While every new mom knows that they need one, not many know exactly what should go in a diaper bag. It’s going to take a bit of trial and error to get it right, but with a few tips and pointers, you’ll pick up the ropes and will be packing your diaper bag like a pro in no time at all.
First things first – it all starts with picking out a diaper bag, and there are plenty to choose from. There are plain ones, designer ones – or even super cute dinosaur diaper bags – so whatever your style, you’ll find one that fits. However, that said – a diaper bag is about function, not fashion – and what this means for moms is pockets, pockets, and more pockets.
You’ll want a bag that offers plenty of organizing options, as well as one with a mommy pocket – or outside pocket, giving you somewhere to put those items you need easy access to. Beyond this, you’ll want to think about size – as your baby’s needs will increase pretty steadily as they grow, and the last thing you want is to outgrow your bag within just a few months.
If you’re new to all this, the first thing you’re probably just starting to realize is just how much stuff babies need to make it through the day. It can be a little overwhelming at first, especially for new moms, but as with all things, it just takes a little bit of practice before you’ll be able to cut pack to essentials, becoming an expert diaper bag packer in no time.
The first step to this is knowing which items are nice-to-haves and which are essentials. Working this out will help you eliminate wasted space, allowing you to choose what and what not to pack. This is the point of our post – giving new moms a round-up of these essential items, giving them a head start when packing their diaper bag.
7 must-have diaper bag packing essentials
While all this baby stuff can be daunting at first, by following our tips, and with a little prep and forward-planning, you’ll soon be packing a diaper bag for your busy day out and about in your sleep.
So, without any further ado, let’s jump right in – here are our seven must-have diaper bag essentials for new moms.
1. It should go without saying – diapers, wipes, and other essential changing items
Yes, we know – packing essentials don’t come more obvious than this! The clue is in the name. They’re called diaper bags for a reason. That said, perhaps the best tip on this list – and one that’s especially useful for new moms – is to carry more diapers than you need, as you’ll never regret having too many!
You’ll generally want around one diaper per hour, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra on hand if and when you need. However, most moms will simply double what they need, as they take up next to no space and weigh very little, so you can afford to bring more than you need.
Along with diapers, don’t forget all the other essentials you’ll need for diaper changes. Disposable plastic bags, wet wipes, rash cream, and hand sanitizer are all must-have items. You might also want to think about investing in a changing pad, as you won’t always have easy access to a purpose-built changing table when you’re away from home.
2. Accidents happen – bring plenty of extra clothing for you and baby
If you’re a new mom, you might not yet realize just how many sets of clothing your baby can get through daily. Whether it’s leaky diapers or messy eating, you’ll always want to have extra outfits on hand when you and baby are out and about, away from home.
There’s a lot that can go wrong with babies – spit-ups, blowouts, or merely weather changes – all of these can leave clothes moist, unclean, and in need of changing. Always pack a couple of extra outfits (super cute dinosaur clothing never goes a miss!), along with any weather-specific items depending on the time of year. And don’t forget about yourself! You’ll rarely be lucky enough to be outside the splash zone – so prepare to get wet often.
Another top tip for new moms is to pack dry bags – these can be total lifesavers! Whenever there’s a major blowout requiring an outfit change, a handy dry bag is there to help you contain the mess, keeping everything else in your diaper bag clean. Never leave home without a few of them packed in your diaper bag!
3. Forget bibs, burp cloths, and similar single-use items – blankets are your multi-purpose friend
Blankets are an essential bit of kit for any mom, making them an essential, must-have item for any diaper bag. But don’t get hung up on all the different types and styles of blankets to choose from – keep it simple, opt for multi-purpose blankets, allowing you to pack light, and keep the required organizational skills to a minimum.
Your best bet are swaddle blankets – they’re super useful, being ideal for every task you could think of. From wiping up mess to covering-up – these are going to become your go-to item, being one of the most used pieces of any mom’s diaper bag arsenal.
They’re also available in pretty much any theme or style you could think of. So, there are loads of super cute, awesome designs on the market to choose from to complete the theme for any parents out there with an impressive collection of dinosaur blankets and other dino-themed baby items.
4. Bottles, formula, nursing covers, and other essential feeding accessories
Whether you’re nursing or bottle-feeding, you’re going to need to pack a bunch of items essential for feeding your baby. If you’re bottle-feeding, you’re obviously going to need to carry around a lot more stuff than if you are breastfeeding. Extra bottles, formula – these all require a little extra planning and packing expertise.
As your little one gets older and starts to transition to eating solid food, you’ll also need to think about a whole new range of eating accessories and storage. It’s worth thinking about these before choosing a diaper bag to allow you to pick one that you won’t just outgrow in 6-12 months.
If you’re breastfeeding, you might want to consider packing a nursing cover. Alternatively, you could invest in a 3-in-1 cover, offering a multi-purpose solution, perfect for use, whether you’re bottle or breastfeeding. These are relatively reasonably priced and condense to a pretty small pack size, making them easy to fit in your diaper bag.
Lastly – and something many moms might forget – is that it’s not just about baby, it’s also about you! While it’s obviously essential to make sure you have plenty of what baby needs, it’s just as important that you don’t forget to pack enough snacks and liquids for yourself. The last thing you want is to get dehydrated or irritated when it’s been too long between meals. It’s real simple – a water bottle, maybe a granola bar, or a bag of vegetable chips – there’s no need to overcomplicate it.
5. Toys, teethers, and entertainment essential to keep baby distracted
For babies, your best dinosaur toy options are going to come down to simple, non-complicated toys like dinosaur plushies, rattles, or other simple items, to dinosaur teething toys, giving baby something to put in their mouth to help ease the discomfort of teething.
There are also many excellent dinosaur baby toys that combine the two, offering multi-functional teething toys, which can be a great choice, giving you the best of all worlds while limiting the amount of packing space you need to give up to these items.
If you’re short on space, you might want to consider a plush dinosaur keychain, bag charm, or even clip-on toys. These can be fixed to the outside of your diaper bag, attaching them to zippers, and provide a readily available cute little toy to keep baby distracted as and when you need to. While this isn’t going to replace the need for age-appropriate toys like rattles and teethers altogether, it is going to significantly reduce the number of times you’ll find yourself rummaging through your bag each day.
6. Don’t bring a purse – make space for these essential items in your diaper bag
Most moms include a range of everyday purse items in their diaper bag essentials list. Making room for these items in a diaper bag is a much better solution than lugging around an entirely separate bag with you unnecessarily. You might want to think about using a small clutch or wallet, so you can keep things like cards, cash, keys, your cell phone – whatever it is – protected and well-organized, so it’s easy to get to when you need it.
Another great option is to pick out a diaper bag that’s equipped with a mommy pocket. What’s a mommy pocket? Essentially, it’s an outside pocket that’s big enough to keep most of your essentials, putting them well within reach as and when needed, without having to root around your bag trying to find them.
Try as best you can to pack light, though – you want to strip back as much to the essentials as you can – cutting down on weight and freeing precious packing space for baby items. It might take you a while to adjust, especially if this is your first baby – but over time, once you become a diaper bag packing pro, you’ll be surprised by our little you manage to make it through the day with.
7. And it’s not just baby! Don’t forget about older kids when packing
It can be easy to focus on what baby needs; however, if you’ve got older children who aren’t yet at school age, you’re going to need to think about packing a few essentials for them to help make getting through the day easier.
This could be as simple as packing the odd dinosaur coloring book or a few dinosaur coloring pages, a small dino plush toy, a pack of pencils, crayons, dinosaur stickers – whatever it is, you’ll be thankful that you have someone on hand if they start to get bored or play up when you’re out and about.
That said, don’t overdo it! You’re already going to be carrying loads of stuff, so be careful not to overload yourself. You don’t need to bring too many things for a toddler – a few snacks, small toys, and some activity to keep them occupied – that’s it, don’t bring everything from the dino toy box at home!
Well, there you have it – our picks and tips for the seven must-have diaper bag essentials that every new mom needs to consider when packing for the busy day with baby, away from home.
While it can be daunting at first – let’s face it, if you’re a new mom, there’s not much about having a new arrival that isn’t – you’ll soon pick up the basics, packing your diaper bag like a professional in no time at all.
Remember to plan ahead. Your baby will turn to a toddler surprisingly quickly, and similarly, their feeding and other basic needs will also change – meaning that you’ll want to think about picking out a diaper bag that will grow with you and your little one.
That’s it – we hope you find this post helpful, and that you now have everything you need to pack your diaper bag with confidence. Happy packing!