Venturing out with your newborn? Pack these essentials in your diaper bag to deal with all contingencies.
Especially for first time mums, heading out on your own can seem daunting. Aside from packing your diaper bag with all the necessities, we’ve also included some organisation tips and hacks for going out with your little one.
What to Bring
A Diaper Bag
You’ll need to change your baby’s diapers every three to four hours. Hence take along at least four diapers for a duration of about four hours and in case of accidents. Store your dirty diapers in small plastic bags if you can’t get to a bin.
Other than diapers, include one or two packs of baby wipes ($1.52 to $26.90) to clean up your baby, for spills, grubby hands and stains. After each diaper change, apply a diaper rash cream ($13.50 to $23.50).
Expect spills and stains when you’re out and about, so bring two to three other outfits for your little one. Add a change of clothes for yourself too, so you don’t have to walk around in stained clothes.
Feeding Your Newborn
For formula feeding mums, bring along a pre-filled dispenser like this one from Béaba. Other things you’ll need are two empty bottles and enough water for two feedings or depending on how long you’ll be out of the house.
If you’re latching your baby, you may need a nursing cover, nursing pads, lactation cookies and snacks. Exclusively pumping mums out for more than three hours should pre-fill milk bottles and keep them chilled in a cooler bag (prices for all these from $8.90 to $129).
Keep your newborn snug during naps with a swaddle or baby blanket. Other essentials include burp cloths ($15.90 to $69.90), and a soother ($7.90 to $69.90). For yourself, pack a lip balm, hand cream and sanitiser ($2.60 to $72), as well as extra face masks ($18). Add in nursing ($8.90 to $19.90) and maternity/sanitary pads for your postpartum recovery. Of course, don’t forget your own items like keys, wallet, phone, portable charger, tissue and any other necessities.
Newborn's First Aid Kit
In your first aid kit, have a forehead thermometer ($169) to take your baby’s temperature. Next, stock up on medicines such as liquid paracetamol, and ibuprofen for babies above three months. Another essential is baby-safe nail clippers ($9.90 to $39.90) to trim your newborn’s fingernails.
For cuts and scrapes, you’ll need bandages, hydrogen peroxide and antiseptic spray. Use a nasal aspirator set or nose cleaners ($4.90 to $22.90) to clear your baby’s nasal passages when he/she has a cold. Other medicinal aids include gas drops, tweezers, medicine droppers and alcohol wipes. Be sure to put this out of your little one’s reach.
Disinfect and wash your supplies and hands before and after using these. Also, use an alcohol wipe on them every time. Rinse your opaque nasal bulbs and get rid of any buildup inside. Add a list of emergency numbers including poison control and your doctor into your kit.
Carrying Your Baby Around
First, get travel-sized lotions, creams and containers to put into the diaper bag so you won’t forget them. Organise your items with packing cubes, zippered pouches and specialised diaper bag organisers to sort by category. For example, put feeding items in a section, while diaper changing items go into another. To avoid spills put all water and milk bottles into sealed plastic bags.
Choose snacks that come in resealable snack bags. Otherwise, transfer them into other silicone food bags like these from Stasher ($18.90 to $34.90) or in the Re-Play Snack Stack Sets ($14.90). Place your own items in another purse that fits into the diaper bag. That way, if you can leave your baby with your spouse or family, you can just use the purse on its own. After each outing, wash all the dirty clothes and restock anything that has been finished.
Going Out with Your Newborn
1. Start Small.
Begin with a short 10-minute walk around the neighbourhood, carrying your baby in the carrier or putting him/her in the stroller. Ensure your baby’s arms, legs and head are covered to prevent sunburn.
2. Prepare Ahead.
Give yourself ample time to get your baby ready. Where possible, feed and change him/her before heading out.
3. Where to Go
Visit the Paediatrician
For your baby’s first paediatrician appointment, write down any questions you might have beforehand. Keep a log of wet and soiled diapers, and how much your child has been eating over the previous days as best as possible. Maintain your distance from other patients as your baby’s immunity is still underdeveloped. Also, dress your child in light clothes and bring a blanket.
Go to family-friendly places before or after peak lunch hours. It’s best to meet a mum friend who will be empathetic and help out where needed. Order something you can eat with one hand, and get the check before dessert comes in case you need to leave right away. Request a table away from the other diners so you can nurse your baby if necessary.
If possible, order groceries online so you don’t have to wrangle your newborn in the aisles. Start with shorter grocery runs for basics like bread, eggs and milk before trying longer excursions. Make a list and babywear your little one while you add groceries to your cart. If he/she is under four months, time your grocery run during naptime. Park near the entrance, securely strap your baby into the car seat and then load the groceries.
Visit the Grandparents
If you’re daunted by going out on your own, try visiting your parents or in-laws instead. They’ll give you plenty of help to take care of your baby, and you may actually be able to eat without interruptions. Just make sure anyone who wants to hold your baby has washed their hands.