I’ve been designing diaper bags for 12 years, even before I had a child. When I finally had my own baby girl three years ago and I had to use one of my diaper bags for the first time….I panicked! Suddenly I couldn’t remember what all those pockets I designed were for!
I took a deep breath. I braved the challenge, and filled up my diaper bag for the first time. After a few days it felt like second nature. If you are just starting down the road of mommy-hood, I put together this list to help you out. Remember, perfectly packing your bag depends on lots of things like where you are going, the weather and how long you will be out for.
Here is are the things I think are essential:
1. Insulated bottle pockets and/or an insulated bottle tote. This is really important whether you have breast milk or formula. As we all know, if you are nursing, breast milk is like gold, and you don’t want it to go bad! Even when your little one begins drinking other things, the insulation still really helps.
2. A changing pad. Make sure it’s a nice-sized one that can grow with your baby.
3. Change of clothes. We all know how important this is. You never know when your little one will have an accident. If you’ll be out for a long time, think about bringing a couple changes of clothing.
4. Waterproof bag or some kind of pouch for dirty or damp clothing. The last thing you want is to get everything else in your diaper bag dirty.
5. Baggies for dirty diapers. Sometimes there’s not a place to immediately throw away your little one’s soiled diapers!
6. A few burp cloths. I found these came in handy for everything!
7. Depending on the weather, a blanket or a lightweight, gauze swaddle. I often used a lightweight swaddle over the canopy of my stroller when my daughter was sleeping, the sun was too bright, or there was a slight chill. If the weather is cooler, a slightly heavier blanket would be better.
8. A few small toys (and pacifier if you are using one) to keep your little one occupied when need be!
9. Diapers, wipes, creams. The most essential of essentials!
10. A wallet or small purse for yourself. You want to keep all your essentials organized, but you don’t want to carry both a purse and a diaper bag.
11. Healthy snacks for your little one. You always want to have snacks on hand once they are eating solids!
12. Some protein bars for you. How many times, in our sleep-deprived state, do we forget to eat? Make sure you have a few of these handy so you can keep your energy up (and calories up too if you are breast feeding!!)
13. Hand sanitizer. To get you out of sticky situations.
14. Sunscreen (when your little one can wear it) Living in Southern California, I almost always put it on my daughter. It’s easy to run out of the house without putting it on. This way you always have it in case you forget.
15. A hat. A sun hat with a nice, wide brim for warmer weather, or a cozy hat for cooler days
16. A sweater or jacket. This, of course depends on the time of year.
17. Your breast-feeding cover up for privacy if you are breast feeding – unless you have a good top that covers you up; you can also use your light weight swaddle.
Make sure you get a diaper bag that has good organizational pockets so you can keep everything in its place. Sometimes you’re only out for a bit, and don’t need to pack all of the above, so you can modify it as need be!
From one mom to another, I hope this helps get you organized.
Leslie Newton, founder of timi & leslie diaper bags, created her company in 1999 when she realized there was a huge void in the marketplace for stylish, functional diaper bags.
Besides creating fashionable diaper bags, Leslie loves doing crafts with her 3 year old daughter, and going on lots of family outings. Leslie loves anything vintage or mid-century modern – clothes, furniture, jewelry, fabric – all which have a big influence on the timi & leslie aesthetic.