Becoming a parent is beyond exciting, don’t get me wrong. However, as my daughter’s arrival neared I noticed my excitement begin to turn into fear of not being completely ready no matter how much I prepared or being so over-prepared it’s overwhelming.
Being over-prepared is great, I mean who wouldn’t want to be fully prepared to make the whole parenting experience as easy as possible?
If I’m going to be honest, the preparation and organization was my favorite part of pregnancy, but the most overwhelming part once my daughter was finally here. There are countless amounts of essentials you actually need and endless amounts of stuff you think you might need or want to try out.
The goal is to be over-prepared, yet only when you need to be and at the right time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
I never thought I would get so overwhelmed from being over-prepared, but I constantly found myself feeling that way the beginning months of my daughters life when her father and I would take her out.
I had read every single article I could relate to on essentials and what you should have prepared in your diaper bag.
However, from my baby’s first well-baby checkup alone dealing with my postpartum self and my beautiful Nalani that was always spitting up, soiling herself, etc. I found myself overwhelmed with my over-prepared diaper bag I could barely even zip close, let-alone find anything in!
Organized or not, only keep what you truly need for yourself and your baby in your diaper bag tote backpack, or at least the bare minimum essentials and fill as you go depending on occasion/outing.
Sleep deprivation catches up to you fast, and it may seem like your baby seems to be the most distraught when you’re trying to find something that you can’t find for them. This then leads to an argument if you’re positive you put it where you thought it was supposed to be, and your significant other swears they didn’t touch it or like me, just flat out overwhelmed.
Let me save you all of those unnecessary situations, feelings, and arguments. It’s the last thing you need when you just pushed out a new life while adjusting to your new life.
I’ve created a Free Diaper Bag Checklist you can print to help you out starting with the most spacious and comfortable diaper bag that doubles as a tote and a backpack, to ending with things you’re going to want to always have in there for baby and you!
Diaper Bag Checklist
I love my Ruvalino diaper bag backpack that doubles as a tote. It’s so stylish, spacious, and even WATERPROOF! At the reasonable price it’s at, it even comes in a fancy carrying bag, and includes a free gift! I LOVE that it has a Mommy Pocket, which helps me keep my stuff separate and prevents it getting lost or combined with my daughters stuff! The fact this diaper bag has insulated bottle pockets to help keep my breastmilk cold without having to carry another thing and a bonus easy wipe-clean changing pad made my life even easier!
A diaper bag wouldn’t be a diaper bag without the diapers! I like to bring at least 2 diapers for every hour I plan on being out.
My favorite is Huggies Snug and Dry.
Wetness is absorbed in 10 seconds to help keep baby comfortable and dry until you see the wetness indicator turn blue and it’s time for a change! Oh yeah, these are great quality and are decently cheaper than Huggies little-snugglers, and always come in a bigger quantity than them as well!
3. Diaper Cream
Some babies rarely get diaper rashes, and some get them more than others. All I know is I’m always carrying a tube of Desitin in my diaper bag to quickly get rid of it when I’m faced with it. If it fails me I rely on Baby Bum and its natural ingredients to get rid of it by the end of the day!
4. Baby Wipes
I used to live for Huggies All Natural wipes all day every day, they’re so popular it was hard not to.
However, I switched to Seventh Generations baby wipes Free and Clear and I’ll never use any other wipes ever again.
They’re soooo strong, durable, and natural being that they are moistened with plant-derived skin conditioners such as aloe vera.
I always find myself using less wipes than I would use with Huggies, and I buy the bulk box of 768 and it lasts me up to 3 months!
More Diaper Bag Essentials
You can’t stop the inevitable. At some point babies pacifier, toy, or bottle will fall and you need it cleaned safely and efficiently before you return it back to them. In any situation like that, I pull out Munchkins Arm and Hammer 100% Food Grade wipes that are safe to use on anything you need to clean and sanitize before safely returning to baby.
6. Changing Pad
You never want to lay precious baby just anywhere to get changed, you’re going to need a changing pad. One comes in the Ruvalino diaper bag if you do decide on getting it. If you don’t, try to find one that can hold some minimum essentials at least to make your life a little easier, such as the SnoofyBee Portable Clean Hands Changing Pad.
This changing pad literally keeps your little ones hands away from all the mess safely and even has toy rings to hang toys in front of their faces to keep them entertained! Now you can really mean it when you’re saying, “I’m going to change their diaper real quick.”
I always have at least one in my diaper bag! It’s a great blanket for any type of weather, works as a sun shield, a nursing cover, swaddle blanket, and is extremely breathable making it a super safe choice. I found the Momo Bebe Muslin Blankets to be my favorite with its durable quality and holds up very well.
Baby needs to eat. Eating = Messes, keep them as clean as possible and make sure you have backup bibs for eating, burp rags for burping and any spit up that comes out with it, and extra outfits in case that spit up comes out at the worst time or baby has a diaper blowout.
I always have Munchkins Arm and Hammer Diaper Bags, they come in the cutest little dispenser and are such a great size. They easily hold a couple to a few diapers and work wonders on odor control. Perfect for soiled baby clothes! Diapers can’t always be dumped when you’re out and about, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep the smell around.
Sunscreen is vital for skin protection. I always protect my daughter against those stubborn UV rays with Babyganics Sunscreen. This sunscreen has a nice consistency and is not greasy at all, making it very easy to apply, and just needs to be rubbed in very well but it’s totally worth it.
12. First aid kit
Anything can happen at any moment. I’ve cut myself just from opening a toy gifted to my daughter one time, and I can’t tell you how convenient it was to pull out my mini first aid kit and tend to it with a quickness.
13. Weather Appropriate Hat
Whether it’s for a fashion statement, cold or hot outside you want to make sure you have an appropriate hat with you. If it’s cold out opt for a beanie to keep baby warm, if it’s bright out opt for a sun hat to keep the sun out of their face and eyes.
14. Bottles of breastmilk or formula
Baby needs to eat! Bring a bottle, take advantage and let someone help you out when it comes to feeding time. Mommy needs a break too. Save time like I do, and use Kiinde’s Twist Pouches. You can directly pump into the pouches, store it, warm it, and pop it straight into a bottle. See how easy it is for yourself, get it delivered straight to your home, and try it for free .
Speaking of mommy, don’t forget about yourself! I always make sure I have these things handy in my mommy pocket.
Diaper bag checklist: Mommy Pocket
From touching car keys to my cellphone to my baby, the amount of germs in between is horrific! I always make sure I have hand sanitizer handy to disinfect myself periodically.
2. Water bottle & Snack
Taking care of our little ones is a tremendous amount of work. It becomes draining, I always make sure I have my water bottle with a filter to conveniently always fill it up, stay hydrated, and a snack to keep me going. As a breastfeeding mama, I like to switch off from taking my favorite Cliff bar to taking Lactation boosting snacks.
Nursing covers are a must-have for breastfeeding in public. This one can be used a few different ways and is really breathable for baby. Feel free to bring an extra Muslin swaddle blanket if that works better for you!
4. Nipple cream
Nursing sessions tend to always vary for me. My daughter tends to nurse a little rough sometimes and it leaves my nipples so sore they remain their shape as if she’s still latched on. Motherlove Nipple cream is my favorite yet. It is organic and completely safe to keep on while nursing. It’s free of Lanolin, which may contain pesticides if you didn’t know!!!
5. Nursing Pads
I always always always have made sure to keep fresh nursing pads in case I need them. I was going through them like crazy when my milk first came in and sometimes they would fall out, or it’s just time for a change!
6. Extra Shirt
Your shirt is 90% more likely to get ruined now that you have a baby. I can’t tell you how many times Nalani has spit-up on me, unlatched when my let-down comes out to forceful causing my milk to get all over my shirt, etc. I love to keep an extra nursing shirt like this one nearby, it keeps me just the right temperature and is very convenient for my baby to eat with ease.
These are the minimal things I keep in my diaper bag and I leave it at that, well besides bringing whatever toys my daughter is fond of at the moment and extra hair ties for myself if my hair isn’t already up.
Don’t forget any of these things in your diaper bag, download the Diaper Bag Checklist today to remind you in case you miss anything.