Diaper Bag Essentials Kit
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What To Pack in a Diaper Bag
If you’re a first-time mom, you are undoubtedly learning something new every day about the wonderful art of parenting. Unfortunately, some predicaments you won’t be able to prepare for (no matter how badly you want to).
The good news: there are some situations that you can anticipate, or at least have an equip-kit for! It’s called a diaper bag, and it holds way more than diapers.
Packing your diaper bag can be daunting on your first trip out--even if you are just going to the park for an hour. You will probably try to pack everything. There’s nothing wrong with overpacking except it can be a pain to lug around too much stuff. If you want to be successful in packing a diaper bag (but also ready for anything), listen to the experienced moms out there. This is the mom-approved checklist for what to pack in your diaper bag.
Diaper Bag Essentials Kit
Wherever you are heading to with your sweet pride and joy, there will be GERMS. Soap and water are always the best choice when it comes to deflecting unwanted illnesses... but hand sanitizer is a good second option when you can't readily wash your hands.
Definitely don't be afraid to tell others to use hand sanitizer before holding your baby. Anything to keep those little ones safe! There are small travel sizes that come with bag carriers, so you can simply attach a bottle to the outside of your diaper bag without taking up space.
The main event.
I noticed you only packed one spare diaper in that bag... I also like to live dangerously.
Prepare for the worst, mamas. Expect a blow out at any moment. And when you get that fun mess all cleaned up... BOOM, second blow out.
I pack a minimum of 5 diapers, and more if it’s a longer trip. I would add a diaper for every 2 hours you’ll be away. Make sure you’re keeping your bag updated when your baby switches diaper sizes.
Remember when I said prepare for the worst? Well, you might be out and about changing your baby's diaper when you notice they have diaper rash. Diaper rash is redness on a baby's bottom usually caused by exposure to moisture for a prolonged period of time. When their sensitive skin is subjected to stool or urine for too long, it causes their buttocks and/or genitals to become irritated. Diaper rash is extremely common and easy to cure, but if it goes untreated... it can cause a serious infection. Applying diaper rash during a change is the simple solution to avoid your average diaper rash turning into something much worse.
I recommend carrying around a whole pack of wet wipes with you whenever you're leaving the house. The seasoned mama will tell you: wipes are not just for hineys!
Spills and unknown gooey matter will show up in places that seem unfathomable. Having wipes handy will save you in sticky situations... literally.
If your baby soils his or her clothes, you really do not want them to continue wearing them. It's uncomfortable, unsanitary, and probably smelly. If you remove the wet clothing and keep your baby unclothed, it's not much better. They can get sick and will still probably be uncomfortable. Always keep an extra onesie on hand for such an occasion.
Aside from changing your baby's sullied outfit, you'll want extra clothing around in case of an environmental change. Maybe it's 80 degrees outside, so your baby is fine in a short-sleeved onesie, but the restaurant you're going to has the air conditioning blasting... Now all of the sudden, your baby's lips are quivering. Bring pants or a sweatshirt to keep your baby feeling jubilant.
Swaddle or Blanket.
Another item you'll want to be sure to have is a swaddle or blanket. I like the muslin swaddles because they can be both. Not only will a blanket come in handy when you arrive at the park and realize it's chillier than you thought, but if you're out and you notice your little one is fussy because of tiredness, a swaddle can be the key to getting your baby to sleep. Sometimes when babies are in a new, unfamiliar environment, a swaddle can also ease their anxiety by making them feel snug and secure.
If you need assistance on how to swaddle your baby using a muslin swaddle (harder than it sounds), check out this tutorial video.
If all moms had a quarter for every time they lost a binky in a public place, we would all be rich!
Sadly, you might not even realize that your baby's pacifier is missing until you're in the car on the way home and your baby is wailing. Always pack an extra pacifier in case. Plus, if the one your baby is using falls on the dirty ground, you have a back-up ready to go.
Formula and Bottle.
If you are bottle-feeding, you don't want to leave home without formula. It doesn't matter if you feed your baby as soon as you leave the house. Life may decide to test your patience that day... What if your car breaks down and you're stuck waiting for a tow for hours? Hopefully, that never happens to you, but the point is: be prepared.
What good is formula though without a bottle? You can manage this in a couple of ways...
1: You can pre-scoop formula powder into your bottles and when your baby gets hungry, fill the bottles with water to mix.
2: You can pack formula in a plastic bag with a scoop and fill the bottle when your baby needs it.
3: You can purchase travel size formula. There are even multiple types! The first type are single-serving packets, which means no plastic baggies and no measuring scoop!
The second kind is ready-to-feed formula bottles. With the ready-to-feed bottles, you don't need to add water or anything; simply shake the bottle, twist on the nipple, and use! This is nice because there's no clean-up. Be careful, however, the nipple isn't always included in a pack, so you may have to purchase it separately. (Another option would just be to pour the pre-made formula into your own personal bottles.)
Portable Changing Pad.
Most diaper bags actually come with a portable changing pad, but if not, you can buy one on its own. These expandable packs fold in and out to create a convenient, comfy place to change your baby anywhere. There will be times you find yourself somewhere without a decent place to change your baby, and the unfortunate truth is not all public restrooms are accommodating to moms and dad out there. This on-the-go kit makes it easy to lay your baby down in a more suitable and conducive environment.
If you've ever accidentally left your diaper pail open, you know the entire room stinks like baby poop or pee the next day. It's not pleasant. If you can avoid throwing away dirty diapers directly in the trash, you should. Arm and Hammer diaper bags are infused with baking soda to eliminate odors, plus if you get the clip, they are incredibly easy to dispense. When you throw diapers away using these bags, it will be like there was never even a baby there!
These bags are also helpful if your baby soils their clothing; instead of placing a wet onesie back in your purse, place the clothing in the bag and worry about clean-up when you get home without damaging anything else.
Burp Cloth or Bib.
Soak up the drool, milk, and whatever else is trickling out of your baby's mouth with a bib or a burp cloth. Bibs protect your baby from getting messy or dousing their clothing while they eat.
Burp cloths can actually double as a bib if you are bottle-feeding. Babies love a good burping, but you probably want to protect your own clothing from spit-up.
Which leads us to our next item...
Extra Shirt For Mom.
Accidents happen. Pretty much all the time when you have kids. If you're going somewhere for an entire day, I suggest bringing an extra blouse for yourself. If you want me to name the number of fluids that can end up on your shirt from your baby, let me tell you: the limit doesn't exist. This includes breastmilk.
If you're still breastfeeding, you're probably used to wearing milk pads around by now. I suggest packing an extra pair of nursing pads in case of a leakage.
For babies older than six months, bring some finger food along for when they get hungry. Gerber Cereal Puffs are a nutritious, and easy, on-the-go snack perfect for your little one. The puffs dissolve quickly, as opposed to regular cereal, which decreases your baby's chances of choking significantly. Having your child eat a snack like cereal puffs will teach them how to eat independently (with their own hands) as well as how to chew and swallow on their own. Find a kid-friendly food that they enjoy and that's easy to pack. Maybe throw in a snack for yourself as well, so you don't find yourself getting hangry at any point.
Whatever age your child is nearing, they'll require some stimulation. Rattles, teethers, plush animals, unbreakable mirrors, or fabric balls... Have something ready for your baby to play with when you leave the house. Toys are magical during a car ride and beneficial when it comes to your baby's development. Happy baby, happy parents.
First Aid Kit.
You can purchase a first aid kit that is already put together, like this one from the Red Cross, or put one together on your own. Items you should consider including are: a nasal aspirator, a thermometer, a medicine syringe, disinfectant wipes, band-aids, nail clippers, and baby Tylenol.
If you are going somewhere where you will be out in the sun, you should also pack sunscreen. Apply sunscreen generously to your baby every 2 hours.
Whether it's for mixing a bottle of formula, in your baby's personal sippy cup, or because you are feeling dehydrated, there is never a situation where water isn't important to have accessible.
You can use it to drink or to clean up messes. If you're breastfeeding, you need water even more frequently to keep up your milk supply.
Make sure you fill a water bottle up before you split!
That's our list! Of course, you should add any personal belongings that you'd like. What items do you include in your diaper bag? Let us know!
- Samantha Colandrea