Diaper Bag Essentials Every Parent Needs
It’s an exciting milestone when your little one is finally old enough to start heading out of your home: visits with friends and family, trips to the park, and long walks in the stroller. As many new parents quickly learn, getting out the door can sometimes be a challenge. Gone are the days of throwing on your jacket, grabbing your keys, and hopping into the car. The good news is that with a little practice and preparation, it gets a whole lot easier. One key ingredient to success when it comes to getting out the door with your baby is a well-stocked diaper bag. We’ve compiled a list of diaper bag essentials every parent needs to make those days as smooth as possible and we’ve added a few of our favorite packing tips too! Let’s dive into everything you need to know to make your next outing a success.
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Diaper Bag Essentials
Whether you’re planning your first excursion outside the home, heading for an overnight adventure, or embarking on a long trip, this diaper bag checklist has everything you need to help you prepare. Let’s dive into our must-have items.
- Diaper Bag. If we’re going to talk about diaper bag essentials, we can’t forget the diaper bag itself. Every parent knows a good diaper bag is an absolute must-have to organize all of the essentials for daytime and overnight adventures! Our carryall has a super practical interior and classic shape that will carry parents through the years. Plus, the durable canvas is wipeable and 100% cotton. It’s available in our 4 classic colors and was made to fit all of our favorite on-the-go essentials!
Now that we’ve talked about the diaper bag itself, let’s discuss what to pack in your diaper bag to help make travel with your little one as easy as possible.
- On The Go Teethers. There is no doubt in our minds that a good teether should be on every list of diaper bag must-haves. Our On The Go Teether is made from sustainable FSC maple wood and thoughtfully designed to make travel with kids a little easier. Baby can drool, slobber and chew on the teether without worry. Just wash with warm soapy water when needed! The organic cotton bow includes a crinkly interior for added stimulation and can be taken off and thrown in the wash. Easy peasy!
- Travel pouches. A travel pouch should be on every newborn diaper bag checklist. You don’t want to be digging around for ages in your diaper bag to find what you need when your little one is fussing or needs a change. Our On The Go Pouches are designed to hold all the essentials, with 4 sizes to choose from to hold diapers, an extra outfit for baby, a swaddle, burp cloth, bottles . . . you name it! Or, pack it up for a weekend with toiletries and use them yourself! The wipeable exterior and machine wash instructions make them practical and cute. Add this item to your hospital bag checklist too!
- Travel Change Pad. Changing your little one on the go doesn’t have to be messy or uncomfortable. Our Travel Change Pad definitely makes our list of diaper bag essentials. It comes complete with an open pocket designed to hold travel wipes, and a zippered pocket for credit card, creams, and diapers. Fold it up and it looks like a clutch, perfectly sized for a diaper bag.
- Diapers & Wipes. We all know that you should stock your diaper bag with … diapers, but we had to mention it! Our list of diaper bag essentials wouldn’t be complete without this most-used item. Don’t forget to bring a pack of wipes along as well.
- Diaper rash cream. Diaper rashes don’t just happen at home. Bring some diaper rash cream with you, in case your little one has a flare-up while you’re out and about.
- Swaddle. A swaddle is always great to have on hand to help comfort your little one, shield them from the sun, and add warmth. They also offer some privacy while breastfeeding. That’s why our versatile, ultra-soft, and extra-large, organic cotton swaddles definitely make our list of diaper bag essentials.
- Change of clothes. From spit-up to accidents, life with a little one is full of unexpected (and sometimes messy!) moments. So, we had to include a change of clothes on our toddler diaper bag checklist.
- Cold or warm weather accessories. If you’re going to be braving the elements with your baby, make sure you’re prepared. Check the weather in advance and pack accordingly. For warm and sunny days, be sure to have sunscreen on hand and a hat that offers protection. On colder days, bring along mitts and a warm hat.
- First aid kit. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully, you won’t have to use your first aid kit, but it’s always a good idea to have one on hand.
- Hand Sanitizer. With lots of changes to tackle, you’ll be glad to have something to keep your hands fresh and clean. If you have room, throw a bottle of moisturizer into your diaper bag as well to keep your skin hydrated and to prevent cracking.
- Breastfeeding and/or bottle-feeding essentials. If you’re bottle-feeding, be sure to have bottles, nipples, formula, and a portable bottle warmer on hand. If you’re breastfeeding, you may need to bring along a breast pump and nursing pads.
Diaper bag packing tips
Now that you have all of your diaper bag essentials ready to go, let’s talk about some tips to help you pack your bag. We want to make sure that you’re never without the items that you need.
- Don’t put off your restocks. We’ve all been there. You come home after a long day of being out and the last thing you feel like doing is another task or chore. It’s so easy to forget to replenish your diaper bag when you run out of something. Restock your bag as soon as you run out of something.
- Make use of compartments. Don’t throw everything into the main compartment of your bag. You’ll end up spending tons of time digging through your diaper bag, trying to find what you need. Instead, make use of pockets, compartments and travel pouches to stay organized.
- Keep extra items in the car. Prepare for life’s curveballs with a stockpile of diaper bag essentials in your car. Whether it’s an unexpectedly long day, an upset stomach that caused more diaper changes, or a sudden change of plans, be well-equipped with a few extras.
- Think seasonally. Remember, as the seasons change, you’ll need to have different items on hand. Whether it’s cold weather accessories or sunscreen, make sure you pack just what you need for the season you’re in. You can leave the rest at home to avoid clutter in your diaper bag.
- Prepare for leaks. Whether it’s a bottle or sunscreen, leaks are bound to happen. Use waterproof pouches to separate potentially messy items in your diaper bag. You’ll be glad to save your little one’s clothes from getting wet.
Getting out with your baby for the first time is not without its challenges, but, it’s also a great opportunity to enjoy new experiences together. With a little practice and preparation, and a fully stocked diaper bag, you and your baby will be ready to take on the world together!
Frequently Asked Questions
Just like a regular handbag or backpack, everybody has their personal preferences about diaper bag features. If you’re not sure what to look for as you shop for all your diaper bag essentials, here are a few features to keep in mind:
Insulated pockets, if you plan on bottle feeding
A comfortable, wide strap
Easy to clean fabric
Plenty of space to store all your diaper bag essentials
Lots of pockets and compartments to stay organized
Most children are dry during the day by 4 years of age, but it’s not uncommon for children in this age group to still need nighttime diapers. Remember, there is no one specific potty training age that will work for every child. So, don’t get too caught up about what worked for your child’s sibling or a friend’s baby. Trying to align yourself with someone else’s timeline won’t necessarily work for you and your little one. The reason for this is, the success of toilet training hinges more on developmental and behavioral milestones than age.
From setting up the nursery to picking a name, there are lots of things to think about when you’re preparing for the arrival of your baby. The truth is, there is really no right or wrong way to prepare for their arrival and every parent tackles things differently. When it comes to packing your hospital bag, however, it’s good to get a head start. Here’s what we recommend:
If you have a high-risk pregnancy or you have reason to believe you might go into labor early, make sure your bag is ready to go by the 35th week of your pregnancy.
Generally, make sure your bag is packed by the 37th to 38th week of your pregnancy.
How you go about organizing your diaper supplies depends on a number of different factors, like how much space you have available, what your changing table looks like, and how old your child is. However, there are a few tips and tricks that apply to almost everyone. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get organized:
Less is more. Stick to the essentials instead of overcrowding your diaper bag or change table.
Keep things handy. Think about what items you need the most and make sure they’re easily accessible. Items you use less frequently can go into drawers or other storage areas.
Make kits. For on-the-go essentials, only bring what you really need. Have a kit ready for hot weather, one for cold weather, and another for trips to the restaurant. This way, your diaper bag doesn’t get too crowded.
Once your little one stops needing diapers, it’s usually safe to tuck your diaper bag away. Many parents continue to use their diaper bags though, once their children are fully potty trained. You’ll still need plenty of items to keep your toddler entertained and comfortable on outings.