Diaper bag checklist Your diaper bag can be anything from a purse with a diaper stuffed into it to something that resembles a small duffel bag. What you need depends on how old your child is, how long you'll be away from home, and where you're going, so bear that in mind as you use this checklist. The essentials Diapers One for each hour you'll be out, plus a few extra – just in case. Wipes You can stick ten or so in a plastic bag if you're not going out for long. Use them for diaper changes, sticky hands, and wiping visibly dirty surfaces your child may come in contact with. Hand sanitizer For cleaning your hands after diaper changes when there's no sink available. Changing pad Many diaper bags come with one. If not, you can get disposable changing pads at supermarkets or reusable ones at baby stores. Plastic bags or biodegradable sacks These come in handy for storing soiled diapers, clothes, and baby blankets. Just make sure your child can't get to them, since plastic bags (including the biodegradable versions) pose a suffocation risk. Bottle(s) of formula or expressed breast milk if you're bottle-feeding Snacks (for older babies and toddlers) Depending on the age of your child, this could include a jar of baby food and a spoon, or finger foods. Sippy cup of milk, water, or juice (for toddlers) Blanket You can use it to cover your baby or as a changing pad, nursing cover, bib, shade, or burp cloth. Extra clothes for your child You never know when spit-up, drool, spills, or poop explosions will necessitate a change of clothing. Pacifier (if your child uses one) or other comfort item Sunscreen or a hat to protect your child from the sun Emergency information Make sure you have the phone numbers of your family's doctors programmed in your cell phone and health insurance cards in your wallet. The extras Diaper rash cream Sample sizes often work well and take up less space. Tissues Nail clippers You never know when your little one will doze off and give you the perfect opportunity to clip those tiny nails. Camera Moments worthy of capturing can happen anywhere! Nursing cover For breastfeeding in public, these fabric drapes cover your chest and give more privacy than the basic blanket-over-the-shoulder approach. Breast pads for nursing moms Slip these in your bra to absorb breast milk leaks. Sling or wrap for carrying your baby Even if you're heading out with a stroller, you may prefer to park it and transfer your baby to a hands-free carrier if you're headed someplace crowded. Toys, board books, and crayons and coloring pages or paper Choose toys based on your outing and your child's age. A toddler going to a restaurant often requires a lot of entertaining distractions, while a 4-month-old may be happy with one rattle. First-aid kit You may want to include adhesive bandage strips, antibiotic cream, pain reliever, and other first-aid supplies. Necessities for Mom If you're not carrying a separate purse, make sure to pack your essentials, too! These may include: Wallet Keys Cell phone Sunglasses Pen and paper Snacks, mints, or gum Bottle of water or other drink Book or magazine New shirt in case of spit-up or a spill Diaper bag tips A waterproof lining and shoulder strap are helpful features. Multiple compartments can keep your items organized and easy to find. Prevent leaks by packing medicines and snacks in resealable plastic bags. Save time by packing similar items together, such as clothing, in a resealable bag. Consider buying two diaper bags – a small one for quick trips and a larger one for longer outings. Some moms keep a basic diaper bag or changing supplies in the car at all times. Try diaper bags on for size. No one bag is comfortable and convenient for everyone. Show off your style! You're not limited to babyish prints these days, so go for fun colors or patterns or shop for something more sophisticated. Sometimes the best diaper bags are those that are designed for other purposes, such as tote bags or backpacks. If you don't find something you think will work well for you, broaden your search.