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By Ruth Nchekei

23rd July 2021

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What to include in a diaper bag
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Essential items to include in a diaper bag

 A good diaper bag: A must-have when out and about with a baby. All experienced moms and other caregivers know this. 

If you are a new mom, chances are, you have one, but have no idea what should go in there. 

You may be wondering, “Do I really need a diaper bag?” Absolutely no. The bag you used in college can serve the same purpose. It’s just that diaper bags are more convenient, given their compartments– some can even be converted into baby beds. The whole idea of this is to give you a checklist of what to pack in yours. 

Diapers

This tops the list for a universal reason. Baby’s poop or pee at their first urge and those diapers get full so fast. Diapers should be changed as frequently as needed. Meaning, should be changed immediately after a bowel movement; or every 1-3 hours when it’s just pee. When you’re, say, at the mall, park or in hospital with a baby, you will need 2 diapers for every 2 hours you will be out. 

Shop for disposable diapers here.

Shop for reusable swimming diapers here.

Shop for washable cloth diapers here

Disposable wipes

Essential in any diaper bag, as can be used to wipe baby’s tushie, the changing pad or your hands. Also, spills can occur on your clothes or the baby can roll over on his own poop. You will need disposable wipes to keep things clean, especially when dealing with a blow-out.

Shop for pampers water-based wipes here.

3 sets of clothes

Every parent’s horror story has a diaper blow-out in it. A baby’s spit-out can also sip into the clothes worn, warranting a change. Such incidents occur when you’ve just changed your baby into clean clothes, so it’s wise to carry 3 extra sets in the diaper bag. Remember each set should have a vest, onesie, romper (t-shirt and sweater for infants and toddlers) and socks.

Burp cloths

And bibs. These are important for when your baby’s burp contents are released through the mouth to your clothes or his. Sometimes babies cry due to discomfort caused by air in their stomachs. Burping your baby would mean placing them on your shoulder and gently rubbing their backs to release. Sometimes a dry belch will come out, other times there will be a spit out. Before burping your baby, ensure you put a burp cloth on your shoulder– also why there should be one in your diaper bag. Bibs are for when the spit outs unexpectedly happen– you don’t want that on baby’s clothes when travelling.

Shop for burp cloths here.

Food

If you are exclusively breastfeeding your under 6 months old baby, this would mean just having you around, as they will only need to breastfeed. It could also mean carrying pumped breastmilk. If you are weaning, carry some mashed purees. If you have a toddler, ensure there’s real food and snacks in your bag as well. If your baby is at a weaning stage, try out this silicone baby food dispensing spoon for your outdoor experience.

Essential Items to Include in a Diaper Bag

Baby ointment

You need to oil your baby after wiping its bottoms., to prevent diaper rash. A good diaper rash cream is this Zinc and Castor cream. You may also need to pack some sunscreen if your baby is 6 months and above, but consult a pediatrician on sunscreen solutions first. 

Light sheet

Important for when there is a light breeze outdoors; want to protect their skin during harsh sun hours; when you want to nurse publicly but in private or when you need to place your baby down to sleep in a portable cot.

Fleece blanket

Carry this for when your baby needs to sleep or when you want to protect their soft skin from the breeze.

Umbrella

Having a small umbrella in the diaper bag is fine as you never know when it may start raining or when the sun may be too much for your little one’s eyes and skin.

Toys

Rattle teether toys for a teething baby, soft books for a curious and calm toddler, vision cards for a weeks-old baby, a small squeaky plush toy for baby to have a fun cause and effect experience. 

Sanitizer

You need to splash some sanitizer on your hands before and after a diaper change. You never know the kind of germs you touch from touching public surfaces, especially during Covid. Your toddler may also touch dirty surfaces, hence the need to carry a bottle every time you are out with your kids.

Pacifiers

When outdoors, babies tend to get fussy. This is where pacifiers come in. Pacifiers offer temporary distraction and soothe fussy babies to sleep. Long car rides and flights give babies discomfort, so carry at least 4 pacifiers to ease discomfort. Fresh food nibbler baby pacifiers are a win for the outdoors. They are designed to gently massage baby’s gums while holding baby food. You can put breastmilk or fruit puree for your infant to enjoy while soothing teething discomfort.

Essential Items to Include in A diaper bag

First aid kit

You don’t need to buy an expensive first aid kit. You can build your own. Key things to have in the kit are: band aids, for when you or your toddler get bruised; paracetamol, to relieve physical pain whilst rushing to hospital; thermometer, to take baby’s temperature incase you suspect they’re sick; cotton wool and warm water, to clean bruises and an antibiotic ointment.

Do you think this diaper bag checklist for newborns and toddlers is exhaustive? No? Feel free to add more in the comments section

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