Pack Your Diaper Bag Like a Pro
It’s relatively fun and stress-free to pack the baby’s diaper bag for the first time. You layer in those adorably printed diapers, the plant-based water wipes, a sweet vintage binkie, and a cute snack that looks impossibly chic when you’re chewing it, baby on hip, smile on face, and you’re off on an adventure.
But once you’ve done it a few times and have been caught without an outfit for the kinds a massive blowout, you’ll want to be sure you have ALL the things you need before leaving the house — whether you’re heading to mom’s, the pediatrician’s office, a playdate with someone you’ve been chatting up, or even just a quick run to buybuyBABY — yep, we’re well aware of the irony.
You registered for the best diaper bag for your registry. In fact, it might be as chic as your maternity wardrobe. But when it comes to packing it, it’s more art than science (or is it the other way around?). How many swaddle blankets is too many? How many diapers?
We get it. Here at HATCH, we’re all about that baby gear and the most efficient way to use it to make you look like a sexy-smart and organized mom.
So let’s talk about efficiency here. We’re here to review the ultimate diaper bag checklist. When we’re done, you’ll be ready to strap your new baby into the car seat, toss the diaper bag in the car, and head to brunch.
What Diaper Bag Essential Staples Do I Need?
Let’s take a look at the ultimate supply list for a well-stocked diaper bag, complete with how many of each you might want to get.
Babies go through eight to 12 diapers a day. Pack one diaper for every two to three hours you’ll be gone, and of course, a few extras because you never know what life will bring you.
Babies can change diaper sizes and go through diapers quickly. Before heading out, double-check that you have enough — and the right kind. Newborn diapers might not fit for very long.
Bring wipes that are gentle on baby’s sensitive skin, like unscented and hypoallergenic wipes. You really only need a few wipes, but it’s up to you whether you want to bring an entire pack or not.
- Pro tip: if you want to conserve space, then take a few wipes out of the dispenser, and put them in a Ziplock baggie.
Diaper Rash Cream
Diaper rash cream or ointment can help prevent a diaper rash. If you’re going out for the day or a few hours, then a travel-size cream should be plenty for your little one.
A Changing Pad
Most diaper bags these days come with a changing pad, but just in case yours doesn’t, we wanted to mention it.
You might be surprised by the places you’ll end up with your baby, and it can be near impossible to change a diaper on your lap in the middle of a bustling hub of people when you don’t even have a portable changing pad on hand. Even if you’re in a spot with a changing table, a clean disposable changing pad might be nowhere to be found.
A nice sanitization isn’t just for before and after diaper changes. Clean hands are a must before pumping, breastfeeding, and formula feeding.
You might not always be in a place where there is a sink accessible, so it’s a bright idea to carry hand sanitizer. Speaking of health, you’ll want an infant first aid kit, maybe a mini one in the diaper bag, and a larger one in the car and at home.
For on-the-go days, you’ll want infant sunscreen (and sunscreen for mom, too!), band-aids, nail clippers, and emergency contact numbers.
A Nursing Cover
You don’t have to cover up, of course. But if you want some more privacy, it can be nice to have a nursing cover as an option. Plus, if the outing is super over-stimulating for babe, you can always place a cover or light blanket over the stroller to shield them from life’s chaos.
Let’s face it — you will have spills! Whether they’re burps, spit-ups, or other mystery messes, you will likely be so glad you brought burp cloths to wipe up the mess.
On the topic of cleaning up the mess, you’ll thank yourself later when you pull out a handful of ziplock or plastic bags to hold that messy towel you just used to wipe the spit-up away.
Or maybe you don’t see a trash can in sight and really don’t want to put that dirty diaper straight back into your brand-new diaper bag (we don’t blame you). Wet bags are a must-have for cloth diapers, but they can also help store that spit-up-covered bib or extra outfit that got dirty immediately.
Bottles and Feeding Supplies
Make sure you bring some bottles, bottle nipples, ready-to-feed formula, and anything else you might need (like a bottle warmer) if your little one is formula-fed.
Snacks and Water
Bring enough baby food/breast milk/formula to keep your baby satisfied for however many hours you’ll be out of the house, plus more because you never know how hungry they might be. If you’re bottle feeding, bring along formula-safe water. Older babies might be able to eat a solid food snack, but not until half a year in.
Babies can’t drink water until they’re six months old, but that’s not the same for moms or dads! Bring along a water bottle (or three) for you. Toss some snacks in that bag too.
A Change of Clothes
Again, we go back to the mess — it’s bound to happen as part of life’s adventures. Good thing you’ll be ready to take that spit-up-soaked onesie off of baby and whip out the fresh change of clean, dry clothes you brought along in your diaper bag backpack.
You might want to add extra clothes for yourself too, or at least an extra shirt. It’s no fun to spend the rest of your shopping spree or daily outing with a spit-up-covered shirt. If you’re pumping or breastfeeding, extra nursing pads can help with any leakage.
Your Phone and Wallet
A ton of new parents forget to pack their phones and wallet because they understandably leave them in their purses or everyday tote bags.
Try to reframe, and remind yourself that this stylish diaper bag is your new purse for now! Good thing you have a fashionable, super cute one, right? Remember to pack your phone and wallet in an outside pocket or a zippered pocket near the top for easy access.
A Special Something for Baby
Last but not least, don’t forget about that little surprise for babe! If you need a quick distraction or a consolation from tears, you’ll be glad you brought that blankie, teether, or pacifier.
Ready To Head Out and About
With these best tips and tricks for how to pack your diaper bag like a pro, you’ll feel ready to tackle any new outing with your baby and may even marvel at how totally seamless the outing felt.
Here are some VIP (very important packing) categories to organize your bag: