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PARENTING

@emmaandalf baby bag

We spoke to blogger Emma McMenemy of popular Instagram account @emma_and_alf, about life as a mother of two with little Alfie and newborn Esme.
We asked Emma to talk us through her top picks from our current collection of designer baby changing bags, and to tell us what she packs for the little ones on days out.

Follow Emma on | Instagram
14 Jun 2019

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How is life now you have gone from one to two?

Esme has settled in perfectly so in some ways not much has changed at all, however I would say life does feel super busy. Even on those stay at home days, time whizzes past. Some people refer to the newborn haze as this romantic, dreamy love bubble, which it absolutely is the first time around, however life with a toddler and a newborn can be slightly more demanding, it’s so important to make time to appreciate all the little things before this chapter is over.

Is little Alf enjoying being a big brother?

Alfie completely adores Esme, it’s the sweetest thing to see. He’s adapted so well given all the changes to his daily routine, he really does amaze me, I’m so proud of him.

How are you finding sleep times - do they have similar patterns?

So far Esme has been a dream, she sleeps great and isn’t fussed by Alf’s noise levels throughout the day. Thankfully Alfie still needs his afternoon nap, I’m hoping that sticks around a little longer. Napping simultaneously is near impossible but I don’t mind, I look forward to that one on one time with each of them whilst the other one sleeps.

What are the top 5 baby bag essentials you can’t leave the house without?

My top must have is a swaddle, I don’t leave home without at least one. They serve so many purposes when out and about. A change of clothes is always a good idea, you never know when spillages and leakages could happen. I never leave home without hand sanitiser, essential when out and about with babies. Snacks - never underestimate the power of a snack bribe on a toddler. Lastly, I also always pack a little snack bar and water for myself, it’s so easy to overlook my own needs when I’m so busy looking after the kids, my moto, you have to nourish to flourish. 

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Are you a parent who takes absolutely everything from home out in your baby changing bag or do you like to ‘wing-it’ and hope that if you need something you can get it on the go?

Second time round I definitely don’t over pack as my arms are already full and carrying more than the baby essentials only gets in the way. I’d say I’m way more relaxed this time, you could definitely say I’m mostly winging it! 

Do you have one specific baby changing bag for Alf and one for Esme or do you carry all their baby essentials in one?

I have the one baby changing bag for both babies, I find I don’t have to carry a lot for Esme at this stage especially with breastfeeding. I do have different bags for different outings though. I find a backpack is one of the best baby changing bags when using the double pushchair, as there’s no room to hang a changing bag.

It can sometimes be like packing to go on a camping trip just to go food shopping with children and new parents especially tend to pack everything but the kitchen sink - do you find you travel lighter now than you did when you first had Alf?

Yes absolutely, I travel much lighter. I've learnt what is essential and what's not but mainly it's about having that confidence that if you leave home without it, it will be ok.

What are your top tips for expectant parents who are due to have two children aged 2 and under?

My advice…take it easy! Don’t apply pressure to get dressed by a certain time or make it out the house everyday. Take each day as it comes and embrace those early days, they pass so quickly. My biggest challenge was overcoming my mum guilt. Being stuck in my nursing chair with Esme whilst Alfie craved interaction was difficult at first but trust that you’ll get into your own rhythm, you will all find your new normal and until then know that you're doing enough.  
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Emma's Top 3 Picks

As a mum of two, we wanted to know Emma's thoughts on what makes an ideal baby changing bag. We asked her to pick her top three baby changing bags from our current collections, and to talk us through what she thinks makes them the best choices.  

Tiba & Marl

"I’m a huge fan of the contemporary brand Tiba and Marl. Their collection of designer baby bags make being a parent cool. This designer baby bag is perfect for busy days on the go. It’s spacious so plenty of room to pack all our essentials, the pockets and various compartments are such a big help when planning our day ahead. I find having individual compartments is in some way like running through a quick checklist. I’m someone who needs to feel organised and this trendy baby changing bag does just that. The subtle grey snake print with contrasting handles makes this a modern, super-stylish baby changing bag and the separate clutch and changing mat are impressive added extras - it’s the bag that just keeps giving. I’ll definitely use this as my new gym bag when not out with the kids."

Burberry

"My double pram doesn’t have space to hang a baby changing bag and carrying two babies and a shoulder bag just isn’t practical. This backpack is perfect for days when we’re using the pushchair. It’s my little slice of luxury for busy days on the go. Before becoming a Mum I was a handbag fanatic, so it's nice to find baby essentials that are both practical and stylish - it’s refreshing to find a product that functions as a baby bag but doesn’t compromise on style. It holds everything I need for a full day out and the drawstring opening is great for quick and easy access. I love how the bag looks - classic black on the outside with signature Burberry check lining on the inside, it’s practical and trendy."

Pili Carrera

"This soft faux leather traditional baby changing bag feels as beautiful as it looks, the delicate details are adorable and the soft lilac makes it such a pretty unisex bag. I love dressing my children in classic clothes and I love that this bag matches that perfectly. Boasting one large main compartment there is ample room to store all our baby essentials. The biggest plus for me is how lightweight this bag is, even when filled to the brim, it still feels super-lightweight and comfortable to carry around - a huge bonus as my arms are already pretty full." 

All images by @emma_mcmenemy

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