Just thinking about the things, I used to forget behind me, when leaving the house, as a first-time parent makes me cringe. So, if you ever asked the question, What to pack in diaper bag? Believe me you are not alone.
In this post I want to show you what to pack in your diaper bag, to help you avoid the mistakes I made.
As a first-time parent it’d be really challenging to work out what to pack in a baby bag and make sure you don’t leave out any essential items.
I have come up with a list of things that I feel worked really well for me as a parent and also some things I’ve researched with some great tools and tips along the way. So let’s dive right into it.
The Diaper Bag
One of the first things you want to be considering is the type of diaper bag that you’re going to choose for your lifestyle.
If you’re going to be doing more baby carrying, maybe a diaper backpack is going to be more ideal for you.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be taking your stroller out a lot more, then choosing a diaper bag that is going to fit under your pram really comfortably is something you want to consider. Also, having a bag that stands up on its own can be important to you. One that doesn’t fall over when you place it down on a solid surface.
The look of the bag is also really important because wherever you and your baby go, your diaper bag will go as well.
So thinking about a baby bag that you like the look of is always better. Having said this, the most important aspect will be that your diaper bag has enough compartments and lots of practical features that will be really useful for you every day use.
Remember once again, this bag is going everywhere you go.
Check out my list of the best diaper bags I found on the market.
What to pack in diaper bag
One of the first things we’re going to pack is diapers. After all, there’s a reason they’re call diaper bags, or nappy bags.
The rule of thumb with diapers is that you typically choose to pack one diaper for every hour that you’re going to be out and add a few emergency diapers.
So, for example, if I’m going to be out for two hours, I will pack two diapers plus I’ll have two to three diapers as emergencies in my diaper bag.
If you’re using reusable diapers, you want to make sure you’ve got enough liners packed in your bag. In this case you will also need a resealable bag to put those liners in to take home and wash.
Diaper Rash Cream and Baby Wipes
Another essential item you need to pack in your diaper bag is the diaper rash cream.
A small sized diaper rash cream is usually enough for a diaper bag because you don’t want to have something that’s too big, heavy and cumbersome to carry around.
Similarly if you’re choosing baby wipes just a small travel pack may be okay for you because you don’t want to have again too much weight in your bag.
Change of Clothes
One to two sets of clean clothes is typically fine. I always keep a couple of onesies in my diaper bag.
Onesies are great just for newborns, for most of the year. In those hot seasons, your toddler will be wearing something lighter outside, however you will be going into an air-conditioned environment a lot of the time probably, so carrying something like a onesie for a newborn is ideal
If you’re going out into hotter or colder weather than obviously choose something that’s appropriate for the season.
Make sure that whenever you are packing your diaper bag you have an appropriate outfit change or change of clothes for your little one depending on their age and the seasons.
This is therefore something you’re going to have to rotate quite regularly.
Tip: restock your diaper bag with emergency diapers and outfits as soon as possible once you get back home. This ensures you’re you’re not left without some vital things like diapers and changes of clothes when you do go out next. Especially if you need to leave the house in a hurry.
Next on our list of diaper bag essentials is the change pad.
Some diaper bags have a built in change pad. For the ones that don’t however, you need to make sure you’ve got a change pad in there.
Tissues always come in handy, so a small travel pack of tissues is a great idea.
I pack around three toys in my diaper bag. I carry a comforter, a teether and a rattle.
Packing some toys in your diaper bag is always a good idea. Particularly if your baby always sleeps with the same comforter. Making sure you’ve got that in your diaper bag is really important. As the baby grows, having something to entertain and to rattle or keep them occupied is always needed.
You want to pack two to three bibs in your baby bag. A lot of people think that you don’t need to use a bib until a baby is eating solid food but I actually believe that it’s great to have a bib from birth because they’re going to spit up a bit of milk, or some milk might come out when you feed them.
Having a bib while feeding, will prevent lots of changes of clothes.
Some bibs have toweling on the backs which double as a face washer.
Tip: anytime you’re packing anything in your diaper bag, think about things that can double as something else.
One hat is typically fine for your outing. So one hat in the diaper bag depending on the season. I usually pack a so a Summer hat for the hot season and a beanie for winter time. Then maybe just a traditional knot hat just for every other day because babies do tend to lose most heat through the top of their head and through their face so it is really important to always have a hat in your baby bag.
An organic cotton cardigan is typically fine.
A cardigan is definitely a must-have because babies are not very good to regulate their temperature for the first 12 months. It’s therefore really important to have those layering pieces just to keep them really comfortable and warm.
Any clothing items that covers the chest and torso area is definitely recommend.
Swaddle blankets and/or Muslin wraps
I pack two muslin wraps in my diaper bag and a swaddle blanket. These are great for a number of uses, swaddling your baby, as a makeshift burp cloth, used for a bit of shade when you’re feeding etc.
There’s plenty of uses for these muslin wraps because these can also be folded over and used as a makeshift sheet to put on the baby if the day turns chilly.
Muslin wraps can be used to mop up any spills, or to keep you cool on a hot day. You can moisten them and put them on the back of your neck or your baby’s neck just to keep them cool.
The swaddle blanket is great also as a burp cloth, maybe even better than the muslin because they’re a bit thicker and these can obviously be used for swaddling.
Swaddle blankets are best for the cooler days and also great as a makeshift blanket.
If you’ve got your baby on the carrier in front of you, then you can tuck the swaddle blanket around the baby to keep them a bit more snug.
These can also be used as a makeshift change mat if you do forget your change pad, or if you need an extra one.
The swaddle blanket can also be used as a play mat. Just lay it out somewhere so you’ve got a nice clean space to put the baby down.
Since the swaddle blanket can be used for lots of different things, in wintertime you might need to pack two or more.
Travel sized emergency first aid kit
The first aid kit is always essential. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it but it’s always good to have with you at all times. You never know what might happen when you’re out and about.
Another thing to pack in your diaper back are pacifiers. I pack two or three pacifiers in mine. There’s a good chance that one falls on the ground, or gets lost.
If you are breastfeeding you might want to pack some breast pads, nipple shields, etc
Pack, whatever you’re using at home to feed the baby if you’re using bottles then make sure sure that you bring enough bottles with formula and maybe a thermos to keep the water at the right temperature.
Other essential items
- A water bottle
- Your mobile phone
- A Power bank to recharge your phone. If you’re out and about with your little one, you want to make sure that you’ve always got a charged phone so you can make phone calls when needed.
- Hand cream
I’m sure there are plenty of other things that you might want to pack into your diaper bag, but keep in mind that you don’t want it to be too heavy and bulky.
These are a few of my recommendations. I hope this has been useful and helpful for you. Please share with us any other essential items you keep in your diaper bag, by leaving a comment below.