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Packing your diaper bag for a new baby can be overwhelming with all the products available these days. What do you absolutely need, and what can you do without? As a mother of three, I've tried my share of baby products. While every baby is different, there are definitely some staple diaper bag must-haves that I've used with all my kids. Here is my list of top newborn diaper bag essentials that you will actually use!
First things, first. You need a diaper bag. Whatever bag you choose, make sure it suits your needs both practically and financially. There are tons of pricey diaper bags out there, but they may not be the best fit for your current baby situation (i.e. multiple kiddos, needing to keep bottles cold, etc.). After many purchases and returns to Amazon, we finally settled on this super affordable diaper bag that lasted us through 2 children. After having a third child, we needed something a little bigger. Backpack diaper bags are a must for our family. Make sure and do some research before settling, and do a "test pack" before you remove the tags!
The next obvious essential is packing diapers, diaper wipes and diaper cream. I've tried many brands of diapers and wipes, and after much trial and error, my favorite is Huggies Diapers and Pampers Sensitive Wipes. The stretchy waist band and "blowout edges" on the Huggies Diapers are worth the extra money for us. Also, I've found that the Pampers Sensitive Wipes hold up to the messiest blowouts while not leaving behind a gross residue or ripping in half, like some of the bargain brands.
Yes, you need a change of clothes. But you only need one change of clothes. Similar to the diaper situation, you're only packing for a few hours. Save your diaper bag space for other things!
Both my first and second son were 'super droolers', not to mention they often spit up after eating. Make sure to bring an extra bib (or 2) to help protect their outfit. It's much easier to change a bib than a onesie. These are my favorite bandana bibs, and they come in great colors to match every outfit!
Trust me, you don't want to be laying your baby down on those dirty public restroom changing tables without a changing pad underneath. Umm...germ central! Most diaper bags will come with a changing pad included, so check that out before buying one. If not, this pad is super compact and easy to clean!
This thing is GOLD! If you've never had a baby before, you may not have heard of this awesome product. It seems gross, but trust me, it works. Keep one in your diaper bag, because you'll need it!
In a pinch, you can use your baby wipes to clean off little noses and hands. However, I do keep a pack of these wipes in my bag also. They just work better - and hold up well with sticky, slimy messes.
If you are formula feeding or supplementing with formula, this formula stacker is a lifesaver. Portion out the right amount of formula before you leave the house, and only take the sections you need. The top acts as a funnel for no-mess mixing right into the bottle. This also works great for carrying snacks when you little one gets older!
Depending how long you are out, you may only need to bring one bottle. For formula-fed babies, pre-fill your bottle with water and use the formula stacker above when baby is ready to eat.
If you are breastfeeding, you'll need to pack a nursing cover.
You will need a place to put dirty blow-out clothes, burb rags, or dirty diapers if you don't have a garbage available. A plastic bag works fine for this. If you want something more sustainable, I love this zipper wet bag. Throw it in the wash and use it again the next day! This is great for bringing home dirty daycare bottles, so the rest of your bag stays dry.
There are so many fancy burp cloths out there. After 3 kids, I've discovered that many of these expensive cloths just don't cut it. The BEST burp cloths are actually these cheap, super absorbent cloth diapers. I will never use another burp cloth again. They do shrink a little after you wash them, but that's what makes them so absorbent! You only need 1 in your diaper bag.
If your baby is using pacifiers, make sure to bring an extra one. You'll be surprised how easily these disappear. This is something you'll be glad to have when you need it.
One toy, that is all you need for the first few months. Once your baby hits 3-ish months, you'll want something to keep them occupied while riding in the car or changing their diaper. I love these ring link toys that also double as teethers. Plus, they work great for attaching other toys to the car seat or stroller so they don't get dropped while out and about!
Just grab a small travel pack of tissue to keep in your bag. You'll find it useful at unexpected times.
You need a small bottle of hand sanitizer. This is a no-brainer, especially with a newborn. I love this clip-on hand sanitizer that is accessible at all times. No excuses!
Make sure and leave room for your essentials - wallet, keys, maybe a water bottle. As a new parent, you will soon realize the list of things you actually need for yourself get smaller. And that's okay! It's not about us anymore, right? Well, not all about us anyway.
There are plenty of other things you can find to stuff in your diaper bag, but make sure and keep room for the unexpected. These are the only diaper bag essentials you need to survive a few hours out of the house. Your list will change as your child grows, but this is a great starting point of diaper bag must-haves. Remember, there's no need to go overboard at first. You can always add to your bag as you learn your babies unique needs!
July 22, 2021