Babies still need to wee and poo even when you're out and about. Find out everything you'll need to be prepared in our guide to packing a changing bag.
The truth is, you never know when your baby is going to need their nappy changing!
Small babies need their nappy changed up to 10 or 12 times a day, and the last thing you want is to be caught short when you’re out with your little one. So, it’s best to be prepared and have a well-stocked changing bag that's filled with essential items close to hand when you’re out and about.
So, if you’re waiting for your baby’s big arrival, or you’re a new parent who’s wondering how to start organising your changing bag, we’re here to help!
Let’s run through whether you need a nappy changing bag, what makes a good baby changing bag, and cover the essential items you need to pack.
Do I need a changing bag?
While a changing bag might not be on the top of an expectant parents' list of must-have purchases, it’s still an essential item that will definitely come in handy.
We recommend that parents have at least one changing bag ready to go. That way, you’re always prepared for all eventualities. Some parents find that having two nappy bags can be helpful – a small one for quick trips and a bigger one for longer journeys. Others keep baby changing supplies in the boot of their car – just in case!
You can technically use any bag or backpack to hold your change time essentials. However, specially designed changing bags are durable, easy to carry, and give you all the space you need to keep organised with everything in one place.
Plus, you can reuse your changing bag for work or shopping when you no longer need it for baby duties.
What to look for in a changing bag
Here are our top points to consider when deciding which baby-changing bag is right for you:
If you’re breastfeeding, built-in bottle compartments that are insulated can be used to keep your bottles of formula or expressed breast milk cool. This means they’re ready for when feed time comes around. Alternatively, you can use our insulated bottle bags.
Built-in changing mat
Being able to detach your changing mat from your bag means that you can comfortably change your baby's nappy just about anywhere! If you can’t find a bag with a built-in mat, you can look for a foldable one that’s easy to clean and won’t take up too much room in your bag.
Dirty nappy compartment
A used nappy compartment keeps your little one’s soiled nappies separate from their clean clothes and other essentials. A true lifesaver!
Easy to clean
It’s a good idea to find a bag that’s made from washable and wipe-clean fabric. After all, having a baby can get messy from time to time!
Plenty of pockets and compartments
Organisation is key. You'll want everything to have its own designated place so that you know where to reach for specific bits and bobs. A bag with see-through mesh pockets and a light-coloured interior makes it easier to see what’s inside.
A style that suits you
This point covers colour, shape, and fabric, but also functionality and how the bag is worn or carried. Do you want to wear it across your body, over your shoulder, or as a backpack? Lots of changing bags can be worn multiple ways, come with adjustable, detachable, and padded straps for comfort, or have clips that can be attached to your pram.
Baby changing bag essentials
Let’s run through what you’ll need to pack in your baby’s changing bag so you’re ready to pop on a fresh nappy, whenever, wherever.
A baby care kit
Perfect for popping in your changing bag, our baby healthcare kit contains nine essential items to look after your baby at home or on the go.
A spare outfit for baby
Carrying a spare outfit for your little one means that you’ve always got something to change them into should an accident happen.
Bottles and a bottle warmer
If you’re bottle feeding your baby, it’s important that you can take a feed out with you and that you’re able to warm their feed to the perfect temperature.
Keeping a few breast pads in your changing bag can help to absorb any unexpected leaks if you’re breastfeeding.
Trust us, if your tiny tot relies on soothers for comfort, you’ll thank yourself later for packing lots of dummies in your changing bag. A small soft toy can also help to turn sobs into smiles while you're on the go.
Essentials for you
We're talking things that aren’t directly baby-related – lip balm, hand cream, a bottle of warmer, a reusable coffee cup, and some tasty on-the-go snacks! If you’ve got enough space, it’s a good idea to carry a spare top to change into if an innocent baby burp turns into something worse.
Keep germs at bay and pack some good-quality hand sanitiser in your baby changing bag to use when you don’t have access to a sink.
One of the most versatile baby-care items, muslin cloths are lightweight and compact. They can be used to mop up spills, wipe away dribble after a feed, as a nursing cover when breastfeeding, or as a sunshade on hot days.
This one speaks for itself. It’s a good idea to keep between four and six extra nappies in your changing bag, depending on how long you’ll be out and about for.
Packing a small tub or tube of nappy rash cream will help keep your little one comfortable when you’re away from home.
Once you’ve changed your baby’s nappy, you’ll need to clean up any mess, and disposable nappy sacks will certainly come in handy.
This one’s particularly important during the summer but carrying a travel-sized tube of SPF and a lightweight sun hat in your changing bag means your little one is always protected from the sun.
If your baby is teething, popping a small tube of teething gel in your changing bag means that you can help soothe their sore gums when you’re out and about.
Baby wipes are not just for change time! They can also be used to clean sticky fingers and to mop up any accidental spills.
How to organise your nappy bag
To keep your little one's changing bag tidy, try to:
- Assign designated pockets: Categorise the contents of your bag and keep related items together in their designated pocket or compartment.
- Use travel-size containers: Going mini and opting for refillable, travel-sized products will help to save space in your changing bag. This will also keep it lightweight and easy to carry.
- Fold and layer up: Folding your baby’s blankets, changing mat, spare clothes, and nappies like documents in a filing cabinet means that you can see everything as soon as you open your changing bag. It can also help to put the things you use the most in pockets that are easy to access, and other bits and bobs that you only use occasionally can be stored at the bottom.