Mary Dixon Lebeau
The perfect diaper bag is roomy and stylish – and that's not an easy combination to find. In the past, it seemed like diaper bags were shapeless sacks made in whatever material was left over from the baby's curtains. Fortunately, those days are gone. Today's diaper bags come in a variety of shapes and fabrics, and are priced to fit any budget. Some, like the Skip Hop Denim Duo Deluxe Diaper Bag, can be attached to a stroller using a "shuttle clip," making it a great choice for moms on the go.
Another favorite is the Bumble Bag Messenger Bag, which looks just like a messenger bag and also converts to a backpack. It comes with pockets for a cell phone and bottles, and a changing pad for quick changes.
Tired of carrying all the gear? Recruit your partner by giving him a "daddy diaper bag,” like the Diaper Dude Bag. It features 10 compartments and comes in a masculine brown. After all, babies need cleaning on Dad's watch, too.
It's in the bag
Once you've selected your perfect bag, it's time to fill it with the essentials for the trip. The amount of gear you'll need is directly proportioned to the age of the child and the length of your trip. To be fully packed, you'll need the following:
- A day's supply of diapers: Cloth or disposable, whichever you're using. To save space, you may want to pack the thinnest diapers, such as Huggies Ultra Slims.
- Wet wipes: As you know by no, these are lifesavers during diaper changes. Always have a full container in your bag.
- A changing pad: Many diaper bags have them "built in” or attached. If yours doesn't, pack a thin waterproof pad to place on the surface before you change baby.
- Antiseptic hand wash: If you're changing baby in the car or some other place without water, you'll want to sanitize your hands afterwards.
- Travel size products: If you're using powders, ointments or lotions, carry smaller bottles of the product in the bag.
- A flannel blanket or burp pad: For feeding time.
- A change of clothes: Because "explosions” can happen at any time
- A bottle of baby Tylenol: Teething, coughs and sniffles can lead to low-grade fevers; be prepared.
- Empty plastic bags, preferably with zippers: For dirty clothes and diapers. 'Nuff said.
These items can be packed and ready to go at any time. The day of your outing, add bottles, formula or pumped breast milk, and whatever else you'll need for feeding during the day. "Less is more" does not work in baby-land; it's always better to have too much than not enough when baby's crying hungrily.