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Diaper Bag Checklist

Published October 05, 2010        by Sarah

Photo by Ellenkabellen on FlickrDiaper bags have become chic accessories these days. They’re actually as fashionable as some high-end handbags or personalized baby totes. There are even diaper bags just for men that look like messenger bags. Once you find the perfect bag, what should you put in it? Here’s some help to get you started.

  • Diapers and lots of them. You can never be too careful when it comes to making sure you’ve replenished the supply from your last trip. Always restock the bag when you return home so it’s ready to go for next time. Have at least 8 diapers with you. You never know when a day trip will turn into a longer adventure.
  • Baby Food. If baby is drinking only formula, you’ll need to carry several packets of powder along with bottled water to mix it with. Don’t rely on your destination to have the things you need. Stores now sell individual packs of formula so you can rip them open and mix. If you can’t find them, measure out one bottle’s worth of formula per small plastic container with tight-fitting lid. The last thing you want is that precious formula spilled all over the bottom of your bag.
  • Photo courtesy of basykes on Creative CommonsBottles. Carry extra bottles, at least one, in case one is forgotten somewhere or can’t be washed right away. Today’s glass bottles are sturdy and durable and should travel well, but plastic will be lighter.
  • Wipes. Make sure your wipes are fresh and not dried out and in good supply. You never know when a messy diaper will hit and you will often need to change it where there is no water. Hand sanitizer is another lifesaver for just such an occasion.
  • Plastic grocery bags. Always tuck in a few disposable plastic bags. A messy diaper is a terrible thing to have to ride in the car with or carry in a stroller basket. If  there’s nowhere to ditch a dirty, you’ll be glad you can pop it in a bag and tie it off for later.
  • Changes of clothes. Even the best diaper can leak occasionally. You want to be prepared with at least two complete outfits of baby clothes including socks. There are few things more embarrassing than having to bring a baby who has just dirtied herself into a nice restaurant. Make sure you have something to change her into at all times.
  • Teething rings are great not only for toddlers who are teething, but also for all babies to hold and play with. They make a nice diversion. If you buy the kind that you can freeze, do so before your outing and tuck the frozen ring into your bag. It will be a fun surprise for baby when she goes to play with it.
  • Bibs, spoons and lemons. If you are stuck at a restaurant waiting for the food to come, baby can get pretty antsy. Bring out the usual bib and give her a spoon to play with. But also have some lemons brought over for her. For some reason, lemons pacify and occupy babies who are fussing in restaurants. Just be sure yours isn’t trying them for the first time out in public (allergies!).
  • Contact information. Many a frazzled mom has walked out of a public restaurant or bathroom and left her bag behind. Make sure yours has all your contact info or your business card so the finder can contact you.
  • Baby Blanket. Many babies and small toddlers get attached to their blanket and can't sleep without it. A familiar blanket will also help to calm baby when they are worked up.