Before you have a baby it is easy to just grab your purse and walk out of the door care free. Once a baby comes into the picture it takes a lot more planning. This is when a diaper bag becomes your new best friend. With a baby, situations will arise that call for certain items and you will want to make sure you have those things packed in the diaper bag so that you are ready. But there are so many different baby items out there, what exactly do you need to pack in a diaper bag? Here are some essentials to include in your bag to get you started:
Clean Diapers & Wipes
You never know when you’ll need to change your baby’s diaper so it’s a good idea to keep a few clean diapers and some wet wipes in the diaper bag. An uncomfortable baby might scream and that is no fun when you’re out at the grocery store trying to pick up a few items. The amount of diapers you need to carry with you will vary depending on the child’s age. Younger babies need more diapers than older babies so keep that in mind when packing. Wipes are needed not only to wipe your baby’s bottom, but they are also great for cleaning messy faces.
A rash can pop up pretty quickly and they tend to make a baby uncomfortable and whiny. If you have diaper cream handy you can speed up the healing process by catching it early and also give your little one that much need comfort.
Like I said before, you never know when you’ll need to change your baby. The simple fact is there may be a time when you have to change your baby in a less than sanitary place. Having a changing pad makes the diaper change more comfortable for your baby and also keeps him or her away from those unwanted germs.
An Extra Outfit
Every once in a while the diaper will leak or your baby will have a major blow out causing icky stuff to get all over them and their clothes. Having an extra outfit on hand is great for when this happens. Depending on how the child feels, you may even want to pack a couple of clean outfits in the diaper bag. That yucky stuff is something no child wants to wear! It’s no fun for the mommy or daddy either. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Food and Snacks
You’ll want to pack some type of food in case your child gets hungry while you are out. This will vary with age. For children that are eating solids, pack a jar or two of baby food. Don’t forget eating utensils. You could also pack Cheerio’s or some other easy snack as well. Many moms will attest to the fact that a snack can be a life saver when shopping at the grocery story.
Toys and Entertainment
A bored child is normally not a happy one so be prepared with some toys, books, or other forms of entertainment. You don’t want to get stuck waiting in a long line with nothing for your child to amuse themselves with.
This comes in really handy after changing a dirty diaper. Sometimes you won’t be around a water source so hand sanitizer works in a pinch. It is even good to use after washing your hands if you want to kill all of those nasty germs. It’s okay to be a little paranoid about germs when you’re a new mom. Those tiny bodies don’t need anything extra to deal with if it’s avoidable. Make sure that you keep it out of the baby’s hands however since the alcohol in sanitizers can be dangerous when ingested by babies.
Having a blanket is great for when the baby needs to be warmed up or covered for some reason. Maybe a building is a little chilly or they need a little extra coverage when outside on a breezy day. You can use a blanket to keep a child from being rained on as well. Use the blanket to cover an area for the little one also if need be.
Formula or a Drink
You’ll want to have extra formula on hand if that is still in your baby’s diet. Powdered formula is great if your baby will take it in that form. You should always bring some formula with you because you never know what might happen to lengthen what should have been a short trip. If the baby is older, you’ll want to bring some milk, water, or juice along. There are small totes available at a lot of store so that you can keep the liquids cool. Don’t forget to pack the bottles or sippy cups!
Bibs & Burp Cloths
When you’re feeding your baby, bibs are a nice thing to have so that clothes aren’t soaked or stained. Burp cloths are good for not only burping the baby but also for cleaning spit up, padding a changing area, or cushioning a small head.
Keep some infant or children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen in your bag for when they’re needed. This is definitely a good thing to have for doctor’s visits, when shots are administered causing soreness and fever. Pain relievers are nice to have for when a child gets sick suddenly and needs a dose of medicine as well.
Small Plastic Bags
Soiled diapers and clothing will need to be placed in these small plastic bags often times. Soiled items are smelly and can make your car or diaper bag smelly when you have nowhere to throw them out.
There may be some other items you’ll need to pack but these are some of the essentials when you’re starting out. Trust me, it will all fit in the bag even though the list seems long. If it seems overwhelming write up a list and stick that in the bag to refer to when you’re packing the items. Eventually the diaper bag will become less full as the child gets older, the list of items needed shorter.