16 Must Have Items for Baby’s Diaper Bag

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Congratulations! You are now responsible for another tiny human being. You come home with your precious bundle of joy and spend the next few weeks honing your survival skills with the newest family member. Before you know it, a trip to the grocery store is warranted. What seemed like a menial task before baby was here, now feels like you’re packing to go on a trip to Italy. Worry not! Here’s a list that can help you get ready to brave the world again with your tiny tot. This list may applicable up to baby’s first year.

The Short List:

  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Milk and bottles or sippy cup
  • Baby food and spoon
  • Spare clothes for baby
  • Spare shirt (preferably unisex)
  • Bibs
  • Diaper changing pad liners
  • Disposable bags
  • Swaddle blanket
  • Baby nasal aspirator
  • Saline spray for baby
  • Nail clippers and baby nail file
  • Travel size lotion
  • First aid kit

If it’s your first time going out with the little one, keep trips short. Don’t anticipate that you’ll need every item on this list on a short trip. However, some of these items are staples and may be useful at any time, especially when baby gets a little bit older and you decide to stay out just a little longer. So, let’s go through the list of things that you should consider keeping in baby’s diaper bag in detail.

The List in Detail:

1. Diapers

You’ll need more than one, so make sure to pack enough in the bag.

2. Baby Wipes

A basic necessity and a must-have for the diaper bag. Need I say more?

3. Diaper Rash Cream

Keep this one readily available to treat baby’s diaper rash the moment they surface.

4. Milk and Bottles or Sippy Cup

If your baby is formula feeding, a formula dispenser comes handy. It makes feeding on the go so much easier. All you need to do is load up the dispenser with formula and fill the baby bottles with the corresponding amount of water. To illustrate this, let’s say the ratio is two scoops of formula to two fluid ounces of water. You can load the dispenser with two scoops of formula per compartment. Then, fill each bottle or sippy cup with two fluid ounces of water before packing them in the diaper bag. When baby is hungry, you can easily add the pre-measured formula and mix.

Powder Formula Dispenser
Powder Formula Dispenser

5. Baby Food and Utensils

Running errands with a hungry baby can be extremely stressful. So, when your baby is eating solids, packing baby food and a spoon in your diaper bag is a must. You may want to pack the spoon in a resealable bag or wrap it with paper towel. This way, the spoon stays clean and ready to use and when you’re finished with using it, you can put it back in the resealable bag to keep the mess contained.

6. Spare Clothes for Baby

You’ll be so glad you packed extra clothes for baby, especially for those days when the supersonic speed of baby’s poop just couldn’t be contained by the diaper. Yes, it can happen.

7. Spare Shirt (Preferably Unisex)

Babies can be messy! That pretty shirt that you’re wearing right now can be part of collateral damage. Pack a shirt that fits you or your partner and be ready to wear it proudly in public! Having a spare shirt packed away in your diaper bag is a great way to make sure that you will always have a clean top to wear for those days.

8. Bibs

Bibs are useful to wipe baby’s face with and are extra handy when your baby is teething. During this time, baby’s saliva can be more acidic. As a result, baby may develop a rash around the mouth area if the acidic saliva stays on the face.

9. Diaper Changing Pad Liners

It’s important to keep a few changing pads/liners in your diaper bag, since you’ll never know where or how often you will have to change your baby while you’re out and about. I have recommendations for a washable version and a make-shift disposable version.

Washable Diaper Changing Pad Liners
Washable Changing Pad Liners
Disposable Absorbent Pads
Disposable Absorbent Pads

10. Disposable Bags

Like mentioned, you’ll never know when the need may arise to change a dirty diaper. Disposable bags can be used to contain dirty diapers and wipes when you don’t have a trash can readily available.

11. Swaddle Blanket

Swaddle blankets are very handy and multi-functional. Why? Because they can be used as baby spit shield, a make-shift nursing cover, or a light baby blanket.

Swaddle Blanket
Swaddle Blanket

12. Baby Nasal Aspirator

One would hope that the need to unclog baby’s nose while out running an errand would not be an occurrence. However, if you need to, you would be so glad that you have this handy tool in your diaper bag. The truth is, the bulb syringe may not do the job. That’s why I’m very specific about recommending this brand of baby nasal aspirator – the NoseFrida.

NoseFrida Baby Nasal Aspirator

13. Saline Spray for Baby

This complements the baby nasal aspirator well and a secret weapon for those stubborn little, dried up boogers. Little Noses Saline Spray/Drops has worked wonderfully for my little ones.

14. Nail Clippers and Baby Nail File

Just in case you need to clip baby’s nails… at the mall? You never really know! Baby’s nails are soft for the first few weeks, so it’s easy to remove the sharp ends that may snag, but baby’s fingers are also very tiny. By the time baby is six months old, the fingernails are less flexible. My personal worry has been if baby’s fingernails snags on clothing, then what? That’s why I think it helps to have nail clippers readily available. And they don’t take much room in the bag, so just throw it in there!

15. Travel Size Lotion

In the winter time, baby’s skin may need more hydrating than usual. This is also true if you live in an area where humidity is generally low. If you see a dry patch of skin, it’s good to moisturize it as soon as you can to prevent further irritation on baby’s skin.

16. First Aid Kit

Consider keeping an antibiotic cream and band-aids as part of your first aid kit. You’ll never know when you need one.

Download a copy of the checklist below.

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  1. Hannah

    I love that you included a spare shirt for you. That is something I was always wishing I had in my diaper bag. Great ideas.

    1. samchiugo

      Thank you! Yes, unfortunately, some of these came from hard learned lessons. 😂

  2. Sophia

    Moms would want to add this on their diaper bag:
    This keeps the baby cool especially if its hot
    Baby sunblock
    Even babies need skin care especially if your into outdoor activities
    And an extra drool cloth/muslin to sling on the shoulder when you carry a drooly baby. You don’t want to ruin your pretty mommy top with baby saliva.
    We also have that changing pads that comes with detachable pockets where you can put essentials for changing babies diaper on the go..

    1. Samantha

      Right on, Sophia. Baby’s skin is so sensitive. Sunblocks are handy. Thank you for adding to the list. 😀

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