The Well-Stocked Diaper Bag

Woman packing her bag with baby itemsWhether you’re heading to the playground a block away, or across the country on a 747, there are certain items a new mom needs for survival—and sanity.

The Go Bag

Say you need to make a grocery run or a quick trip to the post office. What are your absolute must haves?

  • Diapers: Always pack two. And then throw in a couple more.
  • Baby wipes: Not just a couple—take a full(ish) pack because when you need them, you really need them.
  • Pacifier/teether/small fuzzy, crinkly, musical toy: If it makes your baby stop crying, pack it.
  • Change of clothes: Spit-ups, blowouts and other bodily fluids that should be inside tend to wind up on the outside at the worst possible moments.
  • Sanitizer: The gel kind is fine, but the wipes are good for sticky hands and shopping cart seats.

Now, what about longer outings? Say you’re packing for a visit to great grandma’s, or a zombie apocalypse or the line at the DMV.

The BIG Bag

For a lengthy time away from home (as in hours or even overnight, but not days or weeks), you’ll want to bring along everything in the “go bag,” plus:

Changing Supplies

  • Diapers, diapers, diapers: Remember the two-diaper minimum, and then toss in another for every hour you plan to be away. And then a few more.
  • Vaseline or ointment: You never want baby’s bottom to hurt, but especially not during car rides and out in public.
  • Changing pad: Your diaper bag may come with one, or you can buy disposable ones. (You can even get puppy training pads, which are really the same thing, and cost less!)
  • Extra clothes for baby, and a spare shirt for yourself: Don’t be that mom in the checkout line with poop on her shirt.
  • Empty grocery bags: These are great for stinky diapers, dirty clothes, empty bottles or sippy cups—anything that smells bad or might leak.


  • Bottles, if needed: Pack at least one bottle or sippy cup, and formula or breast milk.
  • Nursing supplies, if needed: Bring a nursing cover or light blanket if you prefer to cover up. You may also want spare breast pads to catch leaks. Don't forget distilled water for mixing formula.
  • Snacks: If baby is starting solids, baby food pouches can be perfect for eating on the go—no spoon required! And, any finger foods should be non-sticky, non-staining and non-mashable, unless you like gummies in the hair and prunes in the seatbelt buckles.

Murphy’s law says (and we’re loosely paraphrasing) that when you take your baby somewhere, anywhere, the trip is likely to end in some kind of stinky, hangry, unpredictable way. Just prepare as best you can and figure out the rest as you go. Because that’s how moms roll.

Extra tip: Keep a big, over-stocked bag in your trunk with tons of supplies. Then, if you run out of something in your smaller “go bag,” you can just run back to the car instead of having to head home. Note: Don’t store things in your trunk that heat can affect – wipes can dry out and food will spoil.