Leading up to the arrival of our little one I knew a diaper bag was part of the gig but I also had no idea what I would tote around in it other than, well, diapers. Of course I had to get my hands on the cutest diaper bag of all time, by Fawn Design (and I’m pretty sure I need the black one for fall, right?!) but I had no idea what to stash in all of its nifty little pockets. Here is a breakdown of what has come in as most essential for my outings with baby over the past 8 months. Whether you’re a parent, soon-to-be-parent or just someone who’s curious about what we lug around in those big ole bags all day I hope this post give you some helpful insight!
As baby gets bigger, certain items became more or less necessary. I’ve identified which items were useful in the early months and which items have become more useful as Buddy has grown
DIAPERS & WIPES: This is a no brainer but ya know, can’t leave it off. I try to keep at least 6 diapers on hand. I have tried a few portable wipes dispensers (even an expensive fancy one) and both have let us down. At this point the most convenient way to travel with wipes is the freebie wipes holder that came in one of the economy size Huggies Natural Care Wipes boxes. The lesson here, just because a product is expensive doesn’t mean it’s effective.
CHANGING PAD: My pre-parent self had never known this but when changing your baby in public you are usually faced with two options: 1.) a changing table in a restroom that is likely riddled with germs or 2.) no changing table available so uh… the floor. AKA: Germtopia. Thus the need for a portable changing pad! We have tried a few options and all of them have been great: one that came with our diaper bag, this Skip Hop one and these simple Boppy ones (which we actually use more so at home on the changing table).
TOILETRIES: We always have an arsenal of diaper rash ointment on hand (this Boudreaux's Butt Paste Natural is our favorite), as well as some face balm for those drooly-chapped-chin moments, alcohol-free hand sanitizer and now a days- this baby sunscreen stick (6+ months).
DISPOSABLE DIAPER BAGS: You change your baby’s stinky diaper at a fancy restaurant, in the car, or at a friend’s place and then what do you do with it? Well that’s where these Arm & Hammer diaper bags come in handy. They totally wipe away the smell and contain that stinky sack of doom until you can find an appropriate dumping spot. I just keep the nifty dispenser hooked onto the wipes container so it’s always at arm’s reach.
PACIFIER & BOTTLES: Our little guy never took a pacifier but I was armed and ready with these pacifier holders. The same goes for bottles, he never took them but I would certainly have them on hand if your baby is bottle fed when out and about.
CHANGE OF CLOTHES: This is a must because blowouts are real. I actually keep two changes in my bag and typically they are onesies so I don’t have to worry about separates.
ZIPLOCK BAGGY: I stash a gallon size Ziplock with the change of clothes so I have a place for the dirty outfit. I also try to wash the outfit out with at least water to de-saturate the stain before I can get home and toss it in the wash.
HAT & SUNGLASSES: I keep a bucket hat (or winter hat depending on the season) and baby sunglasses in my bag in case we end up in the sun. These are our favorite baby sunnies!
TRAVEL UTENSILS & BIB: (6+ months) I like to have these cute Beaba utensils on hand for on-the-go feedings.
TOYS: This has been a must at every stage for Buddy and I try to rotate things out so it’s not the same old thing. We always have a toy with a suction capability for the table (this one, this one, and these are amazing because they stick to virtually anything). Then we like to have a rattle like these sweet Blabla ones, something he can chew on like a teething ring, some links to link toys to the car seat or highchair, and then anything else he’s into at the moment. Some of his very favorite toys have been this Melissa & Doug wooden giraffe grasping toy, these Green Toys keys, and this Nubby Safari Friends teething ring. A pacifier clip is also handy in this situation so you can attach toys to your baby to avoid the inevitable toy toss/drop.
BOOKS: I love to keep books on hand and the easiest to keep in the diaper bag are the Indestructible books. I can’t rave about these enough- they are rip-proof, chew proof, non-toxic and washable. Plus they take up virtually no space in an already packed diaper bag.
BURP CLOTHS: These were especially critical for the first 4 months- but we always keep one on hand for wiping something up still. I stocked up on these Burt’s Bees burp cloths.
SWADDLE: I keep a small light swaddle rolled up in my bag. They come in handy in so many ways- as a nursing cover, to wrap baby in, to use as a car seat cover, or for impromptu tummy time.
Yes it's called a "diaper bag" but mommy stuff is just as important.
MILK SNOB COVER: There are several brands that make items like this but I adored our Milk Snob cover, especially in the first few months. I would use it over Buddy’s car seat in the winter to protect from cold and germs. It can also be worn as an easy nursing cover or as a seat cover in a shopping cart. It serves a lot of great purposes and the fabric is very stretch and durable.
SOLLY BABY WRAP: What I love about the Solly Wrap is that it’s so easy to tote around, it can easily be rolled up and stashed in the diaper bag. I wear Buddy a lot (even still) and it’s nice to be hand’s free when out and about. I know putting it on can appear intimidating the first time (I put it off for weeks because I was terrified of it) but once you do it a couple of times it’s so easy- I promise. My only regret is not owning more styles because I truly wore this thing daily in the first 4 to 5 months.
NIPPLE CREAM & NURSING PADS: This is specific to the first few months but I purchased an extra one of these Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butters solely to keep in my diaper bag because those first 6 weeks of nursing require a little extra nipple love, ya feel me? And a back-up pair of nursing pads were so necessary as well.
WALLET: It’s easy to forget this necessity when we get so wrapped up in all of baby’s needs. I went wallet shopping right before Buddy came to find a wallet that I could take out and carry around if I didn’t want to lug my bag with me. I found one with a removable strap and a spot to stash my cell phone it, which were my two requirements.
BABY LOTION: What’s great about having baby lotion on hand is you can also use it on your baby! During the first few months I was washing my hands a lot (can you tell I hate germs and dirt by now?) and in the winter that made my hands so dry. Having lotion on hand (haha no pun intended) was critical.
TOILETRIES: I like to keep a travel size natural deodorant stick, sunscreen stick, lip balm, Cherry Balm Dotcom (works great as a tinted lip color or a cheek tint!), lipstick, Haloscope highlighter, mints, tissue, and hand-sanitizer and hand-sanitizing wipes in my toiletries bag at all times.
PEN & NOTEPAD: I like to jot down random ideas, thoughts and various lists often so I always have a pen and notebook with me.
HEADPHONES: These wireless headphones by Sudio are easy to stash in my bag and have come in handy in so many ways when baby is sleeping. From impromptu walks to long waits at the pediatrician’s office it’s great to pop these in and listen to a podcast without disrupting a sleeping baby. You can use code: brittanyviklund for 15% off if you are interested in a pair as well!
WATER BOTTLE, SUNGLASSES, KEYS: All things I require. And recently I went through my key ring and downsized from all the junk. I had 6 keys on there that I no longer needed from previous places of employment plus about 8 frequent shopper cards that I don't even use anymore. My diaper bag just didn’t have room for the excess and it felt so good to downsize my key ring to just my car key, house key and a cute keychain.