What’s in Your Diaper Bag?
Ok, so its a big day out on the town with your little one. You have a day at the Aquarium Planned, or a walk around Stanley Park.. or even just a full day of grocery shopping and a playdate. It is time to get packing and get yourself sorted so that stress during the day is taken down a notch! And as you get out there on your day you never know what will happen, so it is best to be prepared!
But do remember to have a set of everything for your diaper bag and one for home… to avoid those cursing moments when you borrowed a soother from your bag or that much needed toy is MIA!
So lets not sweat the small stuff and get down to the basics.
First and Foremost you NEED a Great Diaper Bag.
With so many on the market, it is hard to choose which one! The better sorted you are, the less panic you will have when baby is crying and are standing in a busy parking lot.
- Pockets are important to keep your things sorted and not a big pouch full of stress as you are searching for a soother.
- A cell phone pocket
- A key ring clip.
- Somewhere to hold a mini wallet with your cards and cash
Bag Packing Basics 101
You need to also keep in mind; what is in your bag depends on how old your baby is and if you are on the boob or bottle. Lets take a look at the basics and work from there:
- Diapers: A least 4 diapers that fit your baby. If you are using washables, be sure to pack a wet dry bag!
- A wipe container or pack with at least 12 wipes in it. Wet clean-ups take one wipe, but a blowout can use up to 6 to recover. You will also use these for wiping your own hand if you aren’t in a washroom. ** Buy Refill packs at home and use this for your home container and your ‘on the go’ container.
- A sample-sized container of bum cream. You can pick up a new travel sized container of cream or Vaseline and refill this as needed. There are many great brands that also sell sample sized including Lovey’s Tushi Stick and Dimpleskins.
- A waterproofed changing pad. This is mandatory for those changes on the go… and anywhere. This will allow you to change on the floor at a friends, in the back of your car or on a bathroom change table. Most diaper bags come with these but trying to get one that is a bit bigger is great for when you little mover grows bigger and you are struggling to contain the mess.
- One clean change of clothes for those unexpected emergencies. Explosive diapers and spit ups can turn the day around in a hurry if you have forgot to pack the basics. Diaper bag should contain a full change of clothes, including socks. Make sure they are weather appropriate, and are the correct size for your growing baby! (Recommended: Onsie, sweatpants, sweater, socks and a hat)
- At least 2 empty Ziplock plastic baggie. If you have an diaper explosion with dirty clothes or a leaky bottle in your bag you will be so happy you have one of these. These are also good for dirty diapers if there are no garbage cans nearby and you want to seal the smell. Grocery bags also work, and are great for the budget.
- A burp cloth. No matter whether your baby is breastfed, or bottle fed, burp cloths are the perfect clean-up tool for baby spit up. You can buy specialty burp cloths, or if you can find flat prefold cloth diapers, they make excellent burps cloths. A good burp cloth may cost a bit, but having absorbency is worth the price.
- A flannel receiving blanket is fantastic for tummy time, playtime, coverups for breastfeeding or cuddle up if in a cooler room. Worst case scenario you will also have a back up for big cleanups. Once you learn the art of a breastfeeding cover-up you will never forget to pack one!
Breastfed Diaper Bag VS Formula Fed Diaper Bag
Our basics are now packed and that may seem like you are covered; but there are a few more things to make for a successful day out with the . While it might seem like a lot at first glance, you can in fact fit all of this into a small diaper bag without much fuss. For breastfed babies life is much simpler and this may cover it. But, for bottle fed babies you need to pack a few extras items to cover it all.
- Enough bottles of formula or pumped milk (remember that this milk expires quickly) for the time you plan to be out + 1. You never know if the days event may take longer, so be prepared just in case you hit traffic or end up loosing track of time. Bringing pre-made bottles is a great way to avoid preparation stress or packing too many things.
- Reusable bottles have safe tops that will prevent spillage which traveling. Drop-ins are another way to transport formula portioned into each bottle and avoiding taking up too much room.
- All you need to pack is a couple bottles of water to add to the formula on the go.
- Enough bottle tops and nipples for the formula you have brought. If you have packed those zip-lock baggies, you can keep the sterile nipples in one bag, and the used ones nipples and other items in another. Also note that you can get a cup of boiling water at a coffee shop and sterilize a nipple in a jam!
- If you are portioning out breast milk into bottles or formula, pack a frozen ice-pack to keep them cold. (Hint: Keep a few ready in the freezer, and maybe pickup a mini lined lunch kit to keep these separate in your bag. You can buy a few ice packs from the dollar store and exchange them as necessary.
- If you are using pre-mixed insert formula or bottles or pre-pumped breast milk be sure that it is coffee cup friendly. When you are out and about, you might not be able to easily heat your baby’s formula. Most restaurants and coffee shops will provide hot water to heat your baby’s bottle, and with a cup to put it in, you can drop it in for a quick heat up. If you are concerned about this you may want to pack a mini thermos with hot water to warm up milk on the go.
What Do I Do if we Started Solids?
The older your baby is, the more they will need! If your baby is eating solids you are going to need to pack for this. Try packing the following items in your diaper bag for older babies.
- If you are making food at home or your baby is eating what you eat when out; it is always great to pack something just for them. You never know what will be baby/toddler appropriate. You also will avoid spending $8 on a yogurt and fruit that you have no interest in finishing off. I loved freezing foods in my icecube container and grabbing a few Risotto cubes and fruit for a quick meal on the go.
- Snack food. If your baby likes to feed himself, you might want to bring along a couple of other snacks so he can feed himself. Try to find things that are less messy if you can, but as long as your baby likes it, bring it along. I know feeding isnt the solution to all but a container filled with cherrios, grated cheese, rice cakes, frozen blue berries (to defrost on the go) can make a fussy moment turn into a good one. Be sure to read the ingredients on your snack bars, mum-mums and other snacks; many of these are filled with sugar and have no value… so go for the good stuff!
- A bib. Plastic bibs are the best for rinsing and putting back in a zip-lock baggie for those messy bibs after feeding. Ikea makes a fantastic full sleeved version that comes in a pack of two that I swear by!
- Extra wipes. There’s nothing better than diaper wipes for quick clean-ups after feeding. Bring along some extra wipes in your travel pack, so you can clean up your baby’s grubby face when he’s done eating.
- A toy or a touchy feely book with a clip is great as you can clip them onto the strap of your diaper bag, thus freeing up space inside. I also love throwing in a few ‘Little People’ or fidgety toy such as the O-Ball or the Skwish to keep them busy.
- Mini Hand Sanitizer for momma and table
- Spoon for feeding. You can buy an expensive carry container or you can pack this in a toothbrush travel container.
Do You Still Have Room??
Ok so you are almost full to the top and here are a few ‘bonus’ items to make things just that much easier!
- A comfort item. My son would not go anywhere without his Sleep Gentle Giraffe. I bought a mini one that would clip onto our bag. Great for the car to turn on for sleep time or just for playing music when he was bored.
- A few pacifiers with covers or in a baggie incase they get tossed out of the stroller or dropped on the ground.
- A fork for mashing up foods on the go.
- A nursing cover-up if you are not comfortable with the coverage of a receiving blanket alone.
- I still keep a pouch in my bag with coupons for the everyday basics you may need when stopping into the grocery store.
Have I missed anything? What is your tip for on the go packing?