We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics


Topics: 15,075   Posts: 195,100   Members: 6,992   Active Members: 205
Welcome to our newest member, ChahtaWarrior31.


No announcement yet.

Parental Unit packing list/setups?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Parental Unit packing list/setups?

    Just received my Parental Unit last night, and with our first baby on the way, I'd be very curious to see a packing list/setup shots of how you all use yours!

    Parental Unit packing list/setups?

    All set ups are different -- because you need different things at different ages and because you will want things your way.

    But I'm a huge fan of the TB key straps and stuff sacks and pouches inside. (I now have a toddler, and I use a Daylight Backpack so it doesn't have the PU's internal pockets.)

    Toddler set up -- 1) size 2 stuff sack with change of clothes, 2) size 3 stuff sack with snacks, 3) size 2 stuff sack with wicki sticks, bubbles and small toys, 4) big ziplock bag with diapers and wipes, 5) TB pouch connected by key strap with sunscreen, band aids, museum membership card, pennies to throw in fountains, emergency cash, 6) TB pouch on key strap with Crayola no-stain markers.

    I love the interior sacks and pouches because I reload them after a big day out. The contents have changed over time. The backpack is usually ready to grab and go.

    I love the key straps. I'm exhausted and often distracted. The straps mean that I never drop a pouch or leave one behind in a restaurant. Sometimes the stuff sacks are in straps too. I look crazy chasing a toddler with colorful sacks hanging from my backpack. But that's par these days.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Fulton; 06-21-2016, 05:00 AM.


      It seems the stuff sacks/pouches are a solid add-on to the PU - I'll have to think about getting some!

      Also, do you guys rock your PU's cross-body or over the shoulder?


        Beware. The sacks and pouches are addictive because they're useful. They add up -- but it is great to have places to put things when I'm exhausted and not necessarily thinking sharply. At a minimum, all the important stuff ends up in a sack. ;-)

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


          My PU is my EDC and I carry it cross-body. It's a great bag!


            Originally posted by bubmum View Post
            My PU is my EDC and I carry it cross-body. It's a great bag!
            How high do you guys wear it? I want to wear it a bit higher than waist (I'm 6'2''), but the adjuster strap won't go underneathe the padded sleeve!

            The consensus for packing a PU for a newborn/infant seems to be:
            -Change of clothes for the baby
            -Change of clothes for myself(?)
            -Toys/plush things
            - First Aid stuff
            -Hand sanitizer


              Congrats on your new bag and mazel tov on your soon-to-arrive baby, @andrewgagliardo!

              I have written a bit about how I use the Parental Unit here in the thread "The Traveling Parental Unit... goes to a Passover Seder." I have since purchased a PU of our own and we LOVE it. We do have the for-now discontinued Q-AM strap, and both my husband and I wear it cross-body usually. I am 6 feet, and I prefer to wear it pretty high on my back.

              Your quick list looks good for a newborn/infant. More diapers than you think until you get used to how many the baby goes through. Additionally, you might choose to add one or more of these things:
              -I like to use a cloth or a foldable pad to set the baby's tushie on for diaper changes so that I don't have to put a newborn on a park bench or even a public changing table bare-bottomed
              -one or two cloth diapers or small blankets that can be used for cleaning up or catching spit-up if you have a reflux-y babe
              -if there is breastfeeding happening, having some small cloths or breastpads for leaking/spray/drips is a nice thing to have (I don't know if this is what your wife is planning to do, and ANY way you choose to feed your baby is FABULOUS!!!)
              -A change of shirt for yourself isn't a bad thing to include!
              -A cotton hat if it is sunny where you are!
              -Not for a newborn but for a small baby, I usually still carry infant tylenol with the little syringe because you never know
              -snacks for YOU because what if the baby falls asleep and you don't want to disturb him/her and you are getting grumpy or hangry and YOU NEED SOME TRAIL MIX?!?!?
              -an extra pacifier if the baby likes pacifiers
              -some large ziploc bags for miscellany, including soiled clothes and/or diapers if you can't find a place to dispose them

              Maybe that is it?

              I'm so excited for you!
              Last edited by doesntmakememadonna; 06-21-2016, 12:02 PM.


                Congratulations on the little one! It's a very exciting (and incredibly exhausting) time as you quickly figure out a bunch of stuff you've never done before. It's not always easy, but it's totally worth it.

                You'll figure out on your own what you do and don't need, because everyone's kid and personal preferences are so different, but to throw a couple ideas out there that might come in handy:
                • Some extra cash and a house key, because it's easy to be forgetful and walk out the door without your wallet or keys.
                • A gallon ziplock bag (or a reusable wet bag) for soiled clothes.
                • One more diaper than you expect to need.

                I'm sure others will have more suggestions, and of course, as your kiddo gets older there will be a lot of other stuff you'll end up carrying around, but with a newborn you're mostly aiming for a full belly, a dry diaper, and clothes that aren't covered in spit up - easier said than done, of course, but you're already on the right track with your diaper bag.


                  I have one of the PU's with the earlier style strap that just threads thru on each side. I wear mine with the strap quite long.


                    GREAT feedback everyone, thank you! The stock strap that came with this PU seems pretty good - it's got a sticky/textured side, and it hasn't slipped off yet.

                    I slapped on some neon green cord pulls to match the "wasabi" internals of the bag - not sure whether or not to go those or black!


                      Strongly seconding @afsheen's suggestion of having extra cash stashed in the diaper bag. Even just $5 or $10 makes a huge difference. You are likely to need it sometime.


                        Decided to stuff this thing for a quick test:
                        -6 diapers
                        -2 burp clothes
                        -2 swaddling blankets
                        -pack of wipes
                        -2 onesies
                        -changing pad
                        -Extra t shirt for myself
                        -2 plush toys
                        -baby powder
                        -baby hat
                        -baby socks
                        -iPhone 6 Plus
                        -external battery pack charger for phone

                        And the PU STILL had two open slots!!

                        Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4318.JPG
Views:	2
Size:	141.5 KB
ID:	300062
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4319.JPG
Views:	2
Size:	128.0 KB
ID:	300063


                          Nice! That's a well-stocked bag! Impressive that you've even got room left over. Man, I wish the PU had been around when our kiddo was born.

                          It doesn't sound like you need much advice on what else to bring, but one thing I've found handy - whether it's packing a diaper bag or coming back from a trip - is making note of what I've used and what was untouched. Sometimes you'll see a pattern and realize that you've, speaking from personal example, spent two years toting around a tube of diaper creme that you've never once used.

                          Also, this isn't a Bihn bag, but I found this Skip Hop diaper clutch to be super useful - it's a folding changing pad that holds a few diapers, a travel pack of wipes, and a onesie or shirt - easy to pull out of your diaper bag and take with you to change the kiddo's diaper, and (especially as your little one gets older), you'll sometimes be able to get away with just the clutch for a short trip out of the house.

                          Oh! Also, 100% yes to basically everything @doesntmakememadonna said, especially the snacks and the extra shirt for yourself. It only takes one day of having to go to work with a shirt soaked with baby pee to remember a backup adult shirt.


                            Leave one side of your bag for parent stuff exclusively if you can, so that you don't get strange goo on your wallet, etc. And I second (or third) the ziplock bag idea. Change of shirt for the grown up is like bringing an umbrella--it won't rain if you have one--only, the shirt means there won't be a poo explosion on you if you have it, but if you don't...!! And those flannel receiving blankets are awesome--they are good to wipe up boogers or spit up or whatever, act as a changing pad, cover mom for nursing, act as a sunshade for baby, etc. And shove an extra baby onesie (not just the regular change of clothes, but an EXTRA) in there for the unexpected poo up the back--soon you will know all about this. (and NEVER go anywhere ever again until they are teenagers without baby wipes. Put them in every bag, and each car--I keep them in the slot in the drivers door so I can hand them back to the kids when needed, and when they were little kids, in the slot in their car doors, so that I could mop them up when still restrained in the car seat straps!) congrats on the baby and the PU!


                              I agree completely - I need to remember to leave one side compartment open for "adult stuff." And kudos on the wipes rec @luvdabags!

                              The PU seems to be absolutely fantastic so far. I'll be using it as an EDC until the baby comes in a month, but it'll get me used to the bag.