1. Being a mom
  2. Raising a baby
  3. Baby care & feeding

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Diaper Bag Essentials: A Complete List

As a first-time parent, having a diaper bag fully stocked with essential items can be a real lifesaver when you’re away from home. Whether you’re traveling or just running out for groceries, Flo’s handy list of diaper bag essentials has got you and your baby covered.

Trying to figure out what to pack in a diaper bag? There are a number of factors to take into account when creating your checklist. How old is your child? How long will you be gone? Where are you headed? And just how prepared do you need to be?

Popular diaper bag essentials include:

  • Diapers Pack one diaper for every 1 to 2 hours that you plan to be away from home and throw in a couple extra for good measure.
  • Changing pad — You can either select a diaper bag with a built-in reusable changing pad or purchase one separately. Disposable pads or towels also work in a pinch or when you’re traveling.
  • Wipes — Wet wipes can handle everything from diaper changes and dirty surfaces (like shopping carts) to sticky little fingers. You can purchase a travel-sized pack of wipes or grab a few from your stash at home and zip them up in a resealable pouch.
  • Hand sanitizer — A small bottle of sanitizer is another must-have when you’re choosing what to pack in a diaper bag. Use it to clean up after changing your newborn’s diaper until you can wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Small plastic bags — Opt for biodegradable varieties that are perfect for wrapping up soiled diapers and clothes for your next laundry day. 
  • Bottles of breast milk or formula (if your infant is bottle-fed
  • Drinks and snacks (for toddlers) — Fill a sippy cup with water, juice, or milk and drop some finger foods into an airtight container for them to munch on later. Also consider bringing a couple of jars of baby food, along with spoons and bibs.
  • Blanket — Be ready for any kind of weather by packing in a blanket to shield them from cold winds, rain, or the blazing sun.
  • Extra clothing — Every mom knows that you can never have too many outfits on hand. Whether your bundle of joy drools, spits up, or poops unexpectedly, a fresh change of clothes is definitely another diaper bag essential. 
  • Sunscreen or hat — For infants, it’s wise to include a hat for blocking out the sun’s harmful rays. By the age of 6 months, it’s safe to apply sunscreen designed for your child’s sensitive skin.
  • Emergency contact info — Before heading out, double-check that you’ve saved the numbers of your pediatrician, and other key emergency contacts, on your phone.

Whenever you and your baby are out and about, you may also need the following items:

  • Rash cream — Should your little one experience any irritation, toss in a travel-sized tube of cream for treating diaper rash.
  • Nail clippers — If your child falls asleep while you’re at the park or enjoying some downtime, it’s the perfect opportunity to clip their nails.
  • Tissues — These are great for blowing their nose and just about any mess that doesn’t require a wet wipe.
  • Breast pads (if you’re nursing) and nursing cover — If you need to breastfeed in public, a nursing cover will offer you a bit of privacy at mealtime.
  • First-aid kit — This kit should contain adhesive bandages, pain relievers (recommended by your pediatrician based on your child’s age), and an antibiotic cream.
  • Wrap or sling — If you’re planning to be in a crowded area that isn’t stroller-friendly, a baby sling is another great diaper bag essential.
  • Toys — Drop a few of their favorite toys into your baby diaper bag, ensuring they’re both age and setting-appropriate.

Looking to ditch your purse for a bit? Make sure you don’t leave home without:

  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • Cell phone
  • Paper and pen
  • Sunglasses
  • Gum, mints, or snacks
  • A magazine or book
  • A bottle of water, juice, or other drink
  • An extra shirt in case your baby spills or spits up

Lastly, keep the following things in mind when purchasing and packing a baby diaper bag.

  • It should have plenty of pockets, enough for storing diaper bag essentials in and the contents of your purse. Extra pockets will also help you stay organized.
  • Choose a style with easily accessible pockets so you can change your baby’s diaper at a moment’s notice.
  • For easy cleaning and care, your nursing bag ought to feature a waterproof lining.
  • Stash resealable bags inside for separating snacks and medications. Also, make a point of stowing similar items together for efficiency.
  • Create two different baby diaper bags — a larger one for vacations and road trips, plus a smaller option for running errands.
  • Consider using a diaper backpack as your nursing bag.

Most parents already know the number one diaper bag essentials — diapers, wipes, changing pads, hand sanitizer, and so on. But there are countless other convenience items that will make traveling with your little one a breeze. Before buying and filling your nursing bag, review Flo’s comprehensive checklist to guarantee you’ve got all your bases covered.

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