When you leave the house with a baby you should be prepared for all eventualities. They could get hungry, hot, dirty or dare I say it – bored. But if you take everything with you that you think you might need you can often end up with a bag so heavy you can’t carry the baby as well.
So for those parents whose baby changing bag resembles a suitcase or those who have been caught out on too many occasions, here is my top ten list of baby essentials.
- Nappies. As a rough guide work on one nappy for every couple of hours you plan to be out and then add another one just in case of a major poo incident.
- Wipes. As a parent to teenagers I’ll bet you will still have a packet of wipes to hand. For wiping bottoms, faces, hands, restaurant high chairs, swings at the park.
- Muslin. These can be used as a burp cloth, fashioned into a bib, an emergency nappy, modesty cover if breastfeeding or a light weight blanket.
- Bottles. If you aren’t breastfeeding you will need bottles of cooled boiled water and formula which can be mixed as needed. Make sure you have enough bottles for the time you plan to be out. You could also carry a ready mix carton of baby formula for convenience.
- Change of clothes. If there is an accident involving poo or sick then you will need a change of clothes for the baby. I always take an all-in-one because it is convenient and takes up less space than carrying a vest, trousers, t-shirt, socks etc. A spare plastic bag to keep dirty clothes in is also a good idea!
- First Aid Kit. There are pre-packed first aid kits available especially for children but you can always make up your own. It should include anticeptic wipes, plasters, infant paracetamol, burnease, antihistamine, teething gel, nappy rash cream etc.
- Antibacterial hand gel. When you can’t get to a sink.
- Toys. Something to use to keep a baby from getting bored is essential. From a favourite soft toy to a book or crayons, keep something in the bag to distract them.
- Snacks. If your child has been weaned, a little pack of snacks is very useful. Raisins, bread sticks, rice cakes can be kept in a small tub or zip lock bag.
- Sunscreen. Even on an overcast day in summer a baby can get sunburnt so always use sunscreen and reapply regularly.
If you have extra room in your bag you could always put in a few other optional extras such as a camera to capture those special moments, extra layers in case it get chilly or a travel high chair or baby carrier.