As a former Girl Scout, I live by the motto “Be Prepared” which is why I take such pride in my diaper bag packing skills. A well-packed diaper bag is a skill that all moms should master. There isn’t much worse than being caught at Target with a cart full of things you didn’t know you absolutely needed only to realize your baby has had a massive blowout, needs to be changed ASAP and you don’t have a stocked diaper bag.
Of course, Target may not be the best example because you can literally get everything you need right there; but then you’d have to cause a scene and find everything. Where, if you had a perfectly packed bag you could park your cart outside of the restroom, quickly clean up the mess, change your babe and be back perusing the aisles in no time!
For new moms especially, it can be daunting to forecast all the things you might need while out with your infant. So, from a mom of three, below is a list of what I keep in my diaper bag!
Before you pack it, you need a great diaper bag! I highly recommend a backpack diaper bag; it leaves your arms free and saves your back.
I’d suggest having at least four in your bag; maybe more if you have a newborn.
Just stating the obvious here. Keep them in a reusable, refillable wipe carrier to save space.
Travel size diaper cream/baby lotion/sunscreen/tissues
Save yourself space by using travel-size versions of the above necessities!
Keep items like Band-Aids, Neosporin, Tylenol/Motrin, gas drops, thermometer, nasal aspirator, etc., in a baggie in your diaper bag. You never know when a fever may hit or your child may get a booboo.
Baggies for dirty diapers/clothes
Plastic grocery bags or dog waste bags are great for storing soiled cloth diapers or clothes that you don’t want to toss, or for dirty disposable diapers when you aren’t near a trash bin (like on a family walk).
Travel changing pad
Many diaper bags come equipped with these, but if not, you can find them at your local baby store.
Even if you JUST fed your baby, there is a definite possibility they could be hungry again in mere minutes.
Bottle of water
Moms, especially nursing moms, need to stay hydrated.
You can NEVER have too many snacks. Even if your baby isn’t eating solids, be sure to pack some mom snacks. Older infants and toddlers are insatiable, so snacks for them are a MUST. My go-to snacks are granola bars, trail mix, fruit snacks, yogurt/apple sauce pouches, cereal, and goldfish crackers. Maybe toss in a couple of pieces of candy for desperate bribery attempts.
For friends who want to hold your baby, for you after changing a dirty diaper, for your kids after touching random animals, etc.
A onesie, pants, socks, sleeper; just have something extra in case of a massive blowout or monster spit-up incident. Keep extra underwear and bottoms for your older, potty training kids as well. A hat is also a good idea – a sun hat or knit hat depending on the weather.
Extra shirt for mom
See above. You won’t always make it out unscathed!
Nursing cover (for nursing moms)
If you are breastfeeding/pumping, you may want to keep a nursing cover in your bag in case you need to nurse or pump on the go.
Nursing pads (for nursing moms)
Odds are you will spring a leak at some point while you are out running errands!
Nipple cream (for nursing moms)
Breastfeeding can really hurt, so keep some nipple cream in your bag to keep yourself comfortable.
If your infant loves a pacifier, always keep an extra in your diaper bag for emergencies. Those little suckers (pun intended) disappear like socks in the washing machine.
Entertainment on the go is very important for little ones!
I try to switch out the book every time I re-pack my bag; variety is a key element of distraction.
Use this for the obvious reason like keeping your child warm, but get creative and use it to clean up messes, provide shade from the sun or protection from the rain. You could even use it as a makeshift nursing cover if needed!
Stains are inevitable with children; be prepared.
I always have a couple of child-sized forks and spoons in my bag for those impromptu restaurant outings.
Babies and toddlers are notorious hair-pullers.
To wipe down dirty surfaces like restaurant tables, public changing tables, airplane trays, etc.
If you have space, it’s always nice to have a phone charger handy.
Now you are probably wondering how do you fit it all in one bag, but I promise you it is manageable. You just have to be strategic with the placement of your items and take advantage of those pockets!