Picture courtesy Kushies.com

Every parent-to-be knows that a Diaper Bag is an essential item whenever one plans to leave the house with a baby. You can use anything from a stylish fabric bag that looks like an over-sized purse to something as goofy looking as a camo backpack. I mention the camo backpack only because that is what I am currently using.  My husband quickly dug it out of the garage to use when he refused to carry the more stylish alternative.  It looks a little odd but it does the trick and I like that it leaves both of my arms free to push the stroller or hold onto the hands of my older children who are bound  to run.  Less important than how it looks though, is what it holds–the necessary items for a smooth and worry free outing with the baby.

Other than the obvious necessities of diapers and wipes, what exactly should go into the diaper bag? Well, first let’s start with what you’ll need for a short trip out of the house–like going to a restaurant, the grocery store or to a playdate.  Then we’ll add a few more items for overnight travel like road trips and airplane rides.

For running around town for an hour or so, I bring a diaper bag that contains the following items:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • A change of clothes for baby (a one piece outfit and a one-sie)
  • A pacifier
  • One or two burp cloths (flat cloth diapers work great)
  • A very thin flannel blanket that folds up very flat. Just in case.

My son is currently 9 weeks old so I don’t need much. Once he gets a little older I will be  adding a small container of dried cereal or other easy finger food and a toy or two.  These may be essential for distraction if your baby isn’t an enthusiastic grocery-shopper!

To pack the perfect diaper baby for a longer trip, you’ll want to add a few things:

  • More diapers or wipes (how many depends on how long you’ll be traveling)
  • Possibly two changes of clothes instead of one
  • A thermometer
  • A pain and fever reducer for infants
  • Saline nose drops (check your airline’s rules for traveling with liquids if you are flying)
  • Nasal Aspirator (You never know when your baby might have a stuffy nose)
  • Bottles of formula unless you are breastfeeding
  • For older infants and toddlers, snacks are an essential part of any successful and drama-free travel day.
  • Baby books and a few small toys

On both short and long trips, I have, on occasion, left out a necessary item.  For instance, I recently met with my oldest daughter’s preschool teacher.  I left both of the girls with my sister but brought the baby, since he was least likely to interrupt.  Well, he ended up interrupting. When I picked him up out of his car seat to nurse him, I discovered that he had “bm” (bowel movement)!  When I reached into my diaper bag for a new diaper I realized that I had not “restocked” it after the last time we had needed them.  Ugh.

So once you’ve perfectly packed your diaper bag you’re all set to go.  Just remember to re-stock it with more cloth diapers and clean clothes when you get home so you don’t find yourself in a poopy-pinch like I did!