Packing pointers: What to put in baby's diaper bag

Consumer Reports News: November 18, 2008 04:55 PM

Whether you’re going to Grandma’s house for the day or on an international business trip with your baby, you want to be prepared--without going overboard.

Here are some ideas on what to pack. (Restock the bag as soon as you return home, so you don’t forget anything the next time you go out.)

--Diapers, of course. At least five or six if you’ll be out most of the day.
--A travel pack of baby wipes.
--A changing pad.
--Zinc oxide diaper-rash ointment.
--Plastic bags for disposing of soiled cloth or disposable diapers, or wet clothes. (Some diaper bags come with one of these.)
--A complete change of baby clothes (including socks), plus a hat, sweater, and/or jacket if it’s chilly out.
--Sunblock (if it’s summer, or it’s warm at your destination).
--Hand sanitizer for washing your hands after diaper changes, if you won’t be near soap and water.
--Extra formula and sterilized water (if you’re bottle-feeding or use powdered formula).
--Snacks, such as cereal and crackers, in lidded plastic containers or Ziploc bags, and/or an insulated bag for cold items such as yogurt or breast milk.
--A baby spoon in a Ziploc bag to keep it clean until you use it.
--A bib or two.
--Extra clean pacifiers (if your baby uses one).
--A book your baby can hold or chew on.
--Teething toys (if your baby is teething).
--A small towel to mop up spit-ups and spills.
--Baby pain and fever reliever, and even a small first-aid kit.
--An extra baby blanket.
--Reading material for you. If you have a few minutes, you can catch up on that magazine or newspaper you never got to read at home.

If you’re going on overnight trips with your baby, plan for unexpected layovers and pack extras of everything, especially diapers, changes of clothes, baby wipes, formula, sterilized water, snacks, plastic bags, and pacifiers. And don’t forget to bring your health insurance cards in case you or your baby get sick.

See our reports on diaper bags and diaper-bag features to look for, as well as our infant car seat and stroller advice and Ratings information for on-the-go parents.

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