It seems that when you are trying to go somewhere with a baby you have to take the whole house with you. Actually, you do not need as many things as you might think.
The following diaper bag checklist will help you get ready for an outing with your baby. In no time, you will be an old pro at this.
Diaper Bag Checklist
You need enough diapers to change the baby at least once every two hours. You really should pack one or two diapers for every hour you plan to be away from home. This will have you covered in case of emergency. Check our overnight diapers review.
You need plenty of baby wipes with you. These items are used at every diaper change and they are great for wiping little hands and faces. They are even convenient for wiping things off of mom.
You may also want to carry some sanitizing wipes with you. The sanitizing wipes can be used to clean surfaces the baby might come in contact with, or to wipe off things like their pacifier that might come in contact with an unclean surface.
Diaper Changing Pad
You need a clean changing pad to lay the baby on while you change them. Do not rely on public changing stations to be sanitary, and you would not want an accident to occur on the bed or sofa of a friend. The changing pad keeps baby safe and protects the surface baby is lying on.
The diaper cream is both a treatment and a preventative barrier. You can never tell when you are going to change a diaper and see the tell-tale signs of redness and irritation on baby’s bottom. Always have your cream handy to stop diaper rash before it can become problematic.
Disposable Bags for Soiled Diapers
Diapers need to be placed in a bag that can be sealed before you toss them in the trash. If you have to carry the diapers with you until you arrive at a destination that has a proper disposal place then you really want to have bags you can seal them in.
If you use cloth diapers these bags keep everything else from getting soiled by the diaper.
If you use disposable diapers these bags keep diaper odor from permeating your friends’ home, or your car.
If your baby uses a pacifier then you want to be sure that you never leave home without one. As a matter of fact, be sure that you have more than one pacifier in your bag. Baby’s get used to one particular style of pacifier, and they will not be happy with a new brand or shape. If their pacifier were to get lost or dirty you want to have a spare one ready in your bag.
One way to prevent loss of a pacifier is to have a clip that can attach the soothing item to the baby’s clothing or car seat.
If you are not breast feeding the baby then you want to make sure that you have clean, sterile bottles and nipples ready to prepare the formula in.
You need sterile water to mix with baby formula, unless you use pre-mixed formula.
You need to have formula with you. A bottle of formula should not be made and allowed to sit for more than about an hour. The liquid can start to sour in a short amount of time if it is not refrigerated properly. The safest thing you can do is make sure you have an ample supply of formula with you to make a fresh bottle each time the infant needs one.
You should bring one or two receiving blankets with you when you and baby travel. You want to be sure and be able to cover the infant if the place you visit is too cool.
Many mothers carry warm blankets if the temperature outside is cool, or if they know that the home they are visiting is often kept very cool.
Change of Clothing
Babies spit up. Often you will have to change their clothes after every feeding. Be prepared for this and take clean clothes with you.
Some people use their receiving blankets as burp rags, and some people use cloth diapers for this purpose. Make sure you have one available to put on your shoulder when you are burping the infant.
These items can also be used to cover a little boy so he does not pee on you or anything else while he is being changed.
A bib is a great way to protect the infants’ outfit while they are feeding.
You should carry a hat that is suitable for the weather. You may need a hat that is warm if the temperature outside is cold, or you might need a hat that will protect the baby from the sun if the weather is warm.
A baby that is less than six months of age is more susceptible to the sun because their skin is thinner and more sensitive than the skin of an adult. Always protect their skin with proper clothing and hats, and after they are 6 months of age you can begin to use sunscreen for added protection.
First Aid Kit
Make up a small first aid kit with things you might need with the baby. A thermometer, infant medications you might use, and any prescription items the baby might use.
Taking an infant with you requires that you plan ahead and stay prepared. You will grow accustomed to this preparation and by the time your infant is a few months old you will be able to pack your diaper bag without any problems.
Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000. Since 2005, Dr. Alexander has worked as an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own catering company for six years and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.