10 Surprising Things To Always Have In Your Diaper Bag

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I consider myself something of a diaper bag guru.

OK, not really, but I do have a love/hate relationship with the diaper bag. On one hand, I love having all of the essentials that my baby could possibly ever need at my fingertips but on the other hand, I absolutely hate dragging a diaper bag around everywhere.

It's a point of pride some days to leave my diaper bag at home, like I'm defying the risk of a diaper blow-out and living a life on the rebellious edge.

Of course, those rare times I do leave the diaper bag at home or (gasp!) in the car, are always the times the baby will poop through everything, so there's that. I've learned the hard way that a diaper bag is an essential for the baby years, but I still stand by packing lightly for diaper bag duty.

Here are the essentials that you need to have for every age and stage with baby:

Newborn Stage:

  • Plastic bag. Why a plastic bag, you ask? Just trust me on this one. You will be so thankful you have it when that inevitable diaper blowout happens and you have nowhere to turn. 
  • At least three changes of clothes. Please see above for this one. 
  • Burp cloth. A good burp cloth or other lightweight blanket can perform so many double duties--nursing cover, spit-up remover, and baby warmer. 

Sitting Up Stage:

  • Plastic placemats. If you haven't discovered the beauty of plastic placemats that stick to the table, you need to get on that, like yesterday. These things are so great and when the mess is done, just roll `em up. 
  • Cup or bottle with a lid. A good lid is a life-saver for a lot of reasons. 

Toddler-On-The-Go Stage:

  • Socks. They always get lost and if you're out and about and need to put a baby-on-the-move down, at least their feet will be covered, right? At least, that's what I tell myself. 
  • Wet wipes. More than you think are humanly possible. They're practically a bath-in-a-bag, folks. 
  • Organic suckers. Once your child is old enough for a sucker (obviously use your own discretion there, no one wants a choking baby), I love keeping bags of organic, all-natural suckers in my diaper bag for those moments when I really need a well-behaved child. Those suckers have gotten me through many a grocery store meltdown. 

For Parents:

That's right, the diaper bag isn't just for babies, it also is a handy way for you to get what you need, too. In the words of my husband, a father of four (also my children, to be clear), "A diaper bag also becomes YOUR bag. It's about surviving." Well said, honey, well said. And unlike my Father on family vacations, you won't be needing to use a fanny pack to cart around your essentials.

  • Hand sanitizer. The sanitizing wipes also come in handy. 
  • Water bottle with a secure lid to prevent leaks. I can't tell you the number of times we've been somewhere and a small child is just dying of thirst. 
  • Bleach Pen or other stain-remover pen. It will happen, probably when you least expect it. 
  • Some kind of snack. You think kids are the only ones who can have hangy meltdowns? Definitely not. My go-tos are those little snack packs of almonds, because they last forever (well, not really, but a really long time) and are packed with protein, so they always fill me up in a pinch. 

My husband
Our four children


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