I thought it would be a good idea to put together a checklist for your diaper bag. In this very busy world that we live in today, it can be rather easy to forget to put something important, into your diaper bag. I also know that especially new Moms often don't know what is actually available, that can be really useful.
We all probably know about putting in diapers, wipes and bottles, but what else do your really need?
The Bare Basics For Your Bag
- Diapers - The number depends on how long you will be out for. A good method is to have one for every hour that you are out. If you are away for a day then allow for 8 diapers and so on.
- Wipes - Always have at least one packet of these wipes. It is amazing how quickly they disappear
- Diaper Cream - Carry at least one and always keep an eye on the date of expiry
- Bottles - Leave these behind at your own risk
- Changing Pad - comes with most good diaper bags, but if a stand alone item, try not to forget this.
- Pacifier - If your baby uses a pacifier then I would pack 3 of these, as they have a habit of disappearing into thin air.
- Change of Clothes - You never know when you will need to do this, so be prepared.
- Plastic bags for soiled diapers - You will not want these left in your bag for sure.
- Food and snacks - Depends on the age of the baby of course, but baby food, and a dish and spoon will be handy.
- Baby cup - Again depends on the age of the baby, but always good to have a non-spill one of these
- Blanket - Avoid chills and can also double up as a burp cloth, or changing mat
- Sunscreen - Easy to forget but important not to.
- Sun hat - As above, to protect the little one from the sun
- Medicines - If the baby is on a prescribed medicine then make sure it is in the bag
- Burp cloths - Think of wiping the face, cleaning up spills and other joys like this
- The Comfort Thing - Many babies have a comfort toy or blanket - leave it out at your peril
- Bibs - I recommend about three of these as again, these just seem to get used a lot
Potential Extras You Should Consider
The basic diaper bag list above is what I would term the essentials, and those that you should never go out without. There is a lot I agree, and that is why you need a bag that is large enough, and really well organized.
Below I have created another list that you could add on, depending on what you think you may need.
- Hand Sanitizer - Better to have one of these especially if there is no place to wash
- Tissues - They never go amiss
- Breast pads for nursing Moms - Handy to have in your bag
- Some small toys - Their favorite toys can avoid many tears
- First aid kit - Something small with some basics like pain relief, and creams
- Diaper covers - for those who prefer cloth diapers
- Emergency List - Telephone numbers for the paediatrician, local doctor and hospital and other contact numbers
- Teething Rings - These can be very useful when baby is starting to develop their first teeth
The Nice To Haves For Your Checklist
As the title would suggest, if you have room left in your bag, then these are some good ideas that you can opt to go for.
- Camera or Video Camera - Babies tend to perform when you least expect it, like their first smile, first steps etc
- An extra shirt or blouse for the parent - you will need that more than you think
- Hats for the baby - It is always a good idea to have one of these in your diaper bag
- Hooter Hider - A good idea if you want to maintain your privacy in public
- Snacks for the Parents - Think of traffic back ups and you will know why
This may sound like you need a suitcase rather than a simple diaper bag. You will see though that most diaper bags can easily handle the basics, and the add-ons I have listed above do not actually take up that much room. It really does depend on how long you plan to be away from the house though. If you are a Mom or Dad that goes to work, then the odds are you will be leaving your baby with either a child minder, or someone in your family.
They will need enough items in the bag to get them through the day. If however, you are at home and just taking the odd shopping trip, then you would need a lot less inside your bag. This is the real determining factor for what goes inside the bag. Small short trips on a regular basis can easily be catered for by getting a small bag, that is a lot lighter and easier to carry around.
If however you are someone who may go shopping, but perhaps also takes day trips, then it would be better to opt for a bigger bag. Hopefully you found this checklist useful and that it helps you out when it comes to making sure you have everything that you need.