Sunday, August 26, 2012
10 Diaper Bag Essentials for Nannies and Au Pairs
1. Diapers, Pull-Ups, or Extra Pair of Underwear
My nanny friends recommend having at least one diaper for every hour you will be out of the house. But, I have found that just keeping at least three diapers in the diaper bag at every outing with a baby is usually sufficient.
2. Wet Wipes
Wet wipes aren't only needed for changing diapers. Wet wipes are essential for a child of any age. Use them to wipe drool, spit-up, wipe a runny nose, clean up spills off of clothing, clean of dirty toys that fall on the ground, and obviously for cleaning hands when no sinks are around. My favorite wet wipes are made for sensitive skin and no fragrance such as Seventh Generation Baby Wipes. To carry wet wipes I love the Skip Hop Swipe Baby Wipes Case.
3. Changing Pad
If you are in a situation where you need to change the baby in the car, a public restroom, or a house that doesn't have a changing station use the pad to keep the baby off of the potentially unclean surface and to protect car seats and furniture from the baby's dirty bottom.
4. Plastic Bags to Store Dirty Diapers
You can purchase disposable diaper sacks such as Sassy Baby Disposable Diaper Sacksbut a plastic bag from the grocery store or a gallon sized Ziploc bag works just as well to secure stinky, dirty diapers until you have a spot to throw the dirty diaper away.
5. Extra Change of Clothes
It is always a good idea to carry extra clothes in case of spills, spit-up, or leaky diapers. If it's winter you may need to carry an extra hat or gloves and in the summer you may want to carry a sun hat or sunglasses.
6. Milk Bottles and Feeding Equipment
Nothing is worse than being out of the house unprepared to feed hungry babies or toddlers. Bottle fed babies will need a couple of bottles of pure water and at least one serving of formula for ever hour you anticipate being out. For babies who are already eating, you might being a bottle or two of baby food, a couple of spoons, and a bib, plus a zipper sandwich bag of finger foods such as cereal or teething biscuits.
7. Hand Sanitizer
Germs are everywhere. Before and after feeding kids, after a class at the YMCA, and after changing diapers I strongly recommend using hand sanitizer on the kids' hands and your own.
8. An Extra Blanket
Never hurts to have an extra blanket in case a building is air conditioned, it's cold outside, it starts to rain, or you can shield the baby from the sun. Blankets are great for breast feeding mom's out in public. It can also serve as a burp cloth.
9. Small First Aid Kit
Depending on the age of the child I like to carry at least a few band aids, alcohol wipes, and Neosporin or antibiotic cream in the diaper bag. Be sure to bring any medications the child is taking with you when you are away from the house. In the summer you may need some extra sunscreen, and if the baby has diaper rash be sure to bring diaper rash cream.
Even if the child cannot hold on to his own toys yet, you will be able to occupy the baby with bright rattles or musical toys, or keep his attention focused on one if he starts getting fussy in public. It's good idea to bring at least two toys for every child. Depending upon the specific baby's needs, don't forget to bring pacifiers or teethers to keep them calm during outings.