Parent Hacks: 7 Essentials To Pack In Your Changing Bag
For new parents there are so many varieties of changing bags on the market that it’s hard to know what to look for. You’ll probably be asking yourself 'what do you put in a baby changing bag?' or even, ‘do I need a baby changing bag?’
Why not just, a bag?
There's lots you need handy when out with your baby – or even around the house. And the last thing you want is to be rummaging around in a bag full of stuff, unable to find what you need.
Because in those moments, when you need something, you need it NOW. Every second spent searching the bottom of a bag, escalates an uncomfortable situation to stress levels we don’t like to talk about.
The beauty of a baby changing bag is that it organises the essentials so they're easy to locate in an emergency. Multiple compartments, removable pockets, and handy straps for attaching it to the buggy keep everything accessible.
Once you’ve experienced these features whilst on the go, you’ll understand why a baby changing bag is not just any bag!
So, what do you put in a baby changing bag?
To keep things simple, here are 7 essentials that every parent should pack in their changing bag.
1. The nappy changing basics
When you’re changing a nappy in public, it pays to be prepared. Here is the nappy changing part of what to pack in a changing bag.
- Several nappies. One is never enough. Babies have a mysterious habit of refilling their nappy as soon as they have a clean one on. And you don’t want to be caught short!
- A changing mat. You never know where you’ll need to change them so a mat means you can pop them down anywhere. The DockATot clutch changer has a built-in changing mat so you’ll never be without one.
- Baby wipes – Sticky faces, muddy hands or a grazed knee - wipes come in handy for all sorts of situations, not just nappy changing.
- Nappy bags- You’ll need something secure to wrap dirty nappies up, especially if there's no bin nearby. If you use cloth nappies, buy a waterproof nappy bag to take soiled nappies home in so you can throw them in the washing machine.
- Nappy cream. Nappy rash can come on suddenly – and cause a lot of discomfort - so make sure you always have some cream handy.
2. Feeding basics
Whether you breast feed or bottle feed, there will be some essentials you’ll want to have with you. A muslin is a must, to wipe up any dribbles.
If breast feeding, you may want a feeding cover for some privacy when feeding in public – preferably one with a wire so you can look down at your baby whilst they feed. You’ll probably also need some spare breast pads – either reusable or disposable - especially in the early days.
If you're bottle feeding, plan how many feeds you may need and pack extra sterilised bottles, just in case. Bring formula milk and a flask of hot water to make it. Or, keep it simple and take ready-made formula.
Are you still wondering if you need a baby changing bag?
Caring for an infant is tiring so make sure you have some healthy snacks handy – fruit or cereal bars – to keep you going. Also remember a drink, especially if you are breastfeeding – you’ll get thirsty!
Once your baby is weaning you’ll also want a range of baby-friendly snacks and a beaker of water to keep them going between feeds.
4. Weather dependant items
We all know how quickly the weather can change. Being ill prepared on a hot day, or a cold one, with an infant can be very stressful.
In summer, be sure to always have some sun cream and a sun hat handy, just in case. Baby sunglasses are unlikely to stay on, but they do look very cute in photos.
Don’t forget an extra blanket too, in case the weather suddenly turns cold, and an umbrella to keep the rain off. The blanket can double up as a picnic blanket if the weather turns out nice after all.
5. Spare clothes
In case of a leaking nappy – or baby vomit – you’ll never want to leave the house without at least one change of clothes for your baby. Layers are good for keeping your little one at the right temperature.
You might be grateful for a spare top for yourself too - milk dribbles or sticky fingers can be quick to ruin an outfit.
6. Baby toys or books
Newborns need very little entertainment beyond a smiling face. But once your baby is a few months old and starting to take an interest in toys, bringing along some toys or books could help keep them happy for longer.
Our Dockatot dangly toy sets are detachable, so as well as using them on the DockATot toy arch you can clip them to your buggy when out and about.
7. Essentials for mum
When choosing what you put in a baby changing bag, it's easy to only think about your little one.
But of course, it’s not all about the baby. Mums need some essentials too. Reserve a pocket for your make up and compact mirror, so you can touch up your look when you have a spare moment. A hair tie is also worth having handy, especially when you are feeding because babies love tugging on hair if it’s within reach.
So, do I need a baby changing bag?
In a word, yes! And now you know what to pack in a baby changing bag, take a look at our lovely clutch changer bags. They're designed to slide into a backpack or under a buggy, keeping all the essentials easy to find whenever you need.