What to Pack in Diaper Bag – The Experienced Mom’s Guide

If you have a newborn, you’re navigating life and learning new things every day. When you leave the house, you might feel like you overpacked your diaper bag, but when you’re out and your baby is crying, you will feel like you’re not prepared at all.

Every new mother has thought “What should I pack in my diaper bag?” at least once. It can feel overwhelming and like you need to pack everything – just to be sure. Remember that you’re not alone, and there is a plethora of information – both online and in real life.

Keep reading to discover the experienced mom’s guide on diaper bag essentials! This article gives you a diaper bag checklist so you know what to pack and helpful tips to always be on top of your game!

The Essentials in Every Diaper Bag

1. Diapers

close up of baby wear white diaper

Diapers are the obvious first choice to pack your diaper bag, hence its name. Most diaper bags will have a large compartment to store diapers securely. It’s safe to pack enough disposable diapers for 1-2 days. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so aim for at least ten diapers when you go out for the day!

2. Portable changing pad

Portable changing pads are mats that are easily foldable and easy to take out when you’re in a rush! Some diaper backpacks come with a portable pad, while others have a section to store them. It’s the easiest way to ensure the health and safety of your baby when you have to change your baby while on the go!

3. Disposable bags

Disposable bags are sealable and odor-controlling, which makes for a more peaceful outing! Changing your baby’s soiled diapers is a messy business! And once you finished, you have the responsibility to dispose of the diaper. Having these handy disposable bags allows you to drop the dirty diaper into it and seal it closed – saving you from the smell and mess!

4. Baby wipes, balms, and lotions

Wet wipes are crucial to carry on any outing. They are multipurpose- needed for cleaning your baby’s bum, freshening up your baby’s body, wiping your hands, and cleaning any messes your little one makes. We recommend that you stick a travel pack of wet wipes in your diaper bag and refill as needed.

Balms and lotions are also essentials when traveling with your baby. Babies lose moisture quickly, so it’s important to have a bottle of lotion handy to apply when needed. If you’re out for a long time and anticipate changing your baby’s diaper often, packing a balm is the best bet because you will be applying it to their backside to keep it smooth and diaper rash-free!

5. Extra clothes

Accidents are bound to happen when traveling with an infant. It’s more surprising if you don’t have an outfit mishap when you’re out together! Whether it’s spilled milk, spitting out food, or straight-up vomit – you should be prepared! Packing one or two extra onesies for your little one and an extra shirt for yourself is a smart idea. It may seem like a lot, but it won’t take up too much space, and diaper bags are big for a reason! Make sure you have a spot to tuck the soiled clothes, too.

6. Water and food

Water and food are crucial and obvious – but surprisingly very easy to forget! After about six months, infants should be drinking water on a very regular basis. Fill up an easy-to-use sippy cup and store it in one of the front pockets of your diaper bag, making it easy to access as soon as you need it!

For food, there are so many meals on the go available on the market. You can either buy handy utensils – such as a squeeze spoon that will allow you to squeeze pureed food into your baby’s mouth in small intervals – or buy pureed food in easy to squeeze travel pouches! The options are endless!

Sippy cups and portable food pouches are designed for travel and should be very simple to store in your diaper bag. But don’t forget to pack water and snacks for yourself as well!

7. Toys

Your infant most likely has that one toy they adore. Now imagine being out and about with your little one, and they start crying for that toy… but you forgot to stash it in the diaper bag.

assorted baby toys on wooden table

You don’t have to pack every toy that your baby loves. Just their go-to one and 1 or 2 others should do the trick! Having their toys at hand when they get a little grumpy will save you from a lot of tension. Your baby will instantly feel at home when they have a familiar article they can play with – no matter where they are.

8. Formula Supplies

If you are formula feeding your baby, don’t fret, you don’t have to carry the whole can of formula around! You can pre-fill a formula dispenser to hold pre-measured powder so that you don’t have to be in a rush when your little one wants milk. Carry a portable thermos bottle filled with hot water to make the formula when it’s feeding time! These should comfortably fit in your diaper bag – most have pockets inside and outside to fit your cups and bottles in.

9. Nursing Cover and Pads

If you’re breastfeeding, you may need to carry around a few bulky items. Nursing covers are helpful when you may be breastfeeding in public. Nursing pads are good to pack in your diaper bag, just in case! If you are prone to leaking breasts – especially in the first few months – pack some extra nursing pads in your diaper bag so you can easily fish them out and prevent your clothing from getting stained!

10. Cloths for Burping or Covering

After your baby feeds, having a cloth handy to wipe up any spit-up or milk dribbles is crucial. It ensures that you don’t have to use anything else to clean up any spills and is reusable so you can wash and use it on your next day out with the baby!

You can also use these cloths as a covering when you’re changing your baby in any public area. Since it’s multi-use, cloths are an excellent essential to add to your diaper bag.

close up of baby clothes with booties in pink color

11. Pacifiers and Teethers

Think about the feeling of pure bliss when your baby is screeching and crying in public, and you slip a pacifier into their mouth, and they go back to being the little angels they are… You have to make sure you are ready for this scenario by packing at least two pacifiers in your diaper bag and keeping them in a front pocket that is easily accessible.

Infants that are teething tend to have sudden and frequent outbursts. Having a teether that works for your baby is the safest bet when you’re going out with your teething little one.

12. Seasonal Items

If it’s sunny when you’re out, make sure you bring baby-approved sunscreen. You want to make sure your baby’s skin is safe from the sun. You can also pack bug spray if you’re going to be out in the afternoon and evening. Getting travel-sized versions of both of these will be easier to pack in your diaper bag and won’t take up too much space.

13. Your Personal Items

Make sure you remember all your personal and necessary belongings. You should keep items such as your wallet, keys, and phone close to you. Instead of carrying around an extra bag, designate one pouch or area in your diaper bag to store your items.

Baby Travel Tips

So what are some important tips to remember when traveling with your baby? Take a look at this quick list below to stay on top of your game and always be prepared!

Try to pack light and stick only to essentials

Whether you’re just enjoying the nice weather or traveling by flight, you don’t want to feel weighed down by your diaper bag. Pack light and designate each pouch, pocket, and compartment for particular things so you don’t get confused when you’re fishing out an essential. If the worst comes to worst and you need something, you can buy it at the drugstore when you’re out!

Breastfeed if you can

You don’t have to carry around any extra bottles or a thermos. All you would need – if you use it – is a nursing cover and maybe some nursing pads. Save yourself some space in your diaper bag by breastfeeding when you can!

Know what distraction your baby needs

The last thing you want is your baby endlessly crying when you’re out – ruining their mood and yours as well! Knowing what will distract your fussy baby will keep a trick up your sleeve when you need it most! Whether that’s a baby show on your phone, a baby book with lots of pictures and colors, or their favorite toy from home – have it ready to use when the fussiness starts!

Don’t worry too much about the “nap schedule”

Some parents like to have a strict nap schedule for their babies. If this sounds like you, try not to worry too much about their nap schedule on your day out. Let your baby sleep as needed, and let them listen to their bodies when you’re on the go!

Final Thoughts

When you’re leaving the house with your baby and their diaper bag, you don’t want to feel like you’re hauling a bunch of junk you don’t need. You want to make sure you pack light but don’t forgo any of the essentials.

Having a mental checklist of everything you need can and probably will backfire on you. As experienced moms, we know our baby will consume our thoughts, and it’s easy to forget the small things.

For this reason, we created a list of essential items you absolutely must carry in your diaper bag when you’re on the go with your baby! Hopefully, this list will help you better organize your and your baby’s belongings. And you never again have to feel a sense of panic when you’re out and about!

To become an experienced mom, you have to go through panicked episodes and have an abundance of horrifying, tearful tales to tell! So breathe. You got this, mom!


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