What You Actually Need in Your Diaper Bag

The 18 Things You Actually Need in Your Diaper Bag

Jan 12, 2022Guest Contributor
This is a guest blog post written by Laura Hunter, LPN and Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN, Co-Founders of Moms on Call. Who says that babies and toddlers don’t come with instructions? Moms on Call has helped over 750,000 families sleep more than 8.5 million hours a night (and counting)! Moms on Call does this by equipping parents with trusted resources and practical guidance to navigate their child’s first four years with confidence, clarity, and better sleep.

As a new parent, you know that you never leave the house without your diaper bag. It goes everywhere that you go, and the more things you put inside, the heavier they get! Have you ever noticed that your diaper bag weighs more than your actual baby?

If this sounds like you, we're here to help simplify down to the essentials. In this post, our friends at Moms on Call will break down what you actually need to bring along with you so that you're prepared for anything that comes your way, with no heavy extras. 

Note: If you're going on a long trip or traveling for the holidays, we'd recommend revisiting this list to adjust for how long you'll be away from home to make sure you have enough of the essentials (wipes, diapers, etc). 

If you like this post and want more clear guidance and trusted wisdom from pediatric nurses and moms, be sure to check out Moms on Call’s comprehensive Knowledge Center, The Moms on Call Podcast and follow along on social @momsoncall!



What You Really Need: 

  • 1 pack of diaper wipes or a reusable wipes pouch
  • 4-5 diapers (It's great to have back-ups and you'll need more than you think!)
  • 1 travel-sized tube of diaper cream
  • 1 folding, protective changing pad (This can be used on top of a public restroom changing pad, or anywhere else you need to change baby. Some diaper bags, like these, come with one.)
  • 1 roll of plastic bags to contain the smell of dirty diapers (doggie poop bags work too!) 
  • Extra clothes:
    • 2 onesies for infants and 1 change of clothes for toddlers. Be sure to swap these out as they grow!
    • If you're out for the whole day, take an extra set of clothes for yourself. You never know when you'll also be a casualty of your baby's diaper or spit-up!
  • 2 burp cloths
  • 1 gallon size zipper storage bag (There will be so many uses for this. From storing soiled clothes to handling bottle leaks, you name it!)
  • 1 pair of extra socks
  • 1 lightweight blanket
  • 1 sun hat or winter hat (Switch these out for the season.)
  • 1 rattle or musical toy for entertainment
  • 1 kid-friendly hand sanitizer spray or bottle
  • A clean zipper storage bag that has: 
    • 1-2 pacifiers
    • 1 soft chewing teether
    • A piece of paper where you've written important phone numbers, including: Poison Control, pediatrician, parent’s info and additional emergency contact.
  • 1 digital thermometer 
  • 1 small bottle of both infant acetaminophen and Benadryl 
    • Check with your pediatrician for the correct dosage of these by weight. 
  • If nursing, bring 2-4 clean nursing pads and a nursing cover.
    • Breastmilk (Stored in an insulated bag with an ice pack until ready to use.)
    • If formula feeding, bring
      • 1 bottle with nipple
      • 1 bottle of clean water
      • Formula: Separate formula into a dispenser to hold the powder. (Remember, you always want to add the powder to the water, versus adding the water to the powder.)

    Add-ons for Toddlers

    • Small first aid kit with band-aids, antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream and wound wash
    • Snacks and/or water bottle
    • A small bag of activities: book, puzzle, crayons & coloring pad, travel drawing pad, etc.


      Are we missing something?

      Have a favorite item not mentioned in this list? Let us know in the comments below.


      Laura Hunter, LPN and Co-Founder of Moms on Call

      Laura is a mother of five, a pediatric nurse with over 25 years of experience, an entrepreneur, an author, public speaker and a highly sought-after infant-care consultant who has an international following. But there’s one common passion for all the areas of Laura’s life— her desire to inspire and encourage parents


      Jennifer Moms on CallJennifer has multiple roles—wife, mother of three, pediatric nurse, public speaker, infant and toddler care consultant and author. Jennifer has over 25 years of pediatric nursing experience and has a heart to equip parents with practical advice and inspiration for the joys and challenges of parenthood.  Visit the Moms on Call knowledge centerwebsite, and follow them on Instagram.

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