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What's In Your Stroller?

With warmer weather here, parents are
spending more and more time outdoors. I’m always one for
traveling light, and since I live in an urban setting I walk
everywhere. That means that the stroller is our primary mode of
transport for errand-running and park-playing, and that I try
really hard not to carry a diaper bag.

Every day before we hit the park, I get the stroller out and pack
it up. As I gather snacks, etc., for the day, Maddie unpacks all my
“regular” items – a helpful little “see
what you’ve got” sort of thing, I guess – and
then repacks them for me. I’m amazed at the amount of gear
I’m able to keep as a “permanent collection” in
my stroller and wonder if I’m the only one like this. Curious
how the obsessive-compulsive mom packs heavy yet travels light?
Here’s the breakdown:

In the under-basket -

One less-than-lovely towel. It serves to clean off muddy slides,
wipe down a wet girl on a sprinkler day, act as a cushion to sit on
in the park, and can even serve as a blanket or sunshade in a

One diaper. I know, I’m living on the edge. But since
she’s older, I don’t have to change her diaper in
public except maybe once every couple of months, and I figure if it
requires more than one diaper there’s a convenience store
somewhere within the block. Just make sure the diaper is the right

Hand wipes – I keep a few in a baggie. They also double as
diaper wipes in a pinch. The Ziploc takes up less space than the
normal hard carrying cases. Also good for muddy hands, etc.

Emergency snack – an individual pack of applesauce. Can
almost double as a drink if she’s thirsty, and she never
turns down applesauce. Plus, it never goes bad.

An empty gallon Ziploc bag. Muddy clothes, poopy clothes, wet
dolly, the possibilities are endless.

Rain cover. ‘Nuff said.

In the small pockets of the stroller –

Several balloons – always an excellent park toy. They love to
blow them up, play with them like a ball, the possibilities are
endless. And they take no room at all until filled.

Spoons – for the applesauce, or whatever else we get while

Sunglasses – my kid loves her accessories.

An almost-empty tube of sunscreen/bug repellant – the
almost-empty part makes it take up less space, but has enough in it
if I need to re-apply or forget to apply in the first place.

A small toy – I’ve kept this toy in there since she
first moved to the Maclaren at 6 months. I only let her play with
the toy in the stroller, and it got me through many a grocery or
bank teller line. Small, squishy, lightweight, multi-faceted, and
silent – that’s what you look for.

Another small set of wipes – these have bug repellant in them
as well. Kid-friendly, of course. I think I simply loved the small

Packet of Kleenex. God bless Kleenex.

Travel size of hand-sanitizer – I don’t know what moms
did without this stuff. “Washing” hands is mandatory
before any snack.

I also found a cool mini-hand sanitizer that clips onto the handle
of the stroller, so I’ve actually got two. That one’s
great when you don’t have time to dig out the regular bottle.

There are two more items that some people may consider luxuries. If
you’ve got the room I highly recommend them, especially for
the long, warm, dirty summer days –

First, a compact of href="http://www.pureme.com">Pure Me powder. It’s a
non-talc pressed compact designed especially for babies. Great for
baby’s butt, of course, but I found it incredibly useful last
summer as Maddie perspired all day. It definitely prevented some
major heat rash on her neck. Click href="http://www.1mother2another.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=345&Itemid=46">
to read my original review of the product.

Second, a travel-size of href="http://store.pacifieronline.com/momspit.html">Momspit.
It’s a brand-new product that’s just hit the markets
– I’ll be writing it up next week. For now, know that
it’s miraculous and, while it doesn’t take the place of
the liquid hand sanitizer, works miracles at getting moist chalk or
drippy Popsicle off a kid’s hands.

And that’s everything! Before you shrug and say, “Big
deal,” may I remind you that I push a Maclaren and those
things fold up to roughly the size of a quarter. And all this stuff
lives in the stroller full-time. So I’m pretty proud of that

Add to that our gear for the day – snacks, toys like chalk,
Silky, and water – and we’re mobilized pretty fast to
head out for anything.

What have I forgotten? Does anyone keep anything else in their
stroller that they simply can’t live without? I’m
always up for a good tip -


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