Who said diamonds are a girl's best friend? When I'm toting around my little one, my favorite accessory is my diaper bag. In it, I keep everything I need to try and ensure a smooth and successful outing with my sweet pea. After many times of overstocking and understocking my diaper bag, I have finally narrowed down my diaper bag essentials to 10 items. Check them out...
1. Diapers (regular and nighttime)
Not only do I usually carry about 5-8 regular diapers in my bag, but I also pack a nighttime diaper in case my outing runs late and I end up having to put my little one in her pajama and nighttime diaper before I arrive home. You better believe I don't want to wake my little one for a diaper and outfit change after she's fallen asleep in the car seat on the ride home.
2. Diaper cream
I always like to carry a tube of diaper cream to protect my baby's bottom from getting a rash. When she was a newborn, I found that Triple Paste worked best to protect her baby soft skin from getting irritated by the multiple diaper changes she had. Now that she's older and doesn't dirty her diaper as often I like to use Desitin or Aquaphor.
You can never have enough of these, especially for those messy diaper changes (you know what I mean).
4. Changing Pad
Even though there are changing stations in most public restrooms I always like to place my own changing pad on top of the changing station to make sure my little one is lying on a clean surface. Thankfully, most diaper bags already come with a changing pad included. *Mama truth: I have changed my baby's diaper many a time in the trunk of my car and my changing pad has definitely come in handy to protect my baby from lying on a potentially dirt ridden surface and my protect my car from being soiled.
5. Milk (breastmilk or water and formula powder)
I was fortunate enough to be able to exclusively breast feed for 6 months so I didn't have to worry too much about taking milk around with me at first since my "girls" were always with me. I only toted around breastmilk on nights I had an event and pumped milk in advance to not have to worry about squirming out of a dress to breastfeed. However, after I went back to work and started supplementing with formula, baby water and formula powder became additions to my diaper bag. I like to keep the formula powder in this little OXO Tot Formula Dispenser. With this dispenser, I can pre-measure powder for three feedings. (Very convenient)
6. Solids and spoons
Once your baby starts eating solids (homemade or store bought), baby food and spoons are must-haves for your diaper bag. I usually place all the baby foods and spoons in a Ziploc or small bag so the containers don't slide around the baby bag and to try and prevent massive chaos in the bag if a container should decide to explode.
7. Bibs and Burp Cloths
Spit up or yellow squash anyone? No thanks! After the effort I put into piecing together a fashionable outfit for myself and my daughter, I know I don't prefer stains if I can avoid them. Therefore, I always try to pack one bib and burp cloth per feeding in my bag since every feeding is a gamble... sometimes I quietly beam with pride at having successfully fed my daughter without even a speck or drop landing on her bib and other times her bib, high chair, and my daughter look like Jackson Pollock work of art. You never know, therefore I like to leave prepared and have multiple bibs and burp cloths should her feedings not go as planned.
8. Extra Clothes (onesies, outfits, pajamas)
Remember those messy diaper changes and messy feedings I spoke about? Well... that's when the extra clothes comes in handy. I don't have enough fingers to count how many times I have needed to perform an outfit change thanks to a dirty diaper gone wrong (and yes, I say perform because removing a soiled onesie from your baby is like performing an operation, one wrong move results in disaster). I always like to pack 1-2 extra onesies, 1 outfit (top and bottom), and 1 pajama (in case I'm out past baby's bedtime).
When all else fails, bring out the pacifier or "tete" as we call it in Spanish! Once upon a time when my daughter was first born, she rejected the pacifier and I was ecstatic thinking she was going to be one of those babies that wouldn't want/need one. That fantasy ended week two and I quickly learned that the pacifier helped soothe her when nothing else would. Now, it is my life saver and I NEVER EVER leave home without it.
Packing a few of my daughter's favorite toys helps me to keep her entertained during the car ride and at our destination.
*If you are a breastfeeding mom, here are a few additional items to consider packing:
1. Breast-feeding cover up
2. Manual Pump (for on-the-go pumping if necessary)
3. Little Cooler (to keep your pumped breastmilk from spoiling)
1. Hairbrush (when taming the mane is called for)
2. Thermometer (for peace of mind if baby is feeling warm)
3. Nose bulb and saline solution (should a stuffy nose arise)
4. Teethers (to comfort teething babies; Sophie the Giraffe and the Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush are my daughter's favorites)
5. Disposable Diaper Bags (to dispose of dirty diapers on-the-go or when a trashcan is out of sight)
6. Sunscreen (for fun in the sun)
I hope you have found this list of diaper bag essentials to be helpful! I would love to know if you have any other suggestions for diaper bag essentials. Feel free to comment below.