Keeping your diaper bag organized can be a challenge. Any parent of a young infant can tell you that they do not travel light and leaving the house in a timely manner is practically unheard of with small children. There are extra clothes to pack, bottles, snacks, blankets, burp bibs, toys, soothers, extra soothers, medicines and then of course your own gear.
How do you keep from over packing and then how do you keep it all organized?
The most important aspect of diaper bag organization is the bag itself. Many women are used to carrying purses so we have an idea of what sort of bag we prefer however, diaper bags are a whole new world. The bag really should be water proof (particularly on the inside to prevent damage from spilled bottles/juice/snacks etc.) and have multiple compartments for you to stash your essentials. I also really like diaper bags with small feet on the bottom to help prevent the base of the bag getting dirty or wet in all the various places you will put it down.
Look for a diaper bag with:
Look for a bag with multiple pockets. One large sack will drive you crazy as you frantically search for your baby’s soothing pacifier or a burp bib in time to catch the mess. A series of small pockets on the outside will make finding things you need quickly a snap! Other items for the outer pockets include your keys, cell phone and wallet.
Look for a bag with an adjustable strap. When weighted down with all of Baby’s gear having a diaper bag swing wildly from your person is not helpful. You want to be able to sling the bag across your body or drape it off your shoulder easily while holding your baby. Hand bags do not make practical diaper bags.
Next stock the diaper bag with everything you know you will need.
Here is a sample list:
- Diaper rash ointment or cream (travel size works well)(link to BBB cream)
- Extra clothes
- Pacifier or stuffed animal
- Sippy cup or baby bottles
- ziplock or reusable wetbag for storing dirty diapers (link to bumps wet bags)
- Hand sanitizer
- Nursing essentials
Pro Tip: If your diaper bag doesn’t have an outer pocket large enough to hold diapers and wipes, make sure that you put bum change items in a separate pouch and store that in the large opening of your bag but near the top for quick access during diaper changes.
Keep large ziplock or reusable wet bags handy too. Babies are messy creatures and you will change their wardrobe several times a day so you may as well throw a couple of outfits in there for such an occasion.
Pro Tip: To save room in the diaper bag, put folded clean clothes into one of the large ziplock bags and partially close the zipper. When the zipper is almost all the way closed, quickly draw the air out of the bag using your mouth (pretend the bag is a straw) to suck out all the extra air and then finish zipping the top. Now you have a neat and tidy vacuum packed outfit that will take up less room in the bag and be well protected from messy spills.
Change pads are also a great item to keep on hand. When you’re out and about with Baby, you won’t always find baby change stations and will occasionally need to improvise. Yes, you can use a blanket, but if the diaper change is messier than anticipated, you may find yourself without a blanket. I’ve been there, and my recommendation is to be prepared for messy diaper changes.
Lastly, when you get home, take out all the soiled clothes and diapers and put them in the laundry, give the bag a wipe out if needed then replace everything that you took out. If you do this when you get home rather than when you’re trying to get out the door you will be less likely to forget something.