Ok, so really you don’t even need anything on this list, but these items will make life much more comfortable with an infant.
- Diaper Bag. I remember when I was pregnant with my first son, my husband did not think we needed a diaper bag at all. Of course we don’t want to spend needlessly, but it soon became apparent to me that a diaper bag is much more convenient than using a plain backpack and I didn’t worry so much about the inevitable messes. Having the changing pad was nice too. Choose eco-friendly fabrics for the greenest option.
- Changing Pad. If you are ever going to be changing diapers in public, you are going to need a changing pad. Most diaper bags come with one, but if yours doesn’t or you decide to go with an unconventional bag, then this is an important essential. Again look for eco-friendly materials and be sure to avoid anything containing Microban, which is an antibacterial pesticide that can be harmful to your baby’s health.
- Diapers. An obvious choice. Your choice of diapers is anything but obvious though. There are cloth, disposable, and the hybrid gdiapers. I have looked at all the information comparing them all and I believe that cloth is the most environmentally and financially sound. Natural fibers are always a great choice to put next to baby’s skin and in the long run are vastly cheaper than disposable.
- Wetbag. If you are going to use cloth diapers, then you are going to need a place to put the dirty ones! Even if you use disposable diapers, a wetbag can be useful. Sometimes garbage cans are not available or you need a place for clothing soiled by diaper blowouts or spit-up covered burp cloths.
- Wipes. Choosing something that is going to be touching baby’s delicate skin so often during the day, or night, is not always as easy as it might seem. It’s hard to believe that baby wipes might contain potentially harmful chemicals, but many brands often do. You can check the score of over 100 different baby wipes at EWG’s Cosemtic Database. One of the easiest, safe disposable brands to find is Seventh Generation. You can also make your own, but many people find it easier to use cloth wipes at home and disposable in the diaper bag.
- Diaper Ointment. Angel Baby Bottom Balm is by far our favorite diaper ointment for baby. We have heard from many mamas that Angel Baby Bottom Balm is safe for cloth diapers and it is safe for baby too. I have used it for diaper rash, eczema, and even scrapes and cuts.
- Burp Cloths. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot my burp cloth and had to walk around the store or doctor’s office with spit-up all over my clothes. Baby girl was a spitter and I never seemed to learn my lesson. Besides the obvious, a good organic burp cloth can be great for so many things: boogie noses, wiping sand from eyes, drying wet hands or wet bench, protecting baby’s skin from hot car seat straps, and more I am sure you will discover.
- Extra Clothes. At least one change of clothes, even if it’s just a bodysuit in warm weather and a sleeper and hat in colder weather. Organic and natural fibers are best for baby. Consider what you want touching your baby’s soft skin day in and day out.
- Baby Carrier. Yes, you can fit one in a diaper bag! There are pouch slings which are easy to use and great for newborns, ring slings which are great for all ages with a little practice, mei tais which distributes the weight on both shoulders making it very comfortable, and wraps which can be tricky but incredibly rewarding. Again, natural fibers touching baby’s skin is going to be ideal.
- Nursing Cover or Blanket. While not for everyone, these can be helpful for new mamas that may not be comfortable nursing in public without a cover of some sort, for babies that need it a little darker with fewer distractions, to protect baby from sun when in the carrier or stroller, or to lay baby down at the park. Both nursing covers and blankets come in handy in so many situations.
What are your diaper bag essentials? Do you have any great tips to make greener choices?