What’s in My Diaper Bag?

After my newborn son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, I had to take another look at the contents of my diaper bag. There are now five things that I am almost never without when we leave the house.

| 5 min read
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Jaclyn Strube
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My favorite part of setting up my baby registry was getting to select a diaper bag. Would I get something practical and easy to clean, with lots of compartments? Or would I cave in to the desires of my heart for a gorgeous designer bag that would go with any outfit? 

After much contemplation, I landed somewhere in the middle. (The thought of milk and food getting all over a designer bag was enough to push me into the practical option!) I chose something rather stylish that had plenty of the little compartments I was after. I threw in some wipes, newborn diapers, hand sanitizer and lotion, and then waited for little dude to be born.

After finding out that Major was born with cystic fibrosis, and getting my head wrapped around it, I had to take another look at the contents of my diaper bag. CF requires a lot of medication and planning, and I had to be ready for anything … Or did I? 

Here's a look at what I always carry in my bag, today. 

Jaclyn-Strube-Bag-Rectangle
  1. Applesauce. There's always a pouch or two in there. I put Major's digestive enzymes in applesauce so that he can eat on the go. For almost a year, I would portion out a bite or two of applesauce and put it into an impossibly small plastic container for every trip out of the house. (You should see my tiny Tupperware collection!) After Major's first birthday and the arrival of his hand-eye coordination, I started tossing those little pre-packaged pouches of applesauce into my bag. They are so easy and, while we still use the first spoonful for enzymes, he can enjoy the rest as a little snack with his meal! I keep thinking that the kid will tire of “appie,” as we call it, but he seems to only love it more with each passing day.
  2. Enzymes. Major takes digestive enzymes before each meal so that he can absorb the nutrition in his food. I started bringing the exact amount of enzymes that he needed before leaving the house and put them in a baggie. Going to dinner? Three enzymes. Might need a snack? Two it is. No more, no less. We left the house a lot, but not for long stretches (hello, nap schedule!), so that worked for us. Once he got down to one nap, we could leave the house for hours at a time. Now, I keep a bottle in the diaper bag. No need to think about it anymore! And also, why didn't I think of this sooner? Seriously.
  3. Spoons. Because of items #1 and #2, I needed a way to get that combo into Major's mouth. So, there are little spoons everywhere! Diaper bag, purses and the abyss that lies next to the center console of my car. Tiny spoons are as common as sippy cups in my house. Major doesn't discriminate, he will welcome any cute little spoon to get his enzymes in!
  4. Wipes. I initially used a cute and overpriced travel package of wipes every week. After I wised up, I realized that was silly. You know what is also silly? Taking an entire Costco-sized package of diapers with you every time you leave the house. But that is what happened next. I call this my “fatigue stage.” It worked, so we did it. I now leave the house with only a few diapers and a handful of wipes in a reusable travel box. It's easy!
  5. Hand lotion. When Major was teeny and his diagnosis was new, I used a lot of hand sanitizer. I was fearful of something on my hands infecting him, so it was never far from reach. Nowadays, I've ditched the hand sanitizer. We are good and devoted hand washers and now that Maj can get up to the sink, I've loosened the reins. However, hand lotion has prevailed because a good hand washer will usually end up with dry hands. 

My trusty, practical diaper bag was retired when Major turned 18 months. It was then that I transitioned to tossing things into my purse or using a little kid's backpack. I no longer feel the need to bring everything when we go out. If I don't have enough wipes, I'll figure it out. If I forget the applesauce, we'll find something else. With the diaper bag behind us, I have also left the “new mom stage” of my life. Rookie year is over, and in my first season as a veteran, I have found calmness. 

For now, I will enjoy the lack of items in my bag, for when Major starts playing Little League, I know my entire car will be full of snacks and equipment. And a leftover tiny spoon from these years of toddlerhood. 

But I will always be the mom who carries lotion.

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Jaclyn is a mother to her son, Major, who was born with cystic fibrosis. A graduate of the University of South Dakota, she now works in the financial services industry and also runs an online health coaching business. Jaclyn is a state advocate for the Foundation, a member of the CF Parent Advisory Council at Blank Children's Hospital, and an active fundraiser for Great Strides. She also serves as the Foundation's 2019 national advocacy co-chair. Jaclyn lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with Major, her husband, Drew, and their dogs, Eason and Lennon. Follow her blog, MAJOREASON.

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This site contains general information about cystic fibrosis, as well as personal insight from the CF community. Opinions and experiences shared by members of our community, including but not limited to people with CF and their families, belong solely to the blog post author and do not represent those of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, unless explicitly stated. In addition, the site is not intended as a substitute for treatment advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.