For new parents, diaper bags are the equivalent of a superhero’s utility belt. They’ve got all the handy weapons and tools needed to fight baddies like stinky poop emergencies, diaper rash, and hungry tummies. But for first-time moms and dads, a lot of questions and concerns can arise when shopping for the perfect bag. Like, what goes into a diaper bag anyway? What kind of a diaper bag do I need? And how many diaper bags do I need anyway?
Parenthood can be daunting, anxiety-inducing, and downright exhausting, so even things like figuring out the whole diaper bag situation can get stressful. That’s why we’ve compiled this list that answers all the common questions regarding these amazing kits.
What Goes in a Diaper Bag?
Before you begin shopping for a diaper bag, it’s good to know what items and accessories are essential to you. This gives you a feel of how much space you need; thus helping you assess the size and style you’ll be leaning towards. Of course, it’s also great to have a complete list of diaper bag essentials that you can keep coming back to when you pack for a day out.
Diapers and Accessories
A diaper bag without any diapers is like a candy store that doesn’t sell any candy. Your bag should always be stocked with these items. Miss out on any one of these and you might find yourself in a little bit of baby trouble.
- Baby wipes
- Plastic bags for soiled diaper storage
- Baby powder
- Rash cream or ointment
- Safety pins
- Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer
A Change of Clothes
Nappy changes can get a little messy, for both you and your baby. In fact, babies are just messy in general, and any activity, from eating to taking a quick stroll, can lead to some unexpected spills, splashes, and dribble. Always have a fresh change of clothes, a towel, and other similar items.
- T-shirt or onesie
- Shorts or pants
- Face towel
Your baby can get hungry any time you’re out, and you wouldn’t want to be stressing over where to get their next meal as they throw a cranky fit. Always come prepared with their milk and some snacks. And don’t forget to bring water for both baby and mommy (and daddy too!). Staying hydrated is important.
- Milk or formula
- Biscuits or snacks
First Aid Kit
Babies can’t protect themselves, so it’s good to be over-prepared when it comes to emergency supplies like medicine and other similar aids.
- Teething gel
When babies are bored, they can get fussy. And when parents are busy, they might not have the means to entertain their babies all the time. That’s why it’s good to have toys to keep your baby busy when you can’t.
- Pillow or stuffed toy
- Musical toy
Now that you know all the things that could go into a diaper bag, it’s up to you to decide which of those items will actually go into yours. Once you’ve figured that out, you can now move on to choosing the style of your bag.
The Types of Diaper Bags
Diaper bags come in many different styles, each one serving different looks and functions. Choosing the bag for you really depends on how much you’re bringing, and what you personally deem comfortable and accessible.
Tote bags are arguably the most fashionable of all diaper bags. They can pass as big handbags, especially if the exterior design is less cartoon-print and little chicer.
Tote bags are also the roomiest diaper bag, with the widest opening for easy storage and access. They’re favorites of highly-organized parents who enjoy separating items per category, and into individual pockets or pouches. For those asking “How many diaper bags do I need?” Totes can answer that with a simple “one.”
The downside of this bag? They are the largest diaper bag by far, and can often feel bulky and cumbersome to carry around, even when they don’t have a lot in them.
Backpacks are more casual and athletic in design, but they’re also very comfortable. Not only are they easy on the back and shoulders, but they also help keep your hands free, so you can focus on carrying your baby.
Backpacks don’t have as much room inside as tote bags do, but they do have similarly wide openings. The most significant upside to backpacks is their abundance of pockets, which is another plus for organized moms and dads.
Messenger bags are somewhat in the middle ground between tote bags and backpacks. They’re not too small, not too big, and they’re also kind of neutral in terms of fashionability. Their comfort level is also somewhere in between. They free up your hands as backpacks do, but they do put a strain on your shoulders.
Other Diaper Bags
There are other, smaller options for diaper bags for when you don’t need too much stuff. There are clutch diaper bags, similar to roll-up travel pouches. These can be placed into your day bag.
There are also fanny pack-type bags, which are also small, and can be attached to your waist for comfort and efficiency. Then there are stroller diaper bags, which work as attachments to your strollers.
How Many Diaper Bags Do I Need?
The best answer to that question depends on a quite a few factors. Again, as mentioned above, the number of items you deem as essentials and non-negotiables is your primary determining factor. Second to that is the type of bag you prefer using. A tote bag will give you enough storage for a long day out, maybe even two. A backpack can carry a day’s worth of supplies and will keep you comfortable, but probably won’t be good for long-haul trips.
But, asking yourself “How many diaper bags do I need?” will arise on a day-to-day, situational basis. For example, going on a short trip might mean needing less stuff. You wouldn’t need too many extra clothes, diapers, or even bottles of milk if you’re just going out for some groceries.
Where you’re going is also important. If you’re going to the beach, you’re going to need a lot more extra stuff. If you’re just heading to the mall, where changing stations, bathrooms, and restaurants are more conveniently at your disposal, you may only need to bring a few pieces of baby essentials.
The whole diaper bag situation is a challenge in itself. But luckily, there are tons of options to choose from. At the end of the day, knowing what type of diaper bag to use, and how many diaper bags you need, will depend on you and your personal preferences. But as long as you know the essentials, you’ll be able to figure it out in no time!