The Ultimate Diaper Bag Essentials Checklist For New Moms

by Erika Robertson
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The grocery store, the bank, the park, the pet store — they’re all on your list of places to go today. Fortunately, your bestie — your new little one — will run errands with you. That means you’ll need more than just your purse, though; you’ll also need a diaper bag — one you and Baby can rely on.

What exactly should go in your baby’s diaper bag before you take off for a day of errands or travel? It can feel overwhelming stepping out as a new mom, but the checklist below will make sure you are prepared and set up for success.

So let’s get to it.

diaper bag essentials | Africa images via Canva.com
Photo credit: Africa images via Canva.com

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1. Diapers

The name says it all. No list of diaper bag essentials would be complete without these “bottom bubbles” or “little leak lockers.” Pack enough of them to cover changes for an entire day, and choose the proper size to keep leaks at bay. Keep in mind that newborns usually need 10 or more disposable diapers daily. That number may drop to eight daily for a 12-month-old child.

Tired of buying diapers over and over again? Consider making the switch to their reusable counterparts. They will save you money since they can easily be washed and reused time and time again, and their reusability makes them the perfect option for environmentally conscious parents. The best reusable diapers are designed to accommodate heavy wetting by holding leaks. They also feature colorful designs your child will love.

2. Extra Clothes

Don’t cry over spilled milk, and don’t think diaper blow-outs can’t happen to you. Pack extra clothes for your little one in their diaper bag so that milk spills, spit up, and diaper leaks don’t ruin your trip to town. One or two extra outfits are all you need to ensure your child stays clean and comfortable all day.

I would also recommend you pack a change of clothes for yourself in the early postpartum period, in case some spills get on your clothes, or you are still bleeding or lactating.

Include a hat (in cold weather), socks, pants, and a onesie in your diaper bag, adjusting the outfit to the weather conditions. Breathable and soft fabrics, such as cotton, are perfect for keeping your little one comfy and preventing irritation.

3. Wipes

No list of diaper bag essentials is complete without baby wipes, one of the most versatile tools any new parent can keep on hand. These wipes are indispensable for quick and easy diaper changes, but they can also be used to clean hands and surfaces.

Choose unscented wipes, which may be more gentle on little ones’ sensitive skin, and search for alcohol-free wipes featuring natural ingredients. The best wipes packages are also resealable with hard covers to prevent your wipes from becoming dry and unusable.

4. Changing Pad

Add a changing pad to your diaper bag to make diaper changes effortless no matter where the day takes you. A portable pad provides a sanitary surface for changes when you’re not at home. Look for a foldable pad that is simple to clean and made of a waterproof material. Some pads also feature convenient pockets for wipes and diapers.

5. Burp Cloths

Don’t forget to add burp cloths to your diaper bag. They’re a must-have for catching spills and spit-up during your baby’s feeding times. Burp cloths made of absorbent materials, such as terry cloth and muslin, work most effectively. Pack several of these cloths since they can also double as emergency changing pads or bibs.

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6. Wet Bags

When nature calls, you may find yourself changing your little one’s diaper along a hiking path or on a long stretch of highway — far away from any trash bin. No need to fear, though. Waterproof wet bags can easily store your child’s soiled diapers, messy items, and wet clothes.

Make sure your wet bags have excellent seals to contain moisture and odors. Pack several bags so you can separate items like soiled burp clothes, clothes, and diapers as needed.

7. Hand Sanitizer

Cleaning your hands after diaper changes and keeping them germ-free before handling your baby’s food can be challenging if you’re not near a sink. Hand sanitizer is a simple solution for keeping your hands sanitary for your little one. Choose a sanitizing solution with a 60%-plus alcohol concentration. Sprays, foams, and gels can all be effective for killing germs.

8. Tools For Feeding

When your little one is less than 6 months old, you probably only need one or two bottles of either breastmilk or formula. Make sure your diaper bag has an insulated pocket to keep milk fresh. If you are breastfeeding, don’t forget reusable nursing pads, especially as your supply is regulating. As Baby grows and starts solid foods, don’t forget bibs and spoons to make on-the-go meals mess-free as they explore solids. Pack age-appropriate foods like pureed fruits (for 6-month-old babies) and teether crackers (for 9-month-olds). Choose foods that are relatively mess-free, simple to handle, and healthy to make feeding times as clean and easy as possible.

9. Diaper Cream

Remember to add rash cream to your child’s diaper bag so a diaper rash emergency doesn’t catch you off guard. Travel-sized tubes are convenient for diaper bags both small and large. Quality rash creams contain ingredients like zinc oxide, which protects delicate skin from friction and moisture, and aloe vera, which soothes Baby’s skin.

10. A Pacifier

If your little one uses a pacifier, include a spare one in their diaper bag. That spare pacifier can be a huge lifesaver if your child loses their primary one during the hustle and bustle of errands day. Some babies rely on their pacifiers to soothe and calm them or even help them fall asleep. These devices may also satisfy your newborn’s sucking reflex.

Pack Your Diaper Bag With Confidence

A well-stocked diaper bag can make travel experiences with your baby effortless. The goal is to tailor your diaper bag contents to your baby’s unique needs and be prepared without overpacking your bag.

Diaper bag essentials range from diapers to wipes, burp cloths, and baby milk. Consider all the above-listed diaper bag essentials to make every outing with Baby smooth and enjoyable from one stage of babyhood to the next.

Psst… by the way, to make your life easier, we’ve compiled an Amazon list of diaper bag essentials so you can just add these items to your cart, checkout, and be on your merry way. Make sure you check it out.

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