The Ultimate Diaper Bag Checklist for New Moms
Need to know what to pack in your diaper bag?
Trading in a stylish handbag for a diaper bag can be a difficult adjustment for new mothers. Whether you are retiring a beloved, you-worked-ten-years-to-pay-for-it Louis Vuitton to your closet, emptying out that favorite TJ Maxx bargain purse, or foregoing that chic clutch, you don’t have to sacrifice style entirely just because you are a mother now.
Not only do you not have to, don't do it!
Gone are the days of only needing your keys, ID, and a trusty lip gloss when you leave the house…this is true. You will now need a ridiculous number of items just to get out the door, more than you ever imagined, and it’s perfectly understandable why many new moms rarely leave the house at all.
The thought of taking a baby to even the most routine places--the grocery store, the dry cleaners, or the bank--can be overwhelming. Plenty of new mamas simply amazon prime their way through motherhood! Besides, who really needs to leave the house now that Uber Eats exists?
When you DO find yourself unable to avoid venturing out into the world with that new baby in tow, rest assured you can do it with a stylish bag and we’ll help you get it packed with all of the essentials.
There’s no need to fall prey to the notion that a stylish diaper bag must be “babyish.” And for heaven’s sake, it certainly does NOT have to be blue or pink! A classic black bag like this one will ensure it works for any occasion. (Note: a backpack style is great for any mothers, but especially those with other children, keeping range of motion free when an extra hand may be needed to grab the big brother who is running away!)
Whatever bag you choose (and remember you should consider adding this to your gift registry before baby arrives), be sure it has plenty of space and individual compartments, is easy to clean and/or machine washable, and preferably includes a changing pad.
Once you find the perfect bag, it’s time to fill it up!
Essentials for A New Mama’s Diaper Bag
We’ll start out with the most needed items for your baby diaper bag. If there’s any room left once you have packed all of these necessities in the bag, you can go ahead and slip that copy of US Weekly and a bottle of chardonnay, too.
We’re KIDDING! What new mother has time to read US Weekly anyway?
Now back to the basics – the staples you need to keep in your bag for almost any outing – and we should also state the obvious here that we have assumed you started with the two most important: DIAPERS and WIPES. It’s an easy thing for a sleep-deprived mama to pack everything BUT the diapers, so be sure you always start with those. If you use disposable diapers, you can always stuff a few extra in the bag when you think of it. If you use cloth diapers, remember to do that load of laundry the night before so that you don’t have to rush in the morning!
What do I need to pack in my diaper bag? Here are 9 more must-haves:
1. An Extra Outfit. No matter how short the errand may be, you always need to keep an extra outfit (oh and we do mean for the baby!) just in case. You will marvel in disbelief at what a tiny human can expel from his body, and he can take out a perfectly clean outfit in a matter of seconds. Be prepared, Mamas!
2. Plastic or Washable Bag to Hold Soiled Items. See item #1. You’ll need this unless you decide to chuck the evidence in a garbage bin. And speaking of garbage bins….
3. Scented Bags for Diaper Disposal. If you ever want to be invited back to the New Mommy Coffee Group, don’t dump a dirty diaper in the hostess’s trash can without using one of these first! These baking soda-infused miracle tools will minimizer the stench your little one leaves behind, whether it is at a friend’s home or your in-laws. (Definitely, use these at your in-laws. You NEED them on your team right now!)
4. You will notice the plural here because if your baby loves her “paci,” you better keep two on hand at all times. When she is planted on your hip as you trudge your way through a busy parking lot and she decides to throw her pacifier into a muddy puddle, you’re going to need backup and you need it fast.
5. A Portable Changing Pad. You never know when you’ll need to do a quick change! At a moment’s notice, you and baby could find yourselves in a messy situation. A small (and light!) changing pad can come in handy if you’re going for a stroll through the park or stuck in a bathroom without a proper changing table (the nerve).
Note, many diaper bags come with a portable changing pad these days. This diaper bag backpack in particular does.
6. Diaper Cream. Diaper rash can strike at any time, making your little one miserable (which will make Mama miserable, too). Keep a tube in the bag at all times! Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (no, we’re not pulling your leg, this is a real product) is a trusted favorite among mamas.
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7. A Blanket. A small blanket that can fit easily into your diaper bag can help if temperatures drop and it provides comfort. You will probably receive no fewer than 87 blankets as gifts; however, if you just can’t resist the urge to buy a few more, check out the absolutely adorable choices from Nordstrom.
>> See Details on Nordstrom <<
8. This comes into play once your little one is old enough for solid foods, and many a mother has relied on Gerber Puffs to save her in a pinch.
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9. A Favorite Toy. If you find yourself sitting in a waiting room with your baby you may need a distraction, so keep a small toy in your bag—it could buy you a few minutes of peace when you need it most!
What’s in it for YOU?
New mamas are so focused on their infants it can be difficult if not impossible to remember to take care of themselves. Carve out one tiny corner or pocket of that bag for you, and fill it with
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-A water bottle
-Chapstick or lip gloss
- Your cell phone
-A stain remover pen (Go ahead and buy this pack of 18…you’re going to need them)
You don't need to pack a ton of things to keep your mind at ease. Stick to the basics when packing your diaper bag to avoid overfilling and unnecessary weight to tow around.
When choosing a bag, be sure it's large enough for your necessities and comfortable to carry for long periods of time. Here's an article with tips for finding the best diaper bag.