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10 Things New Moms Think Are Diaper Bag Essentials but Aren’t

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I’m a mom that likes to be prepared for anything that comes my way—especially with babies. It’s important to have all the “baby things” moms need in order to not have a catastrophe while out and about. But listen up: there are products we can just do without for an hour or two while running errands. As a mother of four, I’ve gone through my fair share of disasters, blowouts, meltdowns, upsets, and spit ups while away from home. My bag used to be so cluttered and heavy because I carried around tons of things that I thought were all ‘essentials.’ By the end of the day, not only did I need a massage from breast feeding throughout the day, but I also needed to visit a chiropractor for carrying the 40 pound bag over my shoulder all the time. Through this I’ve realized what products really are a must.

After nearly nine years of mothering, I’ve come up with a list of 10 things moms DON’T need in their diaper bags and how to whittle it down to only the essentials.

1. Ten Diapers

I can’t think of a time in all the years with a diaper bag that I’ve used more than two-three diapers while out and about. And even then, it was only because of diarrhea situations. I rarely even need to change diapers when I’m running errands.

After they turn one, I keep a couple in the car and only carry about one or two diapers in my bag.

2. Baby Powder

Who even uses it? I’ve never used it on a baby.

3. A Full Outfit (in case of a blowout or spill)

Opt for a simple onesie. That will get you by until you get home (and takes up much less space too).

4. Nursing Cover

You just need one lightweight blanket that triples as a nursing cover, extra blanket, or changing pad. Chances are you’ll only need one of these three things while you’re out and about. This one is my personal favorite because it’s super soft and also large enough to cover everything when nursing.

5. Changing Pad

See #4

6. A Whole Package of Wipes

Keep a container in your car, and just keep about 5-10 wipes in a ziplock bag or thin container in your diaper bag.

7. A Roll of Hundreds of Disposable Diaper Bags

I carried these around with me for about a year and probably only ever used one. They’re a waste of space and money. There are always trashcans around, and if not, leave a few grocery bags in the car to wrap the diaper up in when you’re in a pinch and don’t want the stink. Or even just leave one plastic grocery bag in the bottom of your diaper bag just in case.

8. A Variety of Toys

Just grab one toy each time you leave the house and keep one attached to your car seat. I always keep a small, 60 page Chatbook in my bag too, filled with photos of our family. All babies and children love flipping through photos of themselves, their siblings, cousins, and grandparents. It’s super lightweight, slim, and perfect for toting around everywhere you go.

9. Diaper Rash Cream

If your baby actually has a really bad rash, bring it. Otherwise leave it at home. Or better yet, just make sure to apply it before you leave the house so you don’t have to haul it around.

10. Special “Hand and Face Wipes”

You don’t need them. Use baby wipes for hands, and a small burp cloth for their face.

Bonus Tip

Choose a lightweight, simple diaper bag! I’ve had the whole gamut of them and I’m telling you, get one that is a backpack style for both shoulders. I love the Vauva Bag. It’s super light, modern, cute, and most of all, comfortable! It has great pockets for everything you need.

Keep in mind that these tips are for everyday outings. Obviously, necessities in your diaper bag change when you’re on longer outings, vacations, day trips, if you’re baby is sick, etc. Put in your bag what you may, but remember to keep it simple and stick to the necessities. You’ll be much happier not digging through products you rarely use in order to get to the everyday essentials.

P.S. If you want to keep things really simple, try just wipes and a diaper or two. I dare you.

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