Baby’s First Outing: Here’s What to Pack
Baby’s First Outing: Here’s What to Pack
August 10, 2020

Baby’s First Outing: Here’s What to Pack

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Baby’s First Outing: Here’s What to Pack

Congratulations—you’re getting out with your new baby in tow! Although this may sound simple, any new parent knows that it’s quite the feat. Getting up the confidence to leave the safe, cozy confines of your home with your tiny little one takes some guts. It also takes a bit of planning and organization, which can go a long way in making your first trip out with your new family go as smoothly as possible.

The Basics

First things first: you’re going to need a way to get around. This may look different depending on if you’re a city versus a suburban family or if you’re planning a road trip rather than a walk around the block, but here are the basics you’ll want to consider.

  • An infant car seat. If you’re going anywhere by car, an infant car seat is a must. We recommend familiarizing yourself with your car seat before your little one arrives. Read your seat’s instruction manual, watch any videos from the manufacturer on how to use and install the seat and learn how to properly buckle a newborn into a rear-facing seat.
  • A stroller. A walk around the block is a great way to ease into getting out and about with your newest addition. Much like with your car seat, you’ll want to get to know your stroller before taking it out for its first spin. Learn how to get your baby in and out and how to adjust the straps; practice folding and unfolding it; read the manual for any operating instructions and learn if you’ll need to purchase a separate insert to make it compatible for a newborn. If you’re using a travel system, check to see if you’ll need any car seat adapters and practice snapping the seat in and out. The more comfortable you are with your stroller the better your first walk will be.
  • A baby carrier. Some new parents prefer a baby carrier over a stroller, especially in those early newborn days when babies like to be held extra close. Short of someone dropping by for an in-person lesson on all things babywearing (wouldn’t that be nice!), online video tutorials like this one are the best way to learn how to put a tiny, squirmy newborn into a baby carrier. There is a bit of a learning curve with babywearing, and practice really does make perfect, so try to stick with it and not get discouraged as you figure things out.

The Diaper Bag

We love minimalism as much as the next person, and we’re all for cutting down on the amount of stuff you’ll need to lug around when you’re out and about. But the reality of being on the go with a baby is that stuff is bound to happen that’s out of your control—and you need to be ready for it. Blowouts, spit-up, fussiness…you get the idea. The better prepared you are, the better you’re going to be able to deal with whatever your (unpredictable) new addition throws your way.

It’s possible to use any type of bag or tote as a diaper bag, but bags specifically designed with parents in mind are often better equipped to get the job done. They feature things like extra compartments for storage, insulated pockets for keeping milk cool, built-in changing pads and other extras that can help keep you prepared and organized for a day out with your baby.

The Packing List

So your diaper bag is ready to rock—but what, exactly, are you supposed to put inside of it?

Try to be as organized as possible before you venture out on your first outing with your baby. These must-haves should be packed in your diaper bag before every outing:

  • Portable changing pad
  • Diapers (three or four for a short outing, more for longer)
  • Wipes
  • Diaper cream
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Change of clothes
  • Socks/booties
  • Bottle
  • Formula or breast milk
  • Pacifier
  • Small toy or teether

These optional items are also helpful to have on hand if you have the space:

  • Wet bag
  • Wipes case
  • Portable cooler bag for bottles
  • Cleaning wipes for surfaces
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
  • Snack cup
  • Swaddle or small blanket
  • Nursing cover

The Attitude

Reality check: getting out with a new baby is hard.

It’s okay to get frustrated when your baby starts crying three minutes after you leave your house. It’s okay to long for the time you walked out the door with just your phone and your keys. It’s okay to miss your old life. But try your best to take it all in stride.

Be as prepared as you can, but expect the unexpected. Start small on your first few outings and don’t set unrealistic expectations or put pressure on yourself. Roll with the punches and remember that it does get easier—we promise.

The Shopping List

Shop these top Babylist picks for getting out and about with your baby.

Diaper Bag

The Freshly Picked Classic and Birdling’s Backpacker are two standout favorites. The Freshly Picked bag beautifully combines form with function, and the Birdling bag is a durable but stylish backpack that can take you from a day at the zoo to an overnight adventure.

Looking for a bag that’s extra accessible? Skip Hop’s MainFrame has an extra-wide opening for easy access to all your stuff. Want to keep things super minimal? Check out the brand’s Convertible Hip Pack for a simple diaper bag alternative.

Changing Pad

Some diaper bags come with a changing pad, but not all. Bambino Mio’s Portable Changing Mat is as fun as it is useful. We also love Gathre Micro Mat for a neutral, stylish option.

Skip Hop’s Pronto Signature Changing Station is another great option. It’s a compact clutch that can be used solo or inside your diaper bag and features a fold-out changing pad plus pockets to stash diapers, wipes and other small things.

Diapers, Wipes and Cream

Pampers Pure Protection are disposable diapers that are made from cotton and plant fibers and are free of lots of chemicals that you won’t want near your baby’s sensitive skin. The brand’s Aqua Pure wipes are also soft and gentle and are made with 99% water.

On-the-Go Accessories

A wipes case like one will save you from having to carry around an entire pack. A reusable wet bag holds dirty diapers, wet clothes and more, and a travel-sized hand sanitizer and a small bag of all-purpose surface wipes are great for keeping you and the space around you clean.

Clothes and Accessories

Be sure to check your backups every few months—babies grow quickly and you don’t want to be stuck with a newborn bodysuit if your nine-month-old needs a change of clothes.

For younger babies, we recommend keeping a backup footie in your bag.

For older babies, stash away some separates. A bodysuit and a soft pair of pants is a good place to start. And don’t forget socks!

Depending on what type of climate you live in, you’ll also want to have some sunscreen and a sun hat on hand. This brimmed hat from i play by Green Sprouts offers great protection and UPF 50+ and has an adjustable string to keep it in place. Sunscreen is also a good idea; we love this mineral-based stick from Babyganics for extra easy application on the go.


Comotomo bottles are soft and flexible (they’re made from silicone) and have fewer parts than many other popular bottle brands, so they’re extra simple when you’re out and about.

And don’t forget a clean, sealed container for storing powdered formula if your little one is formula fed. The Philips Avent Powder Formula Dispenser and Snack Cup has three divided sections that each store enough powder for a nine-ounce bottle. And you can pop out the inner divider and use it for snacks too once those are on the menu.

Other Extras

Don’t load up with too many extras—there’s already enough to carry if you only count the basics! But it is a good idea to keep a few small things on hand like a pacifier and a toy or teether if you need a quick distraction when you’re away from home. Keep these items in your diaper bag permanently so you’ll always have them available when you need them.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and the Babylist Health Advisory Board.