Traveling with a baby in tow means carrying a lot of extras by necessity. You never know when you might have to change a diaper (or a whole set of clothes!), feed and burp, or pull out something to keep your little one entertained – not to mention you still need to bring your own everyday items, like your wallet and keys!
But just because you have to carry some supplies for your child doesn’t mean you need to weigh yourself down with all kinds of extras. With a little creativity, you can get down to the bare minimum in your diaper bag and still have enough to get through the day successfully.
*Start with a smaller bag. If you don’t have the room to go overboard, you’ll be more careful about how you fill it! You also don’t need something that’s been marketed as a Diaper Bag; if there’s another tote or bag around the house that you think will suit the purpose, you can make it work.
*If you can, streamline what you’re carrying by making sure there’s a place to put your wallet, keys, cell phone, etc. One bag is easier to manage than two. If you have room, you may want to pack a snack for yourself as well.
*Diapers, wipes, and a wet/dry bag to store soiled clothes are all necessities, as well as a changing pad (you never know when or where baby might need a changing). It’s possible to cut down on the amount you carry, though; one diaper for every two to three hours will probably be enough. Don’t forget a change of clothes, just in case things get messy! A onesie or other simple outfit will do.
*The diaper bag is the most convenient place to put your feeding supplies. If you’re still breastfeeding, you may not need a bottle; if you’re using formula, you may be more comfortable bringing your own water. For older toddlers, it’s always wise to pack a snack just in case they get hungry. Bring as few burp cloths as possible, to save room for other items.
*A blanket’s never a bad idea! If baby gets cold or wants a nap, you’re ready to go, and you can use it as a breastfeeding cover if necessary.
*Don’t forget something to keep your little one occupied. A pacifier or teething ring doesn’t take up much space, and while bringing a small toy or book won’t hurt, use your discretion. You probably don’t need a lot of toys to get through a short trip!
*Many sling or pouch baby carriers will fit easily into even the most minimalist diaper bag, giving you the option of baby wearing when you get to your destination.