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What's In Your Diaper Bag?

Katlyn Joy | 2, April 2012


It's the purse you never knew you could have. Whether you take home the freebie from the hospital, buy a standard issue one of vinyl and decorated with ducks, or splurge on a designer variety that must be dry cleaned, the diaper bag is a must have for any busy mother.

The Essentials

In any diaper bag are the bare bones basics. These include diapers, wipes, change of clothes for baby, bottles, burp rags and pacifiers. How much of everything should you tote about? Depends on how long you'll be out, but whatever the time you expect to be gone add another 50 percent just to be safe. If you bottle feed, consider prepacked and premeasured bottles that require only adding water to mix. Bring along a bottle of water to mix the bottles then. Diapers should be plenteous as well. You never know when baby will go through a quick series of changes. The change of clothes should include everything from undershirt to socks. Babies seem determined to have a bm blow out when you have absolutely nothing clean to change them into.

Preferred Options

If you have space, always carry a spare blanket, a hat, sweater or jacket for baby and an assortment of baby amusements such as little favorite toys and books. They may just save your sanity in a traffic jam or when your appointment is running over time. Consider a plastic bag of finger foods for babies old enough to partake, and maybe even a wet washcloth for a good clean up afterwards. For babies who eat solids, carry along a jar or two of food as well as a spare spoon. A nice changing pad that tucks into the bag is always welcome, but if not a blanket can do well in a pinch.

Good Ideas

If you have the room, a clean shirt for you may well come in handy especially if your little one is prone to spitting up. While you might not fuss and cry, if you get stuck anywhere you might appreciate that bottle of water and granola bar you packed for yourself for such emergencies. If you have a baby carrier that is easy to fold up, consider bringing it in the bag too. You might appreciate it if you have theĀ  chance to walk about a bit wherever you go.


A camera and batteries should never be far from any baby. You will definitely have a priceless moment if you don't have these packed and with you everywhere you go. Consider bringing along a small grooming kit, such as baby nail clippers, comb and brush set and lotion or powder. You may also find it well worth the space to bringĀ  bottle of baby Tylenol or Motrin and any other medicines your little may need such as anti-diarrheal medicine, colic drops or teething gel. You should have a small supply of bandaids and antibiotic cream, tweezers and a thermometer. Like all things, you will need them the first time you decide to leave them out of the diaper bag.

How to Decide

While one mom swears by carrying a spare blanket, another insists it's essential to have two complete sets of outfits for baby along at all times. Every so often dump out the whole bag and examine the contents. After throwing away the lint, stale cheerios and the broken rattle take a good hard look. How important is each item and when is the last time you actually needed it? Take stock and choose wisely. An overloaded diaper bag will give you a back ache and will seem to have an extra hard gravitational pull.

Some moms pack a couple bags, one to carry everywhere and one that you may keep in the car which holds less used, but potentially important things.

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