The Essential Diaper Bag Checklist for Moms On-the-Go

the essential diaper bag checklist for moms on-the-go free pdf!

Embarking on an adventure with your little one can be both exciting and daunting when you want to make sure you have all the right items in your diaper bag.

You don’t want to forget anything, but you also don’t want to overpack and carry around a diaper bag that weights more than your toddler. I’ve been there! That’s why I’ve put together this essential diaper bag checklist. I’ve kept it simple, only including must-have items. Moms are on-the-go, we don’t have time to start from scratch packing a diaper bag each time we’re heading out with our kids. So go ahead and download this diaper bag checklist, and pack your diaper bag with these motherhood essentials!

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How to Choose a Diaper Bag

A diaper bag is one of the items you will use most as a mom. You want to make sure you choose a diaper bag that meets all of your wants and needs. Keep the following options in mind when choosing your diaper bag.


Think about how much space you want or need in your diaper bag. Do you plan on having more children? Then you may want a larger bag to accommodate necessities for multiple children. It’s also nice to have a bag with lots of pockets so you can stay organized.


Diaper bag color is really a personal choice. You can have a bright diaper bag that stands out in a sea of other diaper bags. Or perhaps you want something neutral that goes with everything. If you’d like your husband to carry the diaper bag, make sure it’s in a color he would be comfortable carrying too.


Design is another personal choice. There are many options to choose from – tote, purse, messenger bag, and backpack. I’m a huge fan of a backpack diaper bag. It’s a lot easier to carry a baby or hold their hand when your hands are free.


A tough and durable diaper bag is important since you want it to last at least a couple of years. A heavy and bulky diaper bag would be too cumbersome to carry while also handling a child. Diaper bags come in various materials such as canvas, leather, nylon, and waterproof coating. It’s also convenient to have a diaper bag that is easy to clean since they get dirty very easily.

mom packing diaper bag with checklist items

Diaper Bag Checklist Items for Changing

Changing supplies are probably the most important items to keep well-stocked in your diaper bag.


It’s a good idea to keep 4-8 diapers in your diaper bag at all times. Diapers are one item where it’s better to err on the side of too much than too little.

Baby wipes

Wipes are just as essential as diapers. They come in handy for diaper changes and when kids get messy (which is pretty much all the time!).

Diaper rash cream

Diaper rash cream is another essential item for diaper changes to soothe a baby’s bottom.

Changing pad

Most diaper bags come with changing pads. If yours didn’t, you definitely want to get one for public diaper changes to be more sanitary.

Plastic bags for soiled diapers

It’s good to have some plastic bags for when you have to change a baby in the car or at someone’s house and don’t want to smell those stinky diapers.

Extra baby clothes

Spare outfits are definitely essential for diaper bags! Depending on how long you will be out, one or two outfits should be good enough. You can also include a onesie or two if the weather is hot, and a sleeper if you’ll be out late.

Diaper Bag Checklist Items for Feeding

It’s also important to be well-stocked with feeding supplies when you’re out with your baby.

Burp cloth

Babies spit up…a lot…so packing one or two burp clothes for feedings will make clean up much easier. It will also help protect whoever is holding the baby after a feeding.

Nursing cover

If you’re a nursing mom and want some privacy for feedings, pack a nursing cover for some extra coverage.

Bottles filled with formula or breast milk

One of the biggest feeding essentials is one or more (depending on how long you will be out) bottles filled with formula or breast milk.

Insulated bottle bag

Some diaper bags come with an insulated pouch where you can keep bottles at the appropriate temperature. If your diaper bag doesn’t come with one then you definitely want to pack an insulated bottle bag.


If you’re feeding your baby out somewhere then a cute bib is an absolute must!


If your baby is starting to eat real food then snacks are an essential item too. Puffs have always been a lifesaver for us.

Other Diaper Bag Checklist Items for Babies

Here are some miscellaneous items that are good to include in your diaper bag.


If your baby likes pacifiers then you definitely don’t want to leave home without one. It’s also good to include one or two additional pacifiers. There have been times when we’re out somewhere and lost one, so now we always bring backups too.


A swaddle blanket can help soothe a baby and it is also good for keeping them warm if the AC is high. Swaddle blankets also come in handy if you have to put your baby down somewhere.


If it’s a sunny day and you’ll be outdoors for a while don’t forget to pack some sunscreen.


A sun hat is also good to include for a sunny day to provide some shade for your baby.

Baby lotion

You never know when a baby will be irritated by some raw skin, so it’s great to have some baby lotion on hand in case you need it.

Teething toys

Both my girls loved teething toys. My youngest still likes to use them as a comfort item and she’s almost 3! I always liked to include one or two in our diaper bag when they were using them on a regular basis.

Small toys/books

It’s always good to keep some small toys or books in your diaper bag for when you need to keep your baby entertained at a restaurant or in line somewhere. I found it easier to have a toy or two designated as diaper bag toys and just kept them in the bag all the time.

Diaper Bag Checklist Items for Parents

You can’t forget about packing some essential items for Mom and Dad too!

toddler essentials for diaper bag checklist

Additional Diaper Bag Checklist Items for Toddlers and Kids

If you have other children too you don’t want to forget mommy must-haves for toddler moms (and older kids too!).

Extra underwear/pull-ups

If your toddler is in the middle of potty training you definitely want to include some extra underwear or pull-ups. My youngest has gotten really good at using the potty away from home but we still like to carry along some extra underwear in case of an accident.

Spare outfit

It’s also good to include a spare outfit in case of an accident or other mishap.

Toddler bib

Toddlers are messy eaters! I love these toddler bibs since they catch a lot of the mess.

Food pouches

Pouches are essential to pack in your diaper bag since they are so easy to eat on-the-go. Both my girls are impatient waiters so they’d go through a pouch or two while waiting at a restaurant.

Toddler snacks

Snacks – goldfish, pretzels, whatever your kids love to snack on – are an essential item to pack too.

Sippy cup/water bottle

Don’t leave home without a sippy cup or water bottle! My girls get so thirsty when they’re running around.


Toddlers always seem to have a runny nose – whether they are sick or not – so it’s good to have some tissues in your diaper bag.

First aid kit

A travel first aid kit is good to have on hand in your diaper bag since you never know when your child will get a cut.


My oldest always says she’s cold when we’re at a restaurant so I like to keep a jacket or cardigan on hand for her.

Portable potty seat

If your child is still getting used to using the potty it’s good to keep a portable potty seat in your diaper bag to make them more comfortable when using the bathroom.

Comfort item

Your child likely has a stuffed animal or other travel toys for toddlers that they are attached to. If it’s small enough to fit in your diaper bag make sure you pack it!

Activity books

Activity books are a must-have to keep kids entertained at a restaurant or party. Wipe-clean books are great since they can be used again and again!


My girls love their writing tablets. They can doodle, play games like tic-tac-toe and keep themselves entertained. They just erase and start again!

Hair ties

If you have a girl, don’t leave home without a hair tie or two. My oldest likes to wear her hair down but I like to have hair ties on hand so I can put her hair up if she’s about to start running around.

mom packing diaper bag with checklist items

A well-packed diaper bag can make outings with your little one much smoother and stress-free.

By following this comprehensive diaper bag checklist, you can ensure you have all the essentials on hand to tackle any situation that may arise when you are away from home. By keeping your diaper bag organized and stocked with the necessary supplies, you can enjoy your time out and about with your little one, whether it’s for lunch or more adventurous yes day ideas. You’ll be well-equipped to handle whatever comes your way.

I’ve created a printable diaper bag checklist for you that you can download now for free!

the essential diaper bag checklist, mom's best friend mockup

With this diaper bag checklist as your guide you will be ready for anything!

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