Don’t Leave The House Without Packing These Diaper Bag Essentials
Let’s start this post off with some honesty. I feel like by the time you have your third (or more) child, you throw some caution to the wind. I can’t count how many times I took Bella out and about without bringing a diaper bag. This is risky business and something I would have never even thought of doing with my first two. With that said, I was always going out for a short period of time to the mall or somewhere else close to home. If anything happened I could easily purchase what I needed or quickly go home. Of course that isn’t very frugal, but thankfully for me it never came down to that!
If you are looking for some guidance on what to pack in your diaper bag, this post will lead you in the right direction. Just don’t follow in my footsteps of leaving without the bag! Seriously, don’t do it.
You don’t have to pack the whole house, but having a good-sized bag to hold the diaper bag essentials with room left to spare is highly important. I can certainly say that diapers bags have changed over my 15 years of parenting. I can still remember what my diaper bag with Abby 15 years ago looked like. It was awful and not very practical. If you are looking for a great diaper bag, Amazon has an amazing selection of not only practical and functional, but super stylish bags too!
Are You Packing These Diaper Bag Essentials?
After 3 kids I think I have some sort of expertise in what items I consider diaper bag essentials. Having these diaper bag essentials packed can be a real lifesaver, especially if you are out somewhere where you can’t just purchase what you need to fix the situation. These items below are what I have found to be handy for me in the past. Feel free to use this list as a starting point, tweaking it to fit your child’s age and exact needs.
A no-brainer really. Diapers are a high on the list of diaper bag essentials. Make sure to always check your bag before you head out to ensure you have enough for the timeframe you will be away from home. Babies can be unpredictable, some days Bella wouldn’t poop at all, and others she was literally a shit show, pumping out poop after poop. There really is nothing worse than having a blowout and no diapers.
Wipes are a must-have on hand at all times. Whether you have a newborn or a toddler, mess happens. I always ensure I have a container of wipes in my bag and I make sure they have not dried out. If your wipes happen to dry out, I won’t blame you for leaving the container open because I have done it too, a little distilled water will help to get them wet again.
I have to say the evolution of poop bags is kind of my favourite. Back when I had Abby and Hailee, there were no disposable bags to mask the rancid smells that come from our oh-so-cute babies. I loved using the Playtex Diaper Genie Portable Diaper Bag Dispenser, but if you are looking for a super frugal approach you can totally use these Baby Works Disposable Scented Diaper Bags.
While most diaper bags come with a small changing pad, I personally found many of them to be thin or tear very easily. I loved the Skip Hop Portable Changing Station I had, it even came with a plastic case for my wipes. Having a changing pad is great for putting a barrier between your child and whatever you are changing them on. Public washrooms can be a breeding ground for germs so it is always good to have handy. Whether you choose to use the one that comes with your diaper bag or purchase a separate portable changing pad, they fold up nice and compact barely take up any room in the bag.
Am I the only one who hates using public restroom sinks and soap? Honestly, the soap makes me itchy. I don’t think there is a bag in my home that doesn’t have a container of hand sanitizer in it. Kids backpacks have them, all of my purses have one, and there is always one in Bella’s diaper bag. Hand sanitizer is also great for cleaning your hands after you change a dirty diaper when you don’t have a place to wash your hands.
Weather can change in a split second so having a blanket packed in your diaper bag is important. You also never know what the temperature will be like when visiting relatives or a public place. I have been in some restaurants where I could barely stand to finish my meal because they had the a/c pumping like crazy. It doesn’t have to be a massive blanket, something lightweight and easily compatible is fine. Having a blanket in your diaper bag is also great for those visits to the doctor. When they check your baby for weight and height they undress them, so it is nice to have something to wrap your baby up with while you wait.
Change of clothes
Even though Bella is now a toddler I still like to keep at least two different outfits in my diaper bag. She is potty training so accidents can and will at some point happen. When you have a little baby they could have a blowout or two. Or my all-time favourite, a random upset stomach that causes them to puke like they are auditioning for the scene from the exorcist. You want to be prepared for any unexpected occurrences where they need to be changed. Don’t forget to toss in a bib or two for feeding while you are out. If you are lucky to have some extra room in your diaper bag, throw an outfit in for yourself too!
Pack some pj’s
There is nothing worse than waking up a sleeping child to change them into pj’s if you’ve been out late. If we know we will be coming home late in the evening we always pack a pair in the diaper bag. Before we head home from wherever we are, we can change her into her pj’s. If she falls asleep on the way home it is no big deal. Once home, we can just carry her to bed without waking
the beast sleeping beauty since she is already in her pj’s!
If you child uses a pacifier you never want to leave home without a pacifier, and then an extra one! The only thing worse than your child losing their pacifier while you are out is not having a replacement. Tuck an extra one in a sandwich bag or a cute little pacifier case to protect it from germs. I am so glad we are done with this stage. We cut Bella off cold turkey last summer so this is one thing we no longer need to pack.
Sunscreen is an essential item to keep in your diaper bag for both you and the kids. While I apply sunscreen before we leave, if we’re out for an extended period we need to reapply. We’ve been using Sun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 on both the kids and us adults. It works great, has a nice light scent, and doesn’t irritate any of our sensitive skin.
If there is one thing that takes Bella from a 100 level meltdown to 0 it is snacks. When she’s getting grumpy, snacks are perfect diaper bag essentials to defuse the situation before she’s out of hand. I always like to have a variety of snacks in the bag, replacing them as they get used. Things that don’t need to be refrigerated are a plus because you don’t have to worry about them spoiling if you forget to take them out when you get home. Some of Bella’s favourite snacks include GERBER Puffs Peach flavour, Toddler Mum-Mum Organic Strawberry Rice Biscuit, Parent’s Choice Organic Purée’s, and IronKids Nutrition Bars (use code V3WHUB7Y at checkout to save 25% until June 30th, 2017).
Whichever route you go to feed your baby make sure you have the essentials. If you formula feed or pump, pack enough bottles for the time you will be out. If you do not have access to a fridge you should pack a cooler pack to keep your formula chilled. While breast milk can be left at room temperature for a number of hours, if you are going to be out in the heat a cooler pack would be wise to keep it from spoiling.
Emergency Contact Information
In case of an emergency it is always good to have contact information in the bag. This can be you and your spouses phone numbers, include another family member, any allergies your baby might have, address, and so on.
You never know when a little diaper rash will appear. Some days I wonder how my children even got one with frequent changes, no excessive fruit, etc. Unfortunately they can and do happen. There is nothing more heartbreaking than listening to your child in pain from a diaper rash. Keep a jar of diaper cream in your bag in case of an unexpected rash.
Along with snacks, toys definitely have saved the day when Bella has become bored and grumpy while out. Toss in a couple of their favourite toys to entertain your little one while you are out. If they are teething, having some silicone teething toys can be a lifesaver!
Are you packing all the above diaper bag essentials, have anything else you think is missing? Let me know in the comment section below!