The diaper bag – it can be a new mom’s lifeline. I was no exception. In fact, my diaper bag was the first baby-related purchase I made when I found out I was pregnant. I had coveted a friend’s bag and when I saw it go on clearance, I knew it had to be mine.

You’ve got to be CRAZY to choose a white diaper bag, I hear you saying. But even after a year and a half of use, the bag isn’t dingy or stained. And I wanted something that didn’t immediately read as a diaper bag. (Leather details? Monogram? So cute!) No cutesy prints and no regrets here!

In the beginning, my bag was filled with all the essentials for a newborn – and then some. My favorite fillers? I never left home without:

  • Extra diapers, a full-size box of wipes, and plastic grocery bags. Extra diapers; no brainer. Full-size box of wipes? Well, my large bag could handle it, and we went through a LOT of wipes. I wasn’t messing around by pretending those cute little travel packs would do the trick. And the plastic bags were a lifesaver for containing those messy diapers and protecting my bag during those times when my daughter needed to be changed and a trash wasn’t nearby.
  • At least two burp cloths. Any small cloth will do. Chances are you received oodles of these at your baby shower. Burp cloths, cloth diapers, large washcloths, dish towels…they all do the trick. In whatever original form, these always did double and triple duty for me, as drool catchers, nose wipers and spit up wranglers. I’ve even needed to call on them to act as a barrier between baby and car seat after some surprise, on-the-go diaper explosions.
  • Aden and Anais bamboo swaddle. I was notorious for leaving my nursing cover behind where it did me no good, so I always made sure to carry one of these swaddles with me. They’re not cheap, but they’re HUGE and can cover your nursing baby with enough slack to drape over your shoulder and keep you covered. The bamboo version of this blanket is thinner and more breathable than the cotton ones, which is way more comfy for you and baby.
  • A pacifier. And the back-up pacifier. And pacifier cleaning wipes. And a pacifier carrier. At first glance, this seems like a frivolous addition, but keeping her paci in this carrier, clipped inside my bag, meant I always knew where to find it. And that makes all the difference when your child is screaming in public.

Seventeen months later, I’m still rockin’ the same ol’ diaper bag, but its contents have somewhat changed as my daughter gets older. As the mom of a toddler, I find that my bag is now heavy with a new set of must-haves:

  • Toys. Numerous burp cloths have been replaced with lots of portable little toys. Silly faces and sounds aren’t enough anymore to distract my daughter when we’re out and about. And if, like me, you want to protect your iPhone from often-messy toddler hands, bring toys.
  • Snacks. Clementines, crackers and organic fruit blend pouches live in my bag at all times. I don’t always feed Nora on the go, but there have definitely been times when we have a busy day and unexpectedly skip our regular meal at home, and my little stockpile comes in handy.
  • The sippy cup. I still need a pacifier on hand, but more important now is the sippy cup. I fill Nora’s with water because it won’t matter if it gets to room temp throughout the day. Nora prefers these but there are so many options that work. Don’t forget the back-up sippy for when the kids at the library story hour wander over to your bag and steal your kid’s cup; the back-up cup means you can fend off a tantrum by not waiting until you’re home for a clean, unshared drink.
  • Benadryl. Because I let Nora try everything we’re eating and I live in fear of a surprise, on-the-go allergic reaction to a new food.

What hasn’t changed? My nursing cover is still kicking around, as is an extra change of clothes. Diapers and wipes are still in there, but I no longer need to tote around so many that the whole playgroup would be covered with my stash.

How has your diaper bag evolved over time? What can you not live without?

We were not perked for mentioning any of the items in this post. These are just the personal preferences of one momma.

 

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