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Paula Kashtan

How To Pack Your Diaper Bag

The new-mom motto? Be prepared! We have your go-to list of diaper bag must-haves.

Diapers Figure one diaper for every two hours you’re out…and maybe a few extra, just to be safe.

Wipes Look for a good travel pack, or keep them moist in a plastic sandwich bag. These serve double duty for cleaning your own hands!

Cream Save space with travel-sized tubes.

Changing pad or blanket Even if your bag comes with one, you might find you need something a little larger.

Important numbers and extra money and keys On little sleep, it’s easy to forget all these essentials. Keep extras in your diaper bag so you’re never left totally stranded.

Pacifiers (if you use them) Store these in a clean bag along with bottle nipples to keep everything sanitary.

Burp cloths or washcloths Again, put in as many as you think you’ll need, then add a few more.

Blanket No matter what the season, it’s always good to have an extra one on hand.

Bottles and formula (if you’re not breastfeeding) If you’re mixing formula, also include a bottle of water so you can simply shake and go when you’re ready to feed. Since things can quickly turn ugly when baby is hungry, it helps to premeasure both the water and formula so that no extra thinking or time is required. Keep the bottle nipples in the same bag as the pacifiers.

Change of clothes ...or two. Throw in a couple extra pairs of socks, too.

Hat Whether you have a summer or winter baby, you’ll need it to block out sun or cold.

Extra bags Use these for soiled diapers (toss if they’re disposable, bring home if they’re cloth) and clothing. These also work for used pacifiers and nipples.

Other items to consider:

Nasal aspirator You’ll be happy to have one of these on hand if baby is feeling particularly mucusy.

Nursing cover Lots of moms like these when they’ll be breastfeeding in public.

Gas drops If they seem to work for your baby, toss a few in the bag.

Extra shirt for yourself It’s easier than you’d imagine to find yourself covered in spit up or other lovely liquids.

Nursing and vaginal pads For you, not baby. These are especially essential in the first few weeks when your liquid output is still pretty high.

Toys If there’s anything that keeps baby entertained, throw it in the bag. You probably won’t need much during the first 30 days, though.

TIP: Keep another small bag with the very barest necessities — diapers, wipes, and burp cloths, as well as pacifiers and bottles and formula if you use them — to grab and go for a quick, unexpected trip.

Plus, More from The Bump:

Diaper Bag Essentials

10 Diaper Bags You'll Love

8 Best Diaper Bags for Dads

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