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Diapering Baby On the Go

Heading out for a day with baby? Here are some diaper bag must-haves, with tips for diapering babies in public, too

Diaper Bags: Cute Is Optional

Love them or hate them, diaper bags can help make a day out with your newborn much easier. Fortunately, diaper bag style has moved behind flowers and pastels, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something to suit any mom or dad.

When looking for a diaper bag, keep an eye out for something lightweight and stream-lined. Too many bells-and-whistles means juggling a baby and a bulky bag.

You’ll still want to choose a diaper bag with a lot of pockets, however. This way you can keep baby’s bottles separate from the dirty diapers, and diaper pins away from your own searching fingers. Chances are that you’ll use the bag for your things too, so you’ll want a spot to keep keys and wallet secure.

Although WebMD community members stock diaper bags with everything from phones to lip balm, many recommend carrying these items in addition to baby diapers, wipes, and pads:

  • A bib
  • A burp cloth
  • Baby toys
  • Baby food
  • Breast cream
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Diaper rash creams
  • A change of clothes for baby
  • Baby bottles and baby formula
  • A baby pain reliever, such as acetaminophen
  • Snacks for mom or dad and kids

When you get home after a day or overnight trip, be sure to restock the diaper bag. This way it stays packed and ready for your next outing or a rush trip to the doctor.

Diapering Baby in Public

In a perfect world, every public spot would have a public restroom. And every public restroom would have a perfectly clean baby-changing table.

But you received too many receiving blankets and no diapers at your baby shower, so you already know this is not a perfect world. So when it comes down to cleaning poop in public, how do fellow parents manage?

  • They use that less-than-sanitary changing table. Although many public restrooms do have changing tables, they’re often far from clean. That’s where your changing pads come in handy.
  • They use the stroller or car seat. Although neither of these is really made for a quick diaper change, both will do in a pinch, especially if you have a diaper pad.
  • They improvise. If there’s no changing table or restroom available, many parents make do with what’s around.

Parents Richard Ford and Amiee Peri make use of the flat, safe expanse of their car’s trunk to change baby Hudson. “It sounds weird,” says Peri, “but what makes it easy is: First, it's your trunk, so you know it's not dirty from tons of other people using it; second, you can spread your stuff out to make it easier to reach what you need; and third, it's flat!” Unlike the car’s contoured back seat, there’s no risk of baby falling.