When I was pregnant with my first child, I excitedly read pregnancy and parenting magazines and took notes of the suggested essentials. The ability to leave the house in a hurry meant always having a diaper bag ready. However, in the midst of rushing I always felt like I was leaving something behind.
My diaper bag was filled with lots of things for the “just-in-case” situations. Even if my baby was healthy I had Tylenol, gas drops, two or three outfits… you get the picture. My bag had everything but the kitchen sink. Oh, and the bag itself was not designed to be an actual diaper bag, so it meant that everything was completely disorganized.
Of course, things have changed in 6 years and many things (including myself) have come a long way. I no longer worry about running out of something; the truth is that I can always get what I need when I go out.
Here are my diaper bag essential tips and recommendations:
- Select a good diaper bag. Make sure the bag also matches your style. I currently have a little bee backpack my son was gifted because I really want a Glamajama bag. You’ll want a bag that not only holds your essentials but has a convenient and accessible place for your cell phone, wallet and keys.
- Wipes. It may seem obvious but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the house without them! I now have wipes in the diaper bag and in the car. My favorite wipes are Water Wipes because they are 99.9% water. Have you ever seen the ingredients listed on the other wipes? No thank you.
- Diapers. Disposables or cloth? I use both. I’ll bring cloth diapers and a wet bag if I have baby G with me at all times. If someone else is going to be caring for him, I’ll bring disposables. But seriously, it’s not that difficult to do cloth on the go if you use gDiapers. Want to learn more? Visit the Nappy Shoppe. Sharni has been amazing at sorting out the cloth 101.
- Feeding essentials. If you are nursing then the baby’s food supply comes with you; but if you are supplementing or formula feeding, then you’ll need a bottle and formula. I always pre-fill my bottles with water at home and pre-measure the formula. I like the all-in-one bottle from Similac. I also include a larger big so I don’t need a burp cloth -I just put it over my shoulder.
- A change of clothes. I usually bring a one piece oufit in the bag for the emergency change of clothes. Who needs bulk in your bag?
- Other miscellaneous items you might need. I only bring medication if my baby is sick. Teething toy and Orajel are in a zip bag and perhaps a snack for the baby (when they are older).
- Thin cotton blanket. This is one of the most versatile items you’ll carry with you. It can be used to cover-up if you are nursing, swaddle the baby, keep him warm in cold air conditioned stores, as a shade cover over the stroller canopy and a barrier to change the baby anywhere (I don’t use those thick changing pads, they take up too much room!)
The key to making a quick exit out the door is to have the diaper bag ready to go. The easiest way is to replace the items you used when you get home or any other time but when you are rushing out.
What are some of your favorite diaper bag items that you can’t live without?