Let's face it: With a baby in tow, popping out of the house at a moment's notice just isn't an option. But you'll have one less thing to worry about if you keep your diaper bag stocked and ready to go.
"The key to diaper bags—and any sort of bag that travels—is restocking," says Mary Carlomagno, a mother of two, professional organizer, and author of "The Secrets of Simplicity." "My biggest trick is restocking the moment I come home and keeping duplicates of everything.
"I look at it like a survival kit," she continues. "If you and your baby get stuck somewhere, this will answer all of your and your kid's needs."
Be systematic about how you organize your diaper bag. Don't have enough pockets to stash your stuff? Extra diapers can go inside a large plastic bag, while a backup pacifier can go in a smaller one. However, you decide to organize and use the bag, do it the same way each time and a messy diaper change will be no big deal.
Whether you're packing a diaper bag for an afternoon play date or a week-long trip, the checklist below can help you make it out the door prepared:
- At least five or six diapers if you'll be out most of the day.
- A travel pack of baby wipes. (You can buy them in bulk and restock a smaller travel holder as needed.)
- Hand sanitizer for cleaning your hands before and after diaper changes if you won't be near soap and water.
- A changing pad.
- Zinc oxide
diaper-rashointment and/or antibacterial ointment, such as Neosporin (or generic bacitracin).
- Plastic bags for soiled disposable diapers, wet bottles, or clothes. (Some diaper bags come with one of these.)
- A complete change of baby clothes, including socks, a hat, sweater, and/or jacket if it's chilly out.
- Extra formula and sterilized
non-fluoridatedwater (if you're bottle-feeding). Carlomagno suggests keeping a bottle packed and ready with the formula already measured inside.
- Snacks such as cereal and crackers in plastic containers with lids or plastic bags, and an insulated bag for cold items such as yogurt or breast milk.
- A baby spoon in a plastic bag or
other reusable bagto keep it clean.
- A bib or two.
- Two spare clean pacifiers (if your baby uses them).
- A book or toy for your baby to hold.
- A small towel or burp cloth to mop up spit-ups and spills.
- A small first-aid kit with baby pain and fever relievers.
We want to hear from you: Did we forget to include an item that you believe is "must have" in your baby's diaper bag? Leave your comment's below :-)
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post adopted from consumerreports.org