Diaper Bag Requirements
- Plenty of room for the obvious, but also little extras
- A compartment for my stuff. I didn’t want to carry this bag AND a purse, so I needed this diaper bag to do double duty
- Not look too diaper bag-y. In appearance, I wanted it to be father on the purse end of the scale rather than on the typical diaper bag end.
- (Seemingly contradictory) Not look too feminine. My husband needed to be able to carry this around and not feel like he was carrying a woman’s purse.
Thanks goodness for Amazon. It took a long time to find one that fit all of the criteria. We decided on the Skip Hop Grand Central bag. It was a lot more than I wanted to spend on a diaper bag, but more than one person warned me that the cheap bags were not worth it because they fell apart so quickly. I quieted that cheapskate voice in my head and purchased this bag.
I have not regretted it once.
It does exactly what I wanted it to do. The middle compartment is sizable and fit all of her diaper stuff, a set of extra clothes, ointments, and a pouch with medicine and other toiletries. One of the outside pockets has a designated spot for my phone and worked perfectly to hold my stuff. We use the other outside pocket for toys or stuff for feeding.
One of the reviews I read said that they didn’t like it because it got bulky. It can get bulky, but that’s usually because we’re stuffing it full.
One feature that I didn’t think would be a big deal, but that I have come to LOVE are the straps that allow it to easily hang on the handle bar of the stroller. They are sturdy and easily hold a very full bag, which allows us to use the entire under compartment of the stroller for other stuff without having to carry the bag on our shoulder.
My one complaint is that I wish that it had a crossbody strap so that I could carry it across my body. That being said, I’m not sure that a bag this size would be able to be comfortably worn on my hip.
Once we had the bag, we had to decide what to put in it. I handled this much the same way I handled all of these issues that came up with a firstborn – I went to Pinterst. I found a number of lists that were helpful, but almost all of them had a bunch of things on them that I didn’t intend on even using, let alone carry around in our diaper bag.
Truth be told, in my tension between wanting to be prepared and my desire to not have a lot of stuff, more often than not, the minimalist tendencies win out. And if something happens, I make due with what I have. It is almost always sufficient.
Diaper Bag Essentials
- Diapers (obvi…)
- Wipes – Hint: When our packages of wipes would get low, I would make them the diaper bag wipes so that I didn’t have to lug around 100 wipes. It was way cheaper than buying the small package
- Diaper disposal bags
- Travel size diaper ointment
- Travel size bath wash & baby lotion
- Medicines: Tylenol, ibuprofen, gas drops & corresponding droppers
- Lightweight toys (Sophie the giraffe, fabric books, etc.)
- Nursing cover
- Single-serve formula packet – We received these as free samples. I breastfed exclusively, but decided to keep them in her bag in case we were ever in a pinch and didn’t have a way to get her breast milk
- Nipple Shield – This was an unfortunate reality for me, but using this was the only way I could nurse. I heard horror stories of how annoying it was, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I had two and kept one in the diaper bag, so wherever we went, I had what I needed to nurse her.
- Swaddling blanket
- Pajamas – Hint: Instead of carrying an entire extra outfit, I always had a one-piece pajama. It accomplished the same purpose as an outfit, but was less to carry. That, and I didn’t want one of her outfits to not get used because it just sat in her diaper bag
- Clutch purse – I downsized my purse to a clutch so that I had everything I needed in one spot. The clutch fit nicely in the diaper bag, but when I didn’t have the diaper bag with me, I could grab the clutch and go.
As she got a little older, the only two changes were that I didn’t keep a change of clothes in there for her because she didn’t have blowouts anymore and there wasn’t the need for the swaddling blanket anymore either. The only addition I made once she started eating solid food was a container of cheerios. If we were going to need to feed her, I packed the diaper bag for that with food, a spoon and bib.
For the most part, I feel like I found the balance I was looking for.
We always had what we needed, but haven’t had to lug around a bag that weighs as much as she does in order to be prepared for whatever her little life brings.
What essentials do you put in your diaper bag? What am I missing?