While spare nappies should always be at the top of your ‘to pack’ list when venturing out the house, nappy bags, it turns out, are not just for nappies. I’ve compiled a full list of what to pack (below) but here’s a little disclaimer: you don’t really need all this stuff. Not really really. You need nappies, wipes, a spare outfit and food/milk. You will survive without the rest.
But if, like me, you’re too exhausted to remember what you need, or you pride yourself on being a Prepared Parent (laughing at myself right now), here’s a handy checklist:
- Nappies. Take at least two more than you think you need for the outing.
- Changing mat. I like Cherubs Care Mats. They’re soft, disposable, absorbent, and waterproof. (I’ve also used one of these as a make-shift playmat on the floor of the doctor’s waiting room.)
- Scented nappy sacks. You need somewhere to put the dirty nappy and wipes when you’re on the move. Dischem’s Baby Thing’s Nappy Bags are great value for money. If you’re using cloth diapers, remember to pack your wetbag or a sealable plastic bag for dirty diapers.
- Bum cream. I use Sudocrem when we use disposables, and coconut oil (or nothing) with cloth nappies.
- Wipes (for the bum). For nappy changes, I like Cherubs or Pigeon baby wipes.
- Hand and mouth (and all-over) wipes. Essential for older babies, particularly if your baby has started solids and/or is crawling. I love the Pigeon Hand & Mouth Baby Wipes and Stikki Fingers Family Wipes.
- Spare baby outfit(s). Spit-ups, poopsplosions, food messes, changes in weather … There are many reasons to take a change of clothes. Don’t forget socks and/or a hat, depending on the season.
- Spare parent outfit. Reid once peed all over me while we were out. Pack an extra T-shirt for yourself, just in case.
- Blanket. You may need an extra blanket in cold weather. Also handy as a make-shift playmat.
- Dummy/ pacifier.
- Bibs. Pack enough dribble bibs, plastic-backed bibs and/or sleeved bibs, depending on your requirements. I love love love Mum 2 Mum’s Wonder Bibs.
- Burp cloths. When I was pregnant, I thought I could get away with only owning two burp cloths. Hahahaha.
- Formula. Pre-measure the scoops into a formula dispenser. I like ClevaMama’s Travel Container, particularly because the sections are big enough to hold seven scoops of formula easily.
- Bottles and pre-boiled water. If you need to keep water warm, there are plenty of insulated bottle holders on the market. I’d advise getting the same brand as the bottles you’re using.
- Sippy cup and water. For babies who have started drinking water.
- Food and utensils. For babies who have started solids.
- Snacks for Mom. In my early days of breastfeeding, I was ravenous all the time. A few times, I popped out the house, thinking I’d survive an hour without food (surely?), and then nearly collapsed from starvation on the drive. Buy a bunch of snack bars for a quick blood-glucose fix and leave them in the nappy bag for emergencies.
- Toys and teethers.
- Medicines. Which medicines you take with you depends on you and your baby (eg if your baby is sick or teething). Lately, I’ve just been packing Allergex, as I don’t know what relatives are going to stuff into Reid’s little mouth when I’m not watching, and I’d rather be safe.
- Sunblock. Bennetts Sunblock comes as a roll-on, which is handy for wriggly babies. Eucerin Kids Sun Lotion (for children over one year) is also highly recommended.
What do you always pack in your nappy bag? Have I left anything off the list? Let me know in the comments below!