The Diaper bag is an essential accessory for all new parents. There are tons of lists & data available online but here is your Diaper 101 with a list of things you need for a newborn up till about 2 years of age.
Diaper bag essentials
Buy two solid diaper bags, these will last you a couple of years. You will be using this very regularly and things are going to get messy.
I picked this ECOSUSI diaper backpack for $20 from Amazon that is super durable, great for rough usage and a life-saver on travels. This one is also used by my husband when we are out & about.
The other diaper bag from Vilah Bloom is a designer diaper bag that doubles as my handbag on almost all occassions. They sent me this when Baby V was about 7 months old and it is my constant. Check out the Vilah Bloom website.
Read about this fantastic diaper bag: Vilah Bloom designer diaper bag
Diapers, Wipes and trash bags
Depending on how long you are going to be out of the house, the most important thing that you should double and triple check for before you leave the house are diapers & wipes. And when I say extra, I mean several mega extra. You will be amazed at how often you will be changing diapers, especially in the first few months. There is no way to predict a potential blow out that we lovingly call poo-nami.
Make sure you always have the right size of diaper with you. I remember I carried a bigger size when he was still in NB and there was a leak after the diaper change and then we had to change again and it was a vicious cycle.
Consider using cloth diapers right from the start. I made the mistake of thinking it would be tough to achieve but in retrospect, it really would have been manageable right from day 1. Read up & check out YouTube videos on cloth diapering. It can change your life and your baby’s as well!
You might want to read: Read this detailed post on avoiding diaper rashes.
Try to avoid wipes with harsh chemicals, they are no good and do more harm than help clean the surface. I recommend using Oil wipes or even water wipes.
Ensure to small trash bags to dispose the diapers. If it is a public place or restaurant, it is unfair to stink up the place. And poops are stinkiest when you just start solids.
I like carrying this changing bad that comes with Vilah Bloom diaper bags. It’s large enough even for my 20 lb toddler and was great for the newborn days too. It is way to wipe clean and doesn’t stink up the bag.
Diaper Rash Cream/ Moisturizer
I’m not a huge fan of diaper rash creams but I swear by SUDOCREM. This was recommended by our first pediatrician & also the maalishwali in Dubai. It is the one thing that always makes rashes go away. Vaseline is also a good alternative for the diaper area. As is a simple baby moisturizer.
This is a must if you are mildly OCD about germs, especially with your newborn. I was never a cleanliness freak and I din’t care much until I had the baby. For the first 3 months, I was mental and tortured my family members too. I din’t want to unnecessarily expose him to germs so early on in life. I also did not know his immunity level yet. Once he was about 4 months old, I started chilling and bothering less about keeping everything around him clean. I urge you to do the same. It is OK if EVERYTHING is not ALWAYS sanitized!
Newborn babies & infants get cold very quickly. You need to cover them up as much as possible and make the diaper change as quick as possible.
A trick for parents of boys: Your baby will most definitely pee when you remove the diaper. Undo the straps and then place a wipe on his navel before removing the diaper. He will pee into the diaper before you change him!
Change of Clothes
At least one full change of clothes is a must, so have an extra onesie, pants, and socks. The amount of extra clothing depends on the baby & on how long you are going to be away. I always carried 3-4 extra changes. Except on days when I completely forgot. And on those days hugsband and I would argue on who should have packed it 😀 Socks and mittens are very helpful in the newborn phase to avoid them getting cold.
You need a bib or burp cloth. Or 5 if yours is like my baby. Babies spit up a lot during their first few months and we’ve struggled a lot with reflux issues as well. Let me know if you would like to know more about babies & spit up. This was a major stress issue and I have done A LOT of research on this.
Toys or teether
Toys or tethers are very helpful to distract a fussy baby during a diaper change. It is also very helpful for a wiggly baby once they are more more mobile.
If your baby is on Formula, you need to carry the entourage that comes with it. Since Baby V was always exclusively breastfed, we never needed this.
Snacks, Sippy Cups
You do not need any snacks or water for the baby till their 1st Birthday. But I’ve included it in case your baby needs it.
Remember: Avoid starting solids before 6 months of age and make sure to gradually introduce it. Talk to your pediatrician first.
Baby V never took to the pacifier so this was never part of our bag. But I know this is an essential for many so I’ve included it on this list. Let me know if you want a post on raising a baby without pacifier.
While this is not necessarily part of your diaper bag, it is an important extension. I highly recommend using a baby carrier. It has been extremely useful
You might find these posts on baby carriers insightful!
Things for mommy
Okay this is for you mommy. Your diaper bag is going to be your handbag for a while so you also need to carry your essentials in this bag.
Bring some water, a snack, Lip balm and essentials like your wallet, keys etc.
You might also need to carry breast pads in the initial months.
Carry an extra shirt or blouse – as babies spit up a lot!
Final tip - Pack your diaper bag as soon as you come back home. This makes sure that an emergency trip outside of the house doesn't leave you forgetting something important.
Hope this post helps. Let me know if you want a detailed post on types of diaper bags available in the market!