Diaper Bag Essentials For Newborns
November 23, 2017
A complete list of diaper bag essentials every parent will need for the first six months of their baby’s life. There are going to be people who will convince you babies need a lot of things or maybe as a new parent, you’ll get paranoid and buy everything you think is truly necessary. I’m here to tell you to avoid searching for a “diaper bag checklist” from Pinterest because those will only overwhelm you even more.
Below is a list of essential items that are subject to change depending on season or even your child but that you’ll often use.
1. Diaper Bag
Before purchasing your bag, the first consideration you’ll want to have is storage. You have to ask yourself will all of the baby’s belongings and some of your most important belongings all fit perfectly in the bag?
Next consideration is the ease of use. There are going to be times when you have to rush your baby to the bathroom to change him/her and you’ll have them propped right on top of the public restroom’s changing table and realize you need to grab something out of the diaper bag, but you only have two hands. If you can manage to hold your baby in place and still open the diaper bag with your other hand and find what you need, then more power to you! Seriously though, diaper bags that are dark on the inside and very narrow are problematic and will frustrate you the most. A spacious and well-lit diaper bag is the way to go.
Yet, you’ll want a diaper bag that has many compartments and pockets that are zippered (just trust me on this one). The last thing you want is losing your cell-phone, insurance cards, and or wallet because you didn’t have closure.
Some people also consider quality and cost of a diaper bag. I see nothing wrong with this because you want your money’s worth. If you shop on the lower-side, you’ll get a bag with handles or straps that are going to break off shortly or weak seams. A bag on the mid-range side, however, can hopefully last you much longer and be re-used for something other than a diaper bag.
Lastly, style is important to many. I know I had to get a bag that would be father-friendly and gender neutral.
So I went ahead and purchased a JJ Cole Caprice bag, which eventually became my breasting bag (for a later post). It had a spacious interior with plenty of organizational compartments, two insulated pockets for on-the-go breast milk, zipper closure, and a washable bag all within my price range.
2. Travel Changing Pad
Some companies will design a diaper bag with an additional changing pad to be stored in one of the bigger pockets, but there are some diaper bags that will have the changing pad as a separate item to buy. I strongly recommend you get yourself a changing pad if the diaper bag you want does not already bring one. They are light-weight and can easily be unfolded onto any surface area in which you need to put your baby down right away to change them. I bought the traveling changing pad that matched my diaper bag.
3. Diaper Rash Cream
I am all for natural products, and you can buy whatever you feel most comfortable with, but as much as an organic lover I am, I only buy Desitin. It has been such a miracle worker because it is fast acting more than anything else I’ve tried on Drew.
4. Baby Sunscreen
A product that is seasonal, but I chose to keep in my diaper bag all year round. In Jersey, weather is too unpredictable. You never know when your gloomy day can turn into a nice one while out running errands.
A rule of thumb, pack a diaper for every hour you will be away from home. A newborn urinates or has a poo every hour anyway so pack extra diapers!
Consider how much space your diaper bag has and if you can squeeze a bulky item then I highly recommend you get the refillable boxes of wipes rather than the resealable packages. The reason you ask? Well, like I stated before about the public restroom scenario– you’ll need one hand to hold your baby still, and the other to pop open the container of wipes. If you decide to keep the resealable wipes then you risk aggravating yourself with the sticker on the travel packs.
7. Burp Cloth Rag
Every newborn until six months will spit up everything they consume. So, if you are heading out somewhere, and you don’t want your clothes ruined while carrying the baby, then might I suggest you keep a burp cloth rag on your shoulder during the meantime. Also, they will clean up messes very efficiently. I’d keep two in the bag honestly (one for your clothes and the other for the baby’s face).
8. A Spare Outfit
I think keeping one full outfit (including socks) in the diaper bag will come in handy when your baby has an explosion and needs an entirely new outfit. A side note, try to remember what size the outfit is so your baby is still able to fit in it. The outfits kept in the diaper bag can often be neglected for some time until the baby finally needs the outfit, and the parent(s) realizes it is too small to fit anymore.
9. Bottles and Formula (If you are not breastfeeding)
If you’re formula feeding your child then make sure you pre-measure the formula into a formula dispenser and keep a water bottle in your bag at all times. Your baby will get hungry and will not want to wait for too long so shaking the pre-measured formula with water in a bottle right away will save so much time.
10. Muslin Blanket
No matter the season, you’ll want a spare blanket for your baby. A muslin blanket from Aden + Anais is great because they are for swaddling your baby, and they are larger than most blankets so you can continue to swaddle past the intended period. They are breathable so if your baby has the blanket in their face, they will be just fine. Lastly, the blankets are thin so your baby won’t have a sweaty back after being wrapped or if you decide to cover the car seat with one.
11. Milk Snob
A fitted infant car seat cover that can also be used as a cover for nursing, shopping carts, high chairs, infant swings and more. Parents often buy a separate product for all those different reasons, but Milk Snob is a 5-in-1 cover.
A toy or two that can keep your little one entertained will make every parents’ travels much easier.
If your baby relies on a pacifier to be soothed then keep a clean one in one of the pockets of the diaper bag.
A baby is susceptible to getting sick so be on the look out for temperature changes throughout their first six months of life. Stores will usually sell a newborn safety kit in which they bring a thermometer. I kept the small one in the diaper bag for emergencies.
15. Personal Items
There should be a compartment for your cell-phone, wallet, keys, and extra change!