Many moms over pack their diaper bag every time they leave the house. While some moms simply throw a diaper in their purse and head out the door. After three kids, I’ve learned exactly what is needed in a diaper bag, and what is just nice to have.
The main concern is having enough. You don’t want to run out of diapers, or have a hungry baby and no more formula. Before you can pack your diaper bag, you need to consider where you’ll be going and how long you’ll be out. If you’re going to the store, you ma want to prefill the bottle with water, so you can just add the formula when it’s time to eat. But if you’re going to someone’s house, you will have easy access to water. If you’re only going out for an hour, one or two diapers will suffice, while a day at the beach may require a few more. Once you know where you’re going and for how long, you know how much of everything you need.
Babies go through at least one diaper every hour, while toddlers can go a little longer. Consider how often you change your child at home, and pack accordingly. The obvious essentials to pack are diapers, wipes, bottle or cup, formula/breast milk/juice, and a change of clothes. If your baby has started solids, some baby food, a spoon, or even finger foods for a toddler.
I always pack some just-in-case things, since babies are unpredictable. If your baby drools or spits up a lot, an extra bib or two may be needed. If your child is a heavy wetter or messy eater, perhaps a second change of clothes. I always pack a mini first aid kit, including Tylenol, a band-aid, teething gel or tablets if needed, a pacifier, diaper cream, and bug-bite relief if we’ll be outside. A small toy or rattle can come in handy for long visits or car rides. If it is chilly, or will be later in the evening, a light jacket or blanket might be nice.
If you don’t like carrying a separate bag for your own things, you may want to throw in a bottle of water, car keys, wallet and maybe a snack for you. If you have older children, a snack or toy for them is helpful. Don’t feel like you have to pack the entire nursery. You don’t need full size bottles of baby lotion, a brush/comb, four outfits, five different toys, and an entire box of wipes. You don’t need a suitcase for a diaper bag. Just know what you absolutely need, and a few just-in-case items. Unless you are traveling in the snow, in a deserted area, and get flat tire with no cell service, you will return home soon! You don’t have to stuff the bag to the brim to have all you need.