How to Pack Your Diaper Bag Like a Pro
When you welcome a baby into your world, everything changes. Priorities shift, routines change and in order to survive, you have to adapt to it all. There are so many things you can do to make this transition easier and make sure it stays that way. While there's no way to ensure smooth sailing at all times (because that's not how it works), it's important to be prepared. One huge part of this is making sure your diaper bag is stocked with exactly what you and baby will need. If you could use some guidance, keep reading.
Be Prepared for Diaper Changes and Messes
When you're stocking your diaper bag, do your future self a favor and start with the obvious item — diapers. A general rule of thumb is to plan between one and two diapers for every few hours you're out and about, but throwing in a few extra won't hurt. A package of wipes, ointment, a portable changing mat and baggies for soiled diapers will make on-the-go changes a breeze. Since you never know when you might need to keep messy outfits or soiled cloth diapers separate from everything else, adding a reusable cotton tote bag to your supplies will be more than worth it.
Don't forget to pack spare outfits for the baby. Plan on one to two for each outing.
Stash Essentials for Feeding, Pain Relief and Play
Along with diapers and clothing, you don't want to leave home without everything you'll need to feed, comfort and entertain your baby. Be mindful when you're packing; you don't need a lot to cover your bases.
If you breastfeed, stash away nursing essentials that you might need such as extra nursing pads, nipple ointment and a swaddle blanket if you prefer to cover up. If you bottle feed, make it as easy on yourself as possible by pre-measuring formula into baby bottles and bringing along a separate bottle of water. When baby's ready to eat, feeding will be quick and easy. Just pour in the water, shake and feed.
Storing other essentials such as pacifiers, pain reliever and basic first aid items, books and a toy or two in your bag will make sure you're prepared to soothe, comfort and entertain your baby.
Make Sure Your Diaper Bag Grows With Your Child
Your baby won't be a baby for long, and before you know it the time will come to adjust what's in your bag.
Once you introduce snacks and water for your baby, often around six months, you'll want to make sure you always have something on hand just in case. Packing snacks and water in a spill and leak-proof containers is a great way to keep your bag clean and dry and will give your little one the opportunity to explore self-feeding. Don't forget a bib, utensils for feeding, and antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer.
If your child is potty training, take that into consideration by packing a portable toilet seat. This will make using the grocery store bathroom a bit more bearable.
Once you're spending more time outdoors with your growing baby, it's important to have kid-friendly bug repellent and sunblock on hand as well. In addition to spare clothing, don't forget to bring along a spare pair of shoes, especially if you have a puddle-loving little one. You'll be glad you did.
Don't Forget to Think About Yourself
When you're packing the diaper bag for your baby, it's way too easy to forget about someone else who is also very important — yourself.
Adding in a spare shirt to change into will keep you comfortable and confident, because things happen all the time (hello, spit up and nursing let down!). Make sure you have plenty of personal care items on hand as well, especially if you're newly postpartum. Don't forget the importance of staying hydrated and nourished. Stocking your bag with plenty of water and healthy snacks is a must, because you can't be your best if you're running on empty.
While motherhood is often unpredictable, it's important to be as organized and mindful as possible. It will go a long way.