What’s in Your Diaper Bag: Binder!

After K.O was discharged from the NICU, I knew that I needed to stay organized in order to keep my sanity.  This was especially important for after I returned to work.  The first few weeks that he was home were filled with multiple doctors and therapy appointments and we left each visit with multiple sheets of paper.  I started keeping all the papers that I was received in a binder that I kept in K.O.’s diaper bag.  In the beginning, I kept every single paper that was given to me in that binder and lugged it around to every appointment along with a cooler for his breastmilk, his feeding machine with supplies, medications and his nebulizer.  The binder started to get too heavy, so I knew that I needed to narrow it down to the most important documents. 

I organized the binder with tabs labeled medical history, referrals, orders, forms and misc.  The front of the binder has a clear pocket that allows me to keep a printed check-off list of the items that I need to be sure to pack for each appointment day.  When Kolin first came home, I would refer to this list multiple times before leaving home.  Now, this list is pretty much embedded in my brain, but I still refer to it on my really busy days where things could easily be missed. I update this list from time to time as his needs change.

Under the medical history tab, you will find his Medical History Sheet, his Provider Contact List, an updated vaccination record and a copy of any important lab work.  I would suggest that if your child has any implanted device such as a shunt, that you place a copy of the device information sheet that includes the serial number in this section.  I also keep copies of insurance cards in this section.  There has been a time or two where I could not find my insurance cards and was able to use the printed copies as a replacement. 

As soon as I am given either a new referral or an order/prescription, I place them in their perspective sections.  It was not uncommon for us to be given an order to repeat a test in 3, 6 or even 12 months.  By placing the order in the binder, which is stored in our diaper bag, I never have to worry about misplacing it.  I place any paper work that needs to be completed prior to the next appointment in the forms section.  Once the forms are completed, I placed it back in the section.  In the miscellaneous section, I keep all other documents that do not fall in any of the other sections such as information on how to keep K.O.’s helmet clean.

This system has saved me a lot of time and energy because I no longer had to spend time looking for any of K.O.’s important paperwork.  Everything has a place. 

Please let me know if you find this tip helpful or if there is anything else that you suggest that I keep in the binder.

Next week’s tip:  What to keep in your G tube emergency kit! 

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