Maggie Gyllenhaal: Ramona Taught Me How to Be a Mom

06/28/2013 at 08:15 PM ET

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Make mistakes with your first child, so you know what you’re doing with your second, right?

Maggie Gyllenhaal — celebrating with Johnson & Johnson for the 125th anniversary of the First Aid Kit through a partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide — says she still continues to make mistakes with Ramona, 6½, and Gloria Ray, 14 months, all the time.

“When my first daughter was born, I remember going out without a diaper and she had pooped all over herself,” the White House Down star tells PEOPLE. “I had nothing to change her into, nothing to clean her with. I don’t know why no one told me I would need a diaper bag.”

Since then, Gyllenhaal, 35, has become a lot more organized. “I feel like being organized and having things thought through actually let’s you be a much more relaxed and cool mother,” she says.

She thinks about things in advance, like having a change of clothes. With time, and a couple kids, she now carries a little bag at the bottom of her purse where she keeps bandaids and Neosporin. “I have learned to have things together, and always check my bag before I leave the door,” she says.

The same thing goes for baby proofing her house. “If you baby proof, you can relax. Like the kitchen area in my house. I know that if I close the bathroom door, then there is pretty much nothing that my daughter can get into that will be harmful,” she says.

“She can fall down and bump her head, but that is part of being alive and that’s okay. But there is nothing around anymore that she can choke on or burn herself on. I did that so I don’t have to constantly watch.”

— Caitlin Keating

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Showing 15 comments

Stephanie on

I don’t have kids, but I have more than enough common sense to know that you need to bring stuff like diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, etc., with you when you bring an infant out and about.

Anonymous on

And let the judgmental, perfect, know-it-all Moms begin their tirades…..(predictable)

Mimi on

She had a baby and went out without carrying diapers?? So what did she carry, just her purse? You gotta be kidding me.

Stephanie on

What? No one told her to bring a diaper bag? SMH…..

Natalie on

We all learn to be parents it’s a constant thing you never know it all.

That said I have a really hard time believing she didn’t know about diaper bags.

My guess is she thought she was too cool for one and the moms that carried them were silly and had to learn first hand why you carry them.

Anonymous on

Geez, people! So Maggie isn’t perfect. None of us are!

mamatothree on

Oh come on now, posters. I’m sure she knew about carrying diapers, but that new mama brain is pretty foggy in the beginning. With my first, I did get caught without a change of clothes and baby had a blowout. I was in Target and bought a six dollar pajama outfit to change her into, but it takes awhile to figure out how to get prepared. Cut a mama some slack.

Crystal on

Did anyone ever think that maybe she was just running out really quick??? A baby can definitely ruin your plans of a quick “5 min” trip. She was a new moms. Parenting is all about learning as you go. What may be common sense to one mom might be an ah ha moment for another. Let’s not judge one another. We need to encourage and support. That’s common sense to me. 😉

Chloe on

I’m sorry, but how do you not know that you need a diaper bag when going out. That’s just common sense -_-

Loralee on

I understand possibly forgetting a diaper bag, but the ” I don’t know why no one told me I would need a diaper bag.” sounded strange to me.

Tanya on

I had a kid and with the second one still managed to leave my house without checking my diaper bag. Though I had diapers and wipes, I had no change of clothes for my little one and after pooping through all his clothes he was just diaper clad in his car seat while we made the hour long drive home. I love her. She’s talented and beautiful and has a great, strong family unit. Stop judging people, it’s unbecoming.

Tara on

I think Maggie seems like a great mom. If someone who’s rich and famous can forget to bring a diaper and wipes out on the town then I don’t feel so bad now…I agree with ya Crystal. We learn as we go!

meghan on

A few times I’ve taken the diaper bag out without restocking it, thinking I was so prepared and–OOPS! Things happen. I’m sure there were things I had to learn when she was just born that are now such old hat that I now can’t imagine how others don’t know about it too. Give it a rest.

Valerie on

I am sure she was probably being funny/sarcastic and exaggerating a bit about “no one told me to bring a diaper bag.” But it’s true, moms need to be easy on themselves and each other. It’s all consuming just getting a baby dressed and fed and in the car seat! it’s easy to judge from the outside looking in.

Anonymous on

Come on! Really? I like Maggie, but even people who don’t have kids know you should bring a diaper bag with you when you have a baby. I feel like this story is a joke!