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There is nothing like being out with the baby and not being prepared. Going for an outing with a baby can be a big deal especially if it is for multiple hours. You never know what you might need and in situations where you may not have the ability to buy something you need, it is even more important to be prepared for anything. Learn what to pack and how to organize your diaper bag so that you are ready when on the go with your baby!
Several years ago before I had my son, I offered to take my sick nephew to the doctor because his mom had to go to work. I went and picked him up and his mom handed me a diaper bag and the baby and we were on our way. I, very naively, did not check the bag.
We get to the doctor’s office and are waiting for about 45 minutes before we get called back. While we are in the waiting room, he starts fussing so I open up the diaper bag to get out a toy or snack to distract him. The only thing in the bag are a few diapers and some wipes. I sigh and try to just bounce and play with the fussy baby to distract him.
Luckily he took it much better than my son would have and was not too distraught until we were called back. When we get to the exam room, they tell me to take off the baby’s clothes and cover him with a blanket until the doctor came in.
Again, I cringed with embarrassment as I had no blankets to cover him with in the cool room. I left the clothing on until the doctor came in, who was annoyed that he was dressed.
The man thought I was the worst mother ever especially when he asked a bunch of questions I had no answers to.
He took pity on me when I explained I was not the boy’s mother. Still, I was mortified.
Don’t get yourself in this situation. Ever since then, I have always checked the bag and am beyond prepared when going anywhere with my son.
When leaving the house for a lengthy amount of time, this becomes even more important. This list is the same for any trip just make sure to increase the quantity for longer trips. Download this cute free Diaper Bag Checklist to be prepared for each outing with baby!
The items you need in your diaper bag for any outing:
1.) Diapers and wipes- pack at least enough diapers and wipes for a full 6-12 hours, a small tube of diaper rash cream, and 2-3 sacks or zip-lock baggies. I always keep at least 10 diapers in the bag. If something came up and you weren’t able to get home as quickly as you planned, you don’t want to run out of diapers somewhere where you cannot purchase more. Baggies come in handy not only for dirty diapers but for wet or dirty clothes as well.
2.) Bottles and Food- For newborn-12 months add 2-3 empty bottles and enough formula and infant water for at least 3 4-ounce bottles (even if you won’t need that much, it’s better to have it just in case!).
I use this portioned Formula Dispenser to save space and make it even easier! I also usually take one prepared bottle with me. When I was breastfeeding, I would put that milk in the bottle to take because it lasts longer without spoiling.
Put your infant water into a clean water bottle to save space. For older babies and toddlers, make sure to pack a sippy cup or a juice box.
For babies 4+ months, throw in a couple baby foods or snacks like these puffs or pouches. These Reusable Food Pouch are also awesome for on the go to fill with applesauce or homemade fruit and veggie purée. I throw in a spoon and bib for easy feeding and clean-up.
3.) Clothing: Pack at least 2 extra onesies or outfits, a burp cloth, and a pair of socks. You never know when you will need to change the baby’s outfit from a blow-out or from throw-up. For summertime, include a hat. For wintertime (or when going to the pediatrician) put in a small blanket.
4.) Soothing and Entertainment: I always make sure to pack at least two pacifiers in case one is dropped or lost. I also love this Pacifier Clip to help keep track of my sons’s pacifiers. For long trips, like all-day flights, I pack pacifier wipes.
I also always pack my Baby Shusher for car rides. The first two months, my son loved car rides and fell asleep easily when I was driving. After that, he just wasn’t having it. He doesn’t mind the car for the first 20-30 minutes but once he gets tired he gets very fussy. This helps soothe him so I can keep my eyes on the road.
5.) For mom: I add a small thing of hand sanitizer, a chap stick, sunglasses, my wallet and keys, a travel pack of antibacterial wipes, and a travel size container of Excedrin, and a snack like a protein bar or nuts. I also throw in eye drops for myself because I tend to get dry, itchy eyes.
If you are starting to wonder, man how does she fit all of that in her diaper bag, it’s because my Ju-Ju-Be Convertible Diaper Bag carries quite a lot. It also turns into a backpack so it’s not as hard on your shoulder.
EDIT* I recently bought this larger back-pack style bag to help me during an international flight alone with baby. I needed to fit enough gear including toys, snacks, and juice, to last a full 24 hours and it just was not going to fit in the Ju-Ju-Be. After having the bag for several weeks, I can say without hesitation that this bag is a much better investment as far as function. At around a fourth of the price, it is much less expensive, holds far more, and has even more pockets and insulated bottle pouches for organization. It also is much easier on the back when it is full. The only downside is that it cannot be converted to a shoulder bag as it is a more traditional looking back-pack.
However for our long 24 hour flight, I used my husband’s Tactical Dad Daddy on Diaper Duty backpack because it is huge and fit more than 25 diapers, 4 bottles and everything else on the list easily.
Any diaper bag will fit all of this, however, I do recommend getting a back-pack style so it is easier on your shoulders and back for long trips. I also love that with the backpack style you can easily wear your diaper bag while you are carrying your baby in a front carrier. Whichever bag you choose, make sure to get one with plenty of pockets and pouches for easy organizing.
Putting everything in the bag:
It is so important when packing any diaper bag to be incredibly organized. To get everything to fit neatly, I begin by putting my diapers in first. I fill the diaper pouches in my bag and then put extras at the bottom of the bag. Then, I put the one extra bottle and the water bottle of infant water in the bottle pouches inside the bag.
I use the outside compartments for my full bottle and for an extra bottle.
Then I start packing stuff in starting by neatly folding the extra clothes on top of the diapers. I then place my shusher and the extra bags on the sides next to the diapers. If you have any extra pockets in your bag like I do, use these to put in your smaller items like pacifiers and diaper cream. Then, you place your other items on your list like the formula and toy on top of or next to the diapers.
There are tons of pockets in my diaper bag and I use every one. The biggest compartment is for the baby and the small compartment is what I put all of my items in.
Well that is my list of diaper bag essentials so you are always prepared no matter what situation while out with the baby. Is there anything else that you have to have in your diaper bag? I’d love to here about it!
Don’t forget to download this cute Diaper Bag Checklist so you are always prepared for your day with baby!
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