During the last month of my pregnancy, I struggled to find a “what’s in my diaper bag” for newborns specifically… And I also struggled to find a “diaper” bag that I could see myself carrying. I knew I wanted a backpack for sure, but something not too big or too small.
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Finding the perfect “diaper” bag…
At first, I had considered the Itzy Ritzy backpack and the Ryla backpack but I wasn’t fond of paying over $100 for one that was faux leather. I love leather… Real leather. So I kept scrolling through the Nordstrom website, and I found this backpack – the State Greenwood Mini Lorimer, which of course is over $200 for its beautiful leather. And I almost bought it but I decided to be sensible, save my pretty pennies.
Then I came across the Coach and Four Pebbled Leather backpack in black which was $125 at the original price. But since I’ve shopped with DSW before and was already part of the rewards program they have, I was able to knock $5 off (which isn’t much, but I was still so happy that I was able to get decent, durable leather for about $100)! So now that I’m here and I have a bag that I love, I can finally speak for myself on what I need to carry around with me for my newborn! Since this post was written this bag has since sold out and been discontinued… Here is another similar one.
The Newborn Essentials:
Diapers – I typically carry around 10 of these which is a few more than what my baby would go through in a single day. She just transitioned from a newborn to a size 1 so the diapers are still pretty small and therefore make it easy to carry that amount. Check out my Clean Baby & Toddler Products Masterlist for the clean and non-toxic options!
Wipes – I typically carry one regular size pack of wipes and when I start to get real low, I add another pack so I don’t ever run out (the masterlist has a few options for disposables). But even if you’re one to opt for cloth wipes, you should definitely check out Earthly’s disposable baby wipes. You can use whatever solution you’d like and feel much better about their waste-free values!
Diaper Cream – During the first month, I don’t think we even touched this… But I carried it with me anyways and whenever her little tush started to get red, it was nice to have this to avoid it getting any worse.
I later discovered that this was my absolute FAVORITE diaper balm on the market. It smells amazing and it worked it’s magic in between diaper changes! My daughter never had a full on diaper rash because of this product.
Changing Pad – This portable changing pad has been a lifesaver on a few occasions now! We quickly learned that whenever our child pooped, it was best to wait another 5-10 minutes or so because there would be a second poop. And this little pad allows me to comfortable change my daughter in the back seat of my car, on the floor in the living room, or on a changing station in the restrooms without laying her directly down onto the germy table (plus it’s small enough to put into your diaper bag)
Hand Sanitizer – I truly believe in washing your hands over hand sanitizer but since there isn’t always a sink and soap readily available, it’s better than using nothing – especially after changing your baby’s diaper and then having to handle your baby.
Pacifier Wipes – I almost didn’t buy into this when I first saw them but given how we had been gifted several different kinds of brands of wipes during our baby shower, not all of them were clear of chemicals, I decided to purchase a pack. And they have definitely come in handy! Even if there was a sink available, I didn’t want to have to use the soap they usually have in the public restrooms… Who knows what kind of chemicals are in that? Plus it cleans toys too!
Binky – I don’t really like to give my daughter a binky but I will admit it definitely comes in handy! If she’s close to falling asleep, this helps soothe her until she finally does. And in those times I just need a few more minutes until I can get her to the car or pop my boob out or whatever the case may be, it gives me and everyone a little bit of a break.
This particular one was my absolute favorite, plus it’s super cute! Perfectly safe and made out of 100% natural rubber. Your little one may have trouble switching to this one if you’re already using a different style but if you’re an expecting mama, this one is great!
Extra Socks – During one of our baby’s first outings, she lost her sock! And since then, I’ve been carrying an extra pair around, just in case. And I even carry it during the summer time because her tootsies would get cold with all the A/C blowing. The ones linked are my favorite and are amazing at staying on her feet even when she kicks her little feet like crazy!
Extra set of Clothes – As I’ve mentioned how the changing pad has saved our lives… I will admit that not always were we able to save her outfits. So an extra set of clothes has definitely come in handy!
Blanket(s) – I typically carry two types of blankets with me… A fuzzy warm one and these cotton blankets (you can find them anywhere and in so many different patterns and color options). We live in Washington, so even during the summer we get some really cool nights. During the hot summer days, I carry the cotton blankets for when we’re in a room with strong A/C or grocery stores… I don’t know about you, but I seem to always need a sweatshirt!
Nipple Shields – Since I’m a first-time mom, it’s also my first time breastfeeding. And during the first few days, I had cracked, bloody nipples that I just about cried every time she went to latch on. I had heard about nipple shields but I thought that they were just for people with inverted or flat nipples. Low and behold they aren’t! The first pediatrician we saw suggested I give them a try just for some relief until she could figure out how to latch. And for a few weeks there, I needed them every time she nursed – now, I am happy to say we are doing great without them!
Just be sure to get your right nipple size shield! I suggest going in-store and taking a look at the size differences yourself. Although, a lactation consultant might be able to help in deciding what size would best suit you.
Nipple Cream – Like I said, the first few days I had cracked and bloody nipples so I used this constantly. It took almost two weeks for them to heal but I do occasionally get some dryness so I use this after a nursing session and it doubles as a natural lip balm (Earth Mama also has a vegan version)!
Nursing Pads – My milk came in about day three postpartum and it came strong! I was so engorged and I was leaking everywhere so I definitely got a good use of these. I always made sure to carry 3 changes worth of nursing pads (6 pads).
Pads – Needless to say, I was still bleeding (sorry, TMI). I actually bleed up until 4 weeks or so and then I discharged for almost another month. And you definitely don’t want to go too long before changing these… Especially if you tore like I did and didn’t want to risk an infection!
Nursing Cover – Most of the time, I am able to nurse in my car or in a women’s lounge at the mall… But in those moments that I can’t get away or where it would be too much of a hassle and I can’t comfortably pull my boob out for her, it’s nice being able to whip this out!
Lotion – Washing my hands and using hand sanitizer even more often now means my hands have never been so dry! This lotion absorbs so nicely into the skin – I absolutely love it and I can use it on baby girl without any worries. It is a little pricey but I absolutely believe it’s worth it.
Lip Balm – This one has actually never been optional for me. I love the lavender!
S’well Bottle – Due to breastfeeding, I am thirsty and hungry like never before. Cold water is a MUST!
Other Things You Might Need:
Nose Frida – This one was worth its weight in gold! Such a simple design, very easy to use and very effective! My baby was caught a slight cold at about 2/3 weeks of age, and I had to keep this in my bag just in case there was a boogie I needed to get out. The one linked comes with a carrying case, perfect to just toss in your diaper bag!
Bulb Aspirator – This one is very good at taking out spit from our baby’s mouth. During the first week of life, our baby struggled to swallow excess saliva that would pool in her mouth if she was sleeping in her car seat or in the swing. This was part of what kept us up that first week; just watching her sleep and making sure that she was still breathing… So we carried that in our bag for a little bit until she learned to swallow for herself.