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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

Travels With Baby: Diapers and Diapering Essentials continued...

Changing pad. A portable changing pad is a big help when you’re out on the town and don’t know where you may end up diapering baby. Although a few cloth diapers, a simple towel, or a baby blanket is all you really need, a diaper bag with a built-in changing pad comes in handy. There are also disposable pads -- similar to the paper sheets used in a doctor’s or dentist’s office. What if you forget to bring anything that can serve as a changing pad? Try using a newspaper or improvise with lavatory paper towels, suggests Shu.

Plastic bags. Those dirty diapers, disposable changing pads, and used baby wipes need to go somewhere when you’re out and about. That’s why lots of parents suggest tucking a few plastic grocery bags in with the diapers and wipes. They take up almost no room and in return provide very useful odor and mess control while out in public.

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.