Packing a diaper bag is about anticipating many possible futures, disasters, and delays. Tylenol? Check. Sippy cup? Check. Sunscreen for an impromptu picnic? Yep. In fact, most parents keep half a store hidden inside because all it takes to ruin a dinner is to forget to bring a teether toy. Parenting is a high stakes game, and now that winter is actually here, it's time to winterize your diaper bag. If you're wondering how best to prepare for the unexpected in the land of ice and snow, Romper identifies eight things to add to your diaper bag in the wintertime. There's a big emphasis on bringing extras, and a few unique seasonal items to boot.
One of those must-haves? A great lotion. "A moisturizing lotion or Vaseline is good to put on the skin to help prevent those chapped cheeks that often come with winter weather," pediatrician Dr. Jarrett Patton of Pennsylvania tells Romper. "As the skin gets extra dry during the winter months, keeping lotion in the diaper bag is a good idea."
But don't be afraid to keep any items you might need, too. I keep a spare shirt for myself in mine because, well, you never know. So as you pack your bag, keep this list handy.
1Extra, Extra, Extra
Despite the cold, my 1-year-old likes to peel off her socks and toss them out of the stroller, where one of three things will happen. A) I witness sedition in action and snap up that sock before it even hits the ground; B) a kindly stranger finds the sock on the ground, assumes it belongs to the disorganized-looking mom up ahead, and returns it to said mom; or C) wind whips the sock away and half the pair is forever lost. The same three scenarios also apply to hats.
Easily-removed outerwear is always at risk, parents know. Additionally, according to Dr. Lee Engelbreth, the pediatric medial director for Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, babies are more prone to frostbite than adults. So if you're out on a winter walk, you really want to keep skin covered — especially in case the weather dips below freezing.
Add a few extra pairs of socks and an extra hat to your diaper bag in case of emergencies.
2Footed Fleece Onesies
If your diaper bag contains a bunch of those short-sleeve cotton numbers in case of diaper explosions, consider swapping them out for a warmer footed onesie. Footed fleece is phenomenal, because sewn-on socks can't be tossed hither and yon. Long-john onesies also cover enough skin to be safe for most winter days above freezing, and make a cozy warm layer beneath a water-proof jacket or bunting.
One thing to keep in mind is that babies have a tendency to overheat. To prevent overheating, dress your baby in one layer more than you'd choose to wear, and look out for fussiness and crying.
Here's something you likely didn't need in the summertime — a weapon's-grade moisturizer. The winter days aren't just cold, they're also terribly dry, and baby skin chaps quickly. A multi-purpose moisturizer is your best bet, like this Aden + Anais Soothing Moisturizer recommended by Rosie Pope, useful for everything from chapped lips to diaper rash.
4Lots of Extra Diapers
According to World of Moms, babies pee more often in cold weather. Who knew? Little ones also get chilly when their diaper's wet, so it's a good idea to change them often when you're on-the-go.
Nothing's worse than finding you diaper bag doesn't actually contain any spare diapers when you're still an hour from home, so tuck a few extras inside to stay on the safe side.
Did I mention winter is dry? As far as I know, nobody makes portable humidifiers, so prepare for the crackling-crisp weather with an extra sippy cup filled with water and extra bottles of milk.
Mom.me suggested being proactive about offering fluids to babies in the winter months to stave off the possibility of dehydration or discomfort.
Even when there's snow coming, the sun still shines. Because baby-safe sunscreen seems like a summer item, it's easy to forget that delicate skin is still exposed to damage and burns on icy days. Keep sunscreen close at hand in case you decide to head out for a stroll.
If, like me, you live at a higher altitude, then you should know that the American Academy of Dermatology completed research showing that people living closer to the clouds (literally, not figuratively) are more likely to sunburn in winter than at any other time of the year, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Winter is famously the time when young and old alike come down with nasty bugs — flus, colds, you name it. The Chicago Tribune opined that people are more likely to get sick when days are short because they spend more time indoors when it's chilly outside, and because cold weather restricts airways and suppresses the immune system. Whatever the reason, hand sanitizer always makes sense in a diaper bag.
Freezing weather isn't very forgiving. A small first-aid kit could fit into your diaper bag, but it's also not a bad idea to store a few key items — flashlight, bottled water, and an extra snow suit or bunting — in the trunk of your car. If you break down on the road, those items could be really helpful when the weather's fierce.
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