What to pack in a baby changing bag
A handy checklist for when out and about with your baby.
What to pack in a baby changing bag may seem obvious, but the tiny humans need so much crap I still forget essentials on a daily basis. And Hollie is 8 weeks old today. The most frustrating thing about all the baby stuff you have to take out with you is that majority of the time you go out, they won't need 90 percent of what you've lugged around. However, in the instance they do, you're Mary Poppins-style bag will become your lifesaver.
With that in mind, here's a quick rundown of the essentials you need to pack. Need something to put it all in? Don't miss our pick of the best changing bags money can buy right now.
What to pack in your baby changing bag: A checklist
Nappies: Probably the most obvious thing to pack in your baby changig bag. Just always pack a couple more than you think you might need.
Nappy bags: There's nothing worse than having to deal with a poo explosion on the go and having no way of discarding the offending item. Scented nappy bags will be your new best friend in this situation.
Nappy cream: This is a must-have item. You never know when nappy rash will strike and it can, quite understandably, make a baby miserable. Grab two tubs, one for home and one that just lives in your changing bag.
Wipes/cotton wool: Wipes are an absolute must. Multipurpose, you can use these for anything and everything from sticky fingers and spillages to bum and nose wipes. If your baby is very small, you might want to pack some cotton wool or alcohol- and frangrance-free wipes for nappy changes too.
Muslins: These simple pieces of cloth are a mum's best friend. Multi functional, pack at least two for every trip.
Sleepsuit/change of clothes: Always, always, always pack at least one change of clothes, two for younger babies, where there's a higher chance of poo catastrophes.
Hat: Summer or winter, always throw in a hat so you can either layer little one up, or protect that precious bonce from harmful UV rays.
Bottles/formula: If you're bottle feeding, you may want to pack a couple of bottles and some ready-made formula in your changing bag for emergencies. While you can usually guess a rough time your baby will want a feed, guarantee you the day you go out without a bottle is the day they'll be unusually hungry.
Breast pads: If you're breastfeeding, taking a couple of spare breast pads while out and about is an idea to help with any leakages.
Breastfeeding apron: Or you can use a large muslin if you want to cover up while feeding your baby out and about.
Changing mat: Most changing bags come complete with a changing mat these days, but if yours doesn't, it would be an idea to grab one. They come in super handy for any bum changes that need to happen and you can't make or find changing facilities. I've lost count of the amount of times a changing mat led in the boot of the car has saved mine (and the kids') ass.
Dummy: If your baby uses a dummy as a soother, be sure to pack a dummy for when you're out and about. In fact, make that two. Whether you have a younger baby who needs a sterile dummy, or an older baby who likes to lose them, a spare will almost certainly come in handy.
Comforter/toy: Packing a couple of small toys or a comforter is a good idea to help keep them entertained during nappy changes and/or long journeys.
Spare clothes for you: I'm not for a minute suggesting you will soil yourself, but you can bet if your baby can cover you in various bodily fluids they will. I never go anywhere without at least a spare top packed in my changing bag.
And that's it – all your essentials. It seems like a lot/a total ballache to get all that sorted every day, but a lot of what you need can be left for the next day if not used. Just remember to have a quick check for anything used when you get home, the last thing you want to find while on a day out is a used nappy that's been there for days, trust me.
Need some help with what you'll need for when your baby is born? Our ultimate hospital bag checklist will help you get sorted.