Packing the Perfect Diaper Bag

Packing the Perfect Diaper Bag

How to Pack the Perfect Diaper Bag!

Let me start by saying that I am a recovering over-packer turned minimalist.  I was the girl that could fit all of my clothes plus 10 pairs of shoes in my carry-on for a three-day getaway.  (I’m still pretty proud of this feat.) But after having baby Fatima, I learned the true meaning of less is more.  New babies are usually doing one of three things.  Eating, sleeping, and well… using the restroom.  Prepare for this, pack a favorite toy and you are good to go.  

First and foremost when packing your diaper bag, you will want to consider how long you’ll be away from home.  When I was a brand new mommy, I would pack 26 diapers, four bottles, two blankets, three changes of clothes and a partridge in a pear tree, for a 10 minute trip to the store.  I understand being prepared, but your baby doesn’t need 7 toys for a quick lunch date.  Trust me, they will be more interested in the napkins.  

The following items I would pack as essentials:

  • Diapers. A good rule of thumb is one for every hour you plan on being out.  Plus a couple extra, just in case.
  • Wipes. ( I realize I probably didn’t need to write this.)
  • A changing pad, or small hand towel for baby to lay on. 
  • Plastic, biodegradable bags.  Whether it’s soiled diaper disposal, dirty clothes, used silverware… keeping a few bags with you will always come in handy.
  • Bottles.  You know your child’s schedule best.  Pack what you’ll need, plus a bit extra in case of spills or a sudden, extreme thirst.
  • A bib and rag.  Some call this rag a burp cloth.  Call it whatever you want, but use it to wipe up your kid and the mess they make.
  • Snacks and solid foods, depending on the age of your child.  Making your own baby food is great, but a jar of organic, 100% veggies is very convenient when you are on the go.
  • A sippy cup for water juice, again, depending on the child’s age.
  • Extra clothes. Because the unexpected is guaranteed to happen.
  • We didn’t do pacifiers, but if your child takes a pacifier, be sure to stash an extra one or two in your bag
  • A blanket.  Even in warmer climates, you might encounter a rogue, bone chilling air conditioner.  
  • Hand sanitizer is great for when you aren’t able to wash your hands with soap and water.  

These items are not mandatory, but can certainly come in handy:

  • Breast pads.  For mama…
  • A nursing cover. I just recently posted on instagram about a fabulous muslin cover from Bumble Bee @ Tryano.
  • Books, toys, or other quiet distractions.  Please, don’t bring a noisy toy to a quiet restaurant.  And also be aware that your child will most likely be distracted by napkins, silverware, straws, sugar packets and all the other fun stuff found on the table when you are out to eat.  Obviously, don’t let your child play with knives lol.  
  • A spare pair of baby socks.  Toes get cold.
  • Diaper rash cream.  Hey, sometimes they need it.  
  • Teething tablets and/or teething ring
  • Stash a foldable carrying sling in your bag if your little one loves to be held.  It will give you some freedom to use your arms.
  • Sunscreen and/or a hat for baby.  Their skin is sensitive, you will want to be prepared anytime your child is outside
  • A spare shirt for you.  Spit happens.

Diaper bag tips:

Personally I have found, that after using a traditional, over the shoulder diaper bag, I prefer a diaper bag backpack. This has worked great for everyday use, going for walks and for air travel.  My husband has no qualms about carrying it and it has proven to be much more convenient than the standard bag that I had to constantly adjust on my shoulder.

Ensure your bag has multiple compartments, with an insulated section for your bottles.

Keep diapers, wipes and changing pad together.  I have a small mesh bag I use so I can grab it on the fly and change #MySharif in a snap.

Keeping a small bag in your car with all the necessities will keep you prepared.  A breathable bag with wipes, diapers and a onesie can take a few steps out of the diaper bag packing process.  Just remember not to over do the bag packing.  A baby’s needs are really very simple.


Esraa Bani-Rothman

Esraa Bani-Rothman

Founder & CEO at Moms Guide Abu Dhabi
aka, Expat Mom
Sudanese-American working mom of three. Free Spirit. Idea Curator. Her brain moves faster than her body can go. A laid back chic who walks around with that stereotypical hippie vibe. She is never afraid to give you her unsolicited opinion about gentle parenting. Esraa has been actively over-sharing her motherhood and parenting stories on social media since 2008.
Esraa Bani-Rothman

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