Top Diaper Bag Essentials

Are you planning to leave the house for an extended period with your baby, such as a day trip or a long outing? You’ve probably figured out that having a diaper bag with you is essential. However, it’s always a good idea to pack your bag with some diaper bag essentials.

diaper bag essentials for baby and toddler

Although you may not use some of these ‘essentials’ often, having them handy is prudent especially if you want to have a stress free outing.

This post is all about diaper bag essentials for dads. It may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more details.

What to pack in a diaper bag

Strictly speaking, what you pack in your diaper bag can change with your child’s age. However, these are the general items you’re going to need for at least the first few years with your baby/toddler. A good rule of thumb is to be prepared for any situation you may encounter or plan for what you may need at places you frequently visit

  • Diapers
  • Baby Wipes
  • Changing Pad
  • Diaper Rash Cream
  • Spare Onesies
  • Pacifier
  • Burp Cloth
  • Sanitizer/ Sanitizing Wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Portable First Aid Kit
  • Summer Hat
  • Crayons/Toys
  • Snacks
  • Water Bottle
  • Bag for Dirty Diapers

Diaper bag extras

Although not essentials, its always useful to be prepared for any situation. Also, most new parents tend to neglect their own comfort when it comes to diaper bag essentials. A less stressed parents almost always leads to a lesser stressed baby. Are you at an amusement park and tired of lugging things around? Or was the weather forecast wrong and you’ve got the sun beating down all afternoon? These diaper bag extras will definitely come in handy

Diaper bag essentials to shop


A good rule thumb is to change your baby’s diaper every 2.5 to 3 hours. which means packing about 6 diapers is ideal. This covers you for the entire day and offers some protection in case your kiddo has a blowout or two.

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The second most popular item among everyone’s diaper bag essentials. Most diaper bags now have a dedicated pouch for baby wipes. So pack an entire pouch – they last a while.

Changing Pad

While you could get by with disposable changing pads, it’ll be better to get a packable changing pad. They usually are very slim and come with their own diaper disposal bag which comes in handy if you’re on a long road trip or out camping.

Diaper Rash Cream

Both my kids have responded well with Boudreaux’s rash cream. If your kids have sensitive skin, then other brands like Desitin or Aquaphor may work well.

Spare Onesies

Have at least two change of clothes handy in your diaper bag. Instead of full outfits, I like to pack basic neutral onesies because they take less space and are comfy enough during hot summer days.


Both my babies never really took to pacifiers. However, I did find them useful to distract them when they got extremely fussy. If your kiddos are pacifier friendly, then you may also consider buying a pacifier case.

Burp Cloths

Burp Cloths are pretty versatile. You could use it as a burp cloth, impromptu blanket, nursing cover, sunshade or even as a makeshift neck bandanna.

Mini First Aid Kit

You don’t need a full on emergency kit but one of those travel sized first aid kits are great to stash in the diaper bag. They’re also a great spot to store loose cash or valuables. Not many people out there stealing first aid kits right? 😉

Sanitizer/Sanitizing Wipes

Ever heard of Shigella? Or had your toddler projectile vomit? The risk of that can be drastically reduced by just washing and sanitizing your hands. Now some times, the wash room may not be close by while a pocket sanitizer can be.


Most kids generally don’t like the feeling of thick (and sometimes greasy) sunscreen on their skin. Ironically, those are the ones that offer most protection from the sun. I’ve tried a few brands and my kids seem to tolerate Baby Bum Sunscreen SPF50 the most.

Packing your diaper bag isn’t a stressful process. Just include the diaper bag essentials and you’ll do just fine. Just don’t forget the kid after packing all this stuff.

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