What is in my changing bag…

What is in my changing bag…

As a first time mum i’ve got to admit that the first version of my changing bag was a little ridiculous to be honest! It was so heavy the weight of it was capable of tipping the pram backwards and I literally packed everything but the kitchen sink in there. Now I’ve been a parent for 6 months I have streamlined not only what is in my changing bag but also my favourite brands and products that I prefer to buy for River. So I thought it might be useful to share with you what’s in my baby changing bag!

The number one thing I never ever leave home without is a healthy stack of nappies! Now I have tried and tested a few different brands over the past 6 months, but I have finally found my favourites. The Mama Bamboo ones are so good on River’s skin as they are made from bamboo which has an impressive list of qualities such as being antibacterial, temperature controlling, moisture absorbing and breathable. Basically he has NEVER had nappy rash ever since wearing these! On top of that they are really well fitting which means I can have more confidence that River’s daily poop explosions wont end up down his leg or up his back, which trust me has happened A LOT with other nappy brands.

On top of that they are an Eco friendly company  assuring that that the products are free from alcohol, chlorine, preservatives, phthalates, latex, PVC & PAHs as well as their nappies being 80% bio-degradable (& packaging is 100% bio-degradable by the way!) They are the ONLY brand to use compostable packaging & are carbon neutral through their partnership with the  Bamboo Village Afforestation Programme. 


Next up in the baby bag it’s wipes. Again sticking with Mama Bamboo, and these wipes have actually won awards, that is how good they are. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen me post many things about my desire to live a more sustainable life hence why I became Vegetarian 4 years ago. 

11 billion (mostly plastic) wipes are thrown away every year in the UK! It’s a shocking fact I know… but these wipes are made from sustainably certified natural bamboo fibre an incredible alternative both for the planet and for your little ones skin. I recently discovered that a lot of nappies and wipes that are sold and labelled as biodegradable, actually require special soil conditions which aren’t found in the UK. So here we all are buying what we feel are “eco friendly” products that don’t actually even biodegrade in this country. How frustrating is that?  But when I discovered Mama Bamboo I was pleased to finally discover a brand that is compostable in the UK, so I simple pop them in my food bin to breakdown. 

They are 99.4% purified water, and are the perfect level of wetness which helps me clean up River’s poop explosions without using an excessive amount of wipes.


So thanks to the Mama Bamboo nappies I haven’t ever needed to replace the original tube of this  that I brought 7 months ago. Like I said previously, I road tested a few other nappy brands in the early days which sadly caused a few minor skin irritations. Weleda is a high quality skin care brand and their baby range is particularly brilliant. The white mallow cream  cleared up the few skin irritations that River had over night so for that reason I always keep it in my changing bag.

Next up it’s my favourite changing mat… Freerider is a brand I am very fond of, I have one of their changing bags which was kindly gifted by the brand when I had River. The bag is great quality, it’s a lovely soft leather and to be honest it doesnt even really look like a baby changing bag it  just looks like a really nice backpack, but my favourite thing is the matching changing mat. Again its good quality leather with an easy wipe double layered inside. It rolls up neatly and secures with a popper, so its compact and easy to grab along side a nappy and the wipes with baby perched on your hip as you head to the bathroom to change bubba. 

[Gifted – Previous Ad partner]

Back to my mission to ensure parents use brands that are eco friendly.

These nappy sacks from Mama Bamboo are 100% home compostable. Like I said my wipes go into the food bin, and these will break down in home compost in just 30 days leaving nothing behind; no chemicals leaching into the soil; no micro-plastics; and no waste into our rivers and oceans. Round of applause don’t you think??


Sophie the giraffe is about as famous as Beyonce amongst any parent with a teething bubba! River loves slobbering and chewing on this teething toy when his gums are hurting him. This little gal is so essential that we actually have two, one stays in the house and the other in the changing bag so that we always have one with us! She is the first teether made of 100% natural rubber, and food grade paints. My only issue with ‘Soph’ is she is quite expensive compared to other teethers at £15.00! 

I’ve recently learnt that you never quite know when teething pain is going to hit your little one. So I don’t leave the house without checking I have a few sashays of Ashton & Parsons teething powder in the bag. River really seems to respond well to this stuff, that and breastfeeding seem to do the trick. 

It also comes in a gel which some parents prefer, but its a traditional herbal medicinal product that has been used and recommended for years and years. 

Since the 2020 pandemic began hand sanitiser has become a staple part of life and I doubt anybody leaves home without some these days. But the usual stringent sanitisers on the market didn’t feel suitable to use on River’s precious delicate skin. But Milton have brought out a baby friendly plant based version which is great for keeping mine and Rivers hands clean without drying and leaving alcohol residue on my fingers which let’s face it, he shoves into his mouth every 5 minutes. 

I think besides nappies & baby wipes the next most important thing in River’s changing bag is at least 2 spare outfits at all times! On one particular day River had one poop situation followed by 2 projectile vomit situations when we were miles from home… that meant four changes in clothing that day! Luckily this was during my over the top changing bag phase so I actually had 4 spare outfits in the bag thank goodness! But now I tend to stick with 2 sleep suits and 2 vests which seems to be enough now he is a little older. My favourite sleep suits have got to be from Next as their designs are super cute and have some fun prints that are cool enough to put him in day and night and my favourite vests are from M&S. 

Probably the most used item for any mum is muslin cloths or “muzzy’s” as we call them in our house. Soooo useful, even when River doesn’t need them anymore I am pretty certain I am still going to have them dotted around the house as they are so multifunctional! I tend to throw 2-3 of these in the changing bag every time we head out and to be fair I often get through them. So these are a must!

So there you have it, the main contents of my changing bag… Its a simple but effective list!

I used to pack sooooo much stuff and then after a few months I realised it just wasn’t needed. A good tip is to keep a second back up bag in the car, as on more than one occasion I have gone out and forgotten to pick up the bag, so having a spare in the car was a godsend and prevents those ultimate parent fail moment! 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post… Let me know if you have any changing bag must haves on Instagram @Shanie_Ryan.

Mwah xXx



Continued… PART 2

See your babies awake time below: Check out the table below and see if your baby is exceeding
theirs? On the flip side maybe they are not awake for long enough…

It is also good to know that around the age of 10-12 weeks old, your babies internal body clock starts to
regulate itself. They will soon come to learn that difference between night and day, and if you have had that
important sleep environment sorted, then the rest will go a little more smoothly. Managing those awake times
will also help with that transition and make your bedtime routines easier to manage.

A little bit of science behind the sleep!

Ensuring your baby gets that natural daylight during your day, fresh air, these external factors help to build up
your baby’s melatonin levels as natural daylight prohibits that melatonin during the day and so when night-
time arrives and your baby is put to sleep in a darkened room, their pineal gland starts to release that build-up
of melatonin hormone which then helps them to feel relaxed, sleepy and gives them that ability to drift off to

What we do want to limit in babies is their stress hormone which is called cortisol. Cortisol, which you may or
may not have heard of before, is known as the hormone which wakes baby or is released when your baby is
stressed or upset. Our cortisol levels are at their lowest during the night and start to rise around 4am onwards
which is why babies may start to stir, feed at that time or if they are in a bright room, or if the sun is creeping
in, your baby may be wide awake and ready to party at that time! Therefore, keeping your room nice and dark,
calm, block out those external noises and distractions is key in getting your baby back to sleep!
Speaking about awake times above and now knowing how long your baby may be capable of staying awake
between their feed and sleeps, this allows us to keep those naps on track and reduce the possibility of your
baby becoming overtired. Remember those overtired cues I mentioned?! It is at that point, when your baby is
crying, fractious and stressed, that their cortisol levels will rise, causing your baby to feel unsettled, struggle to
sleep, to feed, and it can feel like you are simply battling at every opportunity to settle your little one, all whilst
getting nowhere! This can leave you feeling upset, questioning your parenting, when in fact, it is all about the
science behind the sleep! Cortisol is like the equivalent of having a few red bulls before bed! So, imagine trying
to drift off with all that caffeine and sugar in your system! Impossible.

Sometimes just being aware of all the sleep science, making those Cheeky Tweaks to your routine can help to
improve your situation. There are obviously more complex cases, that require more work to be done, a sleep
plan to be sent and more guidance needed to improve your sleep and get the results you desperately seek.
Just know that babies from 4 weeks to 6 months and even beyond, no current situation is permanent, babies
go through so many changes, both developmentally and mentally as they grow. Phases do often pass and in
time can improve by themselves. Of course as baby becomes more aware and potentially also becomes used
to certain sleep associations, for example rocking, feeding or being held to sleep, you can reach a point maybe
when your baby is around 4-6 months, where you just want to try an alternative way. It is only when your
situation is no longer sustainable that changes can be made. That being said, if a certain method works for you
and you have read somewhere that it should be done in a different way, then you do not need to change
anything because the literature tells you so, if you are happy , your baby is happy then continue as you are.
Ultimately it is no one else’s business how you choose to get your baby to sleep, so do not listen to potential
negative comments. It is important to stress that it is your choice.

I can assure you that there are lots of gentle methods to choose from. If you feel that your current situation is
no longer working and if that lack of sleep starts to affect your mental health and your well-being, potentially
your close relationships too, which can happen, then reach out and get that support.
As a Gentle Baby Sleep Coach, my methods are varied, I offer choice, gentle and slow changes which I am able
to guide you through, step by step, until you can see that light at the end of the tunnel and you feel confident
enough and safe in knowledge that you have made that positive shift and can now get that sleep you deserve!

I really hope you found this blog useful! Please do not hesitate to check out my website and Instagram Page
for more helpful information, my services and many tips and tricks that may help to improve your sleep!


Search for me on Instagram using @cheekytinkers_maternity.
Happy Sleeping everyone!

Louise xXx


Guest Blog from Cheeky Tinkers Maternity… Babies & Sleep!

My name is Louise Callear, and I am a qualified Maternity Practitioner and Gentle Baby Sleep Coach. I offer a
wide variety of packages which focus on helping parents in that fourth trimester and beyond. The most
popular topic for which I am contacted for, is most definitely sleep.
So, of course this blog will be all about just that! Let us start at the beginning, from when you bring your new
bundle home, and you are thrust into your new role as parents. It can feel so overwhelming, it can sometimes
feel like you are ushered on your way without any real guidance or real expectations of what is about to
happen in those first few months. So, what I like to call, the fourth trimester, is often the hardest part of that
new-born period and it can leave us feeling utterly exhausted and in a haze of feeding, pooping and baby sick!
It is hard to see the light at the end of that tunnel when you are in the thick of it, but it is completely normal to
feel a multitude of feelings along with sheer exhaustion, highs and lows, tears and laughter and a bunch of other stuff too.


It is important to stress that those first few weeks, the first month even, is spent getting to know your new-born baby, establishing feeding, whether that is bottle or breastfeeding, and equally as important, is resting and recovering from labour and from your own personal experience. You can absolutely say “No” to visitors in those first 2 weeks, as you are within your right to be in your bubble with you partner and your new baby. It is something that I would suggest doing as you spend your time as a family for the first time. It is such a special bonding time for you all. Soaking up all that skin to skin, laying in your bed, take naps when baby sleeps and just enjoying it.

There is a lot you can do in those first months also, which will help encourage longer periods of sleeps between feeds and which will help you get some rest and recuperation. Firstly, creating a great sleep environment and some positive sleep associations is a start. What does that entail? As your baby becomes a little older and your feeding is going well, you may start to notice that you have begun to fall into your own pattern, with similar feed times and perhaps similar sleep times even. If you are not, it’s not that you are doing anything wrong, there really is no right or wrong when it comes to being a parent, you find your own groove and what works for you. But also, what this does not have to mean, is that you are continuously surviving on the bare minimum of sleep. Sleep is indeed possible. It will of course be broken sleep as your baby will most definitely be waking for feeds in the night at this stage, but you can still get that quality rest in between those times.

Creating a good sleeping environment, so what does that involve?

Creating a good sleeping environment, so what does that involve?

  • A clear and safe sleeping space in your room firstly. You do not need to fill your babies sleep space with blankets, teddies, or pillows. The Lullaby Trust is a great organisation which can offer a wide variety of information regarding safe sleeping for your baby.

Your baby should also be placed with their feet at the foot of the bed. (See below)

  • Ensure your babies room is an accurate temperature for your baby to sleep well and comfortably. An ideal temperature according to the Lullaby Trust is between 16-20 Celsius.
  • Try making your babies room nice and dark, in order, for your baby to sleep soundly. The reason for this is that when the room is dark, your baby will produce a small amount of melatonin which is the hormone that helps you to relax and drift off to sleep. It is not essential to have your baby sleeping in a dark room for all naps, but potentially one big afternoon snooze and your baby’s bedtime snooze.
  • White noise is also an option which you can use in your babies sleep space. This is a familiar sound for new-born babies as it is said to mimic those sounds your baby heard inside of the tummy. There are many ways of introducing white noise alongside your babies sleeps, and you can choose a white noise machine or simply get a white noise app and download to your phone or device! See below some of my recommendations:


  • Swaddling in those early months can help your baby sleep soundly between feeds too. Swaddling can offer that reassurance and comfort and familiar environment which your baby felt inside the uterus. Security, warmth, and safety. See my recommendations below.

When discussing sleep with those families who come to me seeking support and guidance, it is typically around 8 weeks onwards. I would always discuss creating that perfect sleep environment firstly, either by seeing it first-hand or by discussing over the phone. I will ask questions regarding your babies feeding pattern and sleeping pattern so far and how and where baby goes down to sleep. One of the most popular question I am asked is… “When is a good time to introduce a bedtime routine?” and the answer is subjective. You can start creating that sleep environment, encourage those great sleep habits from as soon as 4 weeks old if you choose. Each baby is capable of different things, sleep lengths, awake lengths, and feed amounts. I always stress that there is no, one size fits all approach. I request a complete routine/guide of what is happening during a typical day and night for your baby and I will sit and go through that information and look at what quick changes we can make firstly before getting into talk of a sleep plan. One of the fundamentals that you would look at as part of your routine and things that may make a huge difference to your current routine is those nap gaps. Also known as awake times, or awake windows, the time spent awake between your babies feed and nap times.

Often one of the causes in unsettled, fractious, and difficult babies, is overtiredness. We can get confused with just how long your baby is capable of remaining awake and we just are not given that information which is in fact one of those hugely common factors of wrongly diagnosed colic babies, when in actual fact they are extremely overtired which also presents itself in a similar way. Your baby may refuse to feed, cry for most of the time, struggle to sleep at all or for just short periods only. Your baby may just appear to be extremely difficult, when in fact, you just do not know about the sleep science behind those potential reasons, which is not your fault at all but because no one tells you any of this once you leave the hospital.

This is my focus, and my driving force behind helping those families in the fourth trimester and beyond. I will leave you fully equipped and armed with all the knowledge along with these important facts, for you to then make your own informed choice when it comes to improving your current situation. The response is always overwhelming with most parents saying they had no idea of those fundamentals and they wish they had been told when leaving the hospital….

To Be Continued……

Follow Louise on Instagram @Cheekytinkers_maternity