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What to Pack in the nappy Bag
Being prepared often starts with a simple piece of equipment: the nappy bag. Every parent has one, and some families have two—one that remains in the car as a backup in case the first is forgotten, or they were too rushed to pack the primary one at home.

When picking the actual bag, expect to choose from among hundreds of options. The choice depends as much on your style as on how light or heavy you like to travel. On one end of the spectrum are plain, sleek, black numbers that can do double duty as bags appropriate for work. Others are frankly baby-proud, with designs of teddy bears or rattles. Some are so roomy that they could easily be converted later into real adult luggage!

Comparison shop to find one that not only suits your style but also feels comfortable slung over your shoulder. Resist the few that have small handles; you'll need your hands for other things.

What are the essentials for the nappy bag? Every parent's list is unique, though there are certain things that will appear on every list, like nappys, of course, as well as a changing pad. You'll also want to carry wipes and ointment or petroleum jelly. Bring along empty plastic bags to slip dirty nappys into before disposal. You'll also want a bib for feedings and a cloth or cloth nappy to catch drool or spit-up.

Keep an extra outfit for baby in the nappy bag, too, in case of a spill or accident.

nappy Bag Basics:
  • nappys (10 to 15)
  • A changing pad
  • Wipes and ointment or petroleum jelly
  • Empty plastic bags for dirty nappys
  • Bib for feedings
  • Cloths or cloth nappys to catch drool or spit-up
  • An extra outfit for baby in case of spill or accident
  • An extra outfit for you and Dad (in case baby spills or has an accident!)
  • In the summer, a wide-brimmed hat for baby, plus sunblock
  • A few small toys, including a set of plastic toy keys or teething rings and a chewable toy to mouth on during adult meals
  • Extra formula if you're bottlefeeding
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education