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Learn about the best diaper bag essentials for your toddler and everything you need to carry in your diaper bag so you are always prepared.
As a mom of four, I have finally figured out how to pack LIGHT when going out. I'm all about minimalism these days. I remember the days when I had one child and packed a ton of stuff on our outings. I saw another experienced mom friend who pretty much laughed when she saw my diaper bag. With experience, I NOW understand why those moms were laughing at me.
Where you have a child or multiples in diapers, diaper bag preparation is essential to making sure you have everything you need to make traveling with kids a little easier and convenient.
Diaper Bag 101: Choosing a Diaper Bag
Choosing a diaper bag is important. You'll want to consider how easy it is to carry and how often your spouse may also carry it as well.
Here's a bag that I used with my fourth child because my husband ended up carrying it a lot.
You'll want a lot of compartments to carry things including pacifiers, hand sanitizer, wallets, and more. Having a bag that has a secure zipper location near the back will also allow you to carry your wallet securely without exposing it to pick pocketing (important if you are traveling).
Here are some of the best diaper bags available on the market today:
Styles of Diaper Bags
Today in the diaper bag market, there are a ton of bags marketed to parents out there. I'm going to share with you some of the pros and cons of each style.
A full backpack is my favorite type of bag because there are so many compartments. The bad thing is that you can overpack and just carry too much.
A purse is great because it can not look like a diaper bag at all, but rather an oversized statement piece. The downside is that if you use a diaper bag to carry snacks, there is the potential of spilling food on a bag that you may have paid extra to not look like a diaper bag.
A one should bag is easy to use and just put over your head. The downside is that one shoulder can get disproportionately used, especially if your bag is filled with lots of stuff.
A mini bag allows you to not overpack, but you won't be able to carry a sippy cup and snacks. A mini bag is great for experienced moms who know exactly what their baby needs and wants to minimize the things they take out and about.
General Things to Pack in a Toddler Diaper Bag
Depending on what age your kids are and where they are at in their potty training journey, what you put in your diaper bag may be different at 6 months, a year, and at two years old.
Generally, you will want to plan for quick snacks, comfort, sanitizing, cleaning wipes, diapers, toys, and entertainment.
Checklist for Diaper Bag Any Age
Below are the items that should be packed in your diaper bag for kids at any age. Having these items will be essential if your child is still in diapers because it covers the basics.
- Diaper changing bad
- Diapers (2-3 per hour of your travels)
- Wet Wipes
- Diaper Wiples
- Wet Bag
- Quick finger snacks
- Nursing covers
- Snot Sucker
- Butt Paste
Hospital Bag for Newborns
If you are headed to the hospital, I put together an ultimate guide on what to pack in a hospital bag for not only your new baby, but the entire family. You'll find some of the best tips that I've found after doing this four times. It includes things for your labor as well as your newborn.
Diaper Bag for a Newborn
If you are out and about with your newborn, here's what ou should pack:
- Extra milk (breast milk or formula)
- Changing Pad
- Nursing Cover
- Wet Bags
- Baby Blanket or Receiving Blanket
- Swaddle Blanket
- Burp Cloths
Diaper Bag for an Infant
Between 3 months and 6 months, you will need a few more items as you travel with them. When your kid grows, you'll find that you'll need to pack more food. The full list of items recommended for a 3-6 month old include:
- Stuffed Animals
- Teething Toy
- Baby Lotion
- Diaper Rash Cream
- Wet Bags
Diaper Bag for a Toddler
When your kids are off of milk and formula and are more independent, your bag will change from carrying food essentials to more entertainment to keep them happy during periods of boredom.
- Crayons or Markers
- Sippy Cup
- Snack Cups
- Multiple Change of Clothes (especially if they are potty training)
- Table Covers
- Sanitizing Wipes
Diaper Bag Essentials for Little Kids and Preschoolers
When your kids are a little older and out of diapers, it might still be a good idea to carry around a bag for a few more months just to have thigns handy.
- Boogie Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer and Wipes
- Butt Paste
- Change of Clothes
- Brush or Comb
- Sippy Cups
Frequently Asked Questions for Packing Diaper Bags
What age do you stop using a diaper bag?
A diaper bag is generally not necessary after your baby or toddler is no longer in diapers. On average, most kids start becoming potty trained between 18 to 24 months, and some may take up to four years to leave diapers fully behind.
Some parents may continue using diaper bags after diapers to carry wipes, sippy cups, and additional clothing.
How do you pack a diaper bag for a newborn versus a toddler?
The main difference on what to pack for a newborn versus a toddler is that a newborn will generally require bottles with formula or breast milk to be carried whereas toddlers will need sippy cups and snacks.
Other Diaper Bag Posts You Might Love
Below are other baby and diaper bag posts that will help you on your journey into motherhood:
- Essential List for How to Pump at Work
- What to Carry in a Newborn Diaper Bag
- Lily Jade Diaper Bag Honest Review