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Kylie McConville

Diaper Bag Essentials

Check out the surprising diaper bag must-haves moms say they don't leave home without (and where to get them!).
1
Tide to Go

"Tide to Go! I couldn't live without it!" - sarahHarris987

Instead of carrying around a change of clothes for every spit-up (because that can get heavy!), this mom recommends the pocket-size stain remover. While you should still come prepared for baby blowouts, it doesn't hurt to tote this little guy around for baby (and you!). (And no more pre-treater!) $5, Walmart.com

2
Travel-Size Baby Dish Soap

"Travel-size baby dish soap, to wash bottles in the bathroom." - hellenJay09

Instead of lining every possible creivice of your diaper bag with spare bottles, carrying around a travel-size baby dish soap is the solution to your storage problems! Plus, no gunked-up bottles spilling in your adorable bag! For a good travel-size baby dish soap option, try Babyganics Fragrance-Free Foaming Dish & Bottle Soap. $4, BuyBuyBaby.com

3
Clean-up wipes

"Clean-up wipes, so I don't have to worry about keep baby away from every surface! Just a quick swipe and I feel relieved letting baby play." - Suziequezie12

We've got to hand it to this mom — traveling with your own personal cleaning station is a must. Thanks to this tip, no surface is a tummy time no-no! Our go-to? Dapple Fragrance-Free All Purpose Wipes. $7, BabiesRUs.com

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4
Washcloths

"Washcloths: perfect for cleaning up my baby's messes (and mine, too!). And when I get home, I just toss them in the washer and dryer, and they're ready for next time." -alaskamama11

Toting soft washcloths around will save you time and space (and the added headache of realizing you're almost out of wipes). We recommend designating which washcloth you'll use for baby, for yourself and for washing bottles on the go. Stick them in their own zipper bags, so there's no mistaking which is which! Looking for something cute? We suggest Luvable Friends Super-soft Washcloths. $7, ToysRUs.com

5
Reusable placemats

"Placemats that peel and stick to restaurant tables!" -MaryRoe1983

If you're planning to take baby to dinner, sticking these reusable mats in your diaper bag is an easy way to keep baby's hands off the dirty table and to clean up any spills. Just give them a wipe down after dinner and they're ready for the next meal! Both you and baby will love Skip Hop's adorable Zoo Fold and Go Placemat. $12, ToysRUs.com

6
Craft scissors

"A small pair of craft scissors to cut up food! My friends used to laugh at me when I pulled them out but, surprise! Now they'll all carry them around. I hate using a knife and fork to cut up baby's food — especially when my little one is hungry." -Pattypoe93

If you haven't already guessed, these aren't for crafting on the go. Carrying around craft scissors (or kitchen sheers, whichever you're more comfortable with) makes getting baby's dinner a snap. You'll cut up the food in half the time, so you don't have to worry about a fussy babe. Hooray! Crayola My First Safety Scissors make our cut. $6, Walmart.com

7
Spare socks

"A spare pair of socks! My baby is always losing one while we're out and about." - TaraJaeb112

You might already carry an extra pair in your bag, but who's to say a few other spares will weigh you down? You can use them in case baby loses a sock, or as impromptu mittens (hey, you never know!). Etiquette Clothiers sock set will keep baby's feet looking fine. $32, Barneys.com

8
Thermometer

"Thermometer. My son has had a fever a few times and I never could quite catch it when it started. Plus, moms at the park have even asked me if they could borrow it — better to be safe than sorry! And I want to make sure baby is happy." - CrystalPTN22

We totally agree—better to be safe than sorry. Doesn't it always seem like baby gets sick when you don't have things like this handy? We recommend trying Safety 1st Advanced Solutions No Touch Temporal Thermometer. $60, Walmart.com

9
Hand Sanitizing Wipes

"Non-alcoholic hand sanitizer. I use it on dirty tables at restaurants and on baby's hands after a day at the park or the library, or even at the baby gym. I use it on my hands too!"

Whatever the cause may be, hand sanitizer is a must-have travel companion! No need to freak out about germs, mama. Get your hands on Babyganics Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizing Wipes. $10, BabiesRUs.com

10
Ultra-Thin Maxi Pads

"Ultra-thin Kotex cut in halves! Way better then breast pads and way cheaper!" - CKTmama33

Talk about a mama who knows her stuff! Not only is this cost effective, but these pads are available at every corner drugstore and convenience shop. $4, Walmart.com

11
Pocket Fan

"A small battery-operated pocket fan. It's perfect for cooling down hot food and helpful when you're outdoors in the heat!" - MorgannoeL99

This is so perfect for summer—when those scorching hot days at the park have you and baby sweating up a storm. It's easy to store and even easier to use. And what a genius way to cool baby's food! We're fans of the O2 Cool Carabiner Water Misting Fan. $4, Walmart.com

12
Baby Balm

"Mini tubes of Aquaphor — especially great in the winter when my son's little cheeks get chapped or if he's uncomfortable in his diaper." — lesliemaria88

Think of your Aquaphor as a little slice of heaven in a tube—it's safe for baby's bottom, baby's chapped skin and even okay to use on chapped lips. In the colder months, there's seriously no leaving home without this! $7, Target.com

13
Gripe Water

"Gripe water has been a life saver for upset tummy and hiccups. Make sure to get a brand that doesn't have to be refrigerated." - haydenrosemommy

If baby's got sensitive stomach issues, storing this in your bag is something you might want to consider — gripe water isn't proven to work, but doctors say it's safe to use, and some moms swear it works like a charm. $11, Target.com

14
Infant Tylenol

"We make sure to carry infant Tylenol with us in case something happens. We keep it close when we're traveling in the car or out for the day with baby—trust us, we wouldn't go far without it!"

We agree, you don't want to be caught far from home with a sick baby who needs medicine! $9, Walmart.com

15
Crayons

"Crayons, so our daughter has something to keep her occupied if we're out to eat or waiting at the doctor's office, or even if we're riding in the car."

When baby's old enough, keeping crayons handy can be a sanity saver anytime there's a wait. Add some color to that diaper bag with Crayola Crayons. $2, Target.com

Plus, more from The Bump:

How to Pack a Diaper Bag for a Toddler

How to Pack Your Diaper Bag

Top 10 Diaper Bags

PHOTO: iStock