Nappy Bag Essentials for New Mums

When I was preparing for my baby shower (pre-Starfish, obvs), I knew I wanted a stylish and awesome Nappy Bag. Why? Because it was one of those things I just knew I would need as a new mum. It would be the accessory I would take with me everywhere, so I wanted a good one. I asked my trendy cousin-in-law to organise one for me, so my in-laws all put in to get me a really nice one. It was awesome (very big), but then as D-Day (delivery day) rapidly approached, I realised I didn’t even know what to put in there. What do babies really need anyway? So after carrying my nappy bag around for almost a year and culling everything for a recently updated NEW bag (the gorgeous new Jude from Storksak), here is my list of nappy bag essentials that I think all new mums really need.

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Baby Wipes

It may be a given, but baby wipes are crucial when you are a new mum for so many reasons. Besides cleaning dirty bottoms, they are perfect for cleaning up spills of any kind including vomits, spilt milk, water, or generally cleaning up any and all messes your baby makes. It is also the perfect solution for a quick clean of your own hands when they get dirty while you’re out and about.


They’re obviously called nappy bags for a reason, and that reason is because you always need a spare set of nappies with you in case of emergencies. Your baby will usually have a poo explosion at the most inopportune moment, so it is best to be prepared for all situations. You need to find a nappy bag that will stash a few of these easily.

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Disposable Nappy Bags 

I know some mothers (usually the second/third/fourth-timers) who go without plastic disposable bags for nappies, but as a first-time mum I always err on the side of “hide the dirty nappy” when out in public. I pack a few plastic disposable bags so any dirty nappies can be thrown out easily and makes the whole changing-baby-while-out thing slightly less painful.

Hand Sanitiser

You never know when you might get extra dirty hands during those nappy changes (especially in the early days when they poo often and you are getting into the swing of things) so a small bottle of hand sanitiser has always been an essential nappy bag item for me!

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Portable change mat

This may be another ‘luxury’ item depending on your own personal preferences, but I always prefer to change Starfish on a change mat no matter where we are, mostly for his comfort and so I don’t accidentally make any extra messes anywhere. A lot of nappy bags come with a change mat (something I look for when choosing a nappy bag) so try and get your hands on one if you can!

Change of clothes (for you and bub)

It took me a while to learn the importance of spare clothes for myself; for bub, it is pretty obvious that when they have a poo explosion, a whole wardrobe change is needed. However I didn’t often think about my own need for extra clothes – if Starfish had a spit up, or some poo got on you while changing (yes, that happens). I would use my car as a “cardrobe” (I stole that from somewhere else, can’t remember where sorry!!) and have a spare set of clothes in there, but if you don’t have that luxury make sure you have a spare shirt or pants handy in case you need them (or an accessory like a scarf to cover up any messes!).

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Not essentials, but nice to have in your Nappy Bag

Of course, if anyone looked inside my nappy bag at the present time, you would see that I am a regular Mary Poppins – I literally pack everything bar the kitchen sink on most occasions. I am working on cutting down what I put in my nappy bag (especially with a change of nappy bag), but there are some things I still like to carry around with me even though they aren’t essentials:

  • Nursing Cover: In the early days I liked to have a nursing cover to feed in public (this is a personal choice), and I like having something simple and easy to use. I have the Jasemet cover in my bag still just in case.
  • Sunscreen and Baby Hat: As I take the nappy bag with me everywhere, I like to have bits and pieces for Starfish that I would use almost anywhere. It has been really handy having his hat and sunscreen in the nappy bag so if we take a casual trip to the park for a picnic with our mother’s group, or duck around to the grandparents’ place, we have it ready to go.
  • My Handbag essentials: As I’m already lugging around a huge bag, I want a nappy bag that will also carry around my bits and pieces to avoid having two bags. So in my nappy bag I also carry my wallet, phone and keys (plus a billion bobby pins).
  • Water Bottle/s: I always carry a water bottle for Starfish, and if it will fit, me too (especially while breastfeeding as it is thirsty business!).

Of course, I always have other bits and pieces in my nappy bag for individual trips, or as things pile up in the endless abyss that is inside the bag. For example, I usually always have snacks or a lunchbox for Starfish, his sunglasses, my two pairs of sunglasses, and pens (because why not?).

What essentials do you pack in your nappy bag?

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(I was gifted a Storksak for the purpose of another review and have used it for this post as my own choice. All opinions are my own).

About Fi Morrison

Fi is a mum to her beautiful, 1-year-old baby boy who she affectionately calls Starfish. She started Mumma Morrison as a way to document her life with her son, but also aims to create a supportive and encouraging community for new and prospective mums. She is returning to part-time teaching in July. Fi and her family live in Sydney.

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