Using a diaper caddy or diaper bag can help to keep your baby items organized and easy to access, though they serve different functions, and may include different items. This article will detail the best use of diaper caddies vs. diaper bags, what type of caddy or bag might be best for its purpose, and what each should contain with organization tips.
When to Use a Diaper Caddy
The main purpose of a diaper caddy is to have easy access to all necessary items when changing your baby. Diaper caddies are a great option to organize baby changing items in a somewhat stationary place in the home or the car. While diaper caddies provide the benefit of keeping your baby changing items highly organized and close at hand, they are not usually used as an organization and storage method while you are out walking or on the go. However, there are various types of diaper caddies and can that can be used in different rooms of your home or the car.
Choosing the Best Diaper Caddy
The best diaper caddy will be one that suits your individual needs. When selecting a diaper caddy, you will want to consider:
- Where you intend to keep and use it. This will help you decide if you need a minimalist caddy that is soft, sturdy, simple, and convenient, or if you need a more robust ”ultimate” caddy that is built with a plethora of pockets and sturdy handles for organization and travel.
- The cost of the caddy and if it fits into your budget.
- The material it is made of and how soft or durable it is.
- The color and design. A caddy doesn’t have to look out-of-place in your living room, many options might fit your decor, such as a basket-style rope caddy or a simplistic canvass caddy with rope handles.
- The amount of storage it provides.
- If it includes a changing pad.
There are also different styles of caddies which may include hanging caddies or rotating caddies that are meant to be stationary within a room. Selecting the best caddy for you will depend on your individual needs, and what you intend to keep in it for organization and quick use.
What to Put in a Diaper Caddy
The items that you keep in your caddy will change as your baby grows and their individual needs change. You may also choose to stock your caddy for specific uses, such as preparation for coming home from NICU, a bed-and-bath caddy, or an eat-and-sleep caddy. You may consider adding extra items to a caddy that you keep in your vehicle in case of emergencies. The essential items every caddy should include are:
- Baby wipes.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Diaper cream.
- A changing pad.
- A distracting or soothing toy.
Additional items may include:
- Burping cloths.
- Nasal aspirators
- A wet bag or plastic bag for used diapers, clothes, or wipes.
- An alternative outfit or change of clothes.
Tips for Diaper Caddy Organization
The best diaper caddy is one that holds all your essentials in an organized fashion. To keep your diaper caddy organized and ready for immediate use, consider the following tips:
- Restock your diaper caddy each night so it is ready for use the next day.
- Regularly check the number of diapers and wipes, or amount of lotion or cream so you can restock your caddy before you run out of essentials such as wipes or lotion.
- Regularly spot wash or sanitize your caddy.
- Utilize different pockets or dividers in the caddy to keep items easy to find.
- Stock specific items in your caddy that you may quickly need, depending on where you keep your caddy. A caddy in the living room may include extra toys for the baby to play with during a diaper change, but a caddy in the car may include extra clothing or hand washing items in case of emergency.
When to Use a Diaper Bag
A diaper bag is typically used to carry all of the necessary baby gear while on the go. In short, it will carry all the items you need to care for and travel safely with your baby while you run errands, go to lunch, or are generally out and about.
While a diaper caddy can help to keep your daily used items organized and within easy reach, a diaper bag may include additional baby items you will need when you are traveling or outdoors. Many people also choose to keep their items such as a cell phone or wallet in their diaper bag to keep all essential items in one localized and organized place.
Choosing the Best Diaper Bag
There are a few things you should consider when selecting a diaper bag. This will include:
- How much storage space you need.
- How easy it is to clean.
- If you need insulated pockets for food storage.
- The cost of the diaper bag and if it fits into your budget.
- The color or design of the color bag and if it is ergonomic and comfortable to wear or carry.
- If the bag is designed or equipped with stroller clips.
There are a few different options for diaper bag styles, and it is important to choose the style that works best for you in that it is the most comfortable, yet contains enough space for all of your items. This may include:
- Backpack diaper bags.
- Messenger bag style diaper bags.
- Diaper clutch.
- Waist or fanny pack diaper bags.
When choosing a diaper bag, you should consider the distance you may be traveling and take note of how many essentials you may need to carry. If you will be close to your car, you may consider a diaper clutch or fanny pack which only carries the essentials. However, if you are going to an all-day event, you may choose a backpack diaper bag or messenger bag which can hold everything you need for a full day of fun without the fuss of running back to the car to restock.
What to Pack in a Diaper Bag
A diaper bag typically holds all the baby gear you will need if you are away from home. You may also need extra pockets to store your items so you aren’t juggling multiple bags at once. A typical diaper bag should include:
- A portable changing pad.
- Enough diapers to get you through the day (1 to 2 diapers per every hour you plan to be out.)
- Travel pack of disposable diaper wipes.
- Age-appropriate food and snacks.
- Plastic bags to wrap up dirty diapers or hold wet cloths.
- Diaper rash ointment.
- Baby bibs and cloth for burping or covering during diaper changes.
- Hand sanitizer.
- 1 to 2 changes of clothing for the baby.
- Clothes to accommodate the weather such as hats or socks.
- A baby quilt or swaddle blanket.
- A few favored baby toys.
- 1 to 2 pacifiers and pacifier clips.
- A portable baby pouch.
- Sunscreen for babies over 6 months of age. Ask your pediatrician about sunscreen use for babies under 6 months, small amounts may be acceptable if needed.
Tips for Diaper Bag Organization
Keeping your diaper bag organized can save you precious time when you are searching for a necessary item and you need it quickly. Another consideration for diaper bag organization to keep in mind is shareability and making sure that your partner or caregiver also knows how to find items in the diaper bag. Tips for diaper bag organization include:
- Use a filing system and designate specific pockets for specific items.
- Use smaller bags in bigger compartments that keep like items together.
- When possible, store extra items in your car diaper caddy to keep only the essential items in the diaper bag.
- Use a diaper bag that has an attached changing pad.
- Use smaller refillable bottles for items such as sunscreen baby wipes, or lotion to reduce the weight of the bag.
- Restock the diaper bag after every use. Throw away any trash and wash all dirty items.
Both diaper bags and diaper caddies offer a great solution to keeping your baby’s essential items organized and within reach when you need them. A diaper bag or diaper caddy may also not be a one-size-fits-all option. You may choose to keep one or more diaper caddies in high use and accessible locations in your home or vehicle, and you may choose to have a few options for diaper bags depending on what you are doing and where you are going. The most important aspect of your diaper caddy or bag is that it is organized for easy access, and contains all the things you need to care for your baby.