Parenting Tips: 7 Essentials to Pack In Your Changing Bag

Changing bag swamped with stuff? Keep it simple with these 7 essentials that every parent needs to pack in their changing bag.
  • Roma Patel
  • January 17, 2021

woman holds baby and dockatot leopard print clutch changing bag

As a new parent, looking through the vast range of baby changing bags on the market, you may ask yourself the question, 'What do you put in a baby changing bag' or even, ‘Do I need a baby changing bag?’

Why not just, a bag?

The fact is that a parent’s life is made so much easier with a bag designed to carry baby stuff. Because it's not the carrying of the stuff that matters, but the finding of the stuff that is way more important.

As a parent, when you need something, you need it NOW. Every second spent rummaging around the bottom of a bag, escalates an uncomfortable situation to stress levels we don’t like to talk about.

A good travel bag is well designed, with multiple compartments, allowing you to store and access things easily. It may have removable pockets, handy outside pockets, or practical straps for attaching to a stroller. When you have experienced these features in all sorts of parenting scenarios, you are eternally grateful that someone took the time to design such a bag.

So, what do you put in a baby changing bag?

Here are 7 essentials that every parent should pack in their changing bag.


1. Diaper changing basics

This is a whole category, because you cannot just ‘wing it’ when it comes to diaper changing in public.

You will need…

- Several diapers. One is never enough. Out of the house, babies often refill their diaper immediately after being changed into a new one.

- You will also need a changing mat, because some emergencies just don’t allow the time to find a rest room. Some changing bags, like the DockATot clutch changer, have changing mats built into their design.

- Then there are the baby wipes and diaper bags, so you can place soiled wipes and diapers directly into the bags after use. Some situations call for scented diaper bags.

- Diaper cream is essential, a baby lets everyone know about their sore bottom.

- And finally, it's always handy to have a couple of spare romper suits for when diapers leak. 

2. Feeding basics

If you're breast feeding you may like to carry a muslin cloth to cover yourself in public, and to clean up any dribbles. This also doubles up as a handy burping cloth. But be warned, your baby will hardly ever spit up directly onto the cloth, no matter how strategically you place it! Breast pads for leaks are also pretty handy, especially for women with heavy milk flow. They can be washable or disposable.


If you're bottle feeding you'll need to plan for how long you'll be out of the house, and pack more sterilized bottles than you think you'll need. You just never know. Bring formula milk and a flask of hot water to make it. Or, keep it simple and take ready-made cartons of formula. Depending on how your baby likes to take their milk, you may like to carry a bottle warmer or a bottle cooler.

You see, the need for a changing bag to organise everything!?

3. Snacks, for baby and mom

We all know that looking after a small baby can take a lot of energy! So we find having a healthy, energy-boosting snack in your changing bag can be a real lifesaver as a new parent. Cereal bars, a banana, a cheeky chocolate bar - whatever you need to keep you going.Don't forget a bottle of water too, particularly if you're breastfeeding - it's thirsty work!

And if your child is old enough to hold something between their fingers and munch, having baby-friendly snacks in your bag for when you want to take five is a must.

4. Sunscreen and sun hat

It can be very distressing to be caught out on a suddenly hot day. Have a small bottle of sun screen handy for those moments when you can't seek shade.

Sun hats are also great for pulling down over little eyes squinting in the sun. Babies NEVER wear sunglasses properly so there is definitely no point in them (apart from the obvious cute appeal)!

baby wearing sunglasses

5. Spare blanket

You’ll be taking it off, and then putting it on. Your child will be kicking it off into the street, and it'll be getting trapped under your stroller wheels. But a spare blanket is a life saver if the weather gets unexpectedly cold, and you want your little one to be comfortable. It can also double as a breastfeeding cover-up or spit-up cloth if needs be.

6. Baby toys

Maybe not necessary for newborns (who are likely to be asleep most of the time anyway!), but for babies 3 months and older, spare toys will keep them entertained. And if you can make them dangle, even better!

Check-out our toy sets. They're detachable, so you can use them with the DockATot toy arch on your dock, but you can also clip them to your stroller when out and about.


7. A book/magazine for mom

This one is kind of wishful thinking. But in those precious moments when your child is asleep and you find yourself with time to yourself, you’ll appreciate the distraction. Especially if your cell phone has run out of battery.

So, do I need a baby changing bag?

In short, yes! And now you know what to pack in a baby changing bag, take a look at our lovely clutch changer bags. The perfect size to slip into a backpack or stroller, keeping all the essentials at hand and easy to find. 

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