You will probably find it helpful to have a separate changing bag with your baby's things for at least the first two years.
Gone are the days of just grabbing your keys and phone and heading out the door (at least for a while anyway)!
Leaving the house with your baby, even for a short trip, can be pretty overwhelming. It feels like you have to take everything with you except the kitchen sink.
Wherever your baby goes, the baby changing bag goes too.
What you need to put in the bag depends on your child's age, where you are going and how long you are likely to be, so bear this in mind before you leave the house.
Here are the things to keep in your baby bag for the first 4 - 6 months, and yes, someone this small does require this much stuff!
It is inevitable you will need to change your baby's nappy at least once if you go out for a few hours, so if there's one thing not to forget, it's a supply of nappies and baby wipes!
You will need:
It is important to keep spare changes of clothes in your baby bag in case your baby gets messy after a feed, or dare we say it, there is a random poo explosion.
Choose small, foldable items that don't take up much room and are easy to get on and off (depending on where you are you may not be blessed with a nice comfortable space in which to change your baby; you don't want to make things more awkward than necessary).
They don't have to be 'nice' clothes, they should be practical, 'emergency' clothes.
Items to pack include:
What you pack for feeding your baby depends on whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, and how long you are going to be out.
Adjust the following list according to your preference:
Here are some additional items that will come in useful:
When your baby is a bit older at the weaning stage (4 - 6 months), you may wish to alter the contents of your baby changing bag to include:
Now that you have everything you need to put in your baby bag, there's no point in just throwing it in any old how. You'll never find things and will have to turf everything out when you need them.
Organisation is key!
A changing bag with roomy compartments and lots of pockets will keep things organised, help you find them when you need them, and make it easier to restock when you get home.
Keep related items together in one compartment, i.e. clothes in one compartment, nappy changing supplies in another etc.
Don't forget to replace spare clothes and nappies in your bag with larger sizes as your child grows.
Aim to go through the bag once a month and make changes as needed. It is not helpful to pull out a 3 months-sized vest if your baby is 6 months old!
If you use something in the bag, such as a change of clothes, nappies or muslin cloth, restock as soon as you get a moment, or you may forget later!
Save space with travel-sized items of baby wipes, nappy rash cream, tissues and hand sanitiser.
Have two baby changing bags. Keep a small one with a few basic items for quick trips, and a larger one with more stuff for longer trips out. You might want to also keep a bag in the boot of the car.
Your changing bag might become your only bag for a while, to save you having to carry a separate bag for your own things. You can have a dedicated compartment for your purse, phone, keys, sunglasses etc.
There will be some things you can't leave in your bag and you will have to pack fresh each time, such as sterilised bottles or bottles of formula you have made in advance. Leave a small written list in a side pocket of your bag that you can refer to before you go out. This is also useful for other people who may use the bag (partner, grandparents, childminder etc), so they know what extras need to go in.
So what style of baby changing bag should you go for? It's really a matter of personal choice and budget, and some bags can have quite a hefty price tag (especially if it 'goes with' the pushchair you have bought).
A popular choice among baby changing bags is the stylish RUVALINO Multifunction Baby Diaper Bag Travel Back Pack with Changing Mat. Boasting 5 stars with over 5,000 reviews, this changing bag is currently selling at a very affordable £29.98 (at the time of writing).
In general the two main styles of changing bag include backpack style, which leaves your hands free to carry your baby, and shoulder bag style that you can wear or hook over the pushchair handles.
It is not necessary to blow your budget on an expensive, designer, changing bag. In theory you could use any bag as a changing bag and it doesn't even have to look like a bag full of nappies.
You may find an ordinary backpack you already have at home doubles up perfectly fine as a changing bag, and you can use a bag organiser insert to keep things separate.
You may wish to choose something stylish (but practical), as it will become your 'go-to' bag for quite some time. Take into account if your partner will be using the bag as well; a style that suits both sexes may be preferable!
Whatever you choose, your bag should be spacious, easy to carry, and have lots of compartments. It should be made of durable material (it will get a lot of punishment), and should be washable/easy to clean – wipe-clean linings are a godsend if there are spillages.
You don't want a bag that's too small to hold everything, or one that's too big so you have to rummage frantically in its depths to find things.
Many changing bags come with a changing mat included in its own perfectly-sized compartment.
There are far too many styles and brands of baby bags to mention here. The best thing to do is to go onto a website such as Amazon and read product descriptions and reviews in order to make your choice.
The list of things to put in your changing bag could go on and on, and if you want to pack extra things it's up to you. The above list covers everything important you could need.
The trick is to make sure you have enough stuff that's well organised, but you're not carting around a suitcase!
Save yourself the worry and panic that you might have forgotten something significant every time you go out with your baby. It needn't be a chore to keep a changing bag packed with all your essentials at all times.
Read This Now:
A guide to all the things you need to buy for your baby. Kitting out the nursery, what clothes to buy, baby care, how to choose a pushchair and more.
Continue reading »
Looking for something else?
Did you like this page? Pin it for later!