F ull-time college student Hoda Mabrouk is an expert at packing her children’s diaper bags.
Mabrouk, principal at the Central Mosque of Charleston’s Sunday School, is always on the go. The West Ashley mother of three recommends parents organize diaper bags by putting items in pockets and pouches inside the diaper bag so they don’t scatter everywhere.
Check out these other tips and must-have diaper bag items from Mabrouk and Stephanie Coffin, founder of Bellies Babies and Beyond.
• Diapers – “One per hour you will be out, plus two to three extras just in case,” Coffin says.
• Wipes – “Two to three per diaper. They make great travel cases (sometimes they come with your diaper bag) or you can use a [zip-top] bag so you do not have to carry the whole container of wipes,” Coffin says.
• Hand sanitizer – “For mom before and after diaper changes, and also for older babies and toddlers,” Coffin says.
• Changing pad – “Most diaper bags come with a reusable, easy- to-clean changing pad,” Coffin says. “These are great to lay over the changing tables in public restrooms for added sanitation but also for those places that don’t have a changing table.”
• Plastic grocery bags or disposal diaper bags – “You can get a pack of 100 disposal plastic diaper bags from the Dollar Store. You can put dirty diapers and dirty clothes in them so they don’t dirty up the bag,”
• First aid kit – Mabrouk recommends a first aid kit that includes medicine, bandages, rash cream, a comb, bug spray and sunscreen.
• Feeding items – “Bottles, expressed breast milk or formula if you do not breast feed in public,” Coffin says. “Plan on having the amount of formula or breast milk for as many feedings as you are out plus an extra, just in case.”
• Clothes – Mabrouk recommends an extra change of clothes, including socks, a hat, burp cloths, a blanket and a bib.
• Miscellaneous items – Mabrouk says a camera is a must. She also recommends some toys, a pacifier, snacks, a teether, napkins and nursing pads and nursing cover for the mom.
When choosing a diaper bag, make sure it comes with pockets, a changing pad and a bottle holder, Mabrouk says.
Coffin agrees. She recommends Skip Hop diaper bags because they come in a variety of colors and styles.
Coffin says it’s better to overpack than underpack.
“When you are packing for an outing, it is best to plan for how long you will be out and prepare for a little longer, just in case,” Coffin says. “It is always better to have too much than too little. There is nothing like having to run into the grocery to grab diapers or snacks.”
Skip Hop diaper bags
Retail from $34 to $90.
Available at Sugar Snap Pea, downtown Charleston; Baby Bloomers, Mount Pleasant; Toys R Us and Babies R Us in North Charleston; and Target.