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Wondering what to pack in your diaper bag? Patience and tissues to dry your tears! (Kidding…half-kidding…)

Packing a diaper bag for a quick trip to the grocery store is sort of like packing a HUGE suitcase for an overnight trip. Deep down in your heart, you know you won’t need all this stuff, but you bring it just in case.

Because the one thing you don’t pack is, no doubt, the one thing you will need.

Plus, it’s fun as hell! Who doesn’t want to spend more time packing a bag to leave than they actually spend at their destination?

Let’s be real: one thing I absolutely do not miss about having a newborn is having to load up the diaper bag for a quick mental health outing. (By the way, a mental health outing is a brief period of time where I have the desire to and NEED to leave the house before imploding.)

It only took me a short while to heed the advice of experienced parents who attempt to tell deaf-eared, first-time parents to STOP packing the baby’s whole life into the diaper bag.

After 2-3 times of being overwhelmed by deciding what to pack and running around the house trying to figure out where all those things were, I scaled it wayyyyyyy down.

I made sure we had the essentials. All else was deemed unnecessary.

So, what were the essentials?

For me, the essentials included diapers and wipes (unless you enjoy the smell of stagnant newborn poop…but hey if the baby’s breastfed it doesn’t stink right?! *eyeroll*), a change of clothes, a toy, and all things health-related.

Assuming you’ve got diapers and wipes under control, let’s get started with our 9-point checklist to make sure you have all things health-related covered.

The 9 Health-Related Items I Packed in the Diaper Bag No Matter What

1. Hand sanitizer 

My husband was a stickler for always having hand sanitizer on deck in case someone touched Little Guy’s hands or Little Guy had his hands all over something yucky while we were out. We preferred to use Babyganics no-alcohol hand sanitizer in case he happened to put his hands in his mouth after they were sanitized.

2. Emergency Information 

Admittedly, this was something I didn’t think about until I read one of those annoying – I mean, joyful – emails from Babycenter. Of course, I always kept Little Guy’s insurance card on me, but once we started using the occasional babysitter, we also added an emergency contact sheet to the diaper bag.

Good information to include:

  • Child’s name, date of birth, and known allergies
  • Parents’ names and phone numbers
  • Emergency contacts’ names and phone numbers
  • Pediatrician’s name, phone number, and address

3. Diaper Rash Cream

When Little Guy was small, he didn’t really have diaper rashes. For prevention’s sake, we used Babyganics no-petroleum protective ointment.

As he got older, though, he started getting nasty rashes, so we upgraded to Desitin maximum strength as our diaper rash cream of choice. The tubs are more economical, but we buy the tubes of Desitin because they are more diaper-bag-friendly.

4. Thermometer

I kept our nicer digital ear/forehead thermometer at home so it didn’t get lost, but we also had a cheapie thermometer that lived in the diaper bag.

5. Tylenol and Other Important Medications

Don’t forget any medications your baby takes regularly or could need while you’re out. A fever-reducer like Infants’ Tylenol is always helpful to have on hand.

We also used simethicone gas drops occasionally, so we kept a bottle in our diaper bag as well.

Of course, if your baby does need medication on the go, you’ll want to make sure you have a device that you can use to give it to her.

6. Pacifier Syringe

There are two main options to give medication to your baby. For newborns, a pacifier syringe may be the easiest way to make sure the baby gets the full dose of medication he needs.

Full transparency: Of all these items, this is the one I have not personally used. The reason is because Little Guy has never used a pacifier more than 2 minutes in his whole 15-month life.

Trust me, that’s by no effort of ours. Anyway, although I haven’t personally used it, I’ve heard good reviews about it from other healthcare field moms.

7. Normal Oral Syringe

If, you’d rather stay away from the pacifier syringe or if your baby’s like ours and doesn’t want to make your life easier, a normal oral syringe also works just fine.

Luckily, the pacifier part of the Pacidose syringe is removable, so you’ll be able to use it for a while.

The syringes that come with infant Motrin and some other medications work well, but I found that syringes sold separately are more durable and last longer because the markings don’t rub off as easily.

The Pacidose syringe also has a baby friendly design that helps keep little people from choking on it.

8. Baby First Aid Kit

I personally received at least 3 of these American Red Cross baby first aid kits at my baby showers. Some of the items I mentioned above are in most of these kits – like a thermometer and oral syringe – but the kit is a convenient way to make sure you have items you could need while on the go. Most of these kits also come with a syringe bulb to clean out babies’ noses, but I prefer health-related-diaper-bag-item-number-9 over the syringe bulb.

9. NoseFrida + saline

Listen, Linda…

I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t care.

This thought of using this little snotsucker (literally) may make your skin crawl, but there’s no better feeling than knowing all of that snot you see in the NoseFrida tube is no longer inside your precious baby’s tiny nose.

NoseFrida is a nasal aspirator aka snotsucker that travels with us everywhere. In fact, we have one that’s just for the diaper bag.

Now realistically, with a 15-month-old, I don’t know if I can use NoseFrida while out in public anymore. Little Guy gets completely pissed when he even sees it approaching his face and will scream, flail, and wail like no other.

I’d prefer not to go to jail.

But for those of you with a more agreeable child when it comes to noses, keep this with you at all times!

Even with a toddler, we still keep each of these items in our diaper bag, and we’ve always been prepared for whatever’s come our way!

What other must-haves do you pack in your diaper bag? Leave a comment below and subscribe to see more posts like these! 

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