What to Pack in a Toddler's Diaper Bag

What to Pack in a Toddler's Diaper Bag

By Aubrey Everett 

When my son was an infant we had the organization and contents of his diaper bag down to a science. Every time we left the house I would give it a once-over to make sure everything was in place, and when we returned home, I would immediately replenish anything that needed a refresh. Diapers, wipes, extra clothes, blankets, toys -- it was all there.

As he grew, our trips out of the house became more spontaneous and less planned. Sometimes we hopped in the car to grab a quick bite to eat or strapped him into the stroller for a walk with friends and I wouldn’t even bring the diaper bag. Imagine that!

As [my son] grew, our trips out of the house became more spontaneous and less planned. 

These days I will throw a few diapers and a snack in my purse for quick outings, but most of the time I bring the diaper bag. It still serves a purpose and comes in handy when we are away from the house. Only now the contents have changed. Here are some items I always like to have on hand for my active toddler.

Diapers & Wipes

An unavoidable necessity until potty training begins. Our toddler goes through fewer diapers than when he was an infant, so the supply does not have to be as robust. In the summer I also pack a few swim diapers in case we find ourselves at the beach or a splash pad. The wipes now serve double duty for cleaning post-snack mouths and dirty hands. 


The diaper bag was once food free -- our motto was “have boob will travel” -- but now we always have a selection of snacks on hand. I try to have one pre-packaged item (granola bar, raisins) and another packed in a snack catcher (goldfish, cheerios). His water bottle or travel cup is with us at all times.


We try to keep a rotating selection of toys in the diaper bag, along with a few travel-specific gadgets and small toys. I don’t find myself grabbing for toys as often, since our toddler wants to run and play and climb, but in a pinch it is always good to have a few winners. Small board books also continue to be a big hit.

Miscellaneous Extras

These days it is unlikely that my toddler will have a blow out, but I still find myself reaching for a change of clothes after a muddy tumble or an impromptu jump in a puddle. Same goes for shoes and socks. That collection of swaddle blankets still comes in handy as a place to sit or wipe down a damp bench. Sunscreen and band aids also maintain a permanent place in our diaper bag. 

Leave it Behind ...

There are a few things we no longer need. A changing pad started to feel unnecessary, since I seem to be quickly changing him in the back of the car or a public bathroom. It is no longer a big production. Same goes for diaper cream -- these changes are swift and no-fuss. We have also retired the baby carrier since he wants to be on his own two feet. 


About the author: Aubrey works in higher education and is the mother to an active and inquisitive son. She lives in the Boston area where she enjoys taking family walks along the beach, reading books, and introducing new foods to her son. Writing about motherhood allows her to connect to other parents and give voice to a challenging yet exciting time.  

Photo credit: iStock.com/slearmonth2



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