7 On-the-Go Essentials to Pack for Your Baby
April 11, 2022
Once you have a baby, you start to reflect on how many things in life you took for granted before you were a parent. Gone are the sick days of lounging around and mindlessly watching TV. Now with a little one that requires 24/7 care, being sick isn’t even an option. The same goes for simple outings to places like the park or the beach. Once upon a time, you could just take off on a whim with nothing more than your car keys and wallet in your hands. Now? Not so much. Going out requires planning around your baby’s naps and a whole lot of packing. Who would have ever guessed that such a tiny human would require so much stuff? It can be overwhelming trying to remember every single thing you need, but we’re here to make it easier. Here’s a list of all the essentials you’ll want to bring when you’re heading out with your baby:
- A BABY CARRIER AND/OR STROLLER
The stroller might seem obvious, but a baby carrier can be a huge lifesaver when you’re out and about. Many babies prefer being held, even when there’s a perfectly comfortable stroller right there. Mama’s arms just can’t be beat, and who can blame kids for wanting to be in their favorite spot? Unfortunately, babies are also heavy. When it feels like your arms are about to fall off, a baby carrier is insanely handy. Using a ring sling, wrap, or a structured carrier equals a happy baby, which, in turn, equals a happy mom.
- THE DIAPER BAG
Do. Not. Leave. The. Diaper. Bag. At. Home. Ever. Just imagine this: you forget the diaper bag and your baby has a huge blowout. There’s poop everywhere, and you’re stranded without a clean diaper or wipes. Did that send a chill down your spine, too? We don’t blame you. It truly is the stuff of nightmares. Always keep your diaper bag stocked with plenty of diapers, wipes, rash cream, a portable changing pad, and a plastic bag. Sometimes, a trash can is nowhere in sight, and the last thing you’ll want to do is carry a dirty diaper around until you get home.
- A SPARE OUTFIT
This is something else you’ll want to make sure is in your diaper bag. Babies can dirty an outfit in the drop of a hat. There’s nothing quite like getting your nice, clean baby into a cute outfit only to have them spit up or have a blowout the second before you walk out the front door. If you’re out of the house, it’s even worse. Always, always keep a spare outfit on hand so you don’t have to leave your little one sans clothes.
- A PORTABLE PLAY MAT
Don’t underestimate the convenience of having a safe, comfortable surface to let your baby play freely when you’re outside. Having a picnic at the park? Baby carrier or not, it can get tiring having to wear or carry your baby the entire time. Grass can be a great, new sensory experience for your baby, but unfortunately, many babies hate it. No, seriously, it’s a thing. Just search “baby hates grass” on YouTube and scroll through viral video after viral video of a baby performing impressive moves to avoid touching grass. So, if you want to let your baby play on the ground, but grass isn’t an option, a portable play mat is the magical solution. This one has a waterproof cover made of vegan leather, so it’s easy to wipe clean. Cute, portable, functional, and convenient? We’re huge fans.
- A SUN HAT
Even if you’re lax about sun care when it comes to your own skin, you’ll want to take extra care to protect your baby’s. Sun protection is incredibly important, especially in the first few months. Young babies are much more sensitive to sun exposure than adults are because their skin contains very little melanin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “even one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles your chances of developing melanoma later in life.” That’s some scary stuff. You might be tempted to grab the SPF 50+ sunscreen, but it’s actually recommended to wait until your baby is at least 6 months old before introducing sunscreen. Until then, stick to lightweight clothing and a sun hat to protect their sin.
If your baby takes formula, don’t forget to pack a bottle for them! Even if you think you’ll be out for only a short period of time, it doesn’t hurt to take a bottle. When the temperatures are high, your baby may need extra fluid to keep hydrated, and water isn’t recommended for babies younger than 6 months. Since prepared infant formula can spoil when left out at room temperature, you’ll want to bring along a cooler bag with an ice pack to keep it at a safe temperature.
- BURP CLOTHS
Babies spit up. It’s a fact of life. Whether you have a baby who’s a frequent spitter or one that only spits up occasionally, you’ll want to keep some handy-dandy burp cloths in your bag for the inevitable. If you want some cute pictures while you’re out, you’ll definitely want to keep your outfit as clean as possible. Burp cloths may not be fancy, but they sure are useful.
- EXTRA PACIFIERS
If your little one uses a pacifier, you probably have at least a few strewn around the house. The same goes for outdoors. Pacifiers are easily lost, and although pacifier clips can help prevent that, it’s always useful to have an extra one or two in your bag. They can calm your fussy baby and help them fall asleep if they need to take a nap while you’re still out.
Now that you know exactly what you need to pack in your bags for a smooth, fuss-free outing, you’ll be well-prepared the next time you want a day out with your baby. Even if there are mishaps, these essentials will make sure you’ve got every situation covered and make you feel like a super mom (which, obviously, you are)!
About the Author: Alice
Alice Mendoza is a copywriter and blog writer based in Los Angeles. She began writing for a baby brand while on maternity leave, and realized she had found her niche. Today, she writes exclusively within the baby space, using her BFA in Creative Writing and her own experience as a mother to guide her. When she’s not working, you can find her chasing down her toddler, going on walks around the neighborhood, or watching reality TV.