When you go out for those first few excursions with a new baby, you pack the entire nursery and then some. But even then, there were times I didn’t have what I needed. After 17 months, I’ve learned what I REALLY need in my diaper bag and what I was carrying around as dead weight. It’s all trial and error to find what works best for you, but here are my helpful tips that I’ve learned along the way! (And if you need tips for your hospital bag, we’ve got that right here.)
What’s In My Diaper Bag
1. My wallet and car keys. Of course!
2. A changing pad. I realize a lot of places have disposable pad covers but not always. These take up little room, and I keep it in the bottom just in case.
3. Diapers. The magic number for me has been three. If I only have two, I’ve always been one short on those long days out.
4. Reusable travel case of wipes. I have given up on also keeping Boogie Wipes and realize these do the same thing, without the scent.
5. A kid-sized fork and spoon. Most restaurants don’t have kids’ sizes available, and lately I have been encouraging my son to use silverware and not his hands.
6. Disposable diaper trash bags. These are just like dog-waste bags. I always feel bad throwing away a stinky diaper at someone’s house, yet I don’t want to keep a stinky in my bag either. These bags keep the smell contained, and you won’t feel bad about tossing it in your friend’s trash can!
7. Makeup bag of my personal items. Every woman has her little black bag of necessities. Mine also happens to include butt paste, healing ointment and baby sunblock.
8. Kleenex travel pack. My Grandma always said sniffling isn’t ladylike. I’ve had a pack of Kleenex in my bag since first grade, I’m sure!
9. A small book and two Little People. Have you heard of Little People? Evan has all the action heroes, but they make princesses, too! I don’t know how these keep him entertained, but they never fail us! Evan doesn’t mind reading a book over and over and Dr. Seuss’s little travel books are genius.
10. Children’s Advil. We are going strong with teething. I left home without it once and have never made that mistake again!
11. Snacks. Leaving the house without a snack has been proven to be disastrous. On my way out for the day I always grab a CamelBak full of ice water and a few snacks. Packages of applesauce are handy and so are cheese sticks! Remember those Flapjack leftovers I told you about? Those are great to toast up and take in a baggie for a snack.
My last helpful packing tip: Remember you don’t have to keep everything in the bag. I keep a blanket and a few toys and books in the car so I don’t have to carry so much in my bag. You can also store stuff in the stroller if needed!
What have you learned to never leave home without? What’s in your diaper bag? —Jennifer