Packing the diaper bag. This was a daunting task as a new parent.
“How many diapers should I bring?”
“Do I have enough outfits in case of an ‘explosion'”…and we all know what kind of explosion I’m talking about!
“Will I really need ALL of this stuff?”
“This bag is SO heavy!”
It’s tough and I’m pretty sure it took me almost the entire first year to realize that I was over packing the diaper bag and honestly never used half of it during any given trip out somewhere!
So, what DO you pack in the diaper bag?
I’ve narrowed the list down to the 15 items that I ALWAYS carry and things that come in handy and I use frequently. Hopefully it helps you, too!
- DIAPERS. This is definitely one of the most important things to remember to pack. With a newborn, we went through SO many diapers. It was inevitable that our girl would have a massive pee or poop while out. We always kept a good handful of diapers on hand and always checked/restocked before leaving the house. Now that she’s almost 2, we don’t carry nearly as many!
- Wipes– Self-explanatory. Wipes can be used not only for diaper changes, but, sticky hands, messy faces, minor spills, and other quick clean ups. We always keep a good stock of wipes in the bag.
- Changing Pad– we love our folding travel changing pad! It makes it so much easier to change the kiddo and prevents us from having to lay her on the not-so-clean public changng tables or the floor- for those places who obviously still don’t realize that people (including Dads) need to change their babies.
- Daddy Caddy*- Speaking of diaper changing Daddys, the Daddy Caddy is an awesome alternative to having to carry the diaper bag. It not only carries the essential diapers and wipes, it also has separate zippered pouches to store Dad’s essentials while out with the kiddo. It can be hung from a belt loop so Dad’s hands are free to wrangle the kiddos and he’s not stuck carrying the usually feminine diaper bag! ;) Great idea for the simple and no fuss Dads in your life!
- “Butt Cream”– Not the classiest term for diaper ointment, but, it’s our term :) Our daughter only got diaper rash a couple times (thanks to a swim diaper and again thanks to a stomach bug and the consequences of that…). Keeping an extra tube of cream in the diaper bag and using it at every changing makes our lives so much easier!
- Disposable bags for dirty diapers– not a necessity, but, super convenient when you’re out somewhere and the little one has a terrible, horrible, gag-inducing diaper. These bags typically come in scented varieties and they help trap in the stink when you have to toss them in the trash can or worst case scenario…keep it in the diaper bag until you get home.
- Kandoo Wipes*– these wipes are awesome for the potty training kiddos in your life. You can even use these wipes for quick clean-ups. They smell amazing too! We seem to use them mostly for little messes and sticky hands while out and about.
- Germbloc Hand Cream*– Let’s be honest, hand sanitizer is a mom’s best friend most days. One problem? Hand sanitizer is SO drying for our skin, let alone our kiddos’ skin! Plus, it never smells very nice. We started using GermBloc’s hand sanitizer cream and I refuse to use anything else anymore. It’s actually creamy and it smells like peppermint. It leaves no gross smell or residue after you use it. Your hands feel soft and moisturized. It’s completely alcohol free and has 7 moisturizers, 2 vitamins, and 6 botanical extracts inside. My favorite part is that you can buy them in various sizes including a super convenient travel size with a carabiner to attach to your bag. They also carry a spray which is perfect for going out to eat and spraying the table and high chair off before your kiddo rubs their hands all over it. It’s a mama necessity :)
- Snacks– Self-explanatory. Kids get hungry. Moms get hungry. Kids and moms get grumpy if hungry. Always take snacks! One of our favorite on-the-go snacks is Crunchies Freeze Dried Fruit. They come in 7 different varieties and our kiddo pretty much loves all of them (and so do we!) The most unique one is Freeze Dried Grapes…sounds strange, but, they are AMAZING. For the not-so-adventurous, they have the basics like Freeze Dried Cinnamon Apples and Bananas and Strawberries. All delicious and no weird ingredients or additives. Just the fruit, and when necessary, cinnamon. You can buy them in re-sealable pouches so they’re perfect for the diaper bag or car.
- Germ X Wipes– Okay, fine. I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for antibacterial and no germ wipes. I’m not a fanatic about it, but, I like having a variety of tools when we go places where other people are not always so clean. Germ X wipes are my favorite because they smell good, they don’t tear, they aren’t too dry or too wet, and they can wipe any gross surface you encounter.
- Light Blanket– we always carried a light blanket in the bag until just a few months ago. The light blankets are perfect for if baby falls asleep somewhere, if you want to cover up while nursing somewhere (or if baby is distracted), if you need to lay baby down somewhere that doesn’t have a changing table (just be sure to wash it ASAP when you get home), etc.
- Clothes– extra clothes for baby and at least an extra shirt for mama. When kiddos are in the infant and baby stage, it’s inevitable that you’re going to need changes of clothes. There’s no denying it. When our girl was itty bitty, I always carried extra shirts for myself in the bag too because I knew that I’d either leak breastmilk on myself or get spit up on. And, there’s just some days that you don’t feel like walking around with leaky boob marks or baby spit up on yourself.
- Extra boob pads– speaking of leaky boobs…if you’re a nursing mama, don’t forget the extra boob pads (breast pads if you want to be technical about it). During those first few months of nursing, I could fill a boob pad with milk instantly and it was not comfortable. Plus, keeping those wet pads on your nipples for too long is a breeding ground for not-so-nice things that can cause rashes, cracked nipples, thrush, and possibly mastitis.
- Dreft To Go Pen*- for those clothes that just didn’t make it without an accident, our go-to is the Dreft To Go pen. This thing is awesome. Not only is it small and compact, it helps to get rid of stains right away and keep them from setting until you can get home and wash them. Babies and kids are always messy, and now, you can maybe save that adorable, one-of-a-kind onesie instead of having to throw it away. Plus, Dreft is perfect for babies and is a little gentler on their sensitive skin and does not affect the flame-resistance capability of your baby’s sleepwear.
- Cell Phone– this is a necessity for me. Not only is it just for safety reasons in case there is an emergency, but, this is how I take the majority of my photos. Perfect for capturing photos out and about and for impromptu trips! Also, one of my new favorite things is the CardNinja pocket. It adheres to the back of your phone (or phone case) and you can fit a bunch of cards (up to 8), cash, etc. in it for quick trips. I LOVE it. I can keep all my important cards in there if we go somewhere quick or someplace that I can’t or don’t want to carry my purse/wallet. It’s stretchy and secure and the adhesive holds well. It has become a must have for me lately :)
So, now that you have our go-to’s and favorite items to keep in the diaper bag, it’s time to pack yours! My biggest tip is try not to overpack. Test out the contents of your diaper bag with a few regular trips out and see what you actually use. If you NEVER use something, it’s probably safe to take it out. Don’t forget to take things that are suitable for your own child- we don’t take little toys with us every time, but, you may have a little baby who needs something to teeth on or play with to avoid a meltdown. Tweak this list as you see fit and you’ll have an awesomely packed diaper bag!
What is your #1 MUST HAVE item to carry in the diaper bag!? Also, stay tuned for a Hospital Bag Must Haves edition ;)
*Crunchy on the Weekend sometimes receives complimentary items to review on the blog. The items marked by asterisks above are products that I have received complimentary in exchange for my HONEST review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any other factors. I decide which items I will post reviews of and I will never recommend an item that I wouldn’t use myself. My reviews are just that- my reviews. If you are unhappy with an item that I have reviewed on my blog, I will not be held liable. If you have questions, please contact me at email@example.com.