biking with baby: my daily haul

One obvious challenge of biking with a child is the sheer amount of stuff kids seemingly need with them. Especially babies. Diapers, toys, snacks, a change of clothes… the list goes on. I have to admit that I worried about how I would be able to take everything I need on a regular outing with me by bike. But once I tried it, I was surprised to see how it all fit quite comfortably in the crate on the back of my bike.

So if you’re wondering about commuting by bike with a kid and all the stuff that comes with it, here’s how I manage my daily haul…

Since we’ve opted for a bike seat rather than a trailer, my carrying space is the plastic crate fastened to my rear rack. In the above picture, I’ve managed to fit:

1) a canvas bag with a sheet (picnic blanket), three board books and a toy

2) water bottle for me, sippy cup for her

3) my oversized purse containing wallet, phone, lotion, sunscreen, lunch (sandwhich, blueberries, carrots), her stuffed bear, and my bike lock

4) a diaper pouch (see below)

This is about the amount of stuff I’m likely to take with me on any given outing. I usually carry a sheet or a blanket for impromtu stops in the park and usually have a selection of snacks, toys, and books along as well.

After tossing all of that into my crate, I fasten a basket net on top to keep things from bouncing out. (I learned this lesson the hard way, when my scarf snaked its way out of my rear basket and got caught in my chain.)

I discovered early on that I didn’t need a huge diaper bag but rather wanted something small and handy to toss into my purse, backpack, the back pocket of my stroller, the car, our hiking pack, the back of an airplane seat, etc etc (you see where I’m going with this). I just happened to dig through my closet and come across the Tom Bihn “Snake Charmer” pouch, which I had aquired a while back as a packing cube for travel. Its size and the two mesh pockets make it the perfect pouch for diaper needs.

I’m a huge fan of Tom Bihn stuff anyway and so I was excited to find such perfect daily use for one of my favorite travel accessories. I not only love the small and compact size for easy toting, I also like the convenient organization with the  two compartments (one for diapers and cream and a second for clean clothes and a cloth I use to lay her on when changing her). And the handle makes it easy to hold, grab out of my purse or bike basket, and hook to the stroller via carabiner.

I’m sure that my packing needs will change with the seasons (I’ll likely be swapping the picnic blanket for extra layers, hats, and jackets as it gets colder). And there will be times when I’ll likely need more space than the rear crate on my bike can offer. But for daily outings with my one year old, this is all it takes:

A bike. A baby. A crate with some stuff. And the will to leave the car at home and go exploring on two wheels.


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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
This entry was posted in Baby, Bike 101, Bike Baskets, Biking with Kids, Daily Commute, Family, How-To Posts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to biking with baby: my daily haul

  1. Janelle says:

    I love the diaper pouch idea! I prefer to travel light but know I will need some sort of pocket organization when my second kiddo arrives this fall since I will then be carrying around 2 different sizes of diapers and spare clothing :)

  2. Jessica says:

    Thank you for sharing!! It’s so inspiring to see someone committed to riding with kids. No kids in my future, but the moms (and dads) on your blog rock!

  3. Pingback: Simply Bike » travel with kids: packing made light for a week in san francisco

  4. Looks a lot like my set-up: IBert front seat — check, milk crate on rear rack — check, small make shift diaper bag . . . . I’m thinking about moving my panniers from my other bike so I have a bit more carrying capacity for trips that include stops at the grocery store or farmers’ market, but otherwise, this is a pretty good set-up.

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