By Nicole Pelletiere
Even if you’re just popping out for a quick supermarket run, when you’ve got a baby in tow, you need to be prepared for anything—and that means having more than just diapers and wipes on hand. Here’s the diaper bag essentials you’ll want to have on hand.
Diapers It’s a no-brainer—just remember to pack enough. One diaper for every hour you’re out of the house is a good rule of thumb.
Baby wipes Wipes aren’t just for diaper changes. Use them for runny noses and cleaning your baby’s hands and face after a feeding.
Diaper cream Because diaper rash can pop at any time, and you want to treat it quick. Go for a squeeze tube—it takes up less room in the bag and makes less of a mess.
Diaper cover When it comes to diaper explosions, you’re better safe than sorry. A diaper cover means you may be able to save your baby from an outfit change. We love Rock-a-Bums ($17).
Portable changing pad A must-have for keeping diaper changes clean and comfortable.
Hand sanitizer You’ll need it after a diaper change: Keep a small bottle in the side pocket where you can grab it quickly without fumbling around inside your bag.
Teething gel There’s nothing like a crying, teething baby to make you want to pack it in and go home. Outsmart the moment with a benzocaine-free gel like Baby Orajel Natural Teething Gel ($7).
Nursing cover If you’re breastfeeding, a cover will offer up a little bit of privacy, even in public spaces.
Ready-made bottles If you’re bottle-feeding, keep already-made bottles in a small, insulated cooler with an ice pack inside. A good rule of thumb is one bottle for every 2-3 hours you’ll be out.
Bibs and burp cloths Lunchtime can get messy. Be prepared by stashing some bibs and burpies for wiping up dribble or spit-up.
Changes of clothing (for baby and you) Accidents happen! Bring a head-to-toe change of clothes for your baby, plus an extra shirt and pair of pants for you (thin fabrics, like a t-shirt and yoga pants, are light and easy to pack).
Plastic zip-top bags A few gallon-size ones will be a lifesaver when you need to store dirty clothes or empty bottles.
Blanket A soft, cozy one can serve multiple purposes—for sitting, napping, or for warmth. You can even drape it over half the stroller so your baby gets to nap in some shade.
Sunscreen Even if you lower the visor on the stroller, harmful UV rays can still reach your little one from other directions. For babies over 6 months, stay one step ahead with a travel-size bottle, like BabyGanics 50+SPF Single Use Sunscreen Lotion ($13).
Toys and snacks Pack a few for an unexpected outdoor picnic or tummy-time session. And don’t forget to bring a granola bar or apple slices and a bottle of water for yourself!