What Should I Pack in My Diaper Bag?

What Should I Pack in My Diaper Bag?

By: Brooke Hamilton


Every parent’s must-have, go-to bag: The Diaper Bag. Let’s face it, babies require a lot of stuff - especially in the first year - to keep them clean, happy, and fed while on the go! That’s why every parent needs to carry a well-stocked and organized diaper bag. Before kids, you could grab your purse and keys and get out the door. After kids, gathering all the baby gear and getting ready to get out of the house can feel like a mission in itself! The thought of packing the perfect diaper bag may seem overwhelming. That’s why we created this list of what to pack in a diaper bag, so you can take the guesswork out of packing it!

As your child grows, your definition of “diaper bag essential” will change, too. Bottles will change to sippy cups, diapers will change to little undies or pullups, and spare outfits will get fewer and bigger. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we? 

The Newborn Stage

We’ve been there - nothing is more daunting than getting out of the house with a newborn! When thinking about what to pack and carry in your diaper bag for a newborn, we think it’s nice to start at the bottom and work your way up and out.

First, and most importantly, you’ll need diapers. Lots of diapers. Generally, babies may go through 8-12 diapers a day so you’ll need the appropriate amount depending on how long you’ll be out. To change your baby’s diaper while away from your fully-stocked diaper changing station at home, you’ll likely need a travel changing pad, baby wipes, diaper rash cream, and a plastic bag (or two) for tying up a dirty diaper. Many places discourage parents from leaving dirty diapers in the trash, so be prepared to take them home with you.

Now that you’ve gathered the things you’ll need for a diaper change, you’ll need extra baby clothes in case of a diaper blowout! If your little one’s outfit gets wet or soiled, you’ll want to have at least one extra outfit on hand. If you’ll be out long, consider taking 2-3 extra outfits with you. You’ll also need extra plastic bags or a wet bag to bring home dirty clothes for cleaning.

As you may know, layering is the key to dressing babies. Bringing an extra layer or two is a good idea in case the temperature drops while you are out. Will you be stopping somewhere for baby’s nap? Make sure to bring her swaddle or sleep bag.

Finally, and equally as important as your diapers, is feeding. Whether your little one is breastfed or bottle fed you’ll definitely want a nice burp cloth (with backups)! If nursing, you may want a nursing cover and nursing pads. If bottle feeding, you may need your breast pump and accessories, formula, water bottle for carrying clean water, and/or portable bottle warmer. Pre-measuring formula into a travel formula dispenser can save time and limit messes when mixing up a bottle on the go. Additionally, a diaper bag with an insulated compartment or baby bottle caddy can help regulate your baby’s bottle or stored breast milk while out and about.

So let’s recap your list of diaper bag essentials that you need to carry in your diaper bag for a newborn:

  • Diapers (cloth or disposable)

  • Baby wipes

  • Changing pad

  • Diaper rash cream to prevent diaper rash

  • Plastic bags for tying up a dirty diaper

  • Wet bag for bringing home soiled clothes

  • Extra clothes (extra shirt, pants, bodysuits, and/or one-piece footies)

  • Additional layers in case temperature changes

  • Swaddles or sleep bags

  • Burp cloths

  • Nursing essentials: nursing cover and nursing pads

  • Formula-fed essentials: bottles, formula, formula dispenser, water bottle with clean water, and/or portable bottle warmer

  • Breast pump and accessories

  • Temperature regulated way to store breast milk or bottles

For The Infant Stage

By now, you are likely accustomed to packing your diaper bag and getting out of the house with your diapering and feeding essentials. But as your baby gets older and grows past that squishy newborn phase, the contents of your diaper bag will likely change! Your little one may enjoy toys like high contrast books and rattles to keep them busy and engaged while on the go. Pack your baby’s favorite lovey, teething toy, or comfort blanket to keep them company and provide additional security while they are out of their home.

When your baby starts enjoying solid foods, you’ll need additional feeding equipment! Bibs, sippy cups, baby utensils, and baby food will all need to be nicely organized in your diaper bag. Again, a diaper bag with an insulated compartment for bottles and food will help keep the food temperature regulated for longer. Don’t forget to add boogie wipes or hand wipes to gently wipe messy faces and hands!

As your infant is getting more mobile, it is also a good idea to pack a little first aid kit incase of accidents. Things like band-aids, first aid cream, or even little nail clippers and a file could be stored easily in a small pouch.

In addition to the newborn stage list, let’s review what you’ll need to add to your diaper bag checklist for your older baby:

  • Baby toy, teething toy, books, and/or rattles

  • Lovey or comfort item, like a comfort blanket or stuffed animal

  • Bibs

  • Sippy cups or toddler water bottle

  • Baby utensils

  • Baby food and snack assortment

  • Boogie or hand wipes

  • First aid kit

For the Toddler Stage

Believe it or not, when your little peanut is one year old they are considered to be a toddler! At this age, most babies start to transition away from bottle-feeding and are eating more solids. And within the first few years of toddlerhood, they will probably start potty training. Interests change, too, so you will need to switch the rattle and baby toy for a more age-appropriate toddler toy, like a babydoll or buckle toy.

Now that you have a toddler, what you carry in your diaper bag may look very different from the newborn stage! So, let’s refresh the diaper bag essentials list:

  • If potty training: pull-ups or extra undies

  • If in diapers: diapers, baby wipes, travel changing pad, or diaper cream

  • Plastic bag or wet bag (still good to have for a soiled diaper or wet clothes!)

  • Extra toddler clothes (Toddlers can get messy and accidents happen! It’s a great idea to have a complete outfit ready to go with an extra shirt, pants, undies, and socks)

  • Additional warm layers

  • Sleep bag or blanket (depending on age and need)

  • Feeding: sippy cups, bibs, utensils, food or snack

  • Boogie or hand wipes

  • Lovey or comfort item

  • Toddler toy

For Mom

If you have little ones, your diaper bag is your go-to bag and you carry it with you everywhere. Your hands are full changing a diaper, feeding the baby, holding the baby, or pushing the stroller, so it’s not likely that you will carry a regular bag or purse with you. It’s a good idea to have a little pouch to keep your own essentials organized and within reach inside your diaper bag.

This could include:

  • Wallet and keys

  • Lipstick or chapstick

  • Sunglasses

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Chargers

  • Makeup

  • Snacks (you have to stay nourished, too!)

Final Thoughts

Like we said, babies and toddlers require a lot of stuff and it’s important to carry a well organized and fully equipped diaper bag! With this diaper bag checklist in hand, we hope you feel prepared to pack your diaper bag at any stage!

We firmly believe that you should love the bag you carry every day. That’s why we created our Diaper Bag Collection to help keep you organized while on the go. Beautiful and versatile, we thought of every detail and accessory so you can carry a functional and stylish diaper bag.

You have enough big decisions to make - like trying to come up with the perfect baby name or choosing a pediatrician. Trying to decide between a backpack diaper bag and an over the shoulder diaper bag shouldn’t be one of them. Our Diaper Bag can do both. Walk confidently into motherhood with our 5-in-1 Diaper Bag and coordinating chic accessories, and get the most out of your diaper bag.


1. Here's How Many Diapers Your Baby Really Needs. https://www.parents.com/parenting/money/saving/save-money-and-build-a-diaper-stockpile/

2. Toddler Development. https://medlineplus.gov/toddlerdevelopment.html