Five Baby Items You Don't Need if You Have a Dollar Store Scarf

by | Jul 9, 2014 | Babies, Baby Gear, Babywearing | 14 comments

Last week, I suggested some baby items I really like. If you bought them for your baby today (which I recommend), brand new (which I don’t), it would set you back $627.61. (But free shipping if you’ve got Amazon prime, so . . . )
Anyway, on the off chance that that wasn’t in your budget for the week, I’d like to balance it out a bit by showing you how I substitute a dollar store scarf for five commonly used baby items.

Most people would go ahead and buy a dollar store scarf at the dollar store. That’s what I did. I bought TWO of them in fact. But if you don’t have a dollar store handy and you aren’t in a big hurry you can get one from Amazon for less than $3, including shipping, and that’s not too shabby.

So, without further ado, here we go. If you have a dollar store scarf, you might not need . . .

I have bought a nursing cover. I have sewed one. But I don’t use them anymore. I now prefer a scarf. We’ve already talked about it. It was a whole thing. Anyway, a dollar store scarf works like a dream for public-top-down-well-mannered nursing, which is the kind I most often attempt to practice.

I’m sure I got a diaper bag as a gift when I had my first baby, but I’ve never regularly used one. I just throw baby stuff in my purse. With ALL the rest of the stuff. (Is it time for another one of these?) But sometimes I’m going for a run, or down to the pool, and I don’t bring my whole purse. So I throw the super-essentials in the bottom of the stroller: diapers, wipes, wallet, keys, phone, scarf. Then, I leave the stroller in the vestibule or by the front gate, but I don’t want to leave the super-essentials in there. Because of diaper thieves. So, I wrap the items up in the scarf, like so:
1. Locate items. (This is the hardest part of the process.)
2. Place items on scarf
3. Pull ends of scarf up, then twist ends like you’d twist ribbon on the bottom-side of a package, then flip the scarf/package over.
4. Double knot the scarf over the top of the items.
5. Make another double knot at the ends of the scarf to create a handle.
Since I don’t travel with a diaper bag, I also don’t travel with a travel changing pad. But sometimes the seat of the car is hot or the grass is tickley, so I double over the scarf and lay the baby down on that. Of course, if you do this, you do run the risk of the scarf becoming unfit for any of the other uses. Hey, I live on the edge.

It also works as something to sit on for sitting up babies who don’t like the feel of grass. I’ve had a couple of those.

This one is for in a pinch. I love and have and use my Ergo. But I sometimes forget and don’t have and can’t use my Ergo. But then, if I need to walk somewhere, or have SOME access to both hands, or if baby needs to sleep but doesn’t want to nurse, I make a makeshift carrier out of the scarf. I just line the two ends up together and tie a simple overhand knot.

It is NOT particularly comfortable or stable. I’m sure it’s not “safe.” But it has sometimes come in handy for me.

Sometimes you think you need a bunch of fancy stuff to entertain your baby. And sometimes you realize that babies will chew on pretty much anything for quite a while. Hey, why not a scarf? If you ALSO have an eight year old to add to the mix, the entertainment possibilities are pretty much limited only by said eight year old’s imagination.

So there you go. If you DON’T click on the title of each item and use the Amazon Affiliate link to buy it, you will save $241.43.

You’re welcome. 

How about you, any baby item life hacks? They don’t HAVE to be scarf-related. :0)


  1. Marianne Cameli

    Love your blog and this post.
    I have another use for a scarf .
    As I live in the south of France next to the sea, I always end up using it as a beach towel.
    For these mid-april , unexpected swims that kids seem to be so fond of.
    I have impressed quite a few people with this trick!

  2. Sophie שרה Golden

    I've started to read your blog just a bit before Lulu was born and now look at her, already a lady 🙂 orange colour absolutely suits her and your sunglasses are something I need to get too 😀 not much sun overhere though so maybe I won't…

  3. Erin

    I see a perfectly good burp cloth there too!

  4. Anonymous

    Can also use it to clean up vomit in the car. Because sometimes that happens.

  5. Alicia Copley

    6: turban-style diaper cover
    Standing in line in a 90 degree waiting room to get utilities for our new home transferred over. Diaper explosion occurs, but we've already been waiting 20 minutes and are next in line. I. can. not. come. back. here. again. Wrapped the scarf around and around while standing in line to make a diaper cover of sorts that gave us just a couple minutes to finish up our business and make it back out to the car! (And, I don't think anyone else even noticed what I was doing!)

  6. Anonymous

    I just wanted to second the not using a diaper bag anymore thing. Inspired by those gorgeous (and expensive!) Lily Jade bags, I bought a large, decent-looking, leather-ish purse from TJ Maxx, for something like $30. It suits me when I don't have kids with me and is big enough for a couple of sippy cups when I do. Whenever I have the baby with me, I just make sure to have a package of wipes, a disposable changing pad (love those things!), a couple of diapers, and a nursing cover. (Which I also use as a blanket or a burp cloth, if I need either of those things.)

  7. Catie

    My husband always uses the giant, hideous pockets of his cargo shorts as a diaper bag. I tell him how tacky those things look as I ask him to please carry my wallet.

  8. Deltaflute

    I can't stand the single, over-one-shoulder strap from diaper bags. You lean over and down it goes. So I use a back pack. Throw it over both shoulders and it doesn't get in my way.

  9. Heather

    I love that we have the same purple out-of-date phone! It always make me feel like we are kindred spirits or something.

  10. Mary Helen

    This is great! I think it's a trick of the trade to become more and more resourceful with each child you have. I only have two right now, but I can tell I've had to become more creative with the more I've had to juggle. Love the makeshift sling!

  11. Liz

    You are brilliant. Although the baby carrier idea looks kinda uncomfortable, like it's going to put your neck out of alignment!

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