk out the door.
  • A small toy. Right now it’s a red calculator I got at the dollar store. She LOVES it and thinks it’s a phone. It can keep her busy for a while if we’re in a boring place.


And in the car:

  • Her little potty. She sometimes will use public toilets, but feels most comfortable on her own potty, so we often stop by the car in between errands, even if they’re in the same shopping center, to pay a visit to the potty.
  • A patemm pad (pictured, under the potty), not to hold anything in its pockets, but just to serve as a waterproof (also non-skid) surface in case the potty tips over when she stands up or something. That hasn’t happened, but just in case.
  • A package of disposable baby wipes
  • A small trash can, and a few extra grocery bags. This might sound gross but… well… if she poops in the car potty, think “dog doody” for how to handle it. If I’m close to home, sometimes I just drive home with it in the potty and dump it in the toilet when I get home. If not, it gets bagged until I find a trash can. That’s not the “right” way to handle poop – it really should always go down the toilet – but sometimes it happens.
  • A change of clothes, if I remember. Even if it’s not a potty-related accident, toddlers can get messy. So this is good to have around.
  • In her car seat, there’s a “lap pad” which is just a waterproof cotton cloth (no idea how they made the cotton waterproof/water resistant), in case she falls asleep and pees. Her training pants are absorbent and have a waterproof layer, but sometimes a bit seeps out and I prefer not to have to wash the entire car seat cover just because of a pee accident.

Again, I keep it pretty simple. It might look like a lot, typed out, but really I could go SO much more overboard. I’m looking forward to her gaining more and more potty independence (and being more accepting of public toilets too) so that we can lighten our load a bit more. Until then, this is the deal.

5 Comments on Dwelling on the Diaper Bag — Potty-Training Toddler Edition

  1. Theresa says:

    Thank you so much for your post. Your daughter is so adorable!!! We just started potty training (my g/b twins will be 27 months this week). I was wondering about carseat coverings, thank you for sharing I need to look into those lap pads.

  2. Lilia says:

    First of all I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thank you!

  3. Kate says:

    I wish my son would use the potty in the back of our car. He seems to delight in going to public restrooms, the dirtier the better. Ick. Ick. Ick. I am thrilled he is mostly potty trained at this point but sometimes I wouldn’t mind the diapers just so I didn’t have to hold a wiggling toddler over the nasty gaping hole of a port-o-potty. Ahh well, the grass is always greener…

    Congrats on Joseph’s arrival!

  4. Mommy says:

    When you all were little, I kept the car things in a dish pan slid under the seat like a drawer. I always kept a sweater in it as well as the other goodies, a spare pacifier, and premade bottles (you used to be able to buy them all sealed and sterilized) since I wasn’t nursing. And like yours, it evolved over time. But having everything in that “drawer” was so convenient. I had to insure it was stocked, but didn’t have to remember to bring everything out on every trip.

  5. Sounds a lot like our diaper bag, other than the potty stuff. Seb would be totally potty trained if he wasn’t so easily excited and distracted – He used to pee in his potty in the car like that, but I doubt we’d EVER get him to sit still now, which sucks. I catch most pees at home because either we are peeing together or he’s watching TV and sitting on the potty to do so. Books work about half the time.

    I find the idea of little panties just so cute! Much cuter than boy underoos which I find sort of skeevy to be honest! Hoping I can find toddler boxer-briefs when the time comes.

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