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What Should I Pack in the Diaper Bag?


Mother changing baby boy (9-12 months) on floor, father on sofa
John Howard/Iconica/Getty Images
Question: What Should I Pack in the Diaper Bag?
A reader asks:

"I'm a new mom and it always seems like I'm forgetting something when we leave the house. Do you have a checklist for packing a diaper bag?"

Answer: Here are some items you can pack in the diaper bag to make sure you're prepared for whatever may come up when you're out and about. Remember, some items may vary depending on whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding and whether your child is eating solid foods.

Diapering and Clothing

  • 6-8 diapers, depending on how long your outing is going to be
  • travel-sized container of wipes
  • changing pad
  • diaper rash ointment
  • 2 changes of clothing
  • ziplock bags for soiled clothing and diaper disposal
  • hat(s) appropriate for shade or warmth


  • bottles, if formula feeding
  • cans of formula or containers of pre-measured formula
  • burp cloths
  • bottled water for you (and baby if using powdered or concentrated formula)
  • jarred food and spoons
  • portable snacks for you
  • 2-3 bibs

Toys and Soothing Items

  • 2 blankets
  • pacifiers
  • comfort toys
  • teething rings
  • small, durable books (board books work great)

Safety and Emergencies

  • band-aids
  • hand sanitizer
  • antibiotic ointment
  • cell phone
  • tissues
  • sunblock
  • fever reducer/pain reliever like Tylenol
  • $20 bill and some quarters

Diaper Packing Tips

  • Pack plenty of diapers. You'll want one for about every two hours you plan to be out. Pack a few extra in case of diarrhea.

  • When choosing a blanket, keep the weather conditions in mind.

  • If you have a habit of forgetting keys, pack an extra set in the diaper bag to keep with you. This is also good if you have a car that auto-locks when the driver's door shuts. You may have grabbed the bag and not the baby, yet, so you can still get him out of the car.

  • If you know your child has allergies, keep a liquid antihistamine like Benadryl in the bag. If allergies are severe, you might want to get a prescription for an Epi-pen to keep in the bag at all times.

  • You never know when you're going to want to snap a shot of a precious moment, so keep a disposable camera in the bag. This is also good in case you are in a fender bender, you can take pictures of the damage on the spot.

  • If you formula feed, you may not use powdered formula. It is one of the most convenient types to carry in a diaper bag, however, since before it's mixed it doesn't require refrigeration or ice packs and it can still be used after the can is opened. Just measure the powdered amount in a clean, empty bottle and pack a few bottled waters to mix when you're ready.

Do you have a question you'd like to see answered? You can send your questions to me at babyparenting@aboutguide.com and I will answer them here on the site.

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