From the baby to toddler stage, chances are you have become accustomed to using a diaper bag. So much so, you may have forgotten what it was even like using a handbag daily, or wonder “how did I even fit everything I need into a purse?”. Does that sound somewhat accurate?

Truthfully, as moms we get quite used to overly preparing for items we may need when it comes to our kids. Having to pack extra things for baby turns into “well, what if I end up needing this?” as our kid grows. You never know if you will need extra snacks, clothes, socks, or toys.

Eventually, you have to start letting go of carrying a diaper bag, and resume carrying just your personal items and cutting down on kid stuff.

However, it is easier said than done! So, here are some tips on how to ditch the diaper bag and go back to a purse.

Buy a small backpack for your child

That’s right, make the little one carry their stuff. They will love it! Of course, be mindful of how much you are packing. If they are still in diapers perhaps put in 2 diapers, some wipes, one snack and one toy. It forces you to pare down to the bare minimum of what you need now at this stage. Of course, you can pack other communal stuff, like lotion or a water bottle in your own bag/purse (see next point).

Carry a larger purse vs. a small one

If you used to only carry small purses, it may be a little while until you can go back to that. In the meantime, try carrying a larger bag with a few pockets, which will allow you to fit your wallet and essentials, as well as a few extras such as a snack, some ointment, or a small toy. You’re not filling the bag up with too many kid items, yet you have a little more room to play with…in a trendier way.

Keep a bag of “extras” in your trunk

Perhaps you are going out and your kid is freshly potty-trained, or you’re going to a party where your kid may make a mess of their clothes and you really want to pack spare things. That is completely normal, and if you want to ditch the diaper bag, just pack an extra bag of items and leave it in your car. That peace of mind will allow you to enjoy your outing, knowing that you have spares close by. The best part? You won’t have a large bag to lug around at the party!

Take shorter trips without the diaper bag to start

It is totally possible, and normal, that you may feel a little bit of anxiety without the diaper bag at first. If that’s the case, start small. Just go to the drugstore, café, or the park without the entire bag. Start by going for hour-long outings, and then work up to leaving the diaper bag behind for longer periods of time. You can prepare by knowing where you’re going and what stores are nearby to purchase items you may need while you’re out.

It’s hard to break away from the security that the diaper bag offers. However, you will eventually break free.

While we cherish each stage of our children’s lives – and may even miss some things – I can guarantee that the diaper bag will not be one of them!

I promise you, it will be OK, Mom! Reclaim that purse!

Christina_colourChristina Chandra is mom to two toddlers, who keep her learning just as much as they do. She lives in Vancouver, where she is a freelance writer and blogger. Christina loves sharing tips and stories about navigating motherhood, how to eat healthy with the kids, as well as exploring eateries, cafes and play-places. With a background in health and nutrition, she also helps with meal planning and offering support to new moms at Turning Mommy.