Babies & Kids Motherhood

20 Diaper Bag Essentials For Your Baby: A Checklist

June 26, 2020

Let’s start out with a little story…

You’re a new mom and you take your sweet little baby out shopping with you for the first time. You grab the diaper bag, the stroller, and your purse and you head out the door.

Everything is going well and your little bundle is sleeping soundly in their stroller while you look for some new clothes. Then all of a sudden you smell something. What is that?!

You quickly realize that it’s your baby! So you take him out of the stroller only to realize that he has pooped all up his back and in the car seat!

You rush to the bathroom to try to clean up the mess only to realize you don’t have enough wipes, you don’t have extra clothes and you don’t have a bag to put the dirty clothes in to take them home! 

I can definitely say this has happened to me and it sends you into a panic!

As you go further into your motherhood journey you will learn what you need to have on hands at all times but for new moms it can be hard to know what you really need and what you don’t. We are going to talk about your diaper bag must haves to be prepared for any situation with your baby.

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diaper bag essentials checklist

Do You Really Need a Diaper Bag?

Yes, yes, and yes! You might think you can just shove some stuff in your purse and be good to go but I’m going to highly suggest you get a diaper bag that is just for baby’s stuff. This will make it easier to find things when you need them and it allows you to carry the amount of stuff you need.

What Should I look for in a diaper bag?

Don’t make the first time mom mistake that I did and not get a real diaper bag. I thought I would be fine with just a cute backpack but I was wrong.

You want a diaper bag that has lots of pockets to keep all of baby’s things. You don’t want to have to dig around in the bottom of the diaper bag to find all the little things you need.

You also want to look for one that is durable and is going to last through some wear and tear.

Look online at some favorites and read some reviews to find out what works best for you. You could even ask some of your mom friends and see if you can look at their bags and “try them on” to see if you like them before you commit to purchasing one.

What should I keep in my diaper bag?

Now comes the fun part, packing the bag! I’m going to break it down into categories to make it a little easier.



As baby gets older you will need fewer and fewer diapers. For a newborn I would say keep at least 5 diapers in the diaper bag at all times.


You want to make sure you have enough wipes to clean up a mess. You don’t want to go somewhere and then realize there’s only 1-2 wipes left in the pack and you have no more. Make sure you always have a decent amount of wipes in your bag as they come in handy for all sorts of things.

Changing Pad

Some diaper bags come with a travel changing pad but if not you can purchase them at pretty much any baby store. You want to get one that is wipeable and is easy to fold up because no one wants to be struggling with a changing pad when you have a crying baby.

Hand Sanitizer

The best hand sanitizer for diaper bags is going to be a travel size or one that hooks on to the outside of the bag allowing for easy access. You never know when you are going to have to deal with a mess somewhere where you can’t wash your hands. Hand sanitizer is a lifesaver sometimes.

Extra Clothes

You want to always have at least one change of clothes for your baby in case they have an accident. I even like to keep another extra shirt in the bag in case we have to do another outfit change then at least I have something. Make sure that you change out the extra clothes in your diaper bag regularly so they are the right size and season.

Dirty Diaper Bags

These bags from Munchkin are a diaper bag must have! They work great for dirty diapers but also for dirty clothes. When your baby has an accident you can just toss the clothes in the bag until you get home and they won’t get anything else dirty and you won’t be able to smell them.

Diaper Rash Cream

You never know when you are going to need this so it’s a good idea to always have it on hand. Make sure you have one that works for your baby and change it out as needed.

***Side note: It’s also a great idea to keep more extras of a lot of these things in your car just in case you ever need more than what you packed in the diaper bag.

free mom planner


Breastfeeding Cover

If you are breastfeeding and prefer to be covered then make sure you pack one in your diaper bag so that you have it when you need it.


If baby is eating from a bottle then make sure you pack at least 1 of their favorite bottles each time you go out. Even if you think that baby isn’t going to need to eat while you are out, still pack the bottle. You never know what could happen and you want to always be prepared.


If you are using formula then you are going to need water to mix it with. You can carry a water bottle or a thermos depending on how baby likes their bottle to be.

Formula or Breastmilk

You don’t want to leave the house and not have food for your baby so make sure you pack formula or breastmilk. These formula containers worked great for transporting formula. You just put the desired amount into each section and then when you are ready you just dump that section into the bottle and add water and you are good to go. Make’s making a bottle on the go so much easier.

RELATED: Ultimate Guide to Exclusive Pumping

Burp Cloth

It’s probably a good idea to have 2 of these in the diaper bag in case the baby spits up a lot. You also want to protect your clothing when burping your baby because no one wants to go around smelling like baby spit up all day.

Sippy Cup

If your little one is a little older and they are drinking out of a cup make sure to bring one. This could be a great way to soothe a fussy baby.


This is another great way to soothe a fussy baby. If your baby is old enough to eat snacks then make sure you pack some. You could pack baby puffs or cheerios to keep your little one happy on the go.



If your baby takes a paci then don’t leave the house without one. You should even carry an extra in case you lose one. It’s no fun to be in a store with a screaming baby and no paci to help soothe them.


So your baby might not like pacis but they like their lovey or blankey, be sure to pack it. 


We’ve found that the best diaper bag toys are ones that either attach to the car seat/stroller or ones that suction to the table. This one here is one of my favorites. It’s important to have a few toys that your baby actually likes so that you can keep them entertained while you are out and about.


You never know when you or your baby are going to need a bandaid!

Teething Toys

Baby’s love to chew on things, even if they aren’t teething. Teething toys can help keep them occupied while you are doing something and they are small and fit great in a diaper bag.

For Mom


Even if your period hasn’t come back yet, it’s still a good idea to keep at least one in the diaper bag. You never know when you are going to need it.


It can be frustrating when trying to deal with a fussy crying baby and your hair is all in your face. Carrying a hair tie in your diaper bag can help with that.


Mama get’s hungry too! Carry some easy on the go snacks for you and some gum too because who doesn’t love gum? You could also carry a water bottle for yourself, especially if you are breastfeeding.

diaper bag essentials checklist

There are many things you could put into a diaper bag but these are the necessities. It may also take you a little trial and error to find out what you personally like to have in your diaper bag.

Be sure to check out the new mom bundle. It’s completely free and it includes a diaper bag checklist, a daily tracking page for baby, a monthly milestone tracker and more! Click below if you are interested in checking it out!

new mom printable

Do you have any diaper bag must haves that I didn’t list?


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