If you’re like any new parent, those sleep deprived, frazzled first few months will teach you A LOT about what you need whenever you leave the house with your baby and/or young toddler! I’ll never forget one of the first pediatrician appointments we took our newborn son to. I was still in the early stages of figuring out the whole breastfeeding thing, so we were supplementing with formula for a few of his bottles in addition to breastmilk. We packed up our little guy in his car seat and with a fully stocked diaper bag (or so we thought). When we got to the doctor’s office there was unfortunately a bit of a wait and our previously slumbering sweet boy all of a sudden got this look in his eyes…and the wailing began.

At this point, we still had no idea what his specific cries meant, so went down the checklist of things. When we got to “is he hungry?!” we looked at the time and realized that had to be it since he was normally fed around then. And as my husband started digging around the diaper bag looking for the (super handy!!) bottles of ready-to-feed formula that we carried around, it slowly dawned on us…we had forgotten to pack it. Of all the rookie mistakes you can make as a first time parent, forgetting the food is probably at the top of that list!! In that moment, I think we ended up finally perfecting the latch out of pure necessity but MAN, was that an experience we knew we could never let happen again!

So with that cautionary tale in mind, let’s talk about the top 10 items to have in your diaper bags at all times to help avoid (or at least minimize) hangry fits, meltdowns and messes while on the go!

Diapers/Wipes/Butt Creams

You may be thinking—hey, those are three separate items!  But in the world of diapering, these are considered as one (at least they are to me!) Always, always make sure to have several diapers, wipes and any sort of ointments/creams you use for your little one’s bum.  And pro tip? DO NOT forget to rotate the diaper sizes as your little one grows—there’s nothing worse than your kid already in size 2s, but opening your bag and realizing you still have the newborn size in there! Also, check your wipes to make sure they haven’t dried out.

Extra Change of Clothes

Back in your younger days, a blowout meant getting a fabulous hair style at the salon.  Once a baby comes along though, the term takes on a whole new meaning (ha!) Always have an extra outfit in case your child decides to have the most epic blowout while on the go. Use the pro tip above and make sure you are swapping in new sizes as your child grows too!

Sanitizing Hand Wipes & Sprays

In this pandemic day and age, you probably have a ton of these anyway, but make sure to have these in case any diaper changes happen and you don’t have access to soap and water. Also, get a pack of kid-friendly sanitizing wipes to keep your kid’s hands clean after playing, before eating, etc. Bonus points for also getting sanitizing wipes specifically for bottles and/or pacifiers for on the go cleaning as well!

Diaper Disposal Bags

Our wise friends who had a baby a year before we did gave us this genius pro tip! These bags are exactly the same as those dog poop bags (in fact if you have a dog like we do, you can just throw a few extra rolls of those into your diaper bag and voilà! You’re all set).  These bags are essential, especially when disposing of poopy diapers.

Sun care Items (sunscreen, sunhat, etc.)

It’s essential to protect your little one’s skin from the sun’s harmful rays, especially here in Texas when our daily UV index can be off the charts. Sunhats with UV protection is fantastic as well, and we always keep a sunhat in either the diaper bag or in one of those handy zippered pockets of his stroller.

Milk Bottles/Food/Snacks

Don’t make the same mistake we did!  If your baby drinks from a bottle, pack enough and in ice (if necessary). And as your child gets a little older, having easily transportable food for snack time is a must– a hangry baby/toddler is no fun for anyone!

Kid Size Reusable Water Bottle

We also never leave the house these days without our son’s favorite child-sized Yeti that we fill with water to keep him hydrated, especially on active summer days.

Extra Burp Cloths/Wash Cloths

Handy for cleaning up spit up and wiping little faces after a particularly messy meal! A few sheets of paper towels do nicely in a pinch as well.

Toys/Teddy/Books

Entertainment on the go is essential too, especially for older babies/young toddlers! We keep a few board books in the car and some smaller ones in the diaper bag, as well as soft toys and little active toys (like mini trucks or cars) for when we get to our destination. If your child has a comfort item that they love to carry around, make SURE you get at least 2 or 3 of the same exact one in case “teddy” gets lost or left behind. If you have the exact same one at home, your child most likely won’t notice when teddy miraculously makes it home after being temporarily misplaced.

Light Blanket & Stretchy Car Seat Cover

Having a light or heavy blanket (depending on the age of your newborn and the climate where you’re located) is really helpful is keeping younger babies nice and cozy on the go.  When our son was very young, we also never left the house without one of those stretchy car seat covers that you put over for a number of reasons (deterring strangers from getting too close to baby, creating a dark environment for car naps, etc.) And another pro tip—many of those car seat covers also double as breastfeeding covers, so snag one of those if you prefer to cover up while feeding.

Looking for a posh diaper bag? We are so excited about our Bloom for New & Expecting Parent event sponsor, Yuuma Collection.

Martine is a native New Yorker who (along with her husband Chris) lived in several different cities over the course of a decade until fate brought them to Austin, where they would finally plant roots and start a family. Even though they live far from their respective families and miss them dearly, they are loving raising their first child--a curious, brave and hilarious toddler named Julian and their dog Coco in this great city. Despite being more than two years into this wild ride called parenthood, she still feels like a newbie mom and knows there is a ton more to learn about her amazing child, husband and herself as they navigate this new and exciting life together. Passions include travel, live music, spontaneously dancing to her perfectly curated Spotify playlists and doing silly things to make her son laugh!

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