For many people, the art of packing a diaper bag is a constant challenge. I often find myself digging through seven nearly identical teething rings only to realize that the things I really need — a bib for meals, a Tide pen for those little messes after snack time, a Band-Aid for the latest park casualty — are nowhere to be found. In an effort to determine the best diaper bag essentials, Romper spoke to nurses, doctors, and other medical experts who also happen to be moms for their tried-and-true recommendations on getting those organized and on track.
Most parents manage the basics with their diaper bags — a handful of diapers, a wad of wipes, a changing pad for diaper changes on the fly. But over time, my diaper bag has been overtaken with junk and I spend more time clearing out the clutter than addressing the baby needs at hand.
Enter a team of medical mom experts. They're not only moms themselves, they've also got a little extra expertise when it comes to baby preparedness. From hand sanitizer to the best diaper cream, you're absolutely going to tuck these into your bag for your next outing.
1. Babyganics Hand Sanitizing Wipes To Clean Pacifiers And Sticky Hands
Expert: Mariah Peric, Community Health Nurse
Why It's Essential: "When you are on the go, especially if traveling, it's not always easy to get to a sink to wash your hands," Peric says. "Whether I have just changed a diaper or am about to give Logan a pacifier or bottle, I always like to make sure I am as clean as possible. Babies have incredibly susceptible immune systems and because I work in the health field, I have seen firsthand the impact of catching a virus or bacterial infection on a baby can be truly devastating."
2. Sassy Disposable Diaper Trash Bags To Mask Odors
Expert: Deborah Witkin, Ophthalmology resident
Why It's Essential: If you feel awkward tossing your dirty diapers anywhere other than your own home, you should pick these up. "I hate throwing away stinky diapers in someone else's trash can," Witkin says. "But these bags do a good job of masking the odor and containing the mess."
3. Aquaphor Baby Ointment To Soothe Rashes And Dryness
Expert: Emily Shepard, Physician Assistant
Why It's Essential: "I always keep Aquaphor in travel size with me, it's great for rashes and dry lips," Shepard says. "If I'm traveling I bring Triple Paste for rashes. Both products are expensive but work well and are worth the money."
4. Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddling Blankets As A Multipurpose Asset
Expert: Beth Salerno, Postpartum Doula
Why It's Essential: "If I had just one product in my diaper bag, it'd be an Aden + Anais muslin swaddling blanket," Salerno says. "These blankets are so versatile. They are perfect for swaddling, if your baby likes to be swaddled, but also can be used as a breathable nursing cover, receiving blanket, can be draped over the car seat for privacy and germ protection, or even used as a burp cloth."
5. OCuSOFT Baby Eyelid Towelettes For Gently Removing Gunk
Expert: Katie Robertson McElvaine, Optometrist
Why It's Essential: McElvaine says that she feels these are essential "because I'm an optometrist," adding that she always totes OCuSOFT cleanser wipes to remove gunk from babies' delicate eyelids and eyelashes.
6. Super Duper Diaper Doo Cream To Prevent Diaper Rash
Expert: Alaina Gray, Pediatric Nurse
Why It's Essential: "Prevention is key. That's why I never leave home without Super Duper Diaper Doo," Gray says. "The main ingredient is lanolin, so it's a great barrier gel that prevents diaper rash. It's gentle enough to use on our babies in the NICU and I trust it for every diaper change for my baby girl."
7. Snacks Pouches For Snacks On-The-Go
Expert: Deena Blanchard, Pediatrician and Ella's Kitchen Pediatric Expert
Why It's Essential: “I always stock my personal diaper bag, and recommend to others, with foods, snacks and drinks," Blanchard says. "I have three boys of all ages and I try to make sure I keep them going with low sugar organic options. Throw in Ella’s Kitchen pouches or their amazing new juice box size aloe waters — all organic and 100% ingredients — tasty for my 'lil foodies, and wards off buying unhealthy options while we are out and about.”
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