As a brand new mom, or soon to be a brand new mom, one of the questions you’re probably asking yourself is, what on earth do I put in my diaper bag? This task is almost as stressful as packing your hospital bag, isn’t it?
It’s no secret that a well-packed, well-stocked diaper bag can be a huge lifesaver, but at the end of the day, what do you really need in there? I think we all know the basics, diapers, wipes, changing pad, etc. but there are so many other things that you’re probably not thinking about. In this post, I’ve broken the sections out as follows:
- Diaper Bag Essentials For Babies
- Diaper Bag Essentials For Moms
- Other Diaper Bag Essentials
- Diaper Bag Tips & Ideas
- Diaper Bag Brands
I hope that by the time you get to the end, you feel confident and ready to whip your diaper bag into shape… before baby gets here.
Diaper Bag Essentials For Baby
- Diapers - Diapers are one of the most important things you need to pack in your diaper bag. A general rule of thumb is that you will need one diaper for every hour that you’ll be out and about. Plus a few extras, just in case there’s a blowout, or two, or three.
- Wipes - Wipes are also essential for a diaper bag. You should start by sticking 15-20 in a plastic baggie. Pro tip: Wipes are not only good for changing diapers, but for sticky hands and dirty surfaces.
- Changing Pad - The beautiful thing about many modern diaper bags is that they come with a matching, reusable changing pads. You can also buy them separately or purchase disposable pads.
- Extra Outfit - Packing extra baby clothes is a no brainer. It’s very easy for your baby to fill up their diaper with pee or have a blowout. One pair of clothes is vital. If you can fit another pair in, that would be ideal. Our knotted baby gowns are a perfect extra outfit to keep in your diaper bag. They are small and lightweight.
- Pacifier - For babies old enough to take a pacifier, keeping a few of these on hand can be very helpful to soothe fussy babies.
- Blanket - Blankets are one of the most versatile things you can pack in your diaper bag. You can use it to keep your baby warm, as a nursing cover, a burp cloth, shade, etc.
- Bottle(s) of Formula/Breast Milk - If you are bottle feeding, keeping at least one bottle, maybe more of formula or breast milk will help you keep your baby’s feedings on schedule.
- Diaper Rash Cream - Lastly, you’ll want to keep some diaper rash cream in your diaper bag. Many moms opt for travel size bottles because they take up less space.
Diaper Bag Essentials For Mom
- Wallet - Many new moms forget that when they have babies, their purses turn into diaper bags. Making sure to move your wallet from your purse to your bag is critical for a new mom.
- Keys - Along the same lines, make sure you move your home and car keys to your new diaper bag.
- Snacks, Mints, or Gum - You should always have some snacks, minds or gum on hand for when you just need a little something.
- Drink - One thing that a lot of new moms complain about is always being thirsty. You should also keep a bottle of water or a beverage of choice (Diet Coke) in your bag.
- Reading Material - If you ever find that you have a free moment, you might consider keeping some reading material in your bag. Some moms keep magazines, books, or kindles close by.
- New Shirt - Similar to a change of clothes for baby, you’ll probably want to keep a clean shirt in your diaper bag in case of spit-up or an accident.
- Nursing Cover - If you’re not planning on using the blanket you stashed away as a nursing cover, you might want to include one so you can comfortably breastfeed in public.
- Breast Pads - Let’s face it, if you’re breastfeeding, your boobs are gonna leak. Make sure to keep at least three sets of pads in your diaper bag at all times. You might want to keep more depending on if you leak more than the average mom.
Other Diaper Bag Essentials
- Hand Sanitizer - You’ll quickly learn that changing a dirty diaper can happen at any time and in any place. Making sure to have a full, travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer is a must for cleaning your hands when there’s no place to wash them.
- Plastic or Wet Bags - These are great for storing soiled diapers (especially if you’re doing cloth diapers), wet/soiled clothes and dirty baby blankets.
- First-aid Kit - This one might be a little overkill, but lots of moms keep a small first aid kit in their bags in case of an emergency. These include bandages, antibiotic cream, pain reliever and other easy to pack supplies.
- Sunscreen - If you’re out and about on a very sunny day, it’s always a good idea to have some sunscreen on hand. Baby's skin can burn very easily, so making sure to apply every few hours is a must.
- Tissues - When babies get colds, their noses will run and get very sore, very quickly. Make sure to pack some aloe-infused tissues that will be gentle on little noses.
- Emergency Information - Make sure that you have the phone numbers of your doctors programmed into your phones and that you have your health insurance cards in your wallet. You might also consider creating and printing out a list of emergency contacts that you can put in your wallet or in a pocket of your diaper bag.
Diaper Bag Tips & Ideas
- Waterproof Lining - Some diaper bags come with waterproof lining which, as you can imagine, makes life a little bit easier when things spill… and spill they will.
- Compartments - Make sure to choose a diaper bag with multiple compartments. Having many compartments will help you keep all of your items organized and very easy to find.
- Pack Items Together - Save time and find things more easily if you take some time to pack similar items together in a resealable bag.
- Leak Prevention - Prevent leaks by packing medicine, snacks, and bottles in resealable plastic bags.
- Two Diaper Bags - This is a popular mom hack, you might consider purchasing two diaper bags, a small one for quick trips and a bigger one for longer trips. Some moms even keep a diaper bag full of baby changing supplies in the car to make sure they never run out.
- Look Outside of Traditional Bags - If you struggle to find a diaper bag, you might want to broaden your search to other bags that serve other purposes such as a tote bag or backpack. It’s important to remember that not all diaper bags will fit your taste and style, so keep your mind open.
Diaper Bag Brands
As mentioned above, there are lots of different diaper bag brands that fit different styles. Some of the more popular diaper bag brands are listed below. We plan on putting together a full write up on the different types of diaper bag brands highlighting pros and cons to help you in the search for the best bag for you.
- Freshly Picked Classic Diaper Bag
- The Hatch (Anti) Diaper Bag
- Mory June Moses Bag
- Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag
- Fawn Design Original Diaper Bag
- The Honest Co. Everything Tote
- JuJuBe B.F.F Queen of The Nile Diaper Bag
- Mokaloo Diaper Backpack
I hope that this post has been helpful and you’ve been able to put together your own list of diaper bag essentials for your newborn. If you have any other ideas or tips, please feel free to comment below.