Tag Archives: diaper bag

Diaper Bag Must-Haves For New Moms

Newborn baby and his father's hand - care and safety conceptAfter writing my last post about diaper bag must-haves for moms
with toddlers
, I realized that moms of infants need a completely different set of items in order to be prepared. When my son was an infant, I slowly learned through trial and error what I needed to have with me at all times, and what was just making my bag a lot heavier. So for all the new moms out there who feel as unprepared as I did, here is a short list of musts for every outing with an infant.

Diapers and wipes. Same as a toddler, you need these items at all times. The difference is, you need to carry a lot more! When babies are really little you never know when a blow out may occur, so it’s important to have a good-sized stash on hand.

Change of clothes. Speaking of blowouts, since diapers don’t always contain the mess, it’s important to keep an extra outfit in your bag just in case (and usually one you don’t like that much so you don’t sacrifice a good outfit!). One caveat: babies grow quickly so make sure you’re always carrying your little one’s current size. You don’t want to end up with a 3-month-old outfit for a 9-month-old child!

Extra food/bottles. Hunger seems to be everyone’s first guess when an infant cries, and nine times out of ten they’re right. Having a bottle, water, and extra formula (and this really handy formula holder) or a freshly pumped bottle of milk in your bag is a must. And of course if you exclusively breastfeed, you’re all set!

Burp cloths. Where there’s an infant, there’s spit up, so you’ll probably need one of these in your bag (and in your hand) at all times. I used to use the boring white ones when alone at home, but when my son and I were out, I wanted a prettier option. The aden + anais burpy bibs were my absolute favorite—they’re really soft, come in lots of great designs, and double as bibs when your baby gets older.

Toys. When my son was a newborn, all I needed was the motion of the stroller to keep him happy. But as time went on, Sophie, that silly overpriced giraffe that everyone buys (but no one fully understands the appeal of) is the one toy I had to have at all times. If Sophie isn’t your child’s thing, rattles, shakers, or any other brightly colored toys with different textures and funny sounds will do the trick.

A hat. While a cute baby fedora may be just a fashion item, a warm hat for the winter or a summer hat for sun protection is an absolute must. And since 95% of the time I find myself running out the door in a hurry, keeping an extra hat in my diaper bag means one less thing I have to remember to pack.

Your personal problem solver. When your baby is crying, you’ll do anything to make him or her stop. My son never took a pacifier, but for some moms, it is the ONLY thing that works. I even have a friend who kept her baby carrier in her bag, as it was the only solution for moments of distress. For me, it was a white noise app on my phone. Mine was Relax Melodies, but there are tons out there. My son once sat for an hour in the car with my iPhone propped against his car seat and the sound of a vacuum on full blast. As they say, whatever it takes.

Diaper Bag Musts, From an Unprepared Mom

Diaper BagI’ve never been the kind of person who carries Advil, tissues, Band Aids, or any other “just in case” item. I’m just not the type. Reaching into my bag and finding a pair of sunglasses makes me feel like I’m overly prepared. Despite my efforts (ok I don’t try all that hard) I’m not a naturally maternal person who has all of the necessities when an out-of-the-ordinary situation arises. Until now . . . kind of.

Having a child has partially turned on the part of my brain that questions whether or not I have everything I need in a pinch. If you look in my personal bag, I still don’t have any of the things I might need in case of disaster, but my diaper bag—completely dedicated to my toddler son—is a different story. Despite the fact that I live in New York City and there is a drug store on every corner, my diaper bag is filled with everything I’d need if my son was hungry, bleeding, covered in dirt, and bored out of his mind all at the same time (which is entirely possible). So I thought I’d share a few of my diaper bag must haves for every mom with a toddler—and I’m sure all of the completely prepared moms out there will have some great suggestions for me!

Diapers. If your child is under three this is a no-brainer. If you’re me, in addition to simply having diapers, it’s important to make sure that you’ve actually replenished your stash before walking out the door.

Wipes. Whether your little one is in diapers or not, wipes are an absolute must. Besides diaper changes, wipes are great for cleaning up spills; wiping high chairs, restaurant tables, or any other icky surface; and they also serve as a great substitute for tissues (since I never have them). Any other creative uses? I’d love to hear them.

First aid kit. Whether you create your own or buy a pre-packaged kit (my choice is the latter), any mom with children who can even attempt to walk solo should keep a small stash of bandages and antiseptic wipes in her bag. My son is constantly falling, so I need to be able to swoop in, Sesame Street band aid in hand, and clean up his perpetually scraped knees.

Snacks. No mom should leave the house without a snack (or five) in her diaper bag. Kids get hungry at the most inopportune times, and it’s best to have a quick fix ready to go—or whining will quickly ensue. My diaper bag is filled with packages of Cheerios, Snackimals (the Snickerdoodle flavor is my personal favorite), and Goldfish, but there is an endless supply of portable kids’ snacks available. Freshly cut up fruits and veggies are of course a great option, but that would never fly with my son.

Water. I always have one of those really mini water bottles (Poland Spring makes them) in my bag, just in case. While I try to bring a pre-filled cup for my son everywhere we go, in the event I forget and water isn’t readily available, I always have back up—and a lighter option than a full-size bottle.

Disposable placemats. I wish I thought of these myself. If you’ve never used a Table Topper, you’re totally missing out. These plastic, disposable placemats stick to the table and have fun-themed designs so kids can happily eat their finger foods on a clean surface. Not only are they great for restaurants, they come in handy any time you need to protect a clean surface from a chocolate-covered child.

An activity. Whether it’s a book, a kiddie computer, a ball, or crayons, I always feel better being out with my son when I have some kind of activity in my back pocket. At 20 months old sitting still is not his favorite pastime, so being prepared with something to play with is always to my advantage. Of course he usually wants to play with whatever is around and not actually a toy, so if salt shakers and spoons keep him busy at a restaurant, I’m game.

Hand sanitizer. New York City is a dirty place. Need I say more?

Money. I switch my bags constantly. During the week my necessities (wallet, keys, phone) are in my work bag, during the weekend they’re in my diaper bag, and if I go out for dinner or run a quick errand, they’re all transferred to a different (smaller) purse. Often I’ll leave one of my necessities—many times my wallet—in the wrong bag, so I like to keep an extra $20 bill in my diaper bag. That way, if I’m out with my son and run out of diapers, wipes, snacks, water, placemats, activities, or hand sanitizer, I can buy what I need in a pinch—just in case.