I was hardly a fashionista when I was pregnant (my feet got so swollen in my final months that I ended up shuffling around in velvet bedroom slippers my entire last trimester), so maybe that’s why I was always daydreaming about the gorgeous diaper bag I’d carry one day.
I spent a lot of time ogling the high-end brands that cost more than a week of daycare, checking out what crafty homespun concoctions were selling on Etsy—and of course wondering how all of these contenders would look attached to the strollers I had my eye on.
But once baby arrived, I discovered that what really mattered wasn’t so much how the bag looked—but what it held inside.
Three kids and a dozen diaper bags later, here’s what I consider diaper bag necessities:
-Resealable sandwich bags (great for diaper disposal and for storing dirty baby clothes)
-Pacifier (if your baby takes one)
-A book for baby
-A thin receiving blanket—great as a nursing cover, to catch spit-up, to protect baby from germs from changing tables at public restrooms
-A change of clothes for baby and a clean T-shirt for you (if you don’t know why you’d need the T-shirt, I have two words for you: projectile vomiting)
-If you’re breastfeeding, a spare set of nursing pads
-A high-protein snack for you (trust me on this one)
-Deodorant (because, believe me, you will forget to put it on one day!)
-Oh, and your wallet, your mobile phone and whatever else you usually carry in your purse
Should you ever leave home without this bag, there’s nothing worse than being stranded with a tiny baby and no diaper—so do make sure you stick a spare diaper and wipe set in your car, at the bottom of your stroller and in every purse you carry. (And don’t venture very far—because the one day you don’t have your hand sanitizer and spare clothes with you might be the day when your baby catches a tummy bug!)
Jorie Mark is Vitacost.com’s Director of Marketing Communications and mom to three kids, ages 3 to 10.