- Change of Clothes for Baby—You never know when your little bundle of joy will need a new set of clothes because of spit up gone berserk or a leaky diaper.
- Change of Clothes for Mom—Okay, not an entire outfit…but a shirt wouldn’t be a bad idea (although I don’t do this, I know of many who do). If Junior decides that projectile spit up would be a fun game, it doesn’t make the remainder of your errands fun while you walk about getting looks from people who seem to assume you have no idea your shirt is drenched and you smell of vomit.
- Small plastic/garbage bags (for clothes) / Ziploc for diaper—Some type of baggie for wet/soiled clothes will keep those clothes from soiling everything else in the diaper bag. And sometimes you can’t change baby in a location that is convenient to a garbage can (seriously…it happens more than you realize), so a baggie for a dirty diaper can be a lifesaver as well.
- Hand sanitizer—Many times I have found myself needing this after a diaper change. Sometimes it is because I am using the passenger seat of a car as a changing table. Sometimes it is because I have taken baby inside a restroom at a restaurant and others don’t look kindly on you for laying them on the floor while you methodically wash both hands with hot, soapy water. You can often one-hand wash if only one hand got dirty. But with a doozy of a diaper, more cleaning is required and sanitizer becomes a necessity.
- Diaper rash cream—You never REALLY need diaper rash cream until you don’t have it. It’s a good thing to keep in the bag at all times. If you don’t want to over-buy the stuff, don’t worry. When you sign up for new mom freebies all across the internet (and at the hospital), you’ll get several different samples to try. These are great for this purpose. Or you can write your favorite company and request a sample or just tell them how much you like their product. I got lots of samples of my favorite that way!
- Snacks—Sometimes a baggie full of Cheerios can be a God-send when trying to finish up your shopping with a fussy toddler. Don’t go overboard, but a box of raisins or a bag of Goldfish will get you through!
- Toy—Always a huge help during eating out. If the child is too young to eat from the menu, this will keep them occupied while parents eat. If the child CAN eat from the menu, sometimes this will do when the crayons they (sometimes) provide don’t entertain. NOTE: Personal parenting tip from me…if your child is old enough to not need a diaper bag, they are old enough to not carry around toys with you at all time…don’t subject yourself to be their walking toybox. Let them learn patience.
- Burp Cloth/bib—This should go as an obvious one if a meal will be included in the outing, but even it is isn’t, this can be a great spit-up or drool fixer.
Photo credit: jds-emma