Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Diaper Bag Essentials for The Most Prepared Parents

Diaper Bag Essentials for The Most Prepared Parents

Every parent’s worst nightmare is soothing a public “situation” with their little ones, reaching into their diaper bag for the perfect solution only to find it missing. You can blame your partner, blame your dog for barking while you were packing, blame your tired brain that has been juggling a million lists and schedules and to-dos for months, but either way, you have an expecting little one staring up at you and you have empty hands. In these moments, you vow to never forget a single thing your little one may need while you’re out. Enter the diaper bag checklist.

Parenting isn’t easy, but some smart preparation and some wisdom from those of us who have done this a time or two before can help ease those tougher moments. Here is everything you need to pack your diaper bag with so you can be a parent prepared for anything.

What You Need a Diaper Bag For

Diaper bags are the ultimate home of everything you need for your baby on the go. You can use any type of bag you’d like, but you may find extra utility in some of the features of diaper bags made specifically for baby products — insulated compartments, extra pockets made for each item on your list and extra options to secure the diaper bag onto the stroller. It also may be helpful to have a dedicated bag for all your baby products so you don’t have to repack or reconfigure your entire baby bag checklist each time you switch bags. Whether you opt for a small diaper bag, a large diaper bag, a luxury diaper bag, a leather diaper bag, a contemporary diaper bag, a diaper bag backpack or a tote diaper bag, having a dedicated bag with a place for each item will help you maintain some sense of organization and clarity amid the chaos that is parenting little ones.

women wearing black backpack diaper bag with rose gold studs watching sunsetting over water

Diaper Bag Checklist

For the diaper bag minimalist (if such a thing can exist), here are the basic items that we suggest you have in your diaper bag. 

  • Diapers

    Named a “diaper bag” for a reason, these are arguably the most important part of this new parenting bag. You’ll want to pack some diapers to keep your baby clean and fresh throughout your adventure.

  • Wipes

    Some may argue that the diaper bag should be renamed the wipe bag for all the utility these things bring, especially as the baby gets older. These are essential for diaper-changing duties but also really come in handy for messy snacks, milk spills, and every other unexpected thing you can imagine that you’ll want to clean up when you have a little one around.

  • Diaper Cream

    Whatever your go-to is, you’ll want it on hand to keep that bum rash-free.
    Close up of changing pad peeking out of a black leather backpack diaper bag
  • Changing Pad

    This could be argued as essential for some or an extra for others. You’ll be grateful you have it when you run into the bathroom with a less-than-clean-looking changing station or when you’re in a place that may not have any options for your baby, and you have to improvise. Some diaper bags, like this one, come with a changing pad!

  • Burp Cloths

    When my baby was young, I think my top question to ask other moms was “Is this much spit-up normal?” The jury is still out on the answer, and my baby is now a healthy toddler so I’m assuming it’s all okay, but I kept at least three burp clothes in my diaper bag, plus some more in my car, at all times for the first year or so months.

  • Extra Baby Clothes

    When the mess can’t be cleaned, you’ll be so grateful you packed an extra set of clothes to change your baby into.

  • Hand Sanitizer

    If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself changing baby diapers in some interesting spots (the floor of a swanky NYC bridal shop we were at for my sister, park benches, cars). You’ll be glad you have a solution to keep your hands clean when there isn’t a restroom nearby.

  • Nursing Cover

    These come in handy in a variety of situations — feeding on the go, wrapping the car seat or stroller for some darkness for nap, and even a blanket, if you need one. Whether you are breastfeeding or not, this multi-use item is a must in your diaper bag!

  • Bottles & Supplies (ice packs)

    Of course, if your baby is taking bottles, you’ll likely want one or two on the go, depending on how long you’ll be out. Many diaper bags come with a spot for these, as well as insulated pouches so that you can keep them on ice. All of these diaper bags have designated insulated pouches.
  • Snacks

    If you’ve entered the snack phase for your baby yet, you’ll know that snacks are key to keeping a baby full and entertained while you’re out. I’m guilty of always having my own snack too!
  • Phone, Wallet, Chapstick, Keys & More

    Since you’ve swapped your cute little purse for this diaper bag, you can create a little spot just for you! Make you pack parent essentials, too – phones, wallets, chapstick, and keys. But don’t worry, with Baldwin Baby Company diaper bags, you don’t have to sacrifice your beautiful and stylish bag for just any diaper bag – all of our designs were crafted to keep us moms feeling empowered and embrace motherhood with grace and glamor.

Diaper Bag Extras

  • Extra Clothes for You

    Try as they might to avoid this, most parents will find themselves covered in something they’d rather not be. These extra clothes for you will come in handy when you least expect it.

  • Portable Bottle Warmer

    Some say this is for high-maintenance parents, so you can count me as proudly high-maintenance if that’s the case. I love our little portable bottle warmer and use it a lot. If you want to keep it minimal, you could just use the portable bottle warmer as your main bottle warmer at home, too, and bring it on the go when you need it. See? Who is high maintenance now?

  • Disposable Bags That Can Be Tied

    These are not always a need-to-have, but they are certainly a nice-to-have when there isn’t a closed trash can to toss an offensively odored diaper in. In these cases, it’s great to toss the diaper into a plastic bag, tie it up, and throw it away worry-free. These are also great receptacles for soiled clothing until you can get home and wash it. 
Baby boy wearing charcoal gray bib with Baldwin Baby Co logo printed on it in a lighter gray
    • Baby Bibs

      Whether you’re in the drooling phase, the eating phase, or both, bibs are fantastic for keeping clothes a little dryer and cleaner. Having an extra dribble bib, bandana bib, or silicone food bib on hand can save you from outfit changes.  
    • Toys

      Spinners, teethers, fun books — it’s always nice to have things that make your little one happy.

    • Sunscreen

      Once your baby is more than 6 months old, you can start using sunscreen to protect them from the sun. Keep your sunscreen handy for when you aren’t able to be in the shade. There are fun sunscreen dispensers you can buy to make the application much easier.

    • Bug Spray

      I always keep a natural bug repellent in my bag for my baby and me. It smells nice, doesn’t have harsh chemicals, and if it makes those mosquitos think twice before biting me, I’m all for it.

    • Your Water Bottle

      Parents need hydration, too! Be sure to pack a bottle of water for yourself if you have some space in your diaper bag.  

    How Many Diapers Should You Carry in Your Bag?

    It’s recommended that a baby be changed every 2-3 hours when babies are young and less frequently as they age. So you can do the math and figure out how long you’ll be out, and then maybe pack a couple extra on top of that just to be safe. I always kept around 6-8 diapers in the bag because that’s what made me feel secure leaving the house with a little one. 

    The Car Diaper Caddy: A Convenient Backup

    heather gray diaper caddy made of felt packed with baby essential sitting in car seat

    While the diaper bag is stocked to cover any and every outing, sometimes it helps to have a backup that doesn’t need to be carried around. That’s where a car diaper caddy comes in handy. This is especially useful for items that aren’t everyday necessities but could become lifesavers in specific situations.

    In your car diaper caddy, consider including items like:

    • A spare diaper bag: For those times when you might accidentally leave the house without the main diaper bag.
    • Extra clothes for both baby and you: Because messes aren’t limited to just the little ones.
    • Seasonal items: Such as a blanket during winter or an extra hat, swimsuit, sunscreen for sunny days.
    • Larger toys: That are too bulky for the diaper bag but can entertain your baby during longer car trips.
    • Travel potty: For those early potty training days, road trips, or the most inconvenient times for when your little one just has to go!

    This caddy acts as a stationary supplement to your diaper bag, allowing you to lighten your load while still being prepared. Think of it as your mobile storage unit, ensuring you have everything you might need without weighing down your daily carry.

    Download our must have Diaper Bag Checklist for free!