0 - 12 Months

Diaper bag must-haves from real parents (and yes, all 30 are essential)

Man holding a baby wearing a backpack

To make life easier when you’re on the go with your baby, we talked to real parents and assembled a list of their must-have diaper bag essentials. They weighed in on what to pack, plus offered a few diaper bag hacks. All that’s left now is for you to pack the bag and relax, knowing you’ll be ready for whatever the day throws at you. 

Here are the 30 essentials for your diaper bag from the experts who use them every day.

Go hands-free:

  • Many parents prefer a backpack-style diaper bag, like this one from the Motherhood Collection by Fawn Designs. This style keeps everything on your back and out of your way, allowing you to move freely while caring for your baby.
  • For a completely hands-free experience on the go, pair your backpack with a Solly Baby Wrap. This wrap mimics the womb for your baby and keeps them close to their number one comfort item—you ❤️
  • A lot of parents say their diaper bag tends to double as personal storage. Use it to tote your wallet, phone, keys, and other grownup essentials as well as everything you need for your baby.
  • For the ultimate diaper bag hack, keep all of your items organized into zipper bags for easy access: one for diaper supplies, one for extra clothes, one for you, etc. Rotate them to lighten your load, carrying in the diaper bag only what you need for a particular outing.

For changing diapers:

Adult putting colorful items into their diaper bag
  • Diapers—about 3-5 depending on how long you’ll be out of the house—and wipes are the most obvious diaper bag essentials 😉 
  • A small, refillable wipes container helps keep the weight of the bag to a minimum; just remember to make sure you’re not running low. A second container for a handful of disinfectant wipes comes in handy for wiping down the communal diaper changing stations found in public restrooms. 
  • You can purchase reusable or disposable travel changing mats to serve as a barrier between your baby and the table, or repurpose a swaddle blanket in a pinch.
  • Carrying a tube of soothing Hello Bello cream in case of a diaper rash emergency is always a good idea.
  • A wet bag—particularly essential if you use cloth diapers—gets your dirty diapers back home and into the laundry hamper without soiling the rest of your bag’s contents. Wet bags are also great for transporting dirty clothes after inevitable baby messes like excess drool or spit-up 🙃 
  • If you’re using disposable diapers and plan to be somewhere without access to garbage (hiking, nature walks, etc.) a disposable dirty diaper bag can help until you find a trash can. 
  • Give yourself a spritz of antibacterial hand sanitizer once your baby is refreshed.

Extras for baby:

  • Babies tend to need frequent wardrobe changes, so keep at least 2 fresh outfits in your diaper bag whenever you’re out and about. Rompers like these from Rags store easily and don’t take up a ton of space in your bag. Just remember to swap them out as the weather changes and your baby grows 😉
  • Be prepared for any kind of weather with sunscreen (for babies over 6 months), a hat—either for sun or colder weather—a windbreaker or jacket, rain gear, and extra socks.
  • Bandana bibs are an adorably functional way to manage all the drooling babies tend to do once they’re about 4 months old. Keep an extra handy in case your baby soaks through the first one. 
  • A few of your baby’s favorite smaller Lovevery Playthings can keep them busy in the car, stroller, or at a restaurant.
  • A cart cover is helpful for keeping your baby comfortable and preventing them from touching the cart during grocery runs.

Feeding baby:

  • Breastfeeding in public is legal in all 50 states, but a nursing cover is nice to have if you prefer more privacy when you’re out and about. If you expect to pump while you’re away from home, make sure to bring your pumping supplies with you. A small, portable hand pump is a great option if you’ll be without electricity. 
  • Expressed milk can be carried in bottles without refrigeration for about 4 hours. If you’ll be away from home for longer periods, pack your milk with ice packs in an insulated container
  • Use a formula dispenser to carry your formula in convenient portion sizes, and consider bringing a little extra just in case. Pack your own water for mixing your baby’s bottles in an insulated water bottle.
  • Pack some snacks in a spillproof container once your baby is about 6 months old, to keep them full and happy and entertain them when they get impatient.

Eating out:

  • Silicone bibs, like this one from Bella Tunno, keep messes contained at home and away. They’re waterproof, fold well for travel, and can be washed or wiped clean, dried, and packed right back into your bag for next time. 
  • Silicone placemats are a great option for protecting your baby’s eating surface when a high chair isn’t available. A designated diaper bag spoon means you’ll always have one with you when you need it.
  • Continue your baby’s open cup practice away from home by taking your Lovevery Drinking Cup with you on the road. Its size and durability make it easy to transport in your diaper bag. 
  • Speech pathologists and other professionals prefer your baby use a straw cup (over a sippy cup) for your baby’s oral motor development. Straw cups are a good spill-proof option when your baby is in their car seat or stroller.

For you:

  • In the weeks right after birth, keep some recovery items with you at all times to feel more comfortable when you’re away from home. 
  • Keep a small supply of vitamins and supplements for those times you forget to take them at home. No need to pack the whole bottle; a few in a pill box is plenty.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, have an extra set of nursing pads in your diaper bag in case of leaks.
  • Dietary experts recommend protein bars, hard-boiled eggs, jerky, or individually wrapped cheese or nuts to maintain your energy on the go. Pre-cut fruits and veggies are also good options. Staying hydrated is another way you can maintain energy levels throughout the day, so include a CustoMiiR for yourself ❤️
  • If you have hair long enough to pull back, tuck a few extra hair ties in your bag to keep your hair out of your way (and out of your baby’s hands and mouth).
  • Finally, an extra t-shirt or change of clothes for you can be a lifesaver for those times when you and your baby both need to do a quick wardrobe change 🙃


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Posted in: 0 - 12 Months, Eating and Drinking, Child Development

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