If there's one mantra that rings true when it comes to diaper bags, it's the Boy Scout Motto "always be prepared". Babies are unpredictable. As a first time mom, I have learned the hard way that you can never have enough diapers, wipes, or outfit changes when you're on the go.
As for the bag, my advice is to go for a backpack rather than the traditional diaper bag. I opted for a $36 faux leather backpack from ASOS. The exterior of it is easy to wipe down, the front has a large pocket for my cell phone and the interior is the perfect size to hold the basics. At this price, I don't have to be worried about it getting used and abused as all diaper bags do.
Here's my guide to ensuring you have all of the essentials on the go.
- Swaddles: Aden + Anais Swaddles are one of the most versatile newborn essentials. They work great for covering up your car seat when you are walking into public places, swaddling your little one and perfect for using as a nursing cover.
- Baby Wearing Wrap: I've been keeping my Solly Baby Wrap in my diaper bag. If I'm running into the grocery store or going out to lunch with friends, placing Brody in the wrap is far easier than hauling the car seat in and out of the car.
- Outfit Changes: Keep a minimum of 3 extra onesies in your diaper bag. One thing I've discovered about diapers is that none of them are fail proof for leaks. We learned this lesson the hard way when we ran out of diapers and outfit changes after spending an afternoon at the grandparent's house.
- Socks: Newborns love kicking off their socks. I've found socks spewed all over our home and car. Keeping an extra pair in the diaper bag ensures your little one won't have cold feet.
- Hand Sanitizer: Essential for those diaper changes when there is no sink around.
- Diapering Essentials: I keep a separate pouch in my backpack with the diapers, wipes and changing pad. This works great when my husband is doing the diaper change. He can simply grab the pouch rather than the whole diaper bag. Keep a minimum of 6 extra diapers in your diaper bag (I keep a back-up stash in my car as well). As for wipes, this Huggies Reusable Wipe Holder works great! It's refillable and holds just the right amount of wipes.
- Breastfeeding Gear: Nipple shield, breast pads, and lanolin ensure smooth breastfeeding on the go.
- Trash Bags: The Arm & Hammer Disposable Bags are great for dirty diapers and big enough to hold soiled clothes.
- Pacifier: You never know when a meltdown is going to hit. Keeping a pacifier on hand will alleviate some of the stress that comes with a fussy newborn. Brody loves the MAM pacifier and occasionally will suck on an Avent Soothie.
- Medical Info: Doctor's appointments are frequent with a newborn. Our nurse at the hospital recommended we keep our vaccination record and insurance card in our diaper bag so we would have it handy at all appointments.
Searching for the perfect diaper bag backpack? There are so many options out there. My favorite picks are below.
One: Zara Navy Quilted Rucksack $70 | Two: Target Beige Tassel Flap Backpack $40 | Three: Topshop Perforated Faux Leather Backpack $68 | Four: Zara Suede Fringe Backpack $100 | Five: New Look White Structured Backpack (mine!) $36 | Six: Target Buckle Backpack (comes in lots of colors) $35 | Seven: Herschel Supply Co Backpack (spacious!) $94 | Eight: Grafea Navy Leather Backpack (splurge worthy!) $296 | Nine: Petunia Pickle Bottom Backpack Bag $189
Do you use a backpack for a diaper bag? Are there any other essentials you carry around in your bag?