What to Pack in Diaper Bag for Newborns: Our Best Tips
Knowing what to pack in diaper bag for newborns is tough for new and experienced parents alike since each child is different and has their own needs.
There are essentials to keep in mind, but there might also be specialty products that can help to make traveling away from home a far more relaxed experience for parents.
We’ll explore the most recommended products for diaper bags as well as some essential organization tips to make sure you’re prepared for absolutely anything!
How to Find the Best Diaper Bag
Before you start to develop a checklist of essentials or figure out how to organize your diaper bag, you’ll first want to make sure you choose a bag that has everything you need.
There are plenty of designs that come with the basics, such as insulated bottle pockets, changing pads, and even key rings, all of which you’ll find useful.
A few of the essential things to look for in a diaper bag include:
1. High-Quality Materials
Above all else, you will want to be able to trust that your chosen diaper bag will withstand a lot of wear and tear because you’re likely to be using it multiple times per week.
The bag’s exterior and interior materials should be able to withstand rips and tears as well as offer some water resistance, although it would be best if it were waterproof.
You will also want to make sure the material is stain-resistant since stains can cause your diaper bag to look old and used after a couple of trips away from home.
Fortunately, most manufacturers boast about the materials used to design their bags, so you will want to keep an eye out for sturdy fabrics such as nylon or polyester.
Vegan leather or other types of faux leather are other fantastic options since they have the luxurious appeal of genuine leather without the maintenance.
2. Reliable Zippers
Even though they might not seem like the most crucial part of a diaper bag, you can guarantee you’ll be using the zippers just as much as any other feature your bag has to offer.
If you opt for a bag with poorly constructed zippers, it’s highly likely they will fail, which can make it impossible to get into your diaper bag when you need it most.
Many parents have found that bags with YKK zippers are the best option since they are self-healing and will always perform to the best of their ability, even if you happen to overpack your bag.
One of the best ways to test the quality of zippers is to try opening the diaper bag with one hand.
If the zipper gets stuck halfway, you might want to opt for an alternative model that is easier to open if you don’t have both of your hands available.
3. Ergonomic Design
If you’re not the type of parent to use a stroller any time you leave the house, you’ll want to make sure your diaper bag also has an ergonomic design that is comfortable for you to wear for extended periods.
Padded shoulder straps are one of the most common comfortable features most bags will have, but you will also want to consider padding along the back and bottom of the bag or unique contouring to help take the pressure off your shoulders and spine.
Parents will also want to consider shoulder straps that you can adjust depending on who is wearing the bag, as some of the more gender-neutral bags are fantastic for both parents to put to good use.
4. Storage and Organization
Ideally, it would be best if you didn’t have to invest more money outside of your diaper bag to keep your belongings organized, as the bag should have all of the storage you need.
Every parent should have a minimum of eight pockets distributed between the interior and exterior of the bag, with some being easier to access than others.
For example, you should have easy-access pockets on the outside for your essentials, pacifiers, toys, and more.
On the inside, you should easily be able to pick through the items that you have stored without having to rummage at the bottom.
You’ll want to make sure you have a specific area for diapers, another for food, and a particular place for an extra change of clothes.
With the help of convenient organization solutions, you’ll find that preventing your bag from being overpacked will be simpler.
5. Insulated Pockets
One of the best features of high-quality diaper bags is they act as a parent purse, baby purse, first aid kit, and lunch bag, allowing you always to have delicious treats for the whole family.
However, when it comes to feeding your baby if you’re not directly breastfeeding, keeping your bottles warm from your home to wherever you are headed is essential.
Insulated pockets are an incredibly valuable resource for every parent, especially if you know you’re not going to a house where you can throw together a bottle of formula or breast milk on-the-go.
What makes these pockets and compartments even more versatile is that they’re not only useful for keeping food and beverages warm but also cool, especially if you want to pack chilled water for yourselves.
Typically, insulated pockets will be designed to be separate from the other storage compartments in the bag, helping to make sure your other packed items aren’t affected by accidental spills while you’re out.
What to Pack in Diaper Bag for Newborns
It’s important to note that although there are a few necessities that every parent needs, children might require more or less of a specific item, which you will learn over time.
Until then, be sure to use this checklist to make sure you have access to mostly everything you could need.
- Baby toys
- Diaper rash ointment
- Disposable diaper wipes
- Diapers (one per hour)
- Portable changing pad
- Clean bottles and formula
- Breast pump
- Hand sanitizer
- Change of baby clothes
- Hat and sunscreen for sunny weather
- Plastic bags for diaper disposal
- Burping cloths
- Any necessary medications
Unexpected Newborn Diaper Bag Essentials
Most parents are aware of the essential things that every diaper bag needs, as noted above, but there are also a few essentials that could be more important than some of the other items mentioned.
As you get more experienced, you will easily be able to create a list of items that work best for you and your family since it’s just as important for babies to be prepared as it is for parents.
Here are a few unexpected diaper bag essentials that you’ll want to have for yourself and your newborn.
1. Nursing and Vaginal Pads
If you’re breastfeeding, nursing pads are an invaluable resource to help you from having to change your shirt halfway through a trip away from home.
You can find an assortment of nursing pads that sit comfortably in your bra and feel like a bit of extra padding without being too overwhelming.
Some designs even come with their own storage bag, so you won’t have to worry about storing your nursing pads with soiled and wet clothes.
Equally crucial as nursing pads are vaginal pads, especially as a new mother during the first few weeks postpartum.
Make sure you have an assortment of pads and wipes to make you feel more comfortable and clean.
2. Wet Bags
Wet bags are an incredibly useful resource for newborn parents, especially since your kids are far more likely to ruin clothes when they are younger than older.
Instead of using plastic disposal bags that can often be harmful to the environment, wet bags are a far more eco-friendly and reusable option.
Much like their name suggests, these bags can handle wet clothing and accessories since they are fully waterproof and typically feature a zipper to help contain smells and moisture.
Once you return home, you can easily wash whatever you have stored in your wet bag as well as the bag itself, so you’re prepared for the next blowout.
3. Hair Accessories
You might be wondering, why could I possibly need hair ties for?
As a mom or dad with long hair, it can be an invaluable lifesaver to have an extra stash of elastics and bobby pins stowed away in your diaper bag.
You can quickly put your hair up while nursing to keep your baby concentrated on eating, or you can tie your hair up if you start to get hot while outdoors for extended periods.
Even if your baby spits up in your hair and you have no way of washing it out, you can quickly tie it up on top of your head, so it’s not the first thing people notice.
4. First Aid Kit
This item is essential for families with children of different ages because you can never expect when you’ll need bandaids, alcohol pads, or gauze while out and about.
With that said, there’s no need to have a full-blown first aid kit in your diaper bag, but it can be a great idea to carry around some essentials that your family might need.
A few examples include pain medication, nipple cream, medical tape, scissors, tweezers, disinfectant pads, and kid-friendly band-aids.
Another alternative to putting the first aid kit in your diaper bag is to make sure that you have one in your car since it should be easy to access in an emergency.
Even as an adult, it’s easy to lose your temper when you’re hungry, which is where snacks will become an invaluable resource for toddlers and adults alike.
The last thing you would want is to have your toddler have a meltdown in the middle of the store because it’s not quite time for lunch, but they find themselves looking for something to snack on.
We highly recommend keeping an assortment of healthy snacks that have plenty of protein to help stave off everyone’s hunger until your next meal.
It might also be a great idea to pack some lactation cookies for mom to help boost your supply while on the go.
Another vital part of snacks is ensuring there's plenty of water to go around, especially if you know you’ll be spending most of the day outside.
For families getting prepared for what to pack in diaper bag for newborns, you’ll likely pack too much at first and then be able to narrow down what you need as the months' progress.
Hopefully, this guide can help you correctly prepare for any situation with your new bundle of joy and give you a more enjoyable experience when you’re away from home.