The best advice I got before having a baby/creating a baby registry/buying anything for life with a baby was from my sister. She told me not to buy a diaper bag. She said she had hated all the ones she had tried. Instead, she suggested that I buy a smaller changing station that would hold diapers, wipes and some diaper cream and attach it to whichever bag I found useful for each stage of my baby’s life. At the time, hers was in a backpack; my nephew was almost two, and my niece was almost four, so their stuff took up quite a bit of space. She told me that when she had just been toting around my niece as an infant in her ring sling, she hadn’t needed anything bigger than a purse. Well, diaper bags are expensive, especially the nice ones. So I looked at some. Drooled over a few. Then, I scored a purse that I loved and realized that it was both durable and big enough for my baby’s needs.
We never leave the house without:
- A Change of Clothing for Walt
- A Plastic Bag
I really should always have a change of clothing for me, but I never remember that. I usually have a pacifier, and often a bottle. But we can pull over, so I can breastfeed him if he’s hungry. No one has died from hearing a baby cry, and the pacifier doesn’t always work, anyway. If he has managed to shoot out all the poop in his body at one time, up the back of his diaper (every baby does this, I am told), waiting until we get home to change him is pretty awful. Putting him back in poop-stained clothing, even if his diaper is clean? Really gross. Having to store the poop-stained clothes in my purse without a plastic bag around them? Really gross. I once forgot the plastic bag and threw away the outfit with the dirty diaper rather than get deal with it. (We have a ton of baby clothes, many of well-loved by older cousins. This outfit was one of those, not a fancy new gifted outfit.) My point is that all of these things fit in my purse, for now. I don’t need a big diaper bag. So, I decided to take my sister’s advice and find some sort of mini diaper changing “station.”
Picture me and my mother-in-law at Babies ‘R Us, trying to finish getting the things on my list that we had not received at our babyshower. We wander. There are outbursts of excitement when we finally find something on the list. I have brought all the wrong measurements for everything and don’t understand what size of anything I’m supposed to be getting. Finally, I spot the portable changing stations. It’s been picked over pretty well. I have two options: the Babies ‘R Us brand without a wipes container or the more expensive (and much prettier) Skip Hop Pronto, the Queen of all Changing Stations. Obviously, I treat myself to the beautiful one. I plan to carry it every time I take the baby out, after all.
I nearly packed our Pronto in my hospital bag. I had diapers and wipes in that thing weeks before my due date. My husband talked me out of bringing it to the hospital because it is a five-minute drive from our house. In traffic. But I still worried that we would need it! Behold, the awesome:
The features of this incredibly useful product include:
- Front Zipper Pocket: For keys, wallet, phone, etc
- Strap w/ Clip: Hangs on stroller or wrist
- Pronto Pillow: Innovative head-cushion keeps baby safe & comfy
- Mesh Pocket: Holds up to four large diapers, creams and other essentials
- Translucent Wipes Case: See-through for timely reloads
- Two-In-One: Pad zips off for independent use
- Changing Pad: Extra-wide for wiggly babies. Wipes clean. Laminated mod design
- Material is ideal for monogramming (this service not offered by Skip Hop)
- Size: Closed: 8 3/4” x 11 1/2” x 1” Changing pad size: 21 1/2” x 21 1/2” (at widest point)
Did it ever occur to you that a *translucent* wipes case would come in handy? Not me! But it does–we can see how many are left without opening it. I use the Pronto, Dad uses it, three of Walter’s four grandmothers have used it. It fits in an airplane bathroom; did you know that once the changing table in one of those bathrooms is folded down, there is barely room for a parent, let alone a parent toting a big diaper bag? Oddly, Skip Hop fails to mention in their official list of features that the changing pad zips off. Yes, you can unzip it, put it on the changing table and put the rest of the Pronto on whatever counter is handy. Just in case you, too, find yourself changing a baby in an extremely cramped space. We clip it around the handles of my purse, the handle to the carseat, to the stroller. I’ll be clipping it to my baby carrier when I attend the BlissDom conference next week!
But one day, it just wouldn’t zip anymore. I panicked. Obviously, I took a picture of the broken zipper and posted it to InstaGram, because I turn to social media when I panic. (Yes, I’m aware that that is weird.) I asked Jaime, aka The Baby Guy, for help. This is what happened in the comments to my photo:
I already was a huge Skip Hop fan. It would take me awhile to list all of the things people have given us from the brand, because they know this. And because everything they make is adorable and high-quality. I am now an even bigger fan. I emailed the Skip Hop rep who left her email in that comment, and she had a coupon code for their online store emailed to me within 24 hours. After I placed my order, I discovered that she had also made sure that shipping was free and that it would arrive within two days.
The box, when it did arrive, contained not one, but two Skip Hop Pronto Changing Stations. And yes, “GIVEAWAY!” was the first thought I had. I had to get permission, of course, and make sure they didn’t want the extra one back. Oh, no, they are happy to let me give it away to one of you! What is not to love about this company? The Pronto you get will look like mine: black, with a fun green pattern on the changing pad inside. There are other colors and patterns, but I couldn’t be sure that they’d match my red purse. Here are more pictures: