New Mommy's Guide to Diaper Bag Essentials
by Christina Brown
When you're a new mom, something as simple as packing your baby's first diaper bag can be cause for anxiety. Trust me, I've been there. The whole point of packing a diaper bag for baby when you're ready to take them on the go is not just to have spare diapers but to make sure you're prepared for anything. Whether it's a blowout diaper, a cold restaurant or a hungry baby - here is my new mommy's guide to diaper bag essentials. These are the twelve basic items you need to be prepared while you're out of the house:
- Diapers - That's the whole point right? I would suggest packing 1 for every hour you'll be out of the house with baby. You can pack less and less of them as baby gets older and starts to make less wet/dirty diapers. For the first 6 months, opt for one every hour to be safe.
- Wipes - You'll want these on hand not just for diaper changes but also for accidental spills, messy feedings and sticky hands. I typically also carry a mini bottle of antibacterial hand sanitizer just in case.
- Portable Changing Pad - I get so much anxiety about changing my baby in public. Admittedly I'm a germaphobe (most new mommies are), so I always carry my own portable changing pad for public restroom runs or backseat diaper changes in the car.
- Ointment/Diaper Cream - Protecting baby from diaper rash is a round-the-clock endeavor, so I don't leave home without this. Also, the right ointment can double as an emergency first aid salve for cuts & bruises (especially helpful for my 3 year old)
- Bottles - This is a must! I always have one bottle ready to go with milk at room temperature and another empty, clean bottle for feedings later on. If you're exclusively nursing, you may not need these but for those like me who typically nurse and pump - bottles are a must.
- Water - This a necessity especially for formula feeding mamas, but also for breastfeeding moms. When you nurse, you tend to get dehydrated easily. You should always have a bottle of filtered water with you.
- Breastmilk/Formula - Don't leave home without baby's food! Breastfeeding mamas, have at least one bottle's worth of expressed milk with you (defrosted). If you formula feed, you should have small containers with pre-packed dry formula to mix into water on the go.
- Bibs - Pack 1-2 of these for feedings, eating at restaurants and just to clean up little messes on the go.
- Onesies - You can never have too many of these in your diaper bag! They will be your saving grace for little spit-up accidents, diaper blowouts, and more.
- Accessories - These are especially crucial during the 0-3 month stage when babies lose heat through their extremities very easily. Make sure to pack a hat, a set of mittens and an extra pair of socks to keep baby warm and comfy.
- Change of Clothing - In addition to extra onesies , you may want to include a full change of clothing including pants and a sweater. I'm a fan of the classic Gerber brand at Walmart newborn and baby essentials. These are easy to fold up and throw into your bag, and they're available for purchase at Walmart with bundle sets starting as low as $8. Babies are so unpredictable and it seems like they wait until you leave the house to have the worst accidents. Always good to be prepared!
- Swaddle/Blanket - For everything under the sun from nursing to keeping baby warm in cold climates, as a stroller cover, burping or getting baby cozy for a nap.