Top 11 Diaper Bag Essentials

A well-stocked diaper bag isn’t merely practical—it can be a downright lifesaver when you’re out and about and need to keep your munchkin dry, happy and full.

Although it’s tempting to toss anything and everything in this hard-working catch-all, keeping your diaper bag pared down to the bare essentials makes it so much easier to navigate—and we all know that precious seconds count when your little bundle of joy is in distress!

The team at GCH (many of whom are young moms) had a little brainstorming session about streamlining diaper bags, and we thought we’d share our top 11 essentials. Consider these your must-haves—and don’t leave home without them!

Top 11 Diaper Bag Essentials

Diapers (seems like a no-brainer, right?) It’s a good idea to always pack one more than you’ll need. Better safe than sorry!

Changing pad

Diaper cream or ointment

Wipes (stash them in a plastic bag or case, or pick up travel packs that are conveniently portable)

A bottle of milk or formula (or snacks and a sippy cup, depending on your child’s age)

Burp cloth for infants and bib for those eating baby food on the go

A Ziploc or plastic bag to stash dirty diapers

An extra outfit

Sunscreen or hat

First-Aid kit

Hand sanitizer (you never know when you’ll have to change a diaper without a good hand-washing station available)!

Keep Your Diaper Bag Organized

Now that you’ve got the essentials covered, packing (and organizing) your diaper bag can seem like a daunting challenge! If you find your diaper bag lacking in pockets or sections, try organizing like items in separate Ziploc bags inside the main compartment. For instance, diapers, wipes, and ointment go in one clear bag, sippy cups, baby food, and snacks in another.  This makes everything much easier to find if your bag has one large main compartment.

Or if you prefer something a bit more stylish than a Ziploc bag, try stashing your diaper bag essentials in various sizes of make-up bags. Large, flat pouches are ideal for items like diapers, bibs, burp cloths and other easily compressed items. Try a roomier bag for your bulkier mainstays. This is a great way to not only stay organized but also add a bit of flair to a basic bag—and you know we’re all about adding a stylish finish to anything we own!

Don’t forget to stash a couple items for yourself, too. A bottle of water and a couple of snacks are always a great idea—after all, you’ve got to keep yourself hydrated and energized!

And if you opt to use your diaper bag as a purse, make sure you’ve got your essentials covered, too: wallet, keys, cell phone, lip balm, sunglasses, pen and paper, etc. Depending on the size of your diaper bag, you may also want to stash an extra T-shirt or top for yourself, especially if your little one is prone to spitting up.

One other tip? When you get home, make sure to remove any of the dirty items your baby used on your outing.  Nothing like opening that bag up the next time you need it to find a sippy cup full of spoiled milk or a really old dirty diaper inside (not that that’s ever happened to any of us. Ahem.) Likewise, be sure to periodically check your diaper bag and replenish your supplies as needed.

What else is on your diaper bag essentials list? I’d love to hear tips from all you parents out there!

Image via Babies ‘R Us

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