As a parent, you are aware that rearing a baby requires a lot of stuff–milk bottles, diapers, diaper rash cream, clothes, changing mat, small toys, etc. And when you look at a diaper bag, you wonder how in the world will all these things fit into it. So, in this post, we will discuss the diaper bag essentials to help you solve one of the main challenges of parenthood: knowing and deciding which ones to pack.
Diaper Bag Essentials: A Parent’s List
You have a long list, and we know that for sure. But no matter how badly you want to bring everything, only a few can fit in the bag!
Let us talk about the most popular items that a diaper bag should have and understand how important each is. This will give you a better idea of what needs to be on top of your list and what are those you and your baby can do without.
- Set of Clothes
Of course, we have the clothes which are also among the things that most parents overpack. Do you ever find yourself wondering why you pack so many pairs of baby clothes even if you know that you will be out for only an hour or two? Do not worry that is forgivable because if there is one thing your diaper bag has to have, then it is definitely baby clothes.
Babies mess up big time, and so you will likely to find yourself changing them into a fresh pair every other hour or two. You can also use the soiled ones to wipe the mess or as a makeshift changing pad.
These are must-haves and non-negotiable. However, some parents tend to overdo it by bringing packs and packs of diapers “just in case” the baby needs it when they are out. As there is a limited amount of space in a diaper bag, it is imperative to make sure that you only bring a couple that you actually need. It is best if you are aware of the number of diapers your baby uses per hour, so you can pack enough pieces for the entire duration that you will be out of the house.
- Milk and Bottles
Whether you are feeding your baby formula or breast milk, you have to make sure that you pack enough of it depending on how long will you be out of the house. The interval of your baby’s feeding depends largely on his or her age, so make sure you bring the right amount because a hungry baby is a grumpy baby.
- Wet Wipes
Your little one is capable of surprising you with big messes, and you want to make sure you get that covered by packing wipes, which come in different brands and packages. Travel-size wipes are best for outdoor trips. You might also want to stash extras in the car because wipes are convenient to use not just for babies but by adults as well.
- Foldable Changing Pad
Some diaper bags already include a changing pad with a designated compartment. But if you were to buy one separately, then you would want to look for one that is easy to pack and clean as well as water-resistant. You definitely would not want to put your baby down anywhere without this!
- Burp Pads
These are small and lightweight cloths that you put over your shoulder when burping your baby, but they are also useful for wiping your baby’s face when they spit-up. Usually, cloth diapers qualify for this, and they are widely used because they are absorbent, soft, and handy.
- Receiving Blanket
These are also lightweight cloths but bigger and broader than burp pads. This blanket is handy, and it does not take too much space in your diaper bag. It is great when you need to put your baby to sleep or if want to cover and protect your little one from the cold or the sun. You can also use this if you ever need to put your baby down, and you do not have a changing pad.
- Sunscreen and Hat
Your baby’s head and the back of the neck should be protected from the harsh sun at all times, especially if he or she is fair-skinned and bald. It is also not recommended for babies to stay under direct sunlight for too long, and sunscreen should be applied only if you cannot help but stay outdoors longer than expected.
- Comfort Object
This can be the form of a favorite toy, book, cloth, blanket, stuffed animal, rattle or even pacifier. Like adults, babies tend to get attached to something that brings them comfort, and it is a great idea to bring this object with you when going out in case you need to pacify or make them feel better.
- Identification and Phone Numbers
If you label your luggage, notebooks, and even packed lunch, then you should label your diaper bags, too. If yours do not come with a designated area for this, then you can laminate a card with your name on it, and place it anywhere in the bag so that it will be easy for someone to return it just in case it gets lost. It is also critical for you to have a copy of all emergency contact numbers in the bag, so they are handy in case you suddenly need them.
Becoming a parent requires you to be prepared at all times. However, there are just a gazillion things to do. So, we hope that after enumerating and discussing the diaper bag essentials, you get to decide which stuff to prioritize and which does not.
Also, it is wise to remember that these are just the common things a baby needs, but it is YOU who will decide what YOUR baby needs. You should never feel bad about having a different way of doing things because every parenting journey is different and it is not fair to compare.
You got this!