What Essentials to Pack in your Diaper Bag
Updated: Sep 5, 2022
You’re rushing out the door with the kids and you grab the diaper bag, but does it have everything you will need for the day?
Maybe you have a messenger bag for your diaper bag or a backpack diaper bag.
No matter what type of diaper bag you have, the best diaper bags will contain essential items that will make it a well-stocked diaper bag.
I’ve put together a list of Must Have Items that you should always keep in the diaper bag.
There are many items you do not want to leave home without!
Check out our diaper bag checklist so you always have the best diaper bag essentials.
Don't forget to check out my 4-part blog post that gives you some of the best items to put on your Baby Registry.
If you're still pregnant and planning on using your diaper bag as a hospital bag, check out our post What Should You Pack In Your Hospital Bags?
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
You would think this would be an obvious one, but I wanted to list it for 2 reasons.
1 – Many people will forget to restock the diaper bag with diapers when they are running low or change to the correct size when your baby moves up a size.
2 – Is your child recently potty trained? My daughter who is potty trained, but my son is not. I keep pull-ups for my son since he is still potty training and I have a folding travel potty seat in the bag for my daughter to make public restrooms much easier on us.
You should always keep extra diapers in your diaper bag in case you are stuck somewhere, or your child goes through more than normal. The rule of thumb is to be sure to always have enough diapers.
Side note: I also have a folding travel potty seat that I always keep in the car. We have been out and had no access to a bathroom and a child who needed to go potty very bad. Our travel potty locks up tight so you can empty it as soon as possible.
2. Baby Wipes
When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I wanted to ditch the shoulder diaper bag and switch to a diaper bag backpack. That was the best decision I ever made.
I had one requirement of this backpack and that was to have outside side pockets for wipes. If you need to do quick diaper changes on a changing table or car diaper changes, you are not digging through the bag searching for wipes.
3. Changing Pad
Many diaper bags come with a changing mat or pad; both of ours did. I refuse to change my baby on any other surface if we are not home. Changing pads are easy to wipe down and I know that he is laying on a clean surface every time I change him.
If your diaper bag did not come with a changing pad, you can pick this Portable Changing Pad from Amazon.
If you are more interested in disposable changing pads, you can purchase some Disposable Changing Pads off Amazon.
4. Extra Clothes
I always have a spare change of clothes for both my children in my own diaper bag. I make sure to rotate them often, so I have the correct sizes and for the correct season.
If you come across messy situations, the extra outfit will be great for children of any age. It's a good idea to keep an extra shirt, extra onesie, extra pants, and extra underwear for potty trained children.
5. Receiving Blanket
While my son was nursing every 3-4 hours, the best way to keep my clothes free from milk and spit up was to put a receiving blanket or a swaddle blanket under him while he nursed.
These also make great blankets during the colder months, so I always packed at least 2. If you prefer to cover while nursing, you could use these blankets as a nursing cover as well.
A burp cloth will work the same way and help keep the kid’s faces clean, but they are smaller.
These Pretty Blankets from Undercover Mama work great to use for all the above reasons.
6. Thermometer & Acetaminophen
Fevers happen, especially if you have a baby who is teething. You can’t always get home to take their temperature and give them medicine so having this handy is a life saver.
There are many options for thermometers, but for on the go I prefer a Digital Forehead Thermometer, like this one from Amazon.
7. Pacifiers & Pacifier Clips
We were walking around the Renaissance Festival with our daughter a few years back and we realized her pacifier was missing from her stroller. After a couple minutes searching, we realized it was on the ground and in the mud. That pacifier went immediately into the trash. Luckily, we had a spare and we always attach them to pacifier clips whenever we’re out of the house.
To keep pacifier sanitary, I keep them in plastic bags or Ziploc bags in a separate compartment of our diaper bag.
8. Bottles & Formula
In my case, I breast feed my children breast milk, so I never carry bottles. For those that are formula feeding, make sure to have formula for your little one in case you’re out when they need their next bottle.
Some parents travel with a formula dispenser, enough water, and empty bottles and others travel with a fully prepared bottle. The right bag will have lots of pockets, which typically includes insulated pockets that fit an ice pack so you can pack formula and baby food that needs to stay cold. This is important for breastfed babies who are on solid foods as well.
It’s always a good idea to have some snacks in the diaper bag for long outings. I keep some mini bags of goldfish, crackers, and cookies in there. I’ve snuck some snacks for myself out of the bag when I was hungry.
10. Favorite Toys
Is your child screaming or bored in the car or do you have a fussy baby? Some smaller toys to distract them during the ride is great to have. My daughter loves books and this little toy cell phone that makes its way to the bottom of the bag. When our children were very little, we used to attach toys to the baby gear like car seat and stroller so they could not throw them.
Depending on your baby's age, they may not be able to use sunscreen yet, but it’s good to keep a small bottle of sunscreen for your older children and yourself in your diaper bag. Earth Mama Mineral Sunscreen is a great sunscreen for mom and dad from Earth Mama® Organics.
If you want a sunscreen that is safe for your little one’s sensitive skin, look at these three sunscreens: Kids Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen, Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, and Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40.
Head on over to Earth Mama® Organics, using one of the links above, to see what other organic products they have for you.
12. Disposable Diaper Bags / Reusable Wet Bag
You can purchase small bags for throwing away dirty diapers. They are like doggy bags, but they are specifically designed for dirty diapers. These little bags are scented and work great to hide the dirty diaper smell, especially if you have a long car ride ahead of you and you do not have access to a garbage.
After changing your baby's diaper, roll up the diaper and put it in the disposable diaper bag. You can tie the bag tight so no small can escape from the bag and the extra scent masks the bad smell. Then use some hand sanitizer and dispose of the dirty diaper when you can.
If you are using cloth diapers, a reusable wet bag is a better option because they can be washed. These are a great idea so you can take your diapers home and wash them as soon as you can.
13. Water Bottle / Sippy Cup
The outside of our diaper bag has a spot for a water bottle or a sippy cup. Every time we leave the house, we fill up our Munchkin 360 cups with water and throw it in the outside pockets of the diaper bag. It never fails that our children need water while we’re in the car, so this gives us easy access to their water cups. The bonus to these cups is I know they won’t spill the water all over themselves.
If you want to grab your own Munchkin 360 Cups, head on over to Amazon to get your own.
14. Travel Safety Kit / Small First Aid Kit
These little kits are handy for minor cuts, hang nails, and other things.
They can contain nail clippers, nail files, medicine syringe, oral thermometer, and alcohol swabs. I also add to them band aids, triple antibiotic ointment, ear swabs, gauze pads, tissues, lip balm, diaper cream, and any other items I find necessary.
Just make sure to securely seal this kit so your child cannot get into the small items.
There you have it! New moms should feel ready to leave the house and be prepared for anything.
These are some of the best diaper bag accessories to put on your diaper bag packing list.
Head on over to the grocery store to get the items you still need for your new baby.
Many of these Baby Registry items are perfect to put in your Diaper Bag..
Did I forget any items that you think should be in the diaper bag?
What are your personal favorite items?
Feel free to comment below.