I'm betting every mother could write an encyclopedia's worth of information about what should and shouldn't go in a diaper bag, all based on personal preferences. It depends so much on the type of mother you are. Mother's range from, "If I don't have I don't need it" to "I'll have a panic attack if I don't take everything with me." Me, I fall in the middle of those two extremes. I like to be prepared but I don't mind leaving things out that I will probably only need in an emergency and can get at my destination. So while you're perusing these tips, consider the kind of mother you are and how that translates into the type of traveler you want to be. In this post I'll address serious travel with a baby, such as a vacation with an airline flight included, as opposed to just out and about for the day.
You can click the pic to check out these bags but some of the features I like best are that it's easy to clean, it's durable and well-made, the changing pad is super quick to grab from the back, and organizing things is easy. Lots of pockets! So first, here's how I packed for traveling with one baby.
- The diaper bag is my only carry-on. I realize extra fees for checked luggage is a pain, but it's better than struggling with a baby, a diaper bag, AND a small roll-aboard suitcase. We're going for easy travel here, as much as possible.
- I use my neck pouch as a mini purse. I became and even bigger fan of my neck pouch (profiled in this Travel Tips post) after my first trip with a baby. All my travel info, ID, credit card, cash, phone, etc. fits inside and it's hanging right around my neck while I'm maneuvering through the airport with a baby. Once we're through security, I just slip it into my diaper bag.
- Diapers & wipes: take enough to cover a delayed flight and wipeouts. Skip the toys. Entertainment can be found in any gift shop. A magazine she could shred was enough for my 6-month old. But diapers? Running out of those would be a real problem. I pack extra diapers in our checked suitcase.
- One bottle. I didn't get to breastfeed my babies for very long so I always had to take enough formula to cover a delay. I've heard from friends who breastfed their babies longer, that taking one bottle of pumped milk made the flight much easier. I took a Hooter Hider to make feeding in public comfortable.
- Burp cloths equal to your babies spit-up factor. None of my girls were spitter-uppers. After about 3 months I only took one burp cloth to catch drips. My sister-in-law however, deals with babies who have no problem spitting up everything they just ate. Usually all over her. Before I was married, I was seated on a flight next to the window. A mother was coming down the aisle holding a baby (maybe 9 or 10 months old) on her shoulder. Just as she was passing our row - the baby threw up. It completely took out the woman on the aisle seat of my row (I was blissfully spared) and the woman on the aisle directly behind her. The mother kept walking a few more rows before she realized what had happened, then burst into tears. Everyone rushed to help her but it was a mighty stinky flight for a while.
- A simple change of clothes. I dress my girls in layers just like me for a flight but I don't pack an entirely new outfit. It's rare that every article of clothing would need to be changed so for me, the standard extra items are a onesie and Baby Legs mini legwarmers. Super easy to pack, covers cold or warm contingencies.
- A comfort item. My babies have binky's that I tether to them and "Lovies", really soft mini-blankets that have little animal heads. (Ours were gifts that you can find here at Nordstrom in a brilliant 3-pack.)
- Since I don't fly monthly with babies, I don't buy in to all the fancy schmancy rolling infant/toddler airline seats. We once had to fly with a car seat because it was easier than renting one at that particular end destination. But if we're not renting a car, we just take our small, collapsible stroller. I use it through the airport and gate check it when we board. I pack our carrier in our luggage (we use Baby Hawks.)
- Travel-size bottles of hand sanitizer and lotion (type that works for baby and me), lip balm, Tide Stain Stick.
- A thin blanket for playing on the floor or snuggling.
Stay tuned for the next post to cover how this list alters when baby's become toddlers or more babies are added!
And no, none of these companies has any idea I like and recommend their products.