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Going Out with Baby? Here’s What to Pack in a Diaper Bag

diaper bag

It was one hot and sticky summer, and I was in the park with my toddler. She had dirt and grass all over her hands. When it was time to leave, I rummaged through my bag to find something to wipe off the grime- only to realize I had none. It’s frustrating, I know. Over the years (and three kids after, I learned my lesson. So, I’m sharing what to pack in your diaper bag so you’ll never leave anything essential, ever.

“Do I Really Need a Diaper Bag?”

Perhaps you’ve come across the diaper bag when searching the internet for a list of baby essentials. Maybe a seasoned mom has advised you to get one. The question is, do you really need it? Technically, any bag will do, like your trusted backpack or summer tote. However, diaper bags are designed to carry and organize your baby’s things (believe me, there are a LOT!). Most variants have pockets and built-in pouches and come in chic designs and colors.

Once you’ve picked the diaper bag that works for you, it’s time to add your baby’s things. We’ll give you a lowdown on what to pack in your diaper bag for a fun day out with your little one.

Newborn Diaper Bag Checklist

Congratulations on your bundle of joy! I know you have a lot on your plate with all the preparations and adjustments. Your baby might be a tiny human for now, but you’ll be surprised at how many things they need. Don’t worry, momma, we’ve made a list for you so you won’t forget anything for a trip to the doctor’s or a short visit to grandma’s house. 

For Nappy Changes

A newborn can pee once every hour and can poop five to ten times a day. So, it’s best to prepare for several nappy changes. 


Consider how many hours you’d be gone when packing diapers. Two to three pieces would be enough for a two-hour trip. It’s better to bring extra than looking frantically for a store to buy nappies. 

Changing Pad

A lot of diaper bags come with a changing pad. However, you could always buy a separate pad if yours does not have one. Look for a padded design so your baby will be comfortable lying on their back. You may also pack disposable changing pads if you don’t want to worry about cleanup.


This essential is heaven-sent for parents. I could not even imagine my parenting journey without it. Aside from wiping baby bums, you could also use it to clean your munchkin’s hands, face, and every nook and cranny. 

Hand Sanitizer 

Remember you’d be handling soiled nappies, so it’s crucial to include a hand sanitizer in your packing essentials. A tiny, refillable bottle works best for short trips.

Diaper Cream

Remember the nappy cream and spatula, especially when your baby is prone to rashes. One missed application after a diaper change may mean hours of discomfort for your little one.

Plastic Bag or Wet Bag

Knowing you have a plastic bag to stash your dirty diapers will make you feel relieved, especially when there’s no trash bin in sight. On the other hand, a wet bag will allow you to put all soiled clothes to bring home. You can quickly dunk the whole bag in the washer for a mess-free laundry time.

For Feeding

Whether your newborn is breast or bottle-fed, you must prepare for their feeding time outside the house.

Insulated Bottle Bag

If you’re bringing your breastmilk in bottles, remember to keep them inside an insulated bag. Then, add an ice pack to keep the milk safe for your baby. Some diaper bags already have a built-in thermal compartment. However, you can buy a separate one that clips on your diaper bag so that you won’t be lugging two bags at the same time. 

Nursing Cover

Most moms, myself included, are more comfortable using a cover when nursing in public. Choose one that’s lightweight and breathable so your baby won’t feel stuffy under it.

Feeding Bottles

Feeding bottles are a vital part of the list when your baby drinks formula milk. Think of how often your baby feeds in an hour when packing bottles. Remember, you can’t reuse them, so it’s best to pack extra ones. If you don’t have space for several bottles, consider using bottle liners. You can throw them away after each use, and your bottle will be as good as new. 

Formula Dispensers

This nifty creation has come a long way since my first child. Now, there are several variants you can choose from. Some come with a water dispenser as well. However, some moms just fill the feeding bottles with the required amount of water for a more streamlined milk prep. 

Burp Cloth

You don’t want to have spit up on your favourite shirt, don’t you? So, it’s better to pack a burp cloth or two when going out with your newborn. You can also use this to wipe your baby’s mouth after feeding. 

First-Aid Kit

Even if you’d be gone for a short while, carrying a first-aid kit is always will give you peace of mind. You know you’re prepared If your baby suddenly feels under the weather.


Don’t play the guessing game regarding your baby’s temperature. If they are “hot to the touch”, then having a thermometer handy will let you verify if they have a fever. 


Ensure that the medications you bring are doctor-approved. Some common ones include saline drops for stuffy noses and gas drops for ouchy tummies. 

Other Essentials

We’re almost done with the list, moms and dads. Add the following things in your diaper bag to ensure you have everything.

Change of Clothes

Bring a weather-appropriate change of clothes for your baby. Consider how long you’d be gone to determine how many sets you must bring. 

Baby Blanket

A lightweight blanket will come in handy, especially when it gets chilly. You can also use it as a nursing cover, a changing pad, or a car seat liner. 

diaper bag checklist for newborns

What to Pack in Your Toddler’s Bag

A toddler’s diaper bag will include more things than a newborn’s. Aside from the abovementioned essentials, you must include the following items when deciding what to pack in your diaper bag.

Books or Toys

Your toddler may become restless while waiting in a doctor’s office or at a supermarket check-out line. A small board or busy book will be a lifesaver during these instances. You may also bring a toy they rarely see at home. It’s best to rotate these items at every trip so they’d have something “new” to play with every time.

More for the First Aid Kit

Remember, you now have a more active child in tow – there might be bumps and bruises along the way. We recommend adding these items to your existing first-aid kit .

  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Antibiotic cream (for two years old and above)
  • Band-aids
  • Tweezers


A hat is always an excellent idea whether it’s sunny or cold. A wide-brimmed option is best to protect your little one from the sun’s rays. On the other hand, a knitted beanie can keep those tiny heads warm during wintry days. 

Water and Snacks

Your little energizer bunny will surely ask for snacks between feedings, so you better be prepared to have small packs of any of these in your diaper bag. Also, include drinking water for your active explorer. 

  • Cereals
  • Raisins and other dried fruit
  • Crackers
  • Applesauce pouches
  • Trail mix
  • Granola bars or balls
  • Rice cakes
  • Muffins
  • Sandwiches


We all know mealtimes can turn into a messy riot. Packing a bib will save you the headache of removing stains from those precious clothes. 

Comfort Items

Does your child have a favorite blanky or lovey? Do they need Mr. Snuggles to get them through the day? Do they use a pacifier? Whatever comfort item your baby needs, remember to put it in the diaper bag. 

Diaper Bag Essentials for Mom and Dad

In the frenzy of packing for your child, you may forget that you must include some things for yourself, too. We’ve got you, mom and dad! Check out this list of essentials to stuff in your diaper bag.

Extra Set of Clothes

Every parent knows that life with a baby is unpredictable. It’s best to be prepared for spit-ups, spilled milk, or chocolate hand prints by packing an extra set of clothes.

Self-Care Needs

In the flurry of caring for our kids, our needs as parents often take the back seat. Even something such as packing self-care items in the diaper bag can go a long way in nourishing your soul. Remember to include sunscreen, a favorite lip balm, sanitary napkins for moms, and a chic pair of sunglasses.

Phone and Wallet

During your pre-baby days, bringing these two essentials is a no-brainer. However, when you replace your usual purse with a diaper bag, there’s a big chance you’ll forget these things. Also, a reminder won’t hurt for parents with tons on their plates. 

Water and Snacks

Running after toddlers or nursing a baby around the clock can deplete your energy, so pack your own snacks and water bottle, too.

diaper bag checklist for toddlers

Tips on Packing Your Diaper Bag

Packing a diaper bag is an art form. It’s all about ensuring you have everything and fitting them into one nifty package. It may seem like a tall order, but you can pull it off with the following hacks.

Buy the Right Diaper Bag

It all starts with a good diaper bag. Pick one that has sturdy straps, several compartments, and accessible pockets. A bag with pouches and a changing pad is also a good option. 

Maximize the Pockets 

Most diaper bags come with several pockets. Use them to categorize all the essentials. For example, allocate one compartment for snacks and another for toys and books. You may also use ziplock bags or pouches to organize your things. Creating a system will save you from frantically looking for the wipes while holding a fussy baby.

Prevent Leaks

No one wants to rummage through a moist bag. Place bottles that tend to leak in a plastic bag to prevent this from happening. Ensure that water and feeding bottles are leak-proof as well.

“Reset” After Every Trip

We understand that going out with a baby in tow can get tiring. But take some time to empty your bag after every trip. Remove all wrappers, trash bags, soiled clothes, and feeding bottles when you get home. 

Restock Your Diaper Bag

In the world of parenting, being prepared for anything is the key. Replenish the diaper bag with all the essentials to be ready for quick trips or emergencies.

Use the Checklist

Checklists have saved me in more ways than I can count. That’s why I highly recommend having one for your diaper bag essentials. Tack them where you can easily see them or save one on your phone. Use the checklists we have created especially for you!

Get your Diaper Bag Ready!

Whether going out for a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the park, having a well-packed diaper bag is a must. We know how challenging it is to pacify a hungry or sleepy baby, especially outside the home’s comforts. So, knowing where everything is inside your bag is heaven-sent indeed.

Do you have diaper bag packing tips you can share? Or do you have more items to add to the list? Please comment below and help fellow moms and dads get ready for a day out with their little ones.

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