When it comes to the diaper bag, we all know that we need one for the baby, but there are so many variables in style, color, and purpose. There are purse diaper bags, beach bag looking diaper bags, backpack style, and just plain old bulky styles… My absolute favorite is our backpack style diaper bag. It’s gray and simple in design which means that my hubby is also willing to carry it from time to time — boo-yah! Like any good diaper bag, it’s got lots of pockets and zippers to place and organize items.
I believe that it’s more common that we over pack our diaper bags than under pack them. The problem we ran into was that my diaper bag was heavy, bulky, and a pain to bring places because we had stuffed it full of what I thought were “essentials”.
We realized that if there was a special outing or if we knew that we wouldn’t be home for some time, we’d add a few extras, but that in general we probably didn’t need that big bottle of baby sunscreen, the entire canister of formula (especially when baby was breastfed!), noise cancelling baby earmuffs (as amazing as they are), or his entire collection of rattles and toys.
One thing that I did to minimize the amount I carried was to get travel sized items – baby lotion, Vaseline/diaper cream, lanolin. You could even throw in baby wash or individual serving packets of formula if you want to be extra prepared.
As a convenience, I have two separate “diaper bags” filled with my essentials. My go-to diaper bag travels with us whenever we leave the house and stays in the baby’s bedroom when not in use. The other (literally a spare beach bag) stays in the trunk of the car at all times.
Here is my list of diaper bag essentials:
- I mean, this is a “diaper” bag… My original favorite brand of diaper was Pampers Swaddlers because they fit awesome, kept baby dry, and lasted ALL NIGHT. As Torben got bigger, I found that my diaper brand preference changed – we actually like the Kirkland (Costco) brand right now! I find it interesting that depending on the size of the baby and what they are eating that different diaper brands worked better for us. Be sure to switch these out as your baby grows! Can you imagine trying to fit a 20 lb baby into a size 1 diaper?
- My favorite wipes (we’ve used these since Torben was born) are the Huggies One & Done! I rarely have to use more than one even on the big diapers, and love that it’s thick enough that I don’t feel like I’m touching whatever came out of baby’s bum.
- Portable Changing Pad
- Why this is important? Simply put, the world is gross and we don’t want to change our babies on the ground, sink, car trunk, or other unclean surface without having some layer between that and their little bare bum. On the plus side, many diaper bags will come with a portable changing pad included!
- Hand Sanitizer
- Now that we’ve wiped, we will want to sanitize!
- Only necessary if your child actually takes a pacifier… like mine does!
- Extra Outfit
- Don’t be caught in a blowout situation without a backup outfit! Mine is simply an extra onesie and a pair of socks. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever use it as I naively thought that I would never actually be in a situation where I’d need it – especially since my little one rarely has blowouts. There we were, at SeaWorld, and then there was a rumble that could have shook the world. My baby boy’s white outfit was suddenly orange… my sweet husband took him and ran to the closest restroom, but the outfit was not to be saved. We wrapped that thing up and shoved it into the bottom of the stroller. Luckily, we had our extra outfit on hand so that the baby thunder maker was not naked for the rest of the day.
- Having a warm, compact blanket in my diaper bag has come in handy more times than I can count! We use it for naps on the go, when we are at the park, in the stroller, in the car seat, and countless other places.
- Extra Breast Milk or Formula
- If we’re going to be gone for a short while I’ll bring some pumped breast milk, however, if we are going to be gone for a longer time, I like to have single serving packets and an empty bottle on hand. My favorite part about the single serve packets are that they are compact and all you need to do is add water.
- This can be a rattle, book, stuffed animal, or whatever your go-to entertainment (“distraction”) for baby is.
- Portable (Baby) Medical Kit
- I like the ones that include several items such as a nasal aspirator, thermometer, some little band-aids, etc. as well as some infant Tylenol and gas drops (if your child needs them). Ours has been added to over time with things that I have decided I would like to have while on the go.
Final Tips for your Diaper Bag:
Pack smart. What will you need access to and what can be put farther out of reach? I usually need quick access to diapers. They go at the top while the bottom of the bag is friend to the extra clothes.
Keep like items together such as items for feeding (bottles, formula/breast milk, burp cloth, pump pieces, etc.). My diaper bag has insulated pockets specifically for keeping bottles of milk cold and so all of my feeding stuff goes in that same part of the bag.
Update/Replenish. Don’t forget to update/replenish your diaper bag any time that it’s used, or if it hasn’t been used for a while. Babies grow quickly and we all will want to be as prepared as possible!
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