So, you just had a baby and your house suddenly has so much STUFF! From the crib to the highchair to the bassinet to the playpen, and to all the other gizmos and gadgets in between, it seems like the smallest member of your family requires the most amount of things.
And just when you thought it was getting crowded indoors, you now have to take that little baby out and about!
So, what are the top 10 things you need to pack in your diaper bag to de-stress your outing? And as a mom of four, here are the most helpful diaper bag essentials you'll need...
No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, your baby will have plans of his/her own…and a big part of those plans will be pooping. Yep…I said it.
So, diapers (whether cloth or disposable) are a must-have in any diaper bag. I repeat: DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM.
Depending on the length of your outing and the age of your child, pack at least 4-6 diapers in your bag. The younger your baby, the more frequently s/he’ll require a diaper change.
Not only are these little things essential for diaper changes, they will become your best friend for all other messes…from spit ups to popsicle stickiness and everything in between.
Try to keep wipes in a thin plastic case or bag to prevent them from drying out, especially in very hot temperatures.
3. Changing Pad
A portable (and wipeable) changing pad is another one of those diaper bag essentials that you can't go without. It provides a clean and comfortable surface for diaper changes, even when a ‘diaper-changing surface’ is readily available.
It’s always a good idea to lay your own changing pad on any public surface to maintain hygiene and also give your baby a little bit of extra cushioning as diaper changing stations tend to be plastic and cold.
After each diaper change (when possible), try to wipe down your changing pad quickly.
Mom hack: make a little permanent mark on one end of your changing pad so that your baby’s head always rests on the “cleaner” end of the pad.
4. Extra Clothing
Having a change of clothes (or 2) for your little one is essential.
Pack a few onesies, hats, bodysuits and socks for a new baby…and some 2-pc sets for an older baby or toddler.
Consider the weather/season and pack accordingly. You can also keep a warmer set and a cooler set of clothes in your bag to all times to ensure your little one will be comfortable no matter what the season.
5. Burp Cloths
Whether you’re breast feeding or bottle feeding, babies often spit up or have reflux.
This brings us to the ever-handy burp cloth. Pack 2-3 soft and absorbent burp cloths to help keep you and your baby clean and fresh after feeding.
6. Nursing Cover or Bottles
If you are breastfeeding and wish for a bit of extra privacy (and a less distracted baby), a nursing cover is one of the best diaper bag essentials to carry around.
Alternatively, if you are bottle-feeding, pack a few pre-measured formula packets or bottles filled with water to prepare formula on the go.
If your little takes a pacifier, make sure to have a few in your bag at all times.
Make it a habit to wash and replenish extras into your bag at all times to avoid forgetting these soothing suckers (pun intended)!
Look for pacifiers with a protective case (or just carry a little reusable bag) to keep them clean and hygienic.
Carrying a lightweight blanket that can be used for swaddling, in the stroller, or while your little one is napping is essential.
Whether it’s during the cool months to keep your baby warm or during the summer months to provide shade and protection from cool air conditioning, make sure to have at least 1 blanket in your diaper at all times.
9. Hand Sanitizer
If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us it’s that maintaining proper hygiene is crucial. This is especially true when handling a newborn.
Include a travel-sized hand sanitizer in your diaper bag to ensure clean hands before and after diaper changes or feeding sessions.
One of my absolute favorite diaper bag essentials is a little bottle of bubbles. Yes, bubbles!
You’d be amazed how you can stop a temper tantrum, fit of boredom, and even annoyed onlookers in line at the supermarket by blowing bubbles into the air.
From 6 months into toddlerhood, your child will love to see and try to catch the bubbles, no matter where you are, including long car rides or sitting in the cart at the supermarket.
Never underestimate the power of bubbles. You can make your own easily by mixing a little bit of baby shampoo and water (and adding a couple drops of white glue to help the bubbles stay more solid and pop less easily, for extra fun!)
Diaper Essential Tips
BONUS: Always carry a bottle of water and some non-perishable snacks, both for you, and for your child (when they are old enough to eat solids).
As busy moms, we sometimes forget about ourselves and neglect our own hunger or thirst.
Don’t forget to hydrate and replenish yourself with snacks when you are out and about with your little ones so that you can stay healthy and energetic to keep up with them!
In conclusion, a well-stocked diaper bag is key to going out with your newborn, baby, toddler, or all of the above.
Make it a habit to regularly check and replenish your diaper bag (preferably after every outing) to ensure that you’ll be prepared and ready for a smooth future outing, even at a moment’s notice.