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So what goes in a diaper bag? What about a newborn diaper bag? Never once, before having Andrew, did I think about this. Even when I was a nanny, I just kind of threw things into a bag, or it was already packed for me, and we were ready to go. This time I found myself researching Google and Pinterest trying to find out EXACTLY what I needed to put in my diaper bag.
If you’re like my husband you’ll say I’m being over the top looking for packing lists for a diaper bag. BUT, I will say there were times I was not prepared. Like the time we went to the pediatrician and I only had one extra diaper.
“He’ll never need more than one diaper change in the hour we’re out of the house,” I thought. I WAS WRONG.
We took his diaper off to weigh him. It was wet. We put a new one on. TWO seconds later he pooped and he was stinky the rest of the appointment and the ride home. I felt like the worst human ever leaving my baby sitting in SHIT for that long. So now I bring extra EXTRA diapers because my child soils a diaper every five minutes.
Besides just bringing extra diapers, I scoured the web to find what else, what weird little item would I find useful when we were out and about? So after taking others’ lists into consideration, and finding some things out on my own, I put together my own list. Because lists are the only way I feel organized.
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Newborn Diaper Bag Checklist
My diaper bag
I use the Hap Tim backpack. I like that it’s pretty inconspicuous and easy to carry. There are plenty of pockets and zippered sections to separate and organize the many things that need to be stuffed into this bag. Who knew babies needed so much?
Diapers– at least 5, more if I know we’ll be out for a while. Check out Amazon Family for discounts on diapers and wipes.
Wipes– as many as I can fit in my OXO case.
Changing mat– the first time I changed Andrew out of the house I forgot to bring this into the bathroom. He had a massive poopy diaper so there was no way I could forgo a change. I felt so bad lying him down on the changing station without a mat under him. Since then I’ve made sure to bring this with me. One came in my diaper bag but you could also get a separate one.
Extra formula– I bring these Enfamil samples with me. I usually don’t need to use them as I bring pre-made bottles, and as a last resort I can nurse (I just don’t love doing this in public), but having these samples makes me feel better if there are no other options.
Bottles of pre-made formula or breast milk- Andrew eats a lot. Like a lot. He seems to always be eating if he’s not sleeping. I bring a good amount of formula with me just in case.
Cooler bag– I keep my bottles in the Skip Hop formula bag to keep them cool. I can freeze an insert and grab it quickly before leaving the house. Even in a Texas Summer, the bottles are kept cool for a while. Luckily Andrew doesn’t mind cold milk so I don’t have to worry about warming it up.
Nursing cover– I have this nice infinity scarf that makes me feel a little more secure and covered up. Like I said it’s rare that I nurse in public just because it makes me feel uncomfortable but I like to have this as a backup in case Andrew can’t be consoled any other way.
To Keep Clean
Plastic bags or a dry bag– I use this one from Skip Hop. It’s great for when we have diaper explosions and need to keep poopy clothes separate from our clean ones.
Extra clothes– Like I just said, poop explosions happen and you don’t want to be out and about with your babywearing or smelling of poop. I always have one “nicer” outfit and one set of pajamas or at least a onesie to at least have something on him to run home quickly.
Aquaphor– I use this to put on dry skin on Andrew’s face and also as a diaper cream. When Andrew was a few weeks old he had a pretty bad diaper rash, I’m not sure if it’s because it was so extensive that Desitin didn’t seem to even touch it, but once we started putting Aquaphor on it, it cleared up quickly.
Desitin– While I think Aquaphor worked better on our big rash, Desitin is still in my bag just in case. For the beginning of rashes when I can just see one starting I rub on some Desitin to try to head it off. Usually, it goes away quickly.
First aid kit– In this, I keep nail clippers, a thermometer, band-aids, a nasal aspirator just in case we need something while we’re out.
Sanitizing wipes. I use these on Andrew’s hands if strangers have decided to touch him or anywhere that he might touch while we’re out. They clean better than wipes but aren’t too harsh for him to touch.
Toys– Andrew isn’t big into toys yet but sometimes if he’s annoyed a rattle or colorful toy will distract him.
Blanket– This is nice if you need to lie the baby down somewhere, cover him up.
- Camera– I’m obsessed with taking photos of Andrew. He’s going to look back and see all of these daily photos and wonder why I could possibly need so many. But, I like to know that I’m capturing as many moments as possible. Even in just a few weeks he’s grown so much I’m afraid of missing out on anything.
- Paper and Pen– Journal or sketch if you have a minute while baby is napping
- Planner– Keep track of important appointments.
- Water Bottle
- Snack– usually a protein or granola bar
- Extra shirt– in case of spit up. I usually forget this though and just walk around with stains on my shoulders.
Case by case
Wrap or carrier– I don’t bring this every time I go out because most of the time I’m not out for that long or it’s just going to take up space in my bag. But if I know I’ll be walking a lot or he just seems very needy that day I’ll bring it to make things easier for myself.
Gripe water– This is something that may or may not actually work. I mean, I know it has to work for some people, it’s not totally a placebo, but for us sometimes Andrew calms down almost immediately, and other times it does nothing at all. For us, it’s just something else to try when he will not calm down. If it’s a day that he’s pretty fussy, or we’re going to be out during a time when he’s usually not happy I’ll stick this in the bag.
This is a pretty extensive list and by no means do I think this is necessary for every outing. However, when I’m out of the house for more than five minutes, I like to be prepared. Even before having a baby, I liked to be ready for the unexpected, but even more so now when it comes to the comfort or safety of my little guy.
What do you put in your diaper bag? What am I missing or what should I change?
This is a great checklist! I have learned that you can NEVER have enough diapers! I love the backpack style…wish I would have gotten that type when my son was little!
I agree about the diapers! You never want to be without those.
These are exactly the same things I used to carry in my diaper bag, except I breastfed my son (he HATED formula!) so I had nipple cream and an extra bra (you’d be surprised how many times I had to change it haha)
I can imagine about the bras! And good to know I’m on track with my diaper bag checklist!
I had a very similar experience the doctor’s office, but I ran out of wipes! These are great suggestions for the diaper bag. I’m using Aquaphor with my son because he has some dry skin on his face and it works wonders!
Oh no! I have only run out of wipes once, but luckily it was in a bathroom. Still an ordeal but I could at least sort out some toilet paper without anyone watching me!
Yes to a dry bag! And plenty of diapers. While I pack less now, I’m also well aware anything can break out at any moment no matter where we are!
Yes! We have been doing so well and haven’t had any explosions while out, until this weekend! Then there was a complete mess all over both of us. That dry bag was amazing.
As a mom of a newborn, I truly appreciate your post. Well thought out and nicely organized. Time to get my diaper bag ready for our first outing
Thanks for the comment and congrats on your little baby! Good luck on your first trip out!