The Definitive List of Diaper Bag Necessities

Diaper Bag Necessities

Diaper bags come in a variety of shapes, styles and sizes, but one thing a good diaper bag generally has is lots of compartments. That’s because the parents of infants usually travel with a collection of essentials, which need to be organized for quick and efficient access.

Halfway through changing a diaper is not the best time to be looking for that diaper cream or wondering if you remembered to bring the wipes.

Fortunately, many of these essentials can be packed and, if not needed, won’t need to be replaced every time you leave the house. What you’ll need is basically what you stock on your diaper changing station plus a few extra things.

Here’s a list of what you might like to have when taking your baby somewhere.

  • Diapers: Bring a diaper for every two hours you’ll be away, but always bring more than one, even for a simple trip to the store.
  • A diaper disposal bag. It’s also a good idea to bring a plastic bag for any soiled clothes.
  • Wipes for diaper changing and other messes.
  • Hand sanitizer for you.
  • Ointment or diaper cream.
  • A waterproof changing pad.
  • A lightweight blanket in case of sudden temperature changes.
  • An extra change of clothes or even two, depending on how long you will be away.
  • A burp cloth.
  • A bib if your baby is already eating solid food.
  • A bottle with formula or expressed breast milk.
  • A scarf or shawl for some privacy if you plan to breastfeed outside the house.
  • A wrap or sling to carry baby. Even if you have a stroller/carriage, there are places it’s handier to have baby close to you.
  • A hat
  • Sunscreen if baby is older than six months. Use of sunscreen is not advised earlier than six months, so before then, cover baby up.
  • First aid basics such as bandages or antibiotic cream.
  • An extra t-shirt for yourself just in case a messy diaper change or spit up stains your clothes.
  • For an older baby, you may want to add a sippy cup, snacks, toys and books.

Before buying a diaper bag, always try it on and imagine it weighed down with baby paraphernalia. Ideally, the bag should not be too heavy when empty and should be comfortable to carry while holding a baby.

Joan MacDonald
Joan Vos MacDonald has written about health and fitness for newspapers, magazines and websites. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the author of two books on health-related topics, "Tobacco and Nicotine Dangers," for young adults, and "High Fit Home," a design book about fitness and architecture. She lives in upstate New York near her children and grandchildren.

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