Your diaper bag is going to be your best friend for the next few years. It will house everything – and the kitchen sink – that you will need to care for your newborn baby.
It will be like a literal extension of your home when you’re out and about. Bringing your baby with you means bringing everything that they may possibly need: from milk bottles to a change of clothes. Your diaper bag is not just a bag. It is your tool to effectively look out for your baby’s well-being.
There are a lot of checklists you can use to put together a complete diaper bag for road trips and plane rides. We even put together a packing list for your hospital bag. But what should you pack in your diaper bag for daily use?
The Ideal Diaper Bag
You do not need to buy an expensive bag for your diaper bag. If you have a large bag with several spacious compartments, you can repurpose it and turn it into a diaper bag. Just make sure that it is sturdy and comfortable to bring along wherever you go.
If you are still planning on buying a new diaper bag, though, here are the things that you need to check:
- Compartments: It is very useful to look for a bag with several compartments. With compartments, you can organize your baby’s stuff and maybe some of yours, too. Then, it will take you less time to find what you are looking for.
- Insulated pockets: You will also be needing an insulated pocket or two to keep your milk bottles and water bottles at the right temperature.
- Storage space: Your diaper bag will contain a lot of things, so choosing a bag with ample capacity is a must.
- Waterproof material: Accidents, like milk spills and diaper leaks, are bound to happen. Reduce the amount of work you have to do by getting a diaper bag that is waterproof and easy to clean.
- Portability: Finally, make sure that your diaper bag is easy to carry around. Get one that is lightweight and has padded straps. Whether you choose a backpack or tote, for example, is all up to you.
Now that you have the perfect diaper bag, let’s talk about what should go inside it.
12 Things to Pack in Your Everyday Diaper Bag
Let’s begin with the basics.
1. Extra diapers: 1 for every 2 hours
You can never ever forget the diapers. Because newborn babies wet their diapers often, a good rule of thumb to follow is one piece of diaper for every 2 hours that you are away from home. For example, if you estimate that you will be out for 4 hours, then you should have 2 diapers inside your bag (plus one extra for emergencies).
2. Travel-size case of wipes
Get the small size for portability and to save precious storage space inside your diaper bag. Just remember to always check the content of the case and replace it with a new one if you are almost out of wipes.
3. Portable changing pad
Many diaper bags come with a changing pad as an accessory. If you bag doesn’t have it, or if you prefer a larger one, choose a changing pad that is lightweight, waterproof, and easy to fold.
4. Toiletries like a diaper rash cream, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer
You can save money by using the same bottles of toiletries that you already use, but there is a risk of forgetting them home (hello, mom brain!). To avoid this, get the travel-size versions of your toiletries, put them inside your diaper bag, and leave them there.
5. Disposal bags
Whether you use plastic bags or cloth bags, there should always be some sort of disposal option for your baby’s soiled diapers. You can also use these bags to store dirty clothes, wet clothes, and more.
You can never have too many washcloths! You can use them to wipe spit ups, milk spills, and – in a pinch – your baby’s bum.
7. Expressed milk and/or formula
If your baby breastfeeds, there will be times when it’s uncomfortable to nurse outside (for example, a wedding). On these days, prepare a bottle of expressed milk – the number of bottles will depend on how long you will be out.
If your baby formula-feeds, you will have to bring with you several milk bottles. One will be for already prepared milk (for immediate consumption) and the other one will only have sterilized water. Store your measured formula powder in a separate container to avoid spoilage.
8. Baby blanket
The weather can be unpredictable, and a sunny day can turn gloomy in a matter of hours, so don’t forget to bring your baby blanket. Then again, whether it is sunny or chilly, you baby can always use a blanket! Choose one that is made of cotton and is lightweight and breathable.
9. At least two sets of clothes
If you have a newborn baby in tow, you can predict that you are going to need to change their clothes every now and then. Newborn babies can be messy for many reasons, and you should be ready with at least two extra sets of clothes – or more, depending on your baby.
10. Your own change of clothes
Diaper blowouts can happen anytime, and sometimes, part of the collateral damage are your own clothes. Don’t be caught outside with sour milk on your shoulder by taking an extra shirt or two with you.
11. A toy or a book
Keep your newborn baby entertained with a favorite toy or a cloth book. Choose something small enough to fit into your bag without taking too much space. It’s best to bring plush toys that don’t have plastic parts that can be broken.
12. Your personal necessities
Finally, don’t forget about your own stuff! If you don’t feel like bringing another bag for your personal belongings, you can totally put them inside the diaper bag. Reserve a compartment just for your wallet, phone, keys, and other necessities.
And now you are set to enjoy a much-deserved day out with your newborn baby!