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Having a little one means you need a lot of “stuff” and if you ever plan on leaving the house as we all have to do at least occasionally then you need a way to carry some of that stuff with you. Enter the diaper bag, a place where you can store all of those baby essentials and just throw it over your shoulder and go. But what should you have inside your diaper bag? Here is a list of diaper bag essentials that you will need when you head out. 

What to pack in your diaper bag


Okay, this one’s pretty obvious, but we want to make sure we are covering our bases.  I mean, they don’t call it a diaper bag for nothing!

But how many diapers do you really need? As a rule of thumb, you should pack at least one diaper for every two hours that you plan to be away from the house plus a few extras, just in case. 


I know it seems like a no-brainer, but you can’t imagine how many times I’ve been caught out without them!  Wipes are always the first thing to run out, even before the diapers!

So just get in the habit of throwing wipes into your bag every time you leave the house.  Even once your kids get older, you’ll probably never want to be caught without wipes again! Remember, wipes are not just for little booties, they are also great for sticky hands, cleaning a boo-boo, or wiping a little nose. 

Change of Clothes

The day that you don’t have a change of clothes in your bag it the day you’ll have a diaper blow-out! I Promise! 
So, It is always a good idea to have a couple of seasonally appropriate changes of clothes in your diaper bag. Carrying a one-piece outfit is easiest by far!

In fact, having a couple of one-pieces a good idea because sometimes diaper blowouts come in two’s! 

Plastic Bags

Speaking of diaper blowouts…having a few plastic bags in your diaper bag is a great idea. You can put a soiled diaper in them until you can dispose of it properly, and having an extra for clothing that got caught in the blowout is a good idea too.

 You can grab a roll of diaper disposal bags to keep in your diaper bag. These rolls last a long time and it’ll give you one less thing to think about when you are heading out the door.

Diaper Rash Cream

The absolute worst thing ever is when that sweet little tushie gets a rash.  You know that your little one is uncomfortable and you help change that right away.  Make sure you keep a tube of diaper rash cream at home AND in the diaper bag. (You’ll have enough to remember… trust me on that one!)

Also, keep in mind that diaper creams that work best on little tushies have at least 40% zinc.   THIS one is our absolute favorite (and the only thing that worked for our babies.)


If your baby uses a pacifier then you are going to want to throw a couple in your diaper bag. (Especially if you’re going to be somewhere where you need to keep baby quiet).

  We kept our pacifiers in these holders to keep them handy and to keep them clean… Because the bottom of your diaper bag is not going to be a clean place forever… trust me!  

Hand Sanitizer

This one isn’t so obvious. But honestly… you’ll probably never use hand sanitizer more than you will once you have a baby.  Every time you touch a shopping cart or a door handle, you’ll probably be sanitizing (at least for a little while.)

Not to mention when your mother in law reaches for your little one.  You’ll be grateful you’ve got sanitizer on hand!

Changing Pad

You would never believe some of the places we’ve had to change diapers!   And since you never know where you might have to change your baby.

Having a changing pad offers at least a  little bit of protection from bacteria-ridden surfaces. We love the built-in wipes dispenser and diaper holder on this one.  It’s so nice to just grab one thing when you’re headed out for a change!

Seasonal Hat

Having a hat in your diaper bag means that you can protect your little one from sunburn in the warmer months, and keep them toasty warm during the colder months. 

Extra Socks

Babies lose their socks… a lot! Probably from all of the kicking they do with those adorable little feet. Put an extra pair of socks in your diaper bag so you can keep those tiny toes from getting too cold. 

Light Blanket

Even if you dress your baby in seasonally appropriate clothing, you never know when you might end up being in a restaurant or store with a draft. A light receiving blanket takes up very little space in your bag and can help to keep your little one comfortable. 

Extra Shirt

This extra shirt is for you. You never know when there is going to be a diaper mishap or a spit-up fountain. Keep an extra t-shirt or tank top in a neutral color in your diaper bag. That way you are always prepared…just in case!


Make sure that you have some age-appropriate food and snacks in your diaper bag to keep baby happy and his little belly full!

(Also – make sure you pack bottles and formula if you are not exclusively Breastfeeding!)


You never know when you might end up waiting in line somewhere for longer than your baby wants to be there. Having a rattle, teething ring, or other favorite toys in your bag can help to keep them entertained. 

Every mom is going to have a few other items in their diaper bag that they consider essential to them, and your diaper bag essentials will likely change over time as your baby grows. The items listed here should cover most of your basic needs when you are away from the house. What other diaper bag essentials would you add?

Diaper Bag Essentials