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Diaper Bag Essentials: What to Pack in a Diaper Bag

Chicco Bravo Stroller Diaper Bag Essentials image

Whether you're planning an afternoon visit to the zoo or just need to run some quick errands with your baby, a diaper bag can make your outing a little less stressful. While you may need to pack different items based on how long you’ll be gone, the weather, and where you’re headed, there are some must-have diaper bag essentials that can keep both you and your baby happy through life’s unexpected messes. Our comprehensive diaper bag list will help you feel confident that you can grab your diaper bag (and little one) and head out the door!

What to pack in your diaper bag image

Having a diaper bag on hand can be a real lifesaver! But, a diaper bag is only as good as what you put in it. Keep reading for the diaper bag must-haves we can’t live without.

  • Diapers: Pack one disposable diaper for every 2 to 3 hours you’re away (at a minimum). If your baby uses cloth diapers, they need to be changed every 90 minutes to 2 hours. We recommend bringing extra diapers with you just in case.
  • Wipes: Bring a packet of wipes to clean your baby’s face, hands, and bottom. Leave the full-size wipes at home and opt for travel-size packs to take up less space in your diaper bag.
  • Sanitizing Wipes: Use sanitizing wipes to kill germs on the changing table in bathrooms.
  • Diaper Rash Cream and Ointments: Soothe and protect your baby’s skin with diaper rash cream or options like petroleum jelly. You can purchase travel-sized tubes of these products too.
  • Changing Pad: While you’re out and about, you may not have access to a changing table and need to improvise. A changing pad can help keep your little one comfortable and clean. You can also purchase a pack of disposable changing pads.
  • Disposable Diaper Sacks: You can seal dirty diapers in disposable diaper bags. You can also use grocery bags if you don’t have anything else on hand. Should your little one soil their clothes, you can use these bags to bring the dirty clothes home and put them directly into the washing machine.
  • Pacifier: Pack multiple pacifiers. Our PhysioForma® Orthodontic Pacifiers are soothing and aid your baby’s breathing and oral development. Plus, they’re beloved (accepted) by 9 out of 10 babies. If your baby is notorious for dropping their pacifier on the ground, then check out our soothing pacifier accessories. Options like our Pacifier Clips attach to your baby’s clothing and help to keep your baby’s pacifier clean!
  • Bottle and Feeding Supplies: Be sure to pack bottles, bottled water, instant formula, ice packs, breast milk, or anything else your baby needs. It’s common for parents to plan out their babies’ feeding schedules ahead of time so they know what’s important to bring with them. Our Duo Bottles feature glass on the inside and durable plastic on the outside so it’s both lightweight and breakproof.
  • Breastfeeding Supplies: Bring anything you need for breastfeeding like nursing pads or a nursing cover.
  • A Change of Clothes: Pack multiple outfit changes in case of a messy blowout or bout of spit-up. Extra socks are also a must because they get lost easily! Both spit-up and vomit can get on your shirt from time to time so pack an extra shirt for yourself, just in case.
  • Bib or Burp Cloth: Wipe away milk dribble or spit up with a burp cloth. It’s always helpful to have extra on hand.
  • A Soft Blanket: Packing an extra blanket is great for windy days or drafty restaurants. They’re also perfect for putting on the floor so your baby has somewhere clean to play.
  • First Aid Kit: Pack a small first aid kit with bandaids to tackle scrapes or playground accidents when your kiddo is a little older and more active.

You can pack a few more items in your diaper bag to keep your baby entertained and comfortable — if you have the room. Rather than toting an additional bag or purse around, you can also pack some of your own go-to essentials inside the diaper bag. Get the most out of your diaper bag with our additional items to pack, below.

  • Hand Sanitizer: Clean your hands before and after changing your baby’s diaper. A small bottle of hand sanitizer will suffice.
  • Extra Toys: Keep your baby preoccupied with a few of their favorite toys. These can be a nice distraction if your baby loves to grab items off the shelf when grocery shopping or running other errands.
  • Hat and Sunscreen (babies under six months can’t use sunscreen): Keep sunscreen on hand for yourself and be sure to dress your baby in sun-protective clothing and a big, floppy hat. Babies under six months shouldn’t use sunscreen.
  • Personal Items: Pack your phone, wallet, tissues, chapstick, book, and any other personal items in your diaper bag.
  • Snacks and Water: You can pack yourself a water bottle and extra snacks like a granola bar. Don’t forget baby food for your little one and water if they’re old enough.
  • Emergency Information: Make sure to save the number of your baby’s pediatrician in your phone along with any other emergency contact information.

  • Restock your diaper bag: Restock your bag as soon as you get home, especially if you’re running low on items, such as wipes or diapers.
  • Prevent leaks: Put anything that can leak inside a plastic bag.
  • Update your bag based on the weather: During the summer you may want to pack a small fan for your baby. In the cooler months, you may want to pack your baby a warm hat, blanket, etc.
  • Choose travel-sized items: Save space in your diaper bag with travel-sized items.
  • Store items in your car: Leave any items in your car that won’t be prone to overheating like an extra change of clothes for both you and your little one.
  • Create an organized system: To prevent you from endlessly digging through your diaper bag, we recommend creating an organized system. For example, you can store ointments in one area of your bag (like an outside zipper) and your wallet in another area of the diaper bag (like an inside pocket). Choose a separate compartment to keep your belongings neat and tidy.

No matter where you adventure with your little one, diaper bags can make any outing easier so you can have the essentials on hand to tend to your baby’s needs. Check out our parenting blog for more tips and advice!