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17 Top Diaper Bag Packing List Items for 2021 + What NOT to Bring

17 Top Diaper Bag Packing List Items for 2021 + What NOT to Bring
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There’s so much to think about when you have little ones in diapers. And being caught off guard when you’re out-and-about without the things you need….well, that’s a predicament! I can recall numerous times being unprepared when our son was young. There’s so many things we just didn’t think of needing until it was too late.

For that reason, I’ve put together a diaper bag packing list that includes 17 must-have items, plus some extras you might want to consider bringing. I’ve also included my top 3 diaper bag recommendations that can hold up to the challenge. When it comes to going out with small children, live by the old motto: Always Be Prepared!

asher lyric fergusson family at grand canyon
Our family visiting the Grand Canyon for a couple of days.

What to Pack in a Diaper Bag — 17 Essentials

  • 1.

    Baby’s wandering hands can make diaper changes a challenge. This take-along changing station by Snoofy Bee puts to rest the struggles that new mothers face. The sides fold up to create a barrier, blocking those curious hands. You can also attach hanging toys to the clips, to keep your child occupied while you clean him/her up. The best part: it folds up so small, that it can fit in even the smallest of diaper bags.

  • 2.

    Now that I have children, there’s no leaving the house without a wet-dry bag, preferably this one by ALVA. Inevitably there will be clothing changes taking place (no matter how brief the outing!), and this bag has a separate pouch for wet and dry clothing. The protective liners keep the dry items dry, and the wet items away from everything else. This one by ALVA is lightweight and has durable zippers. And since it comes with a one year guarantee, it’s hard to pass up!

  • 3.

    Toddlers get hungry so much more than we do, so packing snacks for even the simplest excursions is essential. Reusable snack bags are better for the environment and these ones by Qinline are also BPA free and made of food grade material. I enjoy that they are freezer-safe as well, so we can freeze some fruit ahead of time and throw it into the diaper bag on the way out the door. They’re super easy to wash and the colorful zippers appeal to small tots.

  • 4.

    Babies aren’t picky….right? Hopefully, you got a chuckle out of that statement, since we all know they can be quite particular. Having their milk/formula at the right temperature can be one of the many things they can be particular about. Tommee Tippee makes a portable warmer that is so convenient to have in the diaper bag. Unlike some of the other types out there, no electricity is needed, so it’s truly on-the-go.

  • 5.

    Put these stroller clips by Baby Uma in a pocket on the side of your diaper bag for easy access. You can quickly take them out and attach to a stroller (or many more options) so that you can hang small bags or toys, etc to them. It’s like giving yourself an extra set of hands and organizing your space at the same time. One of the best kept secrets of parents!

  • 6.

    There’s probably a mountain of lost pacifiers (and socks!) out there somewhere…it’s the only explanation of where they go! But ever since fastening the pacifier to my son’s clothing with pacifier clips, I no longer have the constant fear of washing the paci while on-th-go, or worse, losing them. The clip keeps the pacifer attached, and this one in particular also doubles as a teething ring. Never lose a paci again!

  • 7.

    Entertain your little one with a colorful book by Indestructibles, without the fear of ripped pages or drool marks. These popular stories are rip-proof and waterproof and if your child is anything like mine, he/she will want to read the story over and over and over again. And over….

  • 8.

    Never leave home without these remedies! They are natural, safe, and effective. Below are some things we put in our kit, which in turn goes into the diaper bag. They have rescued us numerous times during teething bouts, tummy aches, or crabby spells.
    Camilia Teething Relief – Relief from painful gums and helps with digestive issues.
    Natural Gas Relief – Natural relief for all the symptoms that come along with gas, like bloating, colic, constipation, and restlessness.
    Baby Calm – For a fussy baby or if he/she just won’t go to sleep…this natural formula will do the trick.
    Earache Relief –Easy dosing dropper, and will comfort your baby when they have an earache.
    Echinacea Drops – A boost of immunity when we are out and about, exposed to germs.
    Baby Vitamin C – Vitamin C is another immune booster which we give our son a few days before we begin traveling. If it seems like he might be catching something, we give him a couple drops right away.

  • 9.

    Protect baby’s clothing by planning ahead and having a few Bibsters with you. Even when baby is just drinking a bottle or sippy cup, inevitably clothing will get messy. The nice part about having them be disposable is that you don’t have to worry about making a mess in the diaper bag with a dirty bib. Just toss and go!

  • 10.

    If you have a pack of these CareTouch sanitizing wipes with you, you’ll never have to worry about dirty hands again. Yours OR your baby’s! Because these wipes are safe for adults and children alike. The package is re-sealable and small, making it a great diaper bag item. Since little hands seem to get into everything, having a hand sanitizer clipped to the side of your diaper bag is another must-have. Both of these items will keep germs at bay.

  • 11.

    Nuby teething toys are perfect for little ones with teeth coming in, and the design is soothing for any stage; front, middle, or back teeth. What I like best about this toy in particular is that you can put it in the fridge before you head out of the house, and when it’s time to go, your toddler will have a teether that is cooling and comforting. The design is also engaging for the baby’s mind and hands. Win-win!

  • 12.

    It’s annoying to lug booster seats around when you’re riding with other people, car-pooling to help the environment, traveling to a new place, or taking the kids to Grandma’s. Booster seats can be complicated and bulky. However, with new The First Years portable booster seat, which packs up to be the size of a lunchbox, you can fit this one into the diaper bag for emergencies, or planned excursions. Note: These are suitable for ages 9+ months.

  • 13.

    You only need to put a couple of these Kyapoo baby washcloths in your diaper bag for situations that may arise, but you’ll want to pack more when you feel how soft these are! These are highly absorbent and last longer than the run of the mill washcloths. The bright colors will be eye catching to baby as you clean up.

  • 14.

    As the list of things you need in your diaper bag grows, it can be intimidating to keep it organized. Having Easy Baby organizers will help you divvy up the items into categories, making them easier to find. Because let’s face it- time is precious when it comes to diapering and caring for little ones.

  • 15.

    Going outdoors? Keep the pests away by keeping a small bottle of repellent on hand. This one by Greenways Organics is safe for babies and children, but definitely won’t have a good reception from the insects that get in its way!

  • 16.

    Wherever you go, setting your baby down on an unprotected floor can be daunting. Pack a portable travel mat to give you and your baby peace of mind. Skip Hop makes one that is very compact and easy to clean. It boasts a stylish print and comfortable fabric, is reversible, and is water resistant. One of the best things to have in your diaper bag.

  • 17.

    Genovega boasts this cover up as an 8-in-1 product, with uses including: nursing cover up, shopping seat cover, swaddler, and my favorite….car seat cover for when baby’s napping. The fabric is stretchy and lightweight. It’s very easy to clean and can be used over and over again for any of its many adaptations. Since it is so versatile, it’s easy to see why this is a one of the best things to have in the diaper bag.

Top 3 Recommended Diaper Bags

  • 1.

    The benefits of having a backpack style diaper bag is freeing up your hands for much-needed parenting tasks, as well as divvying up the weight on your back. You can’t even tell it’s a diaper bag; its stylish exterior can blend into so many situations. This Eddie Bauer Places & Spaces Sport Diaper Bag is number one because of how organized you can be (eleven pockets), durability of the zippers/fabric, and the unisex style. There’s 2 insulated bottle pockets and a special pop-top opening for wipes. You’ll find this backpack is super convenient when you’re going somewhere eventful.

  • 2.

    If you use a stroller often, this may be the style for you, as there are special straps designed to fit on standard strollers. That way the stroller can do the work of carrying the bag for you! This one by Pomelo Best has a wide open design for grabbing changes of clothing, bottles, etc. The water resistant fabric is helpful for outdoor unexpected showers (or sprinklers), keeping your thoughtfully packed items dry. (No guarantees on the baby’s dryness!) This one also has a unisex design that comes in a variety of colors. If you are a frequent stroller user, this one will be your best friend.

  • 3.

    This tote design diaper bag by Baby Essentials comes with a lot of extras, such as a bottle holder, pacifier pouch, wipes case, and changing pad. This stylish set is also fully lined on the interior to help with spills, and has a large capacity if you plan to bring along a lot of items. Another plus: the outside pockets use Velcro to close, making retrieving items that much faster.

With little ones, you never know what life is going to put in your path each day, so it’s best to be prepared so that you have all that you need to keep them healthy, happy, safe, and engaged while you’re running around. Now that you’ve chosen a diaper bag that’s perfect for you, and ordered all the best items to put inside, don’t forget the most important thing… the baby!