I laugh at myself over how excited I was to pack my baby girl’s diaper bag. With the exception of pediatrician appointments, my husband and I didn’t take her out often during the first several months of life on this side of the womb. We simply wanted to enjoy our time at home getting adjusted to becoming new parents while letting her get adjusted to life on earth. Regardless of our light schedule, traveling anywhere with a diaper bag is imperative no matter the destination, how frequent, or for how long.
While shopping around for a diaper bag, one of my sorority sisters gifted me with one in my preferred colors of pink and green. It can be worn three different ways, and is the perfect balance of functional, flexible, durable, stylish, and girly. Although I knew we’d outgrow the bag as baby girl got older, it was the perfect size for a newborn, especially during summer. I ended up ordering this diaper bag by Lily Jade and it’s working out great!
When considering everything I needed for the little one’s bag, I wrote a list that included everything from the basics to the extras. I may have gone a bit overboard but I’d rather have something and not need it than need it and not have it.
If you’re a new parent trying to figure it out, or an old parent who needs a refresher, check out my list of healthier diaper bag essentials below. With this list, rest assured your diaper bag will be well-stocked for your days out with your little one!
Diapers are the number one item you check for every time you go out. My suggestion is you pack at least 5-6. My favorite diapers are by The Honest Company because they are made without chlorine or bleach processing, latex, synthetic fragrances or lotions. They are also eco-friendly and hypoallergenic.
Wipes are just as important as diapers – they go hand in hand. I prefer wipes by The Honest Company. I love these wipes because they biodegradable, plant-based, made without fragrances or chlorine processing, and can be used for cleaning baby’s bottom and other messes.
My diaper bag came with a changing pad. It’s lightweight and the perfect size for an infant. If your diaper bag doesn’t come with one, be sure you buy a portable, waterproof pad separately to keep a barrier between baby and surface germs.
Disposable Diaper Bags/Small Trash Bags
Regardless if there’s a garbage can nearby, you should always discard your dirty diapers into a small trash bag. It keeps the smell to a minimum and it’s sanitary. I love these pink Alikey Tech Disposable Diaper Bags. You can tie them up easily, they are 100% biodegradable, and the baby powder scent masks the dirty-diaper smell very well.
Change of Clothes for Baby and Mom
Accidents happen. Whether it’s a leaky diaper, spit-up, or some other baby-blooper, you should always have a few extra outfits/onesies for baby. Extra clothes also include mittens (for baby’s hands to avoid scratches), and socks (to keep baby’s feet warm). If your bag isn’t big enough for an extra outfit for mom, I recommend at least packing a t-shirt for when what you’re wearing becomes soiled.
Diaper Rash Cream
To help avoid baby getting diaper rash, especially if your little one has sensitive skin, grab a travel size cream and apply it at every diaper change. I use Burt’s Bees Baby Diaper Rash Ointment. A cream without phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, or SLS is a winner to me. It’s thick so a little goes a long way.
In case you’re unable to wash your hands immediately, a natural hand sanitizer like Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizer is an easy, portable option that doesn’t take up much space. This sanitizer is the best because it is organic, vegan, has no synthetic detergents, preservatives, or genetically modified ingredients, packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, and is cruelty-free. Don’t let this totally replace washing your hands if water and soap are available.
Although it shouldn’t be, breastfeeding a baby in public is still considered to be indecent exposure. Grab a nursing cover for discreet feeding so your baby can relax and get nourishment in peace. Try this all-in-one nursing cover.
If you pump or formula-feed, don’t forget to pack enough bottles with extra breast milk or formula. Don’t underestimate your baby’s appetite. Be sure to have enough on hand. I am currently exclusively breastfeeding but I have accumulated a good amount of Dr. Brown’s Baby Bottles for when I begin pumping. Dr. Brown’s bottles are my choice because they are vacuum, BPA, PVC, lead and phthalate-free.
Burp cloths are definitely a necessity whether your baby is bottle-fed or breastfed. Using a burp cloth may save your baby’s outfit, and yours. I have Burp Cloths by Burt’s Bees Baby because they are 100% organic cotton.
Nipple Cream and Breast Pads
If you suffer from sore nipples, pack some extra nipple cream with you. Thankfully my baby girl latches on well, so I don’t have extremely sore nipples. If I ever find that I need nipple cream, I would choose Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. I recognize all the natural ingredients and would feel safe if my baby were exposed to it.
Another way to save your outfit is to carry extra breast pads with you. You never know when your nipples may decide to leak milk. I opted for disposable breast pads instead of washable/reusable pads. There’s no specific reason; it’s just a preference.
My husband and I decided that we weren’t giving Luna pacifiers but we had one on hand just in case she started to cry on a long car ride. If your baby takes a pacifier, you may regret not having one outside of your home. Whatever kind you choose, make sure it’s BPA free like these here.
Muslin Swaddle Blanket
While you’re out and about, a swaddle blanket can help calm a fussy baby or keep them warm. I have several Swaddles by Aden + Anais. They are super cute, soft, and 100% cotton.
Having a few baby toys available may be the difference between running all of your errands and leaving your destination upon arrival. Toys often serve as a distraction and may keep your baby’s attention long enough to have a successful trip out. Although I’m currently shopping around for something without fur, my little one has an adorable Bearington Rattle.
When baby gets blocked nasal passages, it can affect their breathing, feeding, and overall comfort. Although I’d like to say they work better than they do, I still recommend keeping an aspirator in your bag. It will offer some help when you need to clean out baby’s cute little nose!
Travel size tissues will always come in handy. They’re great for runny noses or catching any spit up that escaped the burp cloths.
Just like tissues, small washcloths can be used for minor messes. They will actually work better than tissues if there is a sink nearby to wet the towel. Try these 100% Natural Bamboo Cloths.
First Aid Kit
I have a natural-based first aid kit that I put together myself, which I’ll blog about in another post. If you’re looking for something standard, check out this kidSTAT Hospital-Grade First Aid Kit because although we go the extra miles to ensure our little one’s safety, sometimes boo-boos happen and they need a little extra attention.
Traveling with snacks is crucial, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You want to keep up with your calorie intake, and honestly, you want to keep yourself from ever getting “hangry.” If your baby is eating solid food, don’t forget to pack their snacks as well. I always travel with my absolute favorite dark chocolate-pretzel protein bars by NuGo, and vegan fruits snacks by J. Luehders.
If you keep this list in mind, rest assured, you’ll have everything you need to have a successful time out of the house. Just make sure you don’t forget your purse!