Diaper Bag Essentials

There’s something so life-giving about getting out of the house with your little ones – even when it takes forever to leave! While getting out may be half the battle, you also want to enjoy your time out, so it’s important to pack accordingly. Murphy’s Law says that whenever you forget to pack that extra outfit, it’s then that baby will have a diaper blow out.

What to Pack in Your Diaper Bag

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when packing up your diaper bag for an outing, whether your children are six months or six years old. There are also a lot of ways to lighten your load, and of course the optimal bag is key.

But First ... The Bag

First of all, the diaper bag itself. A Snuggle mama and busy mom of 3 swears by backpack-style diaper bags. She loves having two arms free to tie shoes, grab kids, or change diapers on the fly. We love the trending, backpack style bags like the Greenwich Backpack (the pink is so cute!) and the Chelsea Downtown Chic Diaper Backpack. If backpacks aren’t your thing, check out the ever-popular Duo by Skip Hop, and the new line by Ju Ju Be for something unique and functional. Once you’ve got your bag, let’s talk contents. These will change with age, so let's start with newborns and babies.

Skip Hop Greenwich Diaper Bag Backpack in Dusty Rose filled with diaper bag essentials.

Newborns and Babies 

Food and Drink

Wee ones are the hardest to pack for, even for a short outing. Because they’re always eating, you will want to have enough formula and sterile bottles for your time out as well as an extra – just in case. We’ve all run a few minutes late before, but babies who are bottle fed can’t accommodate to our tardiness, so pack more bottles than you think you’ll need. Likewise, breastfeeding mamas will want to prepare for nursing while out, which may include nursing covers if you use them, and nursing pads. For babies who have begun solids, you may want to pack some fruit and vegetable purees. We love these Bento Boxes from Skip Hop for storing homemade baby food!

Linens and Clothing

With constant consuming comes the constant clean up. Why are the cutest creatures also the messiest? Linens are what take up the bulk of any diaper bag, but you’re better safe with them than sorry and covered in spit up. Trust us! Here’s a short list of linens and clothing to always have in your diaper bag.

  • Two extra outfits for baby (go easy on yourself and make this a simple body suit in summer or footed pyjamas in the winter)

  • Two receiving blankets (these will do everything from doubling as a nursing cover, providing shade for a napping baby, guarding mom’s clothes from baby burps, and of course, serving their original purpose as a blanket)

  • A few baby face cloths (quick clean up, also fun to chomp on for teething babies)At least one bib (for meal time, but also for drooling babies with teeth on the way)

Diapering

Whether you use cloth diapers or disposable diapers, pack more than you think you’ll need. If you’re going out for an hour, pack three. You never know! If you use cloth diapers, it's a good idea to also pack a wet bag which attaches to the strap on most diaper bags. Don’t forget a plastic bag for your soiled disposable diapers – sometimes garbage cans are hard to find. And of course, every mom’s BFF, wipes! Most diaper bags some with a light weight change pad, but if yours doesn’t, don’t fret – your extra receiving blanket can act as a change pad on any flat, safe surface.

Lighten The Load

Along with your change pad, you can free up additional space in your diaper bag by leaving a few other things at home. Use an extra baby face cloth for teething instead of packing your Sophie La Giraffe. Same goes with rattles and small baby toys – these things are great to play with at home, but try to pack as light as you can when going out with the kids - babies already require so much packing! Plus going out provides enough stimulation and fun for baby. And as we mentioned above, your baby’s change of clothes should be as simple as possible – this isn’t the time to pack suspenders and jeans for your two month old. We know, it’s tempting!

Toddlers and Kids

The older your children become, the easier they are to pack for. The best part is that they can sometimes even carry their own bag! The little backpacks are so great for wearing around the house and filling up when you're getting out and about! A refillable water bottle (like these ones by Klean Kanteen) for each child and a small, healthy snack prevents having to stop and pick food or drinks up along the way. Wipes are still helpful at any age, especially for cleaning hands after riding the subway, playing at the park, or after a meal. Now that you’re all packed, get out and enjoy the fresh air!

Related Products

Top of Page