Diaper Bag Essentials

Make sure you have everything you need for your baby with this diaper bag checklist of mommy must-haves!


  • Diapers – One for each hour you’ll be out, plus a few extra – just in case.
  • Wipes – You can stick ten or so in a plastic bag if you’re not going out for long.
  • Hand sanitizer – For cleaning your hands after diaper changes when there’s no time or place to wash them.
  • Changing pad – Many diaper bags come with a reusable changing pad, or you can buy one separately. Some parents like the disposable ones for traveling, but a hand towel will also do.
  • Plastic or biodegradable bags – For storing soiled diapers, clothes, and baby blankets
  • Bottle(s) of formula or expressed breast milk if you’re bottle-feeding
  • Snacks (for older babies and toddlers) – This could include a jar of baby food and a spoon, or finger foods. Bring a few bibs as well.
  • Sippy cup of milk, water, or juice (for toddlers).
  • Change of clothes …or two. Throw in a couple extra pairs of socks, too.
  • Hat – Whether you have a summer or winter baby, you’ll need it to block out sun or cold.
  • Pacifier (if your child uses one) or other comfort item
  • Sunscreen – to protect your child from the sun
  • Emergency information – Make sure you have the phone numbers of your family’s doctors programmed in your cell phone and health insurance cards in your wallet.
  • Diaper rash cream – Sample sizes often work well and take up less space.
  • Nursing cover – For breastfeeding in public.
  • Nursing and vaginal pads (For you, not baby) – These are especially essential in the first few weeks when your liquid output is still pretty high.
  • Toys- Choose toys based on your outing and your child’s age. A toddler going to a restaurant often requires a lot of entertaining distractions, while a 4-month-old may be happy with one rattle.
  • First-aid kit – You may want to include adhesive bandage strips, antibiotic cream, pain reliever, and other first-aid supplies.


TIP:   Keep another small bag with the very barest necessities — diapers, wipes, and burp cloths, as well as pacifiers and bottles and formula if you use them — to grab and go for a quick, unexpected trip.