Nappy/Diaper Bag Essentials

Diaper Bag Prepped and Ready

Ever seen one of those nappy bags that looks like it’s holding the necessities for an entire childcare centre?

What about a parent without a nappy bag, desperately trying to calm a child bleating for food or needing a change?

It can seem so hard to get the balance right. I hate carrying around a giant bag supplied with enough nappies to last a week and fourteen changes of clothes. But, I’ve also gone out with a carefree swagger, only to end up tearing my hair out later when all the pram yields is a few dried out baby wipes and an already dirty bib.

There are two ways I prefer to approach the nappy bag dilemma

  1. Carry a store of emergency items in a not overly big bag
  2. And know where and how to buy the essentials if caught out.

The basic kit can be added to when you go out and have a clear plan of what you’re doing. But this pared down version will get you by; for the times you planned to be home and yet find yourself out with a hungry, wet, cranky baby.

The most pared down emergency nappy bag contains:

  • 3 nappies
  • small pack of baby wipes (either disposable or a flat reusable pack)
  • 1 bib
  • 1 clean bottle (in a snap lock bag – the greatest of all inventions)
  • 1-2 boxes of pre-made liquid formula (ignore if breastfeeding!)
  • 1 spoon (in the snap lock bag)
  • 1-2 pouches of good quality pure baby food (no additives please!)
  • another snap lock bag with simple snacks ie. cruskit, rusk)
  • A dummy if you use it
  • Sunscreen
  • 1-2 thin muslin cloths
  • 1-2 small toys
  • water-free hand wash

All these things that you can also easily buy in a pinch (not ideal but sometimes things aren’t ideal with a child!).

Especially useful and sometimes overlooked are the:

  • pre-made liquid formula, from supermarkets and chemists
  • very cheap plastic spoons and sippy cups, from supermarkets and chemists

Tips for making the emergency bag work:

  1. use the lid of the bottle as a bowl
  2. use a muslin cloth as signal to sleep (like a blanket) and as a covering for the pram (to keep it darker)
  3. keep spare snap lock bags in varying sizes to put dirty spoons, bibs, etc it. snap lock bags can be washed and reused
  4. don’t fret if everything goes haywire sometimes, things can get back to normal next time!


What do you keep in your nappy bag?


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Filed under Baby Product Advice, General, Tips and tricks

4 responses to “Nappy/Diaper Bag Essentials

  1. Great list! I always used to forget to pack the suncream so now I keep a small tube in the bag always. One thing I used to pack was a spare bonds suit for bub and a spare top/cardigan for myself as I had a chucky baby who loved to ‘decorate’ our outfits in public.


  2. I love this list, did you know you can get travel size sunscreen now that clips onto your bag. It is awesome.


  3. You have a great list here. I always have what you have listed in my bag. Thank you for sharing.


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