You here parents always talk about their diaper bags they carry around for their babies. If you are a new or expecting parent, you probably have a rough idea what they are talking about or maybe you have no idea and you are lost as to where to start when it comes to putting together a diaper bag. Whether it’s the first or Last Diaper Bag You Will Buy,  you need to know how to pack it with the right items for you and your baby. Below I have detailed what basics are needed in a diaper bag and how to pack a diaper bag.

Insulated bottle pockets or insulated bottles: This is really important whether you have breast milk or formula.  As we all know, if you are nursing, breast milk is like gold, and you don’t want it to go bad!  Even when your little one begins drinking other things, the insulation still really helps.

 

A Changing Pad:

Make sure it’s a nice-sized one that can grow with your baby. You will need it when you need to change your baby in public like at an airport.

 

Change of Clothes:  

We all know how important this is because babies spill their food and drinks all the time. You never know when your little one will have an accident.  If you’ll be out for a long time, think about bringing a couple changes of clothing.

 

A Waterproof Bag or Some Kind of Pouch for Dirty or Damp Clothing:  

The last thing you want is to get everything else in your diaper bag dirty or put the dirty diaper or clothes with the food. Also get bags for dirty diapers because sometimes there’s not a place to immediately throw away your little one’s soiled diapers!

 

Burp Cloths:

They come in handy for everything from cleaning spit ups to acting as emergency bips. Can you ever have too many of these?

 

Blankets:

Depending on the weather, a blanket or a lightweight, gauze swaddle.  You can also use the blanket as a stroller cover when the sun was too bright, or there was a slight chill.  If the weather is cooler, a slightly heavier blanket would be better.

 

Toys:

A few small toys and a pacifier, if you are using one, will help to keep your little one occupied when need to be.

 

Diapers, Wipes, and Creams:

These are the most essential of essentials! Find the best diaper for your baby that doesn't cause rashes, that doesn't leak at the most inopportune time and makes your life easy. Wipes run the gamut from organic/non-perfumed, to the best smelling and thick wipes. Take time to do a little research and find the wipes that fit your lifestyle and family principles. Some parents use creams and ointment, especially when baby's bum is not doing so well. Make sure the brands that you use do not cause further harm or that your baby isn't allergic to. 

A Wallet or Small Purse for Yourself:  

You want to keep all your essentials organized, but you don’t want to carry both a purse and a diaper bag.

 

Healthy Snacks for Your Little One:

You always want to have snacks on hand once they are eating solids add a few juice boxes too.

 

Snacks for You:

Some protein bars for you or any other on the go edible.  How many times, in our sleep-deprived state, do we forget to eat? Make sure you have a few of these handy so you can keep your energy up.

 

Hand Sanitizer:

To get you out of sticky situations because germs are everywhere!

 

Sunscreen:

Always have sunscreen on hand when your little one can wear it.  It’s easy to run out of the house without putting it on.  This way you always have it in case you forget. Also, carry a hat. A sun hat with a nice, wide brim for warmer weather, or a cozy hat for cooler days

 

A Sweater or Jacket:

This, of course, depends on the time of year or the climate of where you live.

 

Nursing Cover:

Your breastfeeding cover up for privacy if you are breastfeeding – unless you have a good top that covers you up; you can also use your lightweight swaddle.

 

Make sure you get a diaper bag that has good organizational pockets so you can keep everything in its place.  Sometimes you’re only out for a bit, and don’t need to pack all of the above, so you can modify it as need be!

Now that you have picked out a good diaper bag, storage accessories, and exactly what you need in your bag, it’s time to get packing.

 

Here are some simple steps you can take when organizing your diaper bag that will help you not feel overwhelmed or leave anything out.

  • Unzip every compartment and dump everything out of your diaper bag.
  • Get rid of everything you don’t need.
  • While you have your bag emptied, it may not be a bad idea to go ahead and clean your diaper bag.
  • Start loading your diaper bag by zones. Keep the zones together with compartment or mesh bags. I use the following order
  • Pack your diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and wet bag
  • Pack an extra pair of clothes for baby
  • Pack feeding accessories (bottles, sippy cup, snacks, bib, burp cloth, etc.)
  • Roll up your swaddle blanket and store it in an inside compartment
  • Baby entertainment

Here are my must-haves if you have a smaller diaper bag or if you want to pack a small diaper bag to leave in the car or office or a grandparents house in case of emergencies.


  • Diapers, wipes, wet bag (for cloth diapering folks), wipes solution (for cloth wipe users) and changing pad. For a newborn, when you’ll be out all day, 5-6 diapers is good (plus or minus depending on disposable vs. cloth). As baby gets older, you can take less and less.
  • Bottle or nursing cover and when babe is older – one spoon, one bib, baby food or baggy of toddler snacks. This shouldn’t take up more than a tiny amount of space in the bag.
  • Change of clothes — unless the baby is a newbie, you don’t need more than one outfit unless you’ll be gone all day long.
  • Toys – don’t need more than three small toys! Also, a pacifier if your baby uses one.
  • Travel size diaper cream and sunscreen

Seriously, nothing more is really needed, and no more than these quantities except for special circumstances like being out from morning till night. It’s so much easier to keep all this in the diaper bag packed up and ready to go when you need it, because not only will it reduce stress but it will encourage you to get out of the house more often too!

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