What to Keep in Your Baby's Diaper Bag
By Staff Writer
Baby Diaper Bag Basics
When you're a parent on the go with your baby, you may sometimes feel like you need a Sherpa to carry everything your little one needs. Although a Sherpa might be nice, all you really need is a little planning. Here are some diaper bag essentials, to help make leaving the house a grab-and-go experience, rather than a time-consuming ordeal.
They call it a diaper bag for a reason, so be sure to pack plenty. If your baby is an infant and needs to be changed frequently, pack one diaper for every hour you're planning on being out of the house and a few extras for just-in-case emergencies. It's better to have too many than not enough.1, 2, 3
You'll need these to clean up baby's bottom and also for messy faces and hands. Be sure to throw a travel-size pack of wipes in your diaper bag, and it couldn't hurt to keep a package in your car, too. You can also store baby wipes in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to keep them moist.1, 2, 3
Foldaway Changing Pad
If your baby's diaper bag doesn't come with a folding changing pad, be sure to get one to keep in the bag. You'll often find yourself changing your baby's diaper in a place that you won't necessarily want to put him or her down. Be sure you get one that's water-resistant, so cleanup's a snap.1, 2, 3
You baby will have a more comfortable outing if you always have a tube of diaper rash cream on hand. Be sure to keep some in baby's diaper bag to soothe flare-ups.1, 3
You should always pack a bib in your baby bag to keep clothes clean.1
You'll want to have burp cloths on hand for burping baby and to clean spit-up and other cleanups. You can also use them as padding if you need to change your baby on a rough surface.1, 3
Another handy item to keep in your baby's diaper bag is a receiving blanket. It can keep baby warm if there's a chill in the air or if it's windy out, or for when your baby needs to lie down or nap.1, 2
You may find yourself somewhere you can't dispose of dirty diapers. Use zipper bags to keep soiled diapers and clothing and keep other items in your diaper bag dry.2, 3
You may not always need them, but when you do it's crucial and you'll be glad you have something clean and dry to change your baby into while you're out. Don't forget to pack an extra pair of socks, too.1, 2, 3
Hat and Sunscreen
If it's going to be sunny or you live in a place that's sunny year-round, always pack a hat in your bag to protect him or her from harmful rays and sunburn. If your baby is old enough to wear sunscreen, be sure to keep some of that in the diaper bag, too.1, 2
If your baby is formula-fed, you'll need to pack bottles and extra formula.1 If your baby is eating solid foods, pack snacks, baby food, spoons and bowls in the diaper bag.2, 3
It's important to keep several pacifiers around at all times. You can store them in a plastic bag so they'll stay clean.1, 2
A rattle or a favorite toy can be a lifesaver when you're running around town with your baby. Waiting in long lines or for a doctor's appointment can give your baby a boredom-related meltdown, so it's good to pack something comforting or distracting.3
If you use acetaminophen or ibuprofen for your baby, it's a good idea to keep some of these pain relievers on hand. They're especially good for after a doctor's visit or if your baby needs pain relief from teething.3, 4
Don't Forget About You
You may be so busy packing your baby's diaper bag that you forget about yourself. Bring an antibacterial gel to clean your hands after you've changed your baby's diaper, water and a snack in case you don't have time for a meal. Packing your baby's diaper bag with extra things for mom or dad can make taking your baby out for the afternoon a lot more pleasant.3
To make things even easier, print out a checklist of items you need, It'll come in handy for those times when you're too tired or rushed to remember what you should pack.
1. "Baby Sunscreen Q&A," updated June 20, 2010; accessed September 4, 2012, http://pediatrics.about.com/od/weeklyquestion/a/baby_sunscreen.htm.
2. "Acetaminophen: Topic Overview," last updated November 11, 2011, accessed September 4, 2012, http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/acetaminophen-topic-overview.