You should ask yourself two questions when packing a diaper bag or a purse. Number one: “Do I really need this?” And then look in the bag and ask, “When was the last time I needed this?” When you have to go riffling through a bag, you get upset and then the baby’s going to get upset. It’s very primal. Meagan, my co-author, says, “You leave the house and you take a dozen diapers with you and then you realize, ‘Where am I going that I’m bringing so many diapers with me?’” What’s the baby really going to do?
The next step is to categorize the stuff you need by activity and pack by category. Here’s a summary (you can find more details in our book):
Container #1: ointments and aids, like nursing pads and nipple cream.
Container #2: diaper essentials - include a plastic grocery bag to wrap that poop-filled diaper or a washable bag to hold a used cloth diaper, plus a changing pad and a small container of wipes.
Container #3: baby supplies like burp cloths, a little blanket and perhaps a small, foldable sling.
Container #4: baby food and/or bottles and formula or pumped milk (La Leche League says milk will stay fresh at room temperature for four to six hours at room temperature- but bring a little cooler and an ice pack if you have any doubts).
The last container is for things like a pacifier if the baby uses one, emergency food for mom, stuff like that.
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