How to Pack the Perfect Diaper Bag – A List of Essentials

Diaper bag

Choosing a Diaper bag

Choosing a diaper bag may seem like a daunting task, but once you figure out what you will need it’s a whole lot easier!

Having been through many different diaper bags I can say for certain that you DO NOT want to cheap out on this purchase. This bag is becoming your life when you go out and about, and if it breaks in the middle of the day….your going to have a rough time.

So first decide what is essential to you.

  • Are you using it for quick trips to the store only?
  • Is it for long days out and about?
  • Do you like a lot of different pockets?
  • Is style important?

There are messenger style bags:Messenger Bag
These are great for minimalists because they typically do not hold a lot. So if you are caring stuff for two kids I would suggest something else.
The positive of these are they are SO easy to carry because it gives both hands free!

There are backpack bags:

Backpack Diaperbag
These are perfect for longer trips as you can hold A LOT more stuff in it. They also have so many cute ones to choose from, or a more plain look so that dad doesn’t mind carrying it either.
The downside, organization is not as easy with this one. I personally use a backpack style and just use the bag system and have a few designated smaller bags for essential items that I want to find easily.

There are purse style bags:
Purse diaperbag
These are great if style is more important to you! You also can find ones that have a better organization system on the inside.
The downside is they are a bit harder to carry along with your baby in his car seat.

My BIGGEST suggestion is to get one that is built to last. They WILL get heavy and WILL break down cheap hardware.


What to Carry in Your Diaper Bag

Now that we have chosen our perfect fit diaper bag it is time to pick what goes inside it.


  1. The actual diaper bag *I have a backpack diaper bag*
  2. A “lovie” – If your babies are one to need a comfort item this is essential
  3. Chapstick – I carry Aquafore because of its versatility. I also have lipstick in case I need to freshen up.
  4. Booger Sucker & Tissues – You just never know when boogers will STRIKE!
  5. Toddler Change of Clothes – If your toddler is potty training it is a good idea to keep some extra clothes handy. Also let’s face it if your on a day trip your toddler is likely to get dirty somehow so this is nice to have for those moments.
  6. Nursing cover – I have a scarf that also works as a cover that I LOVE!
  7. Mom’s Shirt – I carry my own change of shirt because of the constant spit ups from my little one.
  8. Mom Bag – I have a separate little bag to carry all my essentials that are small that I don’t want lost.

    1. Tylonal/Ibuprofen – I make sure to always carry some form of tylonal or ibuprofen as well as Benedryl.
    2. Gum
    3. Pocket Knife
    4. Pens/Marker
  9. Changing pad & Desitin – I don’t know about you but I hate changing my baby on the nasty changing tables without it!
  10. Swaddle – These are my LIFE SAVERS! Being able to tightly swaddle my baby makes for better sleep, therefore I make sure to take it with us on long trips.
  11. Toddler Bag – Again I have a little bag that I just got from Ipsy to carry a few things for my toddler.

    1. Crayons – When at a restaurant it is nice to have some more colors that he can use.
    2. Hot Wheels and a plane – These are the perfect size toy to bring anywhere and if they get lost it is OK because they are so cheap.
  12. Teething Ring – When teething happens having something for your little to chew on is so nice!
  13. Change of Baby Clothes – Blow outs, spit up, feedings….need I say more?
  14. Extra Layer – In the winter it is nice to have an extra layer in case it gets cold during the day.
  15. Diapers & Wipes – I have been caught without these and it really is TERRIBLE! 
  16. Burp Cloth – These are versatile in using as a changing pad, wiping spit up, an extra blanket if needed.

Extra Items

Now you have your essentials, there are a few extras that you might want to carry around if you are away on a longer trip.

My Kiinde bottles are my ABSOLUTE favorite bottle for exclusively breastfed babies. I am able to pump right into the storage bags which double as the feeding bag. This way there is no need to hassle with potentially spilling milk transferring it to a bottle. AND it is only two pieces, the nipple and the holder!

For formula my favorite are the Playtex Drop-ins. You are able to heat the formula using just hot water because of the liners which also make for a much easier clean up! Now what mom doesn’t want that?!

Having snacks around for your toddler is great for those suddenly hungry moments! Having a little sweet snack is useful when doing important errands that may need for them to behave. I just grab whatever I may have on hand.


I have created this FREE Diaper Bag Checklist to help get you started. I have included all of the above mentioned items as well as leaving blanks for you to fill in your own suggestions!

Now I want to know what is your ABSOLUTE essential diaper bag item??



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