The first outing with baby can truly be a daunting event. I know Tom and I raced back and forth from the car several times before our first trip out to get that one thing that we had left behind and might need for survival. Like anything, it gets easier with experience! These days, I have a shortlist (pictured below) that I check off quickly before long outings and keep in the pocket of our diaper bag to reference. We are generally out the door very quickly as I know our diaper bag is always stocked with these essentials.
As an eager first-time mom, I splurged for this Tory Burch diaper bag. If you’re a more sensible individual than I am, I truly do not believe a standalone diaper bag is essential – any large bag (or backpack) will do – and will likely be a much more fashionable choice. (Although I have been eyeing this Dagne Dover Landon Carryall – while not explicitly a diaper bag, it would be perfect and is oh so chic…) This ToteSavvy bag organizer insert is a great option to retrofit an existing bag into a diaper bag – perfect for those of you who wish Goyard made a diaper bag.
A lot of attention is paid to the bag itself, but I think it’s really all about the contents. There are four important categories I like to run through before any outing: 1) Diapering 2) Feeding 3) Weather 4) Entertainment.
For on-the-go diapering, this OXO Tot On-the-Go Wipes Dispenser with Diaper Pouch is extremely helpful to have on hand – we never leave the house without it in the diaper bag. If you do not have a diaper bag that comes with a changing pad insert (not essential), I love these Boppy Changing Pad Liners which fold up nicely alongside 3-4 diapers in the OXO dispenser and make a perfect landing pad anywhere you choose (I use these when I change Wyatt in his crib too). A lot of friends also swear by this Skip Hop Pronto Portable Mini Changing Station.
This Munchkin Diaper Bag Dispenser is hooked inside my diaper bag (sneakily similar to the ones you see on dog leashes…) to hold the contents before I can locate a trash can, or store a soiled outfit as they case my be. On that note, an extra outfit (at least a onesie) is a must in case of emergency! I purchased these clear plastic tote bags to hold my breast pump parts, and I use the smallest one in the set to carry a few important toiletries, including The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray.
If you’re nursing, I find this Bebe au Lait Muslin Nursing Scarf to be one of the most discrete options for nursing in public. I also often double duty one of these Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddles as a burp cloth, a light blanket, and a nursing cover (just tie two ends together and pull it over your head like an apron). Check out my nursing essentials post for more recommendations here! I’m pretty liberal about where I’m willing to breastfeed, but I typically also bring a bottle out with me in case I’m in a situation where this is more convenient. I abide by the 4-hour rule, and I’m comfortable keeping breastmilk unrefrigerated (as long as we’re not in extreme heat) for up to 4 hours.
In addition to the extra outfit (onesie/pants) I recommended above, I always have some extra layers on hand given how quickly the temperature can change here in San Francisco. This usually includes a hat, socks, sweatshirt, and a light blanket. All of my extra clothes are stored in a mesh laundry bag like this to stay organized, and I use the other bags in the set to wash his clothes at home. In the toiletry bag I mentioned above, we also always have Think Baby Sunscreen (typically recommended only for babies older than 6 months).
This is age (and baby) dependent, but I find it’s always helpful to have a few sources of entertainment in your bag of tricks. We are a binky family (if you are not, God bless you), and I find it’s critical to have a few of these MAM Orthodontic Pacifiers on hand at all times for general parent/baby sanity. A binky clip also comes in handy so you aren’t chasing that puppy under the table at every restaurant. We usually have 1-2 toys as well, like the Sophie la Girafe Teether or the Manhattan Toy Whoozit. In a pinch, the bag itself can prove to be quite entertaining – at least according to this little explorer!