Nappy bag essentials

Babies are small, but require a huge amount of things which you'll need to carry! So from now on wherever your baby goes, so does her nappy bag.

Nappy bags need to be lightweight and have plenty of pockets for ease of access. You also need a nappy bag to be made of waterproof and hard wearing material, as you'll be carting it around all over the place. It's also good to have an outside clip, so you can attach it to your pram. If possible buy a bag with adjustable straps so you can wear it as a backpack.

Always keep your nappy bag packed and repack after every outing otherwise you're bound to forget something vital next time you're out. It's also a good idea to put a name tag on your bag, especially important once your child begins day care. Perhaps consider putting your name, address and phone number inside in case it goes missing, (although as it's probably surgically attached to you this is unlikely!).

Essentially you'll be packing nappies and wipes, but due to the unpredictable nature of babies and the high chance of spills and mishaps, you'll need all sorts of other things too.

You'll need to pack

• 5 nappies (you can never have too many!)
• Nappy wipes (in a plastic box)
• Change mat, if one's not built into your bag
• Nappy-rash cream
• Baby wipes
• Tissues
• Plastic bags or nappy sacks for soiled clothes and/or nappies
• Cloth nappy
• Change of clothing
• Muslin or flannel wrap, depending on the time of year
• A hat or beanie'"again, depending on the time of year
• Bib
• Small toy or two, such as a rattle or a cloth book
• Sunscreen stick that's suitable to use on babies
• Snacks and drinks (as baby gets older)

Top tips

• While you may prefer cloth nappies for everyday use, you may find disposables more convenient when you're away from home.
• If you're using disposable nappies, it's still a good idea to include a cloth one in your baby bag'"they're handy to throw over your shoulder to protect your clothes.
• If you're a frequent user of public transport or a keen walker, it might be worth considering a backpack-style baby bag rather than an over-the-shoulder one'"that way you can keep your hands free.
• In warm weather, pack an extra singlet; in cool weather, extra clothing.
• Changing dirty nappies is a messy business'"just in case you're stuck somewhere without access to soap and water, keep a pack of Dettol Antibaterial Family Wipes or a tube of Dermasoft Sanitising Hand Gel (which kills germs without water and air-dries in no time) in your baby bag.
• In summer, have a pair of nappy togs or a swimsuit in the bag, plus a small super-absorbent towel and extra sunscreen.

Mum's tip
Tania Johnson is mum to three-year-old Jordan and Adrian, six weeks.

She says: 'I bought a nappy bag which doubles as a change mat which was really handy.'