It can be tempting to pack every last thing you own when leaving your house with your baby. Your mind can quickly jump to “what if” scenarios thinking you’ll be completely doomed unless you have every last gadget and item recommended to you by parents far and wide.
But here’s the thing, an overloaded baby bag will not only stress you out but can end up being counter-intuitive. If your baby is crying and you need a nappy in a flash, you don’t have time to waste sifting through a bunch of stuff you don’t need.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of must-have items to pack in your baby bag. We’ve dialled it back and have focused on the basics, so you can confidently leave the house knowing you have everything you need without the extra stress. Keep reading to find out more.
Change of clothes
Every new parent quickly becomes accustomed to a poo explosion or two after their little one is born. While soiled clothes and mess everywhere may be slightly more manageable at home, it can be a nightmare to deal with when out and about - especially if you forgot to pack your baby a change of clothes.
It happens to the best of us. You quickly nip out of the house for a quick trip to the supermarket. Surely your baby will be fine for 20 minutes while you quickly grab some bits and head home? Wrong. The worst always seems to happen when you least expect it. Blowouts not only require a nappy change but usually a complete change of clothes. So plan ahead and always make sure you have a Zipster and a vest rolled up in your baby bag. If you’re planning on being out for longer than an hour or two, pack 2 changes of clothes.
Overkill? Maybe. But there’s a reason why veteran parents always have a change of clothes for their kiddos whether it’s a morning walk to a cafe or a long day at the beach. It’s all fun and games until it happens to you!
There’s just no way around it - babies need to be changed frequently. They can quickly develop diaper rash and become unsettled if they're not. After all, would you like to hang around in soiled underwear? Probably not. The same applies to your little one.
Make sure you have at least 3-4 nappies in your baby bag at all times. Some parents like to keep an extra bag in the car for emergencies just to be on the safe side. If your baby is a newborn and you’re going to be out all day, pack even more. It’s no secret that newborns can require back-to-back changes within minutes - so be on the safe side and make sure you’re prepared.
This one’s a no-brainer. Make sure you always have a pack of baby wipes in your baby bag. Aside from helping clean up your little one, they also are incredibly handy for wiping your hands, cleaning up sick, wiping that bit of dust off your car and tidying up yesterday’s mascara you forgot to wash off. You’ll honestly wonder how you ever lived without these magical things!
It’s also helpful to always have a muslin cloth or two rolled up neatly in your baby bag. These cloths don’t take up much space but are so helpful when out and about. Perfect for burping your baby and catching spit-up, muslin cloths are cosy, versatile and can simply be washed after use. You can even use one as a nursing cover if you’d like a bit of privacy when breastfeeding.
If you’re breastfeeding your precious bub, it’s always helpful to have spare nursing pads in your baby bag. They don’t take up much room and can save you from leaking through your top if your original pads get soaked through.
While lots of cafes, restaurants and public restrooms can be very accommodating by providing parents with baby-changing tables, don’t expect this to be the norm everywhere you go. Every new parent has had to get creative when it comes to changing their baby when there are no facilities around - and you probably will too. This is why it’s important always to have a changing pad on hand.
Whether you lay your changing pad on the ground when changing your little one or simply place it on top of a baby changing table to keep your baby safe from germs, changing pads neatly tuck in the side of your baby bag and can be a huge lifesaver when you’re away from home.
Wallet and phone
When heading out for an outing with your baby, the old saying is true - “less is more”. While it can be tempting to have one bag for yourself and another for your baby, this can quickly become overwhelming - especially when you’re holding your baby. Keep things simple and make use of your baby bag for your own belongings. Find one that has a separate pouch for things like your keys, wallet and phone. That way you can easily access what you need at a moment’s notice instead of digging around.
Must have items to pack in your baby bag
As your little one grows older, you’ll need to start thinking about snacks, toys and other bits - but for now, focus on the essentials. When every other aspect of life feels chaotic and crazy, keep things like your baby bag simple. Your mind and your shoulders will thank you!