Your changing bag doesn’t need to include everything you could conceivably need in every scenario.
If you pack too many things “just in case”, your changing bag will quickly become too bulky and too heavy. And when you’re pushing or carrying a baby around, you’ll have enough on your hands already.
However, you don’t want to find yourself miles from home, desperately wishing you’d just packed that one crucial thing…
So in this post we’ll cover the absolute essentials that every parent should put in their changing bag. We’ll then look at some of the other things you might want to pack, depending on your circumstances.
What To Put In Your Changing Bag – The Essentials
- Nappies – Whether you use disposable or reusable nappies, you’ll want to take a supply out with you. If you do choose reusable nappies, read our guide to how many you might need.
- Nappy wet bag – To put used nappies into, just in case there’s nowhere to dispose of them properly. Also vital it you have reusable nappies, so you can take them home to wash them.
- Spare clothes – Just in case your baby needs their clothes changing, along with their nappy. Pack some spare clothes for you too, in case you need to change. You can pack yourself something thin and lightweight, as you’ll always be able to change properly when you get home.
- Baby wipes
- Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser
- Plasters – You’ll only need these in an emergency. But they take up very little space, and should you ever need them, you’ll be glad to have packed them.
What Other Things Might You Need to Put in Your Changing Bag?
The above are the essentials – things that every parent should pack in their changing bag.
But there are some other things you might consider packing, depending on your circumstances.
- A bottle – If you’re bottle-feeding, or using a combination of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, you will of course want to pack a bottle.
- Breastfeeding accessories – If you are breastfeeding, you might want to pack your breast pump, and some breast pads to help with the leaking.
- Snacks – As your baby gets older, they’ll move onto solid food. So you’ll want to start taking healthy snacks out with you, so you can feed your baby while out and about. The main thing to remember is to pack these snacks separately from your wet bag, to avoid contamination.
- Nappy accessories – If you use reusable nappies, you may also want to pack certain accessories, including muslin squares, nappy liners, and boosters. All of these are small and lightweight, so you should have no trouble packing all you need.
What Shouldn’t You Put In Your Changing Bag?
Some things are too heavy, too valuable, or too impractical to pack in your changing bag:
- Drinks – All drinks are heavy, and if they spill in your bag, they’ll ruin everything. For the same reason, you shouldn’t pack bananas among your snacks. They’re bulky and fragile. And once squashed, they’ll make a mess of everything in your bag.
- Tissues – Pack tissues and you’ll probably never use them. They might be light, but they’re bulky. Baby wipes and wet wipes are much more practical.
- Toys – Yes, bringing your baby’s favourite toy could help keep them calm and happy when you’re out and about. But toys can be heavy, and they’ll invariably take up far too much space in your bag. And imagine the nightmare scenario of accidentally leaving your baby’s beloved toy in a changing room somewhere!
More Support For New Mums
You’ll find loads of advice and guidance to help you through those first few days, weeks, months and years as a new parent on our Real Parenting Blog:
- When can you bathe a newborn?
- How often should I change a newborn’s nappy?
- How to clean your baby’s eyes, ears and nose.
- Does teething cause nappy rash?