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18 Diaper Bag Essentials That You Need (Free Checklist)

Inside: Learn from my mistakes and pack all the diaper bag essentials necessary to save your sanity. Plus, download a free printable checklist so you’ll have everything you need. Banish overwhelm by reading the getting ready for baby guide. 

This is a sponsored post by Lily Jade that contains affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure here.

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I did it.

I broke the most important mom rule of all time:

Don’t ever leave the house without diapers and wipes. 

Or at least without wipes. And boy, oh boy, did I pay for it.

Let me set the scene for a minute. Last week my family and I moved into our first home. After 5 long years of renting, we were finally able to purchase a house. It was time for a celebration!

So, what did we do?

After my 6-year-old’s first day at his new school, we all went out to dessert at the local frozen yogurt shop.

All was well until we were just finishing up our candy-laden concoctions.

Then I spotted that all too familiar face on my toddler.

You know the one where their face turns 8 shades of red and they’re suddenly somber and focused.

I hear you saying it now, “Oh well, so he pooped. It’s no big deal. Kids do that all the time when we’re out”.

And ordinarily I’d agree with you, but my husband suddenly reminded me that he couldn’t find the diapers in our messy, just-moved-in-house so he had slipped on a pull up on him instead.

I figured pull-ups were almost diapers, so we finished our dessert and walked to the car without a care in the world until the dreaded moment happened:

A slimy trail of unknown origin was found on the backside of my toddler’s car seat. We investigated more closely and discovered to our horror, that the pull up had indeed not kept the poop in its rightful place. It was all over his back, the car seat and the road outside our van.

I scrambled for my diaper bag while my husband stood frozen in poop-covered disgust.

As I opened my bag, there were no wipes in sight! But wait, I always kept backup wipes in the center console for emergencies just like this. Until last week when they ran out.

Whomp whomp.

So there we were, covered in tiny human excrement, driving home as quick as possible, all because I forgot to pack the wipes.

The moral of this story?

Do NOT do as I do. Check your diaper bag frequently and learn about all the

Check your diaper bag frequently and learn about all the diaper bag essentials you need to save your sanity.

Plus, download a free printable diaper bag checklist for babies and toddlers so you’ll never have to tell a disgusting tale like mine. Trust me, your husband will love you for it.

Diaper Bag Essentials Demystified

Read on to learn all the diaper bag essentials you need to carry around when you have young children.

Diaper Bag

If you’ve read through my post on the top 25 baby registry items, then you’ll know I’m obsessed with my Lily Jade diaper bag.

Best Diaper Bags | New Mom

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and a participant in other affiliate programs, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases. Read our disclosure policy.

I’ve had around 4 or 5 diaper bags between my 2 boys and I always find myself reaching for my Lily Jade bag. I originally purchased the Anna diaper bag (no longer available) and instantly fell in love.

Every Lily Jade bag is beautiful (which is the first reason I was drawn to it), but it turns out the best part about these diaper bags is their amazing functionality.

Each diaper bag has what they call a baby bag, which is a genius way to organize all those diaper bag must haves.

It has 12 pockets and is removable so you can easily wash it or just leave it at home when you’re out on date night. Since my original purchase, they’ve updated the baby bag to be even more useful with handles and a great new aqua color.

Leather purse for mom | newborn essentials | diaper bag

Lily Jade recently sent me their Madeline diaper bag in camel and it’s even more stunning in person! The full-grain leather is remarkably soft and feels super luxurious.

I think my favorite feature about all the Lily Jade bags are the versatility of its design. It can be worn 3 different ways- as a cross body bag, a backpack or the traditional way with the shoulder straps.

I’m floored by how fabulous this bag is; It’s even better than any of my “regular” purses, so I know I’ll be using it years after I’m done needing a diaper bag!

Diapers & Wipes

diaper bag essentials | best baby gear
diaper bag must haves | baby stuff

Of course, like I mentioned in my horrific story above, diapers and wipes should be the number one thing you check for every time you go out.

Seriously, just go check now to be sure…

Changing Pad

best diaper bag | what to put in a diaper bag

The Lily Jade bags all come with a coordinating changing mat that is the perfect size and so lightweight, but if your diaper bag doesn’t come with one be sure you purchase one separately to keep your baby away from all those germs.

Disposable Diaper Bags/Ziploc Bags

baby products | new baby gear

Having some small trash bags handy to seal dirty diapers may seem like a small thing to concern yourself with, but you’d be surprised how many times there isn’t a trash nearby.

Get rid of that poopy smell as soon as possible by sealing it up pronto.

A Change Of Clothes

baby must haves | pregnancy | parenting

It’s shocking how many times my boys’ diapers didn’t contain their poop. It must be some sort of new parent initiation to have your baby’s diaper leak.

Make sure you have at least one (but I liked to have 2-3) change of outfit for your little one. More if you’re going to be out for an extended period of time.

Diaper Cream

baby registry | diaper bags | baby

I’m not sure if it’s because my boys have sensitive skin, but I always had diaper rash cream with me so I could apply it at every diaper change. Grab a travel size one if you don’t use it too often so you save valuable diaper bag real estate.

Hand Sanitizer

natural baby products | baby gear | newborn

In case you’re unable to wash your hands immediately, hand sanitizer is an easy, portable option that doesn’t take up much space. I love this natural hand sanitizer because it smells delicious and doesn’t dry my hands out.

Nursing Cover/Blanket

A great all-in-one nursing cover like this one is great for discreet nursing, covering a car seat or even as a lightweight baby blanket.


newborn essentials | new mom | mom to be

Neither of my boys took a pacifier, but I’ve heard from countless other parents that forgetting a pacifier at home is something you’ll only do once!

Nipple Cream & Breast Pads

natural baby | organic | crunchy mama

If you’re not breastfeeding, skip this one, but I always took this natural nipple cream with me whenever I was out because it provided relief from our nursing problems.

You’ll also want to carry breast pads in your bag to avoid any embarrassing leaking episodes.

Bottle & Formula

infant must haves | new mom advice

If you’re formula feeding or supplementing, be sure you have enough baby bottles on hand for the length of time you’ll be out. My renewed motto is always overprepare and you’ll never be worried (or covered in poop).

Tip: If you’re a nursing mom and worried about nipple confusion, read this post about the best bottles for breastfed babies.

Burp Cloth

parenting tips | new baby

Burp cloths are definitely a necessity, whether your baby is bottle fed or breastfed. I like the burp clothes with the slight curve in them because they stay on my shoulder more easily.

Swaddle Blanket

pregnancy | expecting mom

When you’re out, a good set of swaddle blankets like these can help calm a crabby baby or keep them warm. Plus, they’re light and don’t take up too much room in your diaper bag.

Baby Toys

baby gear | what to pack in a diaper bag

Having a few age appropriate toys available with you at all times may be the difference between a successful grocery shopping trip and grabbing the nearest can of beans and trying to pass it off as dinner.

Trust me, you’ll want to have as many distractions as possible when out with a baby.


diaper bag must haves | mom to be

You can do no wrong with travel size tissues. They’re great for runny noses, catching spit up in a pinch, or even putting them to sleep in 60 seconds.

Essentials For Mom

Whew! Now that you’ve seen all the diaper bag essentials for baby, don’t forget about yourself. You’ll need your keys, wallet, cellphone, sunglasses, snacks, and a water bottle to start.

And if you’re anything like me, lots of chocolate.

More Must-Read Baby Related Posts:

Diaper Bag Must Haves You Don’t Want To Forget:

HUGGIES Snug & Dry Diapers,...Shop on Amazon
Sassy Baby Disposable Diape...Shop on Amazon
Baby Nursing Cover for Brea...Shop on Amazon

Download Your Free Diaper Bag Checklist (For Babies & Toddlers)

Don’t forget to download your free diaper bag checklist so you’ll never find yourself in my shoes!

There’s a checklist for babies and toddlers (in 2 colors), plus there’s space to write in a few of your own necessities.

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Rachel Lee

Tuesday 15th of October 2019

I love this article. It was super helpful. Yah, I wished I read it 7 years ago when I was looking after my baby, haha. Anyway thank you so much for sharing.

Sam T

Wednesday 16th of October 2019

Of course!

Alisha at temperandtantrum

Monday 2nd of July 2018

I just came across your blog. I am a mom to a 9 month old and I have a lot of stuff in my diaper bag. Great video and you have given me some good ideas about organizing my stuff.Thanks for that.

Sam T

Tuesday 3rd of July 2018

No problem, Alisha! Thanks for stopping by :)

Charissa | mamawonder

Monday 2nd of July 2018

OMG.I love how it is so organized.I love it.I'm thinking about having another baby in the future and if not, I would love to buy it for a friend.Thanks for sharing this great blog.

Sam T

Monday 2nd of July 2018

You're welcome Charissa! Glad it can help :)

Kylina @bootiesandthebeast

Saturday 5th of May 2018

I didn't realize that I didn't have anything for myself in my diaper bag! Thanks for reminding me this is also essential.

Sam T

Monday 7th of May 2018

Hey Kylina! No problem; There are so many things to think about, it's easy to forget things until the time when you actually need it.

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