Packing Your Diaper Bag

By Kim Prissel

While sometimes it feels like your diaper bag outweighs your baby, it is essential to pack necessary items for your outgoing trip. Leaving the house with the right items will help you accomplish the things you need to do away from the house with minimal difficulty.

Depending on the length of time you will be away from home determines how much you will need to pack. Having a roomy, expandable bag is the first step. Packing it in an organized manner is the next step. Being able to find an item in the bag with one hand can make a diaper change go much more smoothly. I've listed some items to pack in your diaper bag. Obviously, depending on the age of your child, this list will decrease:

Quick trip to the store with your baby

  • 2 diapers
  • Small packet of baby wipes
  • Changing pad
  • Pacifier, if used
  • Packet of crackers or cookie
  • Bottle, formula
  • Bib
  • Small toy that will clip onto shopping cart

Day trip or day with sitter

Add these items to the above list:

  • Information card
  • More diapers
  • Second small packet of baby wipes
  • Changing pad
  • Baby food, spoon
  • Bottles, formula
  • Bibs
  • Small hand-held toys
  • Blanket to nap on
  • Spare change of clothing
  • Spare pacifier, if used
  • Plastic zipper bags for transporting dirty items home

Week with sitter: Pack this into a bag that stays with the sitter all week

  • Diapers
  • Large packet of baby wipes
  • Diaper cream for rashes
  • Spare changes of clothing
  • Baby food, spoons, bibs
  • Bottles, formula
  • Toys
  • Blankets

    Additional items at parent's discretion

  • Acetaminophen
  • Gas Drops
  • Teething rings
  • Teething liquid

When your baby has a regular sitter for the week, it is much easier to only transport soiled items home each day. It is also helpful to have your sitter write down questions or events that occur during the day (such as feeding and nap times) and collect the slip with your baby. Pick up time can be hurried or distracted and things may be forgotten. This way Mom or Dad have time to answer questions, check out small injuries that may have occurred, and celebrate the new things that have happened that day.

Your "Information Card" should have the following items listed:

  • Emergency phone numbers, preferred hospital
  • Work, home and cell phone numbers
  • Allergies
  • Medications given and dosages


  • Secondary phone numbers (grandparents, or friends)
  • Insurance information
  • Blood type

Keep your Information Card in a sandwich-size plastic bag so it remains legible. Anytime the information changes, update your card. This card is invaluable during emergencies.

Forethought when planning a trip away from home, no matter how long it will be, can make for an easier day for you and your baby. It also gives peace of mind for you and your sitter when leaving your child for the day. With your sitter prepared for any occasion, your workday will have less phone calls, less worry, and more productivity.

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