New parents have a lot of questions:
- What kind of baby food should I buy?
- How many diapers and baby bottles should I bring?
- What are the essentials that I should have in my hospital bag?
- What do you really need to pack in your bag?
We know. Being parents for the first time, expecting your first child, is difficult and nerve-wracking. There’s so much to worry about.
But, we’re here to help you unravel some of the greatest parenting mysteries, starting with…
- What you should pack in your diaper bag backpack ― the ultimate diaper bag checklist for everyday use, and
- For going to the hospital when you’re expecting
Your Diaper Bag Checklist
“Only pack what you need,” people say.
While we’re used to the minimalist lifestyle we had in our early 20s, it changes once you become a full-time mom.
Less isn’t more when it comes to your baby’s needs, and a diaper bag isn’t just your ordinary bag. It’s a lifesaver — a safety blanket for moms and parents when things get tough.
Think of yourself as Mary Poppins and her large satchel purse that fits everything, and every gear there is.
A well-stocked diaper bag CAN SAVE THE DAY from turning into a complete disaster.
Whether your baby is having a hissy fit, spit-up, or tummy trouble, it’s always a swell idea to come prepared. Most diaper bags are designed to make your life so much easier.
That said, here are your diaper bag essentials, or all the things that you’ll need to pack in your trusty non-toxic diaper bag to enjoy a nice day out.
First things first, diapers. (Thanks, Captain Obvious)
They’re one essential you cannot absolutely forget in a diaper bag.
Babies and infants ― they use up a lot. It’s a no-brainer, but the more important question is how much should you pack?
Diapers: A good practice is to always keep enough stock good for a day inside your diaper bag. Depending on your baby’s age, you’ll need to change it every two to three hours. Having 10-12 diapers ready will last you an entire day outside (this applies to disposable, natural baby diapers)
If you’re thinking of using organic cloth infant diapers, then you’ll need around 8-10 of them.
But they aren’t the only thing necessary. In between diaper changes, you’ll also need to bring with you other diapering tools as well.
Here’s a complete list:
- Baby Wipes: Every time you change diapers, it’s important to disinfect using non-toxic baby wipes or gentle disinfecting wipes. You can use them to clean their butt and even sticky fingers.
- Changing Pads: A portable changing pad helps your little one feel safe and comfortable for those countless diaper changes throughout the day.
- Disposal Bag and Wet Bags: A MUST for soiled diapers. If you’re using cloth diapers, store your dirty diaper laundry in a wet bag, or at least until wash time.
- Diaper Rash Cream: Babies encounter a rash or two within the first few years of their life. When this happens, a diaper rash cream comes in handy, especially for those with sensitive skin. Use only the most gentle and effective diaper cream ingredients to heal baby rashes.
- Extra Baby Clothes: When your baby does the number 2, things can get messy. Having a spare onesie for your little one is a huge help. You can take a look at our List of Organic Baby Clothing Brands for some options.
Formula and Breastfeeding Essentials
Whether you’re breastfeeding or using goat milk baby formula, you’ll need all these tools:
- Baby Bottle: A diaper bag wouldn’t be complete without a baby bottle (even better, an ORGANIC baby bottle). Depending on how long you’ll be out of the house, you should prepare at least 2 bottles with pre-made milk inside. They’re good enough for 2 FEEDINGS. But it wouldn’t hurt to carry extras with you, 2 empty bottles and 1 water bottle, just in case.
- Spare Bottle Nipples: Also known as your organic infant pacifiers and teethers.
- Bibs and Burp Cloth: Feeding your little one can be messy. Formula-based or pumped breast milk can stain and dirty your clothes. Bibs and burp cloths will be handy!
- Portable Breast Pump: For breastfeeding moms.
- Breast Pads: Prevent leaks when breastfeeding your baby. You can easily slip them inside the diaper bag or under your bra to absorb all leaks.
- Nursing Cover: When you’re out in public and need a little privacy, a nursing cover does the job.
Our checklist doesn’t only cover the bare diaper bag essentials. A diaper bag also carries with it all items moms need:
- Change of Clothes: A spare clean set goes a long way. Something to look forward to when you’re in your pregnancy and in your first year as a mom is having many outfit changes in a day. An extra shirt would do when there’s a sudden spit-up.
- Hair Ties and Bobby Pins: Babies are adorable but they can be a handful. As a mom, you’re a victim of hair pulling. That’s why having hair ties and bobby pins ready can make nursing much easier.
- OPTIONAL: Learning and teaching your family members all the newborn baby rules. Trust us, this will make everyone’s life easier (especially yours) while you’re at the hospital.
Diaper Bag Bonus Essentials
Extras you’d never imagine you’d need to pack in a diaper bag. Here they are:
- Hand Sanitizers: You might find yourself changing a diaper in a public restroom and needing a hand sanitizer. They come in handy.
- Baby Sunscreen: Baby skins are sensitive. In case you’ll be out the entire day, sunscreen on hand will help protect your child.
- Toys, Board, Books, and Coloring Materials: Anything that will keep them entertained, stuff it in! While this might seem trivial, trust us, it goes a long way with tantrums and hissy fits. A good first baby book will not disappoint!
- Snacks and Water: One for yourself, one for the baby. After a long day, you’re both gonna need some snacks, especially if you’re a breastfeeding mom. Lactation cookies are good snacks to always bring with you as they support breastmilk supply.
- Insulated Cooler Bags: To keep bottles or baby food warm.
- Soft Blanket and Baby Sling: In times when you need to carry your baby (i.e. in a crowded area), baby sling carriers are a must. Additionally, when you need to swaddle your little one, buy an organic swaddle blanket in advance or consider buying an extra organic baby sleep sack.
- First Aid Supplies: You’ll never know when accidents will happen, so it’s smart to always carry with you a small first aid kit. These can include bandages, among other things.
What to Take With You to the Hospital
If you’re a mom-to-be, you might be feeling overwhelmed with the storm of information.
Take a deep breath. It’s nothing to worry about, we got you covered.
From the items that you’ll need going to the hospital and to the diaper bag essentials for taking your baby home for the very first time, it’s all included in our hospital bag checklist:
- Needed documents (hospital paperwork, ID, insurance card)
- Comfy and organic nursing pillows
- Water bottle
- Heavy-duty nursing pads
- Underwear (bring lots!)
- Bras (nursing bras or bras without any underwires make it easier to breastfeed)
- Clothes (outfit for going home)
- Toiletries (toothbrush, tissues, comb, etc.)
- Mild baby bath products
- Baby blanket
- Hat, mittens, winter hat, and socks (a hat will keep your baby warm on the way home from the hospital)
- Non-toxic infant car seat (while a car seat is large in size and doesn’t exactly fit in the bag, it’s something you need to install beforehand)
And of course, let’s not forget our phone chargers and cameras to capture all the precious moments of your pregnancy and the end of it.
Tips for Packing Your Diaper Bag
Now, you’re probably wondering how everything will fit. It’s easy with these 3 tips to a organize diaper bag.
1. Don’t Pack Too Light
We know it’s such a huge effort to bring all these things with you whenever you’re out, but it’s better that way. If you pack too lightly, the chances are you’ll end up missing some things.
2. Use Color-Coded Pouches
With all the essentials strewn together inside the baby diaper bag, it’s difficult to track and find the item that you need at once.
Our tip is to separate them accordingly and place them in a plastic bag or a purse, to whichever your liking is. Be sure to label code the pouches so you won’t get confused. It saves space and time!
3. Pre-Fill Baby Bottles
Disaster strikes whenever infants are involved. That’s why it’s a good idea to come prepared. Pre-filling the baby bottles the night before a big trip lessens your stress and reduces messy accidents.
Also, don’t forget to close the bottle tightly to prevent any spills.
The Bottom Line
Something to remember at the end of this article is that parenting is made easier with a well-stocked diaper bag.
Less isn’t more. MANY diaper bags need a load of gear.
The more you have stored inside, the better prepared you and your partner are for any challenges thrown in the way.
So, what are some of your diaper bag must-haves? Just add them to this list and you should be good to go!
FINAL TIP: We suggest you take a look at our Checklist of Baby Essentials to Prepare for Your New Baby to make sure you have all the baby gear you need once you bring your new bundle of joy back home!
July 22, 2021 – updated interlinking, updated external links, removed 1 section