Don’t Forget the Kitchen Sink!


Don't Forget the Kitchen Sink! | Duluth Moms Blog

I think it starts before the first kid even arrives.

You need to pack for the hospital, so you check with friends and family who have had kids, you google lists and suggestions, and you start the process. You could fit a body in my hospital bag and I think I used about a third of the things I took with me. But then the baby is born and you basically need to invest in a truck and enclosed trailer just to go to the grocery store.

The first time I went out and about with the new baby I spent about 45 minutes packing the diaper bag and my purse (that was the same size as the diaper bag). I packed multiple sets of clothes, extra blankets, pacifiers, toys that he couldn’t even play with yet, a nursing cover, breast pads, and so much more. I only planned on being gone for an hour, tops. 

When my son was 6 weeks old, we decided to heads to North Dakota to visit my family. I found myself packing  the rock-and-play, pack-and play, enough clothing for baby to last a month, burp rags, blankets–so many blankets–the breast pump and all the supplies, bottles, bottle brush, bath supplies, toys, stroller, extra diapers, extra wipes, butt cream… the list goes on. Plus we had to take all of my stuff and my husband’s, two 50 pound dogs, and a cooler and ice pack for all the pumped milk.

We were going to be gone for 5 days. 

Don't Forget the Kitchen Sink! | Duluth Moms Blog

For the first 6 months of my son’s life I can confidently say I was always prepared for any given situation; I usually had enough stuff to last at least 3 months into a nuclear attack. Then it hit me. I was sick and tired of lugging all our crap around and not even using a quarter of it. So I ditched everything but a small backpack and my breast pump bag. It changed my life. 

But you ask how was I able to shed the clutter and free up my hands, shoulders… knees and toes? I made everyone I was going to see get all the stuff! Buying and selling things off of Facebook provided us with a pack-and-play at each grandparents’ houses, plus some bigger toys and highchair/booster seats. I realized that every place I was visiting for long periods of times had washing machines so my kid no longer needed his own giant suitcase; we share a slightly bigger suitcase when traveling. My mom and mother-in-law had all the supplies I needed to wash bottles, why was I bringing all my own stuff? 

As for the shopping trip and play dates, I kept supplies in the car all the time. We had a change of clothes, extra diapers and wipes, a couple sippy cups, a blanket, a baby carrier, snacks (mostly puffs for emergencies), and multiple pacifiers stashed in a nice tote bag and stored behind the passenger seat. 

Now that my son is a toddler and no longer in diapers I still keep an extra set of clothing in the car but otherwise I have shed the diaper bag completely. For longer trips he has his own backpack with snacks and supplies and for shorter trip my purse serves as a carrier of all the snacks and a toy train or two. All the grandparents and my sister-in-law have large stashes of toys and activities for him when we visit.

Having a kid is scary; you never know what kind of crazy stuff will happen and what kind of supplies you might need to be prepared. From packing your hospital bag, to long road trips with toddlers, and everywhere in-between, you can never be too prepared, because there are some things you will never be prepared for. Like the time my son filled his car seat with liquid poo 4 hours into a 5 ½ hour road trip to ND. But one rest area, sock, and wetbag later we made it to our destination with a naked baby because if you don’t have something with you, you will learn to improvise. Just don’t forget to pack the kitchen sink!  

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Hailing from the great state of North Dakota Melainy is new to the Duluth area and excited to explore all the great places and activities the Twin Ports area has to offer. Her Husband Ben, originally from Chisholm, 14 month old Jameson, and two 50lb English Setters have recently settled into small town living in Esko, MN and are eager to make their new house a home. As a first time mom, moving to a new town and a new state is chaotic and Melainy and her family are embracing the challenge, Follow her on Instagram @mmnickila and laugh at all of the hilarious 1st time mom adventures she encounters. Also follow her blog,


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