So you’re ready to go out in the world with your new little guy or gal, but it can be really intimidating those first few times out and about. Having the essentials that you need will help you feel prepared for whatever comes your way. Who knew someone so little could require so much?! We’ve put together this list of diaper bag essentials you’ll want to have at all times when leaving the house with your newborn.
10 Diaper Bag Must Haves for a Newborn
Beyond the very obvious (diapers and wipes, duh), here are our top ten must haves when packing up the diaper bag. Because really, do you want to haul around more than ten things in your bag anyway? No, you do not. So, let’s just stick to the absolute essentials (including a few you probably wouldn’t expect that will come in extra handy) and you can head out the knowing you got this.
We love any product that makes life easier on the go. Just because you have a baby shouldn’t mean you have to feel chained to your house all of the time. The portable bottle warmer from Baby’s Brew allows you to be away from home for as long as you need while still having the ability to make the perfect bottle for your little one.
The world’s first battery-powered bottle warmer keeps a charge for up to 12 hours and allows you to choose from four different temperature settings to get the perfectly warmed bottle for your little one. It’s even perfect for breastmilk in that it will warm it to a safe temperature for breastmilk without compromising any of those essential nutrients. There's a reason it tops our list of best travel bottle warmers!
2.) Extra Change of Clothes
Spit-up and baby poop...you knew you’d have some of that but did you really imagine how much? I knew I didn’t when I had my first baby. And it’s the projectile spit-up and baby poop that really catch you off guard when you’re away from home. The best way to be prepared for this so you don’t have to cut your outing short is to have an extra change of clothes for your little one. Because the one time you forget will be the one time your baby decides to have an epic poop explosion. (In fact, we’d suggest even having an extra outfit in your car at all times...just in case!)
3.) Muslin Blanket
I didn’t make the splurge on Aden + Anais muslin blankets until my second baby came along, and that was definitely something I realized I really missed out on with my first. Of course now there are many brands making these wonderfully thin and soft blankets, so no matter what brand you choose, you definitely want muslin blankets on your must-buy newborn list. There is no better blanket to pop in your diaper bag, in my opinion.
These blankets my favorite for the following reasons:
- Perfect for swaddling up a tired baby as you hold them in your arms
- Allow you to snuggle your baby up tight so they can relax in their stroller
- Are large enough to put over a carseat to block out light (or lay loosely over your chest if you’re wearing your baby)
- Double as a nursing cover - if you tie two corners in a knot you can easily slip it over your head
And the last and also important reason is that they don’t take up a lot of room in your diaper bag like a thick blanket would. You still have room for everything else that you need.
4.) Burp Cloths (but not just any burp cloths)
Some might say a burp cloth is a burp cloth, but I disagree. I’ve used several in the past and there are a couple that work much better than others. You want to make sure the one that you’re using not only soaks in the spit-up, but also doesn’t end up being a sopping mess. In fact, the best burp cloth I’ve come across isn’t a burp cloth at all. By a few months in with my first baby, I was only using cloth diapers for burp cloths. They are thick enough that they can handle any spit-up your baby (literally) comes up with. Beyond that, the muslin ones that double as a drool bib, are pretty great, too.
5.) Clip-On Pacifier
Of course pacifiers would be on this list, but we especially love the clip-on, retractable pacifiers from Little Bae Bae. Though any pacifier will technically do, those little boogers get lost underneath your baby or fall on the dirty floor so easily. Clip-on pacifiers are easy to clip to your baby’s clothes or a blanket, and come in especially handy if you’re wearing your little one. Though your newborn doesn’t necessarily need the retractable ones just yet, they grow with your baby and will ensure your baby’s paci isn’t dragging on the floor once they start crawling.
6.) Wet-Dry Bags
Wet-dry bags come in handy more than you would think. Anytime your baby ends up messing up their outfit, soaking a burp cloth, or soils a diaper (and there’s no trash can nearby) you have a place to put it until you get back home. A good quality wet-dry bag will hold in odor and ensure there is no leaking that gets on the rest of the diaper bag. At the very least we suggest stuffing a couple of plastic grocery sacks in your diaper bag and those can serve a similar purpose.
7.) Diaper Rash Cream
Get your favorite diaper rash cream (you can’t go wrong with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste) in travel size and take it with you everywhere you go. It is crazy how quickly that redness and irritation can show up on your baby’s sweet little cheeks. So even if they didn’t have any diaper rash cream when you left the house, they might when you’re out and you want to be able to instantly make them feel better.
8.) Extra Feeding Essentials
If you’re breastfeeding your little one, no extra to pack, right?! But if you are formula feeding (or pump your tiny’s milk) you always want to make sure you have an extra bottle ready in case you stay away from the house longer than anticipated. We have an article all about the best formula dispensers, which will make prepping a formula bottle on the go a much easier task. You can even get the Baby’s Brew we mentioned above with a formula dispenser attached. Genius.
Just be sure to pack your little one’s bottle in a cooler bag if you won’t be giving it to them soon. This will keep it fresh until it’s feeding time.
We know that your diaper bag likely came with its own changing pad, and though that will work just fine, you can do even better. The Snoofy Bee is a genius product designed to keep your baby’s hands away from their soiled diaper. Not sure what it is about it, but kids think it’s hilarious to slap their hands down there while you’re changing them. Not only does the design of this keep baby’s hands away from the mess, but you can also attach toys so they don’t get bored and fussy while you get the job done.
10.) Nursing Pads
Don’t forget about your needs, too, mama. If you are breastfeeding, leaks are usually inevitable during the newborn stage. And depending on how long you plan to be gone, you may soak through the nursing pads you were wearing when you left the house. Whether you prefer disposable breast pads or washable ones, we suggest always having a couple of spare pairs in your diaper bag.