May 31, 2023


As a new parent you’ve probably already discovered the need to be highly strategic with what you pack. Every square inch of space matters immensely, and then there’s the lingering fear that you’ve left something behind. The truth is that you probably did forget something important because being a new parent is really hard!

To help you stay on top of the constant demands we’ve assembled a fail-proof list of exactly what goes in a diaper bag. Write this list down, print it off, or bookmark this page as a quick reminder when you’re headed out.

Selecting a Diaper Bag 

Before you even start packing, we have to emphasize that picking the right diaper bag actually makes a huge difference. If you don’t have a diaper bag yet, let’s first look at some of the key features you want with whatever brand and model you choose. 

  • Lots of storage space is a must. From small pockets for keys and phones to strategically sized storage for bottles, you will use it all!
  • Easy access to wipes is crucial. You can’t anticipate a spill, and changing diapers on the go is never easy. Make sure you can reach and grab the wipes with one hand - which means they’ll likely be on the outside of your bag.
  • It has to be easy to carry. People prefer all different ways of carrying their diaper bags (shoulder bags, satchel bags, tote bags, backpacks, etc.), but what matters most is that it’s comfortable and practical for your needs.

The Definitive List of What Goes in a Diaper Bag

Prepare for lots of snacks. Eating while out of the house is easier when you’ve got the right gear. 


  • Silicone snack cups and bowls

Once your baby is ready to start feeding themselves they’ll love constantly munching on snacks independently. Small silicone snack cups can hold fruit, crackers, or other snacks and keep them from spilling out. They pack easily into an average side diaper bag and will keep you from needing to bring the whole bag along - instead, bring only what you need!
    • Sippy water cups

    Keep water or juice on hand with a leak-proof sippy cup. We’re a big fan of cups that close over the top when not in use, just for an extra layer of protection when you’re storing liquids in the diaper bag. This cup from Beaba has a closable lid, straw, and convenient handles to help your child keep their grip.


      Many moms will have to breastfeed their babies while out of the house, and no diaper bag essentials list would be complete without a few critical nursing items.

      • Nursing cover

      Maintain your privacy even when nursing in public spaces. A nursing cover should fold up easily and store in a side pocket in any diaper bag. Choose a nursing cover that has flexible material around an open neck as this will hold the nursing cover away from your baby’s face without requiring the use of your hands. This stylish nursing cover from Bebe Au Lait hits every requirement and looks great while worn.
        • Breastpump

        If breastfeeding isn’t possible, or your baby is sleeping (or if you just need to pump excess milk), having a small breast pump available (especially when your baby is still young) is a great idea. The battery powered electric pump from Medela is small enough to be easily portable. Medela also makes a hand pump version that can slide into a purse or exterior diaper bag pocket.
          • Burp cloths

          Babies are always a little bit gassy after feeding, and it’s very common for them to spit up - often on you. Two or three extra burp cloths will help you stay clean, and wipe up unanticipated spills or spit up.  


            You’ll change many, many diapers at home and on the go. Eventually the whole process will become second nature, and doing a quick diaper change in your open trunk won’t feel strange at all. However, leaving even one critical item at home can make a real mess. Pack the supplies below and you’ll be covered.

            • Wipes

            Running out of wipes is beyond a bummer, it can actually cause you to leave your child in a dirty diaper for too long. This can cause your baby to develop diaper rash and other irritations. Put a dedicated package of diaper wipes in your diaper bag that only gets used when you’re out. When that package runs low, switch it out for a new one right away!
              • Diapers

                • Just like wipes, you have to keep more than one diaper in your bag at all times. We recommend leaving unused diapers in your diaper bag - don’t unpack them. This way, when you’re headed out again next time, you’ve already got a headstart. 
                • If you’re unsure of where the day will take you, it’s a good idea to keep a spare swim diaper in the diaper bag as well. Our diaper bag essentials list would be useless if it didn’t prepare you for an impromptu visit to a splash park or pool!
                • Of course, you’ll want a convenient area to store dirty diapers to make sure that they don’t stink up or soil other items in your diaper bag. Sealable bags made for holding dirty diapers are definitely required for any diaper bag.
              • Changing Pad 

              You can’t control when your baby will need to be changed, or where! Portable changing pads are slim and flat. However, their highly durable outer surface and cushioned interior means that you can protect your baby from unclean surfaces and keep them comfortable while you clean up.
                • Diaper cream

                Diaper rash can occur at any time and it can quickly become severe. If your baby is in a stroller or car seat for long periods of time, the constant chafing only makes things worse. A small tube of diaper cream is perfect for application during the change, and you’ll likely want to keep a tube in the house and some in the diaper bag, permanently. 


                  No matter your child’s age, they’ll have episodes of incurable boredom while away from their friends, playrooms or backyards. Fun toys and engaging books will help them entertain themselves on those long car rides, in a grocery line, or sitting at the beach.

                  • Small, portable chewy toys for teething can preoccupy a newborn or young baby until their next nap. Rubber or plastic keys are a classic, tried and true toy that are perfect for fidgety fingers. A plush toy can also provide some much needed comfort to a distressed or over tired little one.
                  • Board books can tuck nicely into the pockets and your child may enjoy looking at pictures or sounding out words while riding in the car. 


                  Depending on the day that you have planned, here are a few extras to finish our list of what goes in a diaper bag:

                  • Sunscreen to protect your baby’s sensitive skin during prolonged exposure.
                  • Hats or gloves for cold weather, which can stay in your diaper bag all winter. 
                  • One extra change of clothes can be a lifesaver if your baby leaks through their diaper or has a particularly messy meal.
                  • A small blanket can turn a patch of grass into a great play area, or help keep your baby warm in an air conditioned environment.
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