Baby bag contents have changed over the last 30 years – as parents of today are more safety-conscious with what to put in theirs

A study of 2,000 parents, including 500 who had a baby within the last five years, revealed a stark difference in pram bags now compared to 30 years ago.

Although nappies and soothers were the items most likely to cause the most drama if forgotten, today’s parents are nearly twice as likely to make sure they don’t leave the house without a first-aid kit (22 per cent compared to 13 per cent).

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While only a third of older parents carried suncream, more than half (56 per cent) of modern mums and dads now pack it frequently.

And 29 per cent now make sure they have anti-septic cream on them compared to just 17 per cent of those who had a baby before 1990.

Must-have items more likely to be found in modern pram bags include soothers and Calpol as well as a new item deemed essential - an iPad or tablet to keep their youngster entertained.

As a result, mums and dads now pack a minimum of 11 items for their baby before leaving the house, with 69 per cent admitting they carry more on them than they need to.

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Lisa Parkhill, managing director of MAM, which commissioned the research as part of its Soothement campaign, said: “The findings show how prepared parents are for every eventuality.

“Key staples can make all the difference to ensure parent and baby have a relaxing day out versus a stressful, fraught experience.

Parents are doing their research, leaving no stone left unturned to ensure they don’t get caught out if a tricky situation arises.

“Innovation in baby care products has come on leaps and bounds over the years and it’s a good thing that parents can have an array of items in their armoury to soothe baby every time they leave the home."

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Soothers can be a key tool

The study also found 70 per cent of all parents reckon being a new mum or dad now seems more complicated than it was in the past.

And those who had a baby 30 years ago favoured a more ‘relaxed’ approach to their child’s bag (39 per cent compared to 27 per cent today).

Though, as a result they were more likely to end up forgetting something, with 20 per cent admitting they always left an item at home.

But just 16 per cent of today’s organised mums and dads said the same.

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It also emerged all parents spent an average of seven minutes packing a bag for their baby before heading out, with 35 per cent receiving comments about how much they carry.

However, 31 per cent wouldn’t trust their partner to pack a bag as well as them and 17 per cent would abandon a trip entirely were they to forget their bag of baby essentials, with 27 per cent admitting they would head to the nearest shop in search of new supplies.

Soothers were an item most likely to stress a parent if it was left at home, according to the OnePoll data.

And nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) parents said they relied on them in the first year, with 38 per cent revealing their child couldn’t go without.

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Parents who used soothers with their child said the biggest misconceptions other parents have around a child using one were babies becoming too reliant on them, or even hooked on them – or they’re purely used to keep an infant quiet.

While 30 per cent believe certain types of soothers are better than others for a child’s teeth, it’s a common misunderstanding that using one hinders breastfeeding.

Lisa Parkhill from MAM added: “It’s interesting to see that one of the key items it’d be a disaster to leave the house without would be a soother.

“It can be a key tool in the early days to ensure infants are happy and relaxed when out and about, giving parents one less thing to worry about.

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“It’s also been great to see how aware mums and dads are of the misconceptions that remain incorrectly around soothers.”

Top 30 items parents now pack for their kids

  1. Nappies
  2. Wipes
  3. Toys
  4. Snacks
  5. Change of clothes
  6. Drinks bottle
  7. Baby food/pouches
  8. Socks
  9. Nappy cream
  10. Sun cream
  11. Bottles of milk
  12. Calpol
  13. Hat
  14. Changing mat
  15. Blanket
  16. Fruit
  17. Change of pants
  18. Packed lunch
  19. Coat
  20. Formula
  21. Book
  22. Teething gel
  23. Spare big/eating bib
  24. Teethers
  25. Soothers/Dummies
  26. Mittens
  27. Comforter
  28. Boxes of raisins
  29. Waterproofs
  30. iPad / Tablet for entertaining
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