New mom and lifestyle blogger Ashley Palenkas shares the essentials you can find in her diaper bag that help keep her baby happy, fed and dry while on the go.
By Ashley Palenka
Photography by Ashley Palenka
As a new mom, taking my babe on the go was nerve-racking. Will I have everything I need? The last thing I want is to be a bag lady, carrying a bunch of stuff and an infant carrier. Now that my babe is 8 months I’ve nailed down my diaper bag essentials. Besides the obvious diapers, wipes and formula, I have perfected the essentials to keep my baby happy, fed and dry on the go.
KicKee Pants Zipper Onesie
I always need a spare outfit on hand in case of the dreaded “blowout.” To keep my bag as light as possible, I pack a KicKee Onesie. My babe fits into them longer than any other onesie because they are nice and stretchy. They are a great bang for your buck. Available at Little Rascals in Birmingham.
I always carry this portable sound machine. Ryland sleeps and naps with a sound machine at home. We find it helps drown out any sudden noises that could startle him, like the doorbell. So when trying to get Ryland to nap on the go, nothing works better than this sound machine that can clip right on his infant carrier or stroller.
Heading anywhere for a couple hours, you have to pack temperature-sensitive formula or breast milk. This little bottle cooler along with these cuttable Cryo Packs fit easily inside my diaper bag. It also has a clip to attach it somewhere. This, by far, is one of the best things I’ve bought. It eliminates the need to carry a separate cooler bag for one bottle.
Blanket, Burp Rag and Bib
When packing my bag, the main three essentials are the “three b’s:” blanket, burp rag and bib. Blankets like this fleece one by Cloud Island (available at Target) roll up well, making it very packable. I love this burp cloth by Green Sprouts (available on buybuybaby.com), which is very absorbent, and this bib by Kensie Baby (similar ones are available on Amazon).
Ryland and I absolutely love the softness of Jellycat stuffed animals and loveys. They also have adorable books like this to match their animals. Both of these are great for soothing and entertaining your baby on the go.
This rattle was given to me by a client because her babies loved it and thought mine would too. She was right! The textured grip made this the first thing he loved to grip. His eyes were glued on the light-up face. The noise perked his ears, and there is even a mirror on the bottom. We use this all the time during doctor appointments to distract his eyes and hands. The doctors and this mom appreciate the way it keeps him busy.
Ryland got his bottom two teeth at 4 months. So, since about 3 months old, something to chew on was a major necessity. At 8 months old he has eight teeth already, so chewing is a 24/7 priority. These two teethers soothe his gum pain. Both of these are easy to grip from a young age, which means less dropping. Essentially, less picking up and cleaning for mom, and less fuss. Happy baby, happy mom! Nuby NanaNubs are available on Amazon and at BuyBuyBaby. The Michigan Teether is available on ilovefreckledfox.com.
All of this stuff takes up so much room in the diaper bag. For this reason, when I saw this changing pad at Nordstrom at Somerset, I immediately bought it. I love it! It’s super thin and light, taking up little space in my bag. It comes in super fashionable prints — another mom win. I get compliments and comments on it everywhere I go.
Ashley Palenkas has been a hair stylist and makeup artist for 15 years at Luigi Bruni Salon in Birmingham. Ashley is also a hobby lifestyle blogger. Her blog theblushmitten.com features fashion, makeup, travel and the mom life. It’s an outlet she uses to share things she loves with other women and moms. She is a new mom to her son Ryland (8 months), and an aunt to six nieces. Follow Ashley on Instagram at @ashleypalenkas and @theblushmitten.