When I had my first baby, I also had two enormous diaper bags, fully stocked. I imagined myself always restocking supplies, always being prepared, and never, ever, leaving the house without the entire enormous bag.
It turns out, life gets a little hectic when you have a baby (or six.) Mamas don’t actually have time to think of everything. Sometimes, I forget to eat breakfast. Sometimes, I forget my phone. Sometimes, I forget the diaper bag. And sometimes, I wildly jump in the van without the diaper bag simply because I want to remember what it’s like to take a spontaneous trip somewhere. (What happens? Explosions of bodily fluids, that’s what.)
After multiple events of this nature, I learned: It is good to have a plan, but it is also good to have a back-up plan.
First, I made a box for myself. I now have one in both of our vehicles. This idea has turned into one of my favorite gifts at baby showers, especially for first-time moms.
The Back-Up Plan: A Perfect Baby Shower Gift
What you will need
- A container (Think larger than a shoebox but smaller than a banana box. My favorite is the Sterilite measuring 14 1/4″ by 9 5/8″ by 6 7/8″)
- Emergency sustenance (Granola bar, dried fruit, etc, for when mom forgets to eat breakfast)
- Extra onesie (for baby leaks)
- Extra T-shirt for mom (for mama leaks!)
- Mouthwash or gum (for when mom forgets to brush her teeth!)
- Small brush, hair ties (for mom and baby girl, if applicable)
- Diapers of various sizes
- Feminine products
- Ziploc baggies (for smelly stuff)
- Empty grocery bags (for bigger smelly stuff)
- Bandages or tiny first aid kid
- Gripe water
- Medicine dropper
- Picnic blanket or sheet for spontaneous picnics
Be aware of the temperature in the summer. If you live somewhere warm, chocolate might not be the best choice!
Print a list of supplies and tape it to the top of the box- this makes restocking supplies that much easier!
Look for baby rompers and adult T-shirts on clearance! You do not want to put fancy stuff in the box. Go for something slightly better than an old used shirt, but not so great that someone will be disappointed if it is left untouched in the box for years.
I usually enclose a little note that goes something like this:
Dear New Mama,
Welcome to the mommy club! First rule: you will never be fully prepared. This gift to you was inspired by the first-hand experience of a mama on the go. Because, you see, as much as we try to plan and prepare for life with a baby, we all get caught off guard by surprises. This gift is intended to stay in your car. It’s your Back-Up Plan, for the next time you have one of “those” days. For the fussy car trips, the boo-boos, and the smells that must be contained; for the days you leave the house without the diaper bag, or you forget to eat breakfast; for the times when you’re so focused on getting baby and all the supplies around to get somewhere on time and you don’t realize until you’re far from home that you never stopped to brush your teeth; for days so beautiful they demand a spontaneous picnic; for surprising bodily fluid leaks and embarrassing moments: this is your Back-Up Plan.
You will never be fully prepared for the surprises, or for the joy that is coming into your heart and home. As you learn to roll with the ups and downs of motherhood, remember to lean on your friends, too. We’ve got your back.
What else would you add to the Back-Up Plan?
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