Our Diaper Bag Essentials – Babies Under 1
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Before Graci was born last year, I did so much research. Pinterest was my best friend.
I wanted to be prepared for new mom life. One of my areas of research was what to carry in a diaper bag.
Nowadays, I feel like a diaper bag pro. I could pack the thing in my sleep. So, I thought I’d share what we keep in our diaper bag, along with our favorite products.
While you may need to add additional items to your diaper bag, I hope that the following will help you get an idea where to start.
To help with your diaper bag packing, we’ve created a free printable checklist that you can download when you subscribe to our mailing list below!
Okay, let’s get started!
If you are a momma that uses bottles, you’re definitely going to need to pack a few in your diaper bag. I like to pull clean bottles and put them in a brand new gallon-sized ziplock bag. That way, I know that everything is clean.
Our daughter, Graci, is a formula-fed baby, so we’ve tried a huge variety of bottles in her 10 months of life. If you are looking for a bottle suggestion, we’ve loved these bottles from Avent:
If your baby is formula-fed like Graci, you’ll become an old pro at how to pack formula for use on-the-go. But, if you’re just starting out, you may wonder how to bring formula along. We use two containers like these:
These are really simple to use. This container has three partitions where you can put powdered formula. Depending on how big your baby is, you may decide to put 1, 2, or 3 scoops of formula in each partition. Then, when you get ready to make a bottle, you twist the opening to the partition, and you’ve got a pre-measured amount of formula ready to go.
It is worth noting that you should also carry bottled water or whatever water you typically use for bottle-making.
In the past, we’ve used other brands of formula dispensers, but these are our favorite because the wider opening at the top is easier to get formula out of, and when you’re done using these containers for formula, you can use them for snacks! Imagine throwing this in your bag later with toddler-friendly snacks!
If you are breastfeeding your baby, you may be able to skip the formula and bottles, but you may decide to carry other items. Breastfeeding covers, nursing pads, nipple cream and snacks for mom may be handy to have in your bag!
When your baby is first born, burp cloths are ESSENTIAL in your bag. Some babies spit-up often, and some don’t at all.
Graci didn’t spit-up often when she was tiny, but when she did, man it was good to have a cloth ready! Besides, if your baby doesn’t spit-up often, burp cloths are still really handy for wiping milky baby mouths!
For Graci we used a lot of burp cloths from Babies ‘R Us, but really any will do!
Baby Food & Baby Snacks
When your baby gets bigger, you’ll need to add baby food and snacks to your bag. We like to keep at least two baby food containers with us and some sort of “snack.”
We have really loved these Gerber Puffs in our house. They are fast to breakdown in a baby’s mouth so you don’t have to worry as much about choking, and they are big enough for the baby to grab and learn to put into their mouth. We always have a bottle of these in our diaper bag.
In addition to carrying new food, you’ll also have to start carrying different baby gear. Below are our absolute favorite items for when baby transitions to eating food!
I cannot say enough good things about these rubber bibs. They make life so much easier, and cleaner. When a baby first learns to eat, they will be wearing more than what actually makes it into their mouth. With these bibs, you just rinse them off. Lifesaver.
We are a big fan of heat-sensitive baby products in our house. These spoons are colored when food is cool enough for a baby to eat, and they turn white when food is too hot. Genius.
We actually had Munchkin’s other version – the spoons with the metal handles – but we discovered that about a year into using them, the plastic trapped water inside of the spoon part. Since these are more one-piece, I think these would be better. And, these are what I’d purchase in the future.
Pacifiers (If Your Baby Is Into Them)
Graci was big into pacifiers for the first 8 or so months of life. We always tried to have a spare binky in our diaper bag, just in case.
We really liked the MAM Pacifiers, but since this is a super personal choice, it’s probably best to use whatever type your baby likes best.
Pacifier Wipes (We Use Them For Bottles, Too)
Before I had Graci, I had no idea that pacifier wipes were a thing! But they are, and they are ESSENTIAL to life as a new mom. These wipes are easy to throw in your bag and you can use them to wash off a binky or a bottle when it hits the ground (which happens a lot).
Seriously, these wipes are incredible, especially when you don’t have soap and water nearby.
As a new mom, it can be so scary leaving the house with your little one. One of the things that made me feel more secure in our adventures was having a few medical supplies in my diaper bag.
My favorite items to carry “just in case” are a nose sucker, thermometer, and a small first-aid kit.
If you’re looking for a thermometer, we’ve loved this one:
This one is super obvious! Babies need changed constantly, it seems. I like to keep at least three diapers in my diaper bag and a bag of diapers in our car… just in case.
We’ve been really lucky with Graci in the fact that we’ve barely had to deal with diaper rash issues.
However, I think that almost every baby will experience some irritation at one time or another. So, I’m always sure to keep some rash cream in my diaper bag. That way, if something shows up during a diaper change, I don’t have to wait until we get home to start treating it.
My absolute favorite rash cream is this one:
Oh boy. This topic gets me heated.
When I was a new mom, I went into a public restroom and pulled down the changing table. There was bits of poop all over it. GROSS. GROSS. GROSS.
I don’t understand why any person would leave a changing table in that state. But, I think it happens more often than any of us would like to think about. And, even if you can’t see a billion germs all over the surface, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
My solution to this problem is to carry disposable pads that I can completely cover any surface with, change my daughter and then throw them all away. Do you really want to put your nice changing pad on a germy surface? Ick.
The pads that I use are actually for incontinence sufferers to protect their bedding. They fold up small and are easy to pack in your diaper on-the-go.
Here is a great pack of 300:
As far as a non-disposable changing pad, we use the one that came with our diaper bag, and we only really use it in the back of the car when we have to change our daughter in a pinch, or when we are at someone’s house. Basically, when we aren’t concerned about all the germs.
You never know when you’ll have a baby-related mess to clean up. Because of this, I like to keep grocery sacks in one pocket of my diaper bag. They are great for throwing away dirty diapers and having a place to put baby clothes that are dirty and/or wet. And, this leads me right into my next diaper bag item!
Change Of Clothes
You may experience the dreaded blow-out, or just a massive spit-up incident. Either way, you’re going to be a much happier momma with a much happier baby if you carry a change of clothes for your little one. I like to keep one outfit in Graci’s size available in the diaper bag or car, just in case.
I believe we have only used Graci’s change of clothes a handful of times over her ten months (and I don’t think she ever really really really needed them), but the peace of mind is worth keeping an outfit packed.
One thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to have to keep in mind is that these outfits will need to be changed out as your baby grows, which happens super fast in those early months. It is also important to remember to swap out the outfit if you end up using it. (Obvious, I know. But mommy brain is a REAL thing.)
If your baby is prone to spitting up, you may opt to carry an extra shirt/outfit for yourself!
Baby socks are a huge source of frustration for me. Graci definitely needs to wear socks, especially when it is cold, but we are perpetually chasing them down. These days, she’s turned pro at taking them off in the car, and sometimes we don’t notice right away. Because of this, we’ve opted to carry an extra pair of socks with us.
Blankets are a really great thing to always have with you. They serve SO many purposes for babies. You can use one as a birp rag in a pinch, a clean place to put your baby on the floor, extra warmth (obviously), a breastfeeding cover-up or as a shade drape, etc.
I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory, but I do have recommendations on our favorite blankets! These swaddle blankets are lightweight and great for long after your baby is no longer the swaddle age.
I can’t say enough good things about these!
The older your child gets, the more important it will be that you have items to entertain them. When it comes to our diaper bag toys, I like to pick ones that both fun and easy to transport.
Below are the toys that we have loved the most! These are my essential diaper bag toys for Graci.
When buying toys for Graci, I like to buy ones that can clip onto her diaper bag, her stroller, her highchair seatbelt, etc. Graci is also in love with the links that I linked to above, and they come in handy for attaching toys!
Other Items To Consider
In addition to all of the items above, I like to include a few other items like baby sunscreen, facial baby wipes and baby lotion.
Depending on your baby and your climate, you may or may not need sunscreen and baby lotion with you 24/7. And as far as facial baby wipes go, I don’t think they are necessary, but they are nice to have on hand because they are gentler than traditional baby wipes.
Hopefully these tips helped you determine what items you’d like to pack in your diaper bag! Make sure to sign-up for our email list and get your diaper bag checklist!