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 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.