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Diaper Bag Essentials: Everything You Need in a Diaper Bag for All Occasions

Diaper Bag Essentials

For parents of babies 0-2 years old, the diaper bag is perhaps the most important part of going out. At any time baby will need to be changed, and parents have to be ready for everything involved in changing dirty diapers.

But that goes beyond just diapers and wipes. From powders and cloths to additional items to keep baby happy during the process, your diaper bag should be a veritable one-stop-shop for everything you will need before heading out into the world with baby.

Whether you need a diaper bag for a quick checkup, a shopping trip, or even for traveling, you’ve got to be ready for whatever comes your way.

Below we’ve put together a detailed list of items that make for the best diaper bag essentials kit for every circumstance.


The most obvious part of a diaper bag? Well, diapers of course!

There are so many types of diapers out there that it can be hard to know which variety to buy. Here’s some important considerations when choosing diapers:

Size - Diaper sizes are measured in weight classes. Here are the first five weight classes which fit most children from ages 0-2:

Size 1: Up to 14 pounds

Size 2: 12-18 pounds

Size 3: 16-28 pounds

Size 4: 22-37 pounds

Size 5: 27 pounds and over 

There are also disposable and reusable diapers. Disposable diapers are sometimes made with biodegradable materials, but you will often pay more for this variety.

If you do decide to use reusable diapers, you will need a proper way to store them to avoid odors and germs spreading to the rest of the bag. Buying air-tight and scented disposable diaper bags are a great way to carry reusable diapers home to wash.

Babies - especially younger ages - go through diapers like water. That means packing enough diapers for your trip is crucial. We suggest packing between one and three diapers for each hour you plan on being out and about with baby.

Extra clothing 

It’s no mystery that babies are messy, so how could you go anywhere without a change of clothes?

Sleepwear is the most obvious need when it comes to extra changes of clothing. Onesies and pajamas are crucial to take along with you in your diaper bag.

Also consider additional sets of activewear - whatever you can fit - if you’re going on longer trips. 

A large ziploc bag for changes of clothing is crucial. Imagine baby spitting on up themselves, and having nothing to store the soiled clothing in?

Wipes and Cloths

Baby wipes, whether disposable or reusable, are crucial for maintaining baby’s clean bottom.

Nearly all disposable wipes are sanitary wipes. That means they disinfect baby’s skin to avoid infection. Especially if it takes a while to change baby after pooping, disinfectant wipes are the responsible choice for keeping baby’s skin healthy.

Disposable wipes are the more popular choice because of ease of use. Many come in compact clutch packaging so they don’t take up too much space.

If you choose to use reusable wipes or cloths, you can purchase a disinfectant lotion to fully clean baby’s skin after wiping.

Changing Pad

Changing pads come in many different materials and shapes. Some are cloth-covered and padded, while others are made of plastic blends. Even more are disposable, great for when you are traveling.

Either way, it’s important to always have a clean changing pad wherever you go. Some are washable so you can cut down on waste. Some of the cloth-covered, cushioned varieties are even machine-washable for easy re-use.


Baby powders are made of many different things, but all achieve the same result. All try to keep baby’s bottom dry after using changing wipes and have astringent qualities. 

Some new baby powders are made without talcum powder, which some believe is connected to ovarian cancer. These powders are recommended for especially sensitive skin, though the majority of babies can use talcum-containing powder.


Baby’s skin is sensitive. That means lotions are always a good thing to have on hand.

Winter cold typically causes dry skin, so you’ll sometimes need to moisturize their skin in between changes. Changing baby’s diaper is also a great opportunity to see if he or she needs moisturization anywhere else on their skin.


Diaper bags come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking for something simple with one compartment or outfitted with various pockets, only mommy or daddy will know what is right for baby’s diaper bag.

Then there’s size. The size of the diaper bag will determine how long you can go before replenishing your baby’s diaper resources. That means size is a consideration made based on the length of time you’re away from home. 

For longer trips, you’ll most likely want a larger bag that can hold more. For shorter trips, a smaller bag will hold less, but weigh significantly less as well. 

Bags are also made of all kinds of materials, from various plastics to cloth, and everything in between. Consider how many compartments you will need, and take stock of how much each bag holds.

We suggest having a few different sizes for various lengths of trips - perhaps the most important consideration when choosing a diaper bag.

Snacks and Accessories

Diaper bags are not just for diapers. Consider diaper bags as a place to store anything your baby may need for their journey.

Pacifiers and toys are invaluable when trying to calm baby down. But, don’t pack too much and sacrifice space needed for changing materials.

You’ll also not want to forget bottles and formula. Or, if you only feed your newborn breast milk, plan on having enough space for a small breast pump if you haven’t already packed some ahead of time.

Other useful odds and ends…

There are certain items you wouldn’t think would be helpful, but can make all the difference when travelling.

You’ll also want to pack at least two bibs - you want to be just as prepared around town as you are at home for feeding and messes. 

Blankets are another great item to bring. Diaper changing pads are often uncomfortable, so bringing a nice thick cashmere blanket will help keep baby comfortable.

Along with these items, make sure not to forget:

You’ve got the stuff, but how to fit it all in?

After reading this article, you may feel a bit overwhelmed with all the considerations involved with packing a diaper bag.

The first thing to do is to take a deep breath. Parents have been packing diaper bags since the beginning of time, which means you can too!

One of the best techniques for packing diaper bags is to lay everything out in front of you. This allows you to think of how much space each item will take.

Afterward, look at the items you’re packing as if they were Tetris blocks. Each item will fit individually into a particular space, and the shapes can fit together like a glove if it you do it right!

Make sure to think about the items that should be easiest to get out first. Diapers and your changing pad are the most important items - especially for emergencies - so they should be the easiest to remove and use.

Things like toys are last on the totem pole. In fact, depending on the size of your diaper bag, you may not be able to pack toys at all. The diapers and pad, wipes, powders, and basic accessories like pacifiers should come first before anything else.


Wrapping it All Up

With all this information, we at Catimini are confident you will always be able to pack the perfect diaper bag each time you’re out and about with baby. Just remember - mommy and daddy know best when it comes to what baby needs when it’s time for a changing.


What do you pack in your diaper bag? Maybe something not listed here? Leave a comment below!

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