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17 Diaper Bag Must-Haves That Everyone Forgets

Meagan is a mother to two young children, a freelance writer, and a waitress. She has spent countless hours trying to stretch a dollar.

What to pack in your diaper bag: an essentials checklist

What to pack in your diaper bag: an essentials checklist

Being a parent is a tough enough job without the added stress of life's "oh no" moments. Having the right stuff in your diaper bag can seriously reduce these moments. Check out this list of essential items you should always keep in your diaper bag.

1. Diapers

How could anyone forget to pack diapers, in a diaper bag, for their baby? Well, I'm here to tell you we've all done it. It's hard enough running errands with a baby and so easy to forget when you've used the last diaper you had, which is why I always kept an extra one rolled up in the changing pad. An emergency diaper!

2. Wipes

Again, a pretty obvious thing, but super easy to forget until an emergency comes up unexpectedly. Try to keep an eye on your supply and tuck a backup package in there when supplies start getting low.

Remember to bring a few extra onesies!

Remember to bring a few extra onesies!

3. Change of Clothes

Parents everywhere will agree that you can never have too many changes of clothes in a diaper bag. Kids find a million ways to get messy, but that's okay when you're prepared. My daughter is four and I still keep outfits in the car for "just-in-case" moments.

4. Pacifiers

Most babies have their favorite (even if they weren't their parents' choice) pacifiers, and it never leaves their side. Having an extra one in the diaper bag is always a good idea because you never know when one is going to get thrown on the ground or get lost.

5. Burp Cloth

This one's kind of a no-brainer. Babies spit up, and you probably don't want to walk around with that on your sleeve all day.

6. Light Blanket

Babies' temperatures fluctuate a lot when they're first born, and it's important that you're prepared for all types of conditions. It might be a hundred degrees outside, but the grocery store will probably have air conditioning.

7. A Snack for You

One of the biggest mistakes a parent makes is forgetting about themselves, and it's easy to do. Remember to keep something packed away for when hunger strikes, especially if you're breastfeeding.

8. Sunscreen

Protecting our baby is at the top of our to-do list as a parent, and we cannot forget about their delicate skin.


9. Bottles

If you know you're not going to be long or going far, you can mix up a bottle for the road. If you are going to be out longer then formula might stay good, empty bottles are always a good idea.

10. Formula

You might think you're only going to be gone 20 minutes, and then you get a flat tire and end up waiting for roadside assistance half the day. Never leave home without a backup of formula. If you don't want to take the entire can, you can measure it out ahead of time and store it in small Ziplock containers.

11. Bottled Water

Two reasons why this is a good idea:

  1. You'll have it handy if you need to mix up a bottle for your baby.
  2. You'll have it handy for when you get thirsty.

A spare bottle of water can be a lifesaver in a pinch.

12. Changing Pad

While most places will have a changing table available, you cannot guarantee it, so make sure you have a changing pad with you just in case.

13. Hand Sanitizer

Health providers are now saying it's good to expose young children to some germs, but we still want to keep them safe from the dangerous ones. This way if someone wants to hold or touch the baby, you can give them a squirt.


14. Chapstick

With all of the things we have to keep track of, it's easy to forget the little things. Chapstick and lotion are perfect examples of these small pleasures that can make a big difference.

15. Diaper Cream

You never know when a rash will occur and you don't want to keep your baby waiting for relief.

16. Teething Gel and Toys

Teething is a nightmare for parents, but it's not a picnic for your infant either. Teething toys will help them soothe their tiny gums and keep them entertained.

17. Toys

Because what kid doesn't love toys?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Meagan Ireland


Meagan Ireland (author) from Maine on April 11, 2018:

My daughter is finally leaving diapers behind, but our "diaper bag" has changed a lot over the years! Time does fly. It goes by way to fast!

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 11, 2018:

Oh Meagan, the diaper years seem so long ago. Actually they were for me and my wife. Our daughter will be 45 in a couple of weeks and our son will be 47 next month. I really don't remember taking all of the stuff along for our diaper days. It just shows how times have really changed. Good advice for the new parents, Meagan. You have written a nice informative article.