My Changing Bag And Mat – Essential Items

1 November 2020

Whether you have a lifestyle that involved getting around on foot or public transport or mainly by car, the baby changing bags are a must have when going out. I live right in the centre of London so its all walking and buses for me – my bag has to be compact, efficient and easy to use.

My First Changing Bag – Newborn To 8 Months

Before baby Jin was born, I kept an eye out at the usual baby shops but I just couldn’t find the right bag. Yes they were designed to carry baby items but a lot of them seemed unnecessarily bulky and difficult to access and for those who know me, I love compact and efficient!

Then, my friend bought me this adorable bag from Japan for us to carry Jin’s things. In Japan, its called a ‘Pool Bag’ and kids use it to carry their swim suit, towel, goggles etc. I thought, perfect changing bag!

Sanrio Snoopy Vinyl Boston Bag

About £12 @Amazon Japan
Product Link

So this isn’t specifically sold a ‘baby changing bag’ but I think its perfect for it. Its colourful, fun for younger babies to look at and most importantly, easy to use for day to day.

Sanrio‘ is the Japanese company that makes all of these cute character goods from stationary, soft toys to accessories. You may know them best for their famous character, ‘Hello Kitty’.

Snoopy bag in blue
Dimensions L 34, H26, D13cm
Snoopy bag in blue side view

What Fits Inside This Compact Bag

For such a compact bag, A LOT fits inside.

Snoppy bag in blue and its contents

Emergency Pack: change of clothes, bib, muslin
350ml Thermos cool water
250ml Thermos for hot water
2 Capsules of milk powder
160ml and 260ml MAM bottles
MAM Pacifiers and connector
Large and small muslin
Spare bib
Milton Baby Friendly Antibac Surface Wipes
Nappies
Wet wipes in zip lock bag
Compact changing mat
Elastic to bundle together

Snoopy bag in blue open and showing the contents

Why I Love It

Easy to open with one hand because of the smooth zip
Large opening means easy access to everything in the bag
Really lightweight and compact to carry around
1 pocket inside with name label
Made of PVC and so waterproof and easy to wipe clean
This is originally a kids bag so once Jin is old enough, he can use it himself!

Finding This Bag on Amazon Japan

For some reason, the products change from time to time when searching for this type of bag but if you enter in English, ‘sanrio snoopy bag’ or paste this into the search bar: ‘sanrio プールボストンバッグ’, you should see some results including this bag.


My Second Changing Bag – 8 Months Plus

As Jin got older, I stopped having to carry around the items to make formula but they were replaced by things like meals and toys so I needed a larger bag. I was passing through Uniqlo when I noticed this one in their accessories section.

Nylon Tote Bag

£14.90 @Uniqlo
Product Link

Uniqlo green bag
Green

A Closer Look In The Bag

Again, this isn’t designed as a changing bag but coincidentally, its perfect for it! Look at how the 2 bottle compartments hold a bottle of ready made formula and a large MAM 260ml bottle.

There’s also a concealed pocket on the inside but also kind of outside of the bag, which means you can still access it once the bag is zipped closed but its still on the inside of the bag, perfect for stuffing muslins, wet wipes etc in. I think its such a smart design.

Uniqlo green tote bag open showing bottle compartments and secret pocket
2 bottle compartments and a hidden pocket
Uniqlo green tote bag zipped closed showing secret pocket
Concealed pocket once the bag is zipped closed

What Fits Inside This Smart Bag

Uniqlo green bag and its contents

Emergency Pack: change of clothes, bib, muslin
Hipp Organic Ready Milk
160ml and 260ml MAM bottles
Snacks
MAM pacifiers and connector
Large and small muslin
Spare bib
Milton Baby Friendly Antibac Surface Wipes
Nappies
Wet wipes in zip lock bag
Compact changing mat
Elastic to bundle together

Why I Love It

Perfect Size
Its not designed to be a changing bag but its just the perfect size to fit everything I need and more
Smart Pockets
2 inner pockets fit bottles and ready made milk perfectly! Again, its not designed to be a changing bag but you wouldn’t know.
1 hidden pocket which you can access with the bag closed – it can comfortably fit Size 5 nappy pants or an iPad mini
Silky Material
I can only describe as silky smooth and this means it easily slides into gaps like the pushchair basket, under the seat in front on a plane, that sort of thing. Also means its easy to pull out from tight gaps
Smooth Zip
Super important when you’re holding a baby and trying to access your bag with one hand, it glides.
Lightweight
Although its really well made with thick material and lining, its really light and easy to carry
Colour
It matches my iCandy Pushchair hood almost exactly which is a bonus
˚✧₊⁎ Uniqlo Says ⁎⁺˳✧˚
H26cm, W29.5cm, D20cm, Handle Length: 53.5cm
Front 100% Nylon; Back & Handle 100% Polyester
Comes in Green, Black, Wine, Beige
Made with material that is lightweight and durable
Comes with many pockets, incredibly easy to use

I’m using this bag right now and I love it. Well done Uniqlo!

Uniqlo green tote bag open showing the contents

Finding the Right Travel Changing Mat for my Bag

When I was approaching the time to start taking Jin out, I had a good long search online for a travel changing mat. I was nervous as it is about going out alone with him and so I wanted to make sure I carry everything I needed for any scenario.

The All-In-One Changing Mat/Bag

I love a multifunctional item and wanted one of these All-In-One changing mats with the built in wet wipes compartment and a padded section for baby’s head but they just didn’t work for me and here’s why:

Too bulky – understandably so because its a like several bags all folded into one

To large – when fully folded out its pretty big and spilled over public changing tables.
By putting heavy items like creams in the pockets, the mat would be weighted on one side and start sliding off

I don’t always need to carry so many things in the pockets so I wanted the choice to only carry this section or that pocket

So in the end, I put my own together.

All in one changing mat bag from Amazon

Keeping It Simple

I basically have a travel mat, nappies and wet wipes bundled together with a thick elastic band and put in my changing bag. I know this doesn’t sound ground breaking but its all I need.
If I’m in a restaurant or someone’s house, I can just grab this bundle from my bag and go and change Jin.

Changing mat, wet wipes and nappies bundle
Bundles measures L29 W15cm
Changing mat, wet wipes, nappies and elastic band laid out

Travel Changing Mat £6 @Mothercare
Unfortunately no longer in business so no link but here are some alternatives: Lekebaby Foldable Travel Changing Mat £5.99, Baby Changing Mat £5.99

Clear Zip bag £1.50 @Muji
I never carry around a whole pack of wet wipes unless I know Im going to need A LOT for the whole day or overnight stay so I take a few and transfer to this zip bag

Woven Elastic £3.50 for 2m @John Lewis
I cut exactly the size I needed and simply sewed the ends together by hand. Any elastic band/hair band will do of course but this fits just right so makes holding everything together that much easier


Final Thoughts

Being a new mum was really hard for me in the first year and going out was especially daunting. I feel like these tools around me made a big difference whether it be quickly grabbing the changing mat bundle, making formula or grabbing toys. These bags and their contents helped me to access these things fast with the least amount of stress.

If you have any questions on any of the products in this post, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you (^_^)


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