When you venture out with your baby for the first time, you don’t want to find that you forgot to put something as essential as baby wipes in your diaper bag. (Trust me, that is not good.)
On the other hand, diaper bags can be similar to purses in that you can easily overpack. You throw some things in the bag without thinking, and soon you’re carrying around a diaper bag that weighs a ton. That isn’t good, either!
Packing a minimalist diaper bag with all the essentials can take some planning. The good news is that this minimalist diaper bag checklist will help take some of that stress away.
Let’s get started!
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What to Pack in a Diaper Bag for a Newborn
There’s no doubt that you’ll go through many diapers, especially in the newborn stage. But that doesn’t mean you must carry them all in your diaper bag! When leaving the house with your baby, two diapers will be plenty to keep in your diaper bag.
Remember that you might need more if you are out for an extended period. That’s where a car kit comes in handy! Keep reading to find out how to make a diaper bag car kit.
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2. Baby Wipes
Next on this minimalist diaper bag checklist is baby wipes. You’ll want a package of wipes with you; whether it’s travel size or a standard package is up to you.
Some diaper bags and backpacks come with a small wipe dispenser that you can fill. But I prefer to have the wipe packages with flip-top lids. These natural wipes are my favorite ones to use!
3. Changing Mat
Having a changing mat with you when you’re out is beneficial because you’ll always have a clean place to lay your baby down for a diaper change.
Some diaper bags come with a changing mat. But, if your bag doesn’t, you’ll want to get one. An excellent feature to look for in a changing mat is that it’s wipeable. A wipeable mat will make cleaning up more manageable while on the go.
This changing mat is a wonderful option because it’s waterproof, a great size, and folds up nicely to fit in a diaper bag.
4. Diaper Bags for Dirty Diapers
Nothing is worse than having to change a poopy diaper in the car and having nowhere to dispose of it, thus having to smell it all the way home. That’s why keeping disposable bags in your diaper bag is beneficial!
When it comes to disposable bags, this diaper bag dispenser is great. You tie the diaper off inside the bag, and there you go! No smelly car ride home. Plus, it’s small so that it won’t take up much room in the diaper bag.
5. Diaper Cream
You never know when your baby might develop a little diaper rash, so having a tube of diaper rash cream in your bag is essential. This brand is my favorite diaper rash cream. It works quickly, and you don’t need to use much!
6. Hand Sanitizer
When you have children, hand sanitizer is good to have with you. Hand sanitizer especially comes in handy after a quick diaper change or if you have to feed your baby after being out for a while.
7. Burp Cloths
Both of my babies spit up a ton. It was just inevitable after a feeding. In any case, you’ll want a burp cloth handy for out-of-the-house feedings.
These burp cloths are my favorite because they are wide and very absorbent. Nothing is worse than burping your baby, and they spit up next to your burp cloth because the fabric is too skinny.
8. Bottles Of Milk
If bottle-feeding your baby, either formula or breastmilk, you’ll need to carry however much milk you’ll need for the time you’ll be out.
9. Small Blanket
A small blanket is a diaper bag must-have because they are a multi-use item. You can cover your little one up when it’s cold or spread it out for your baby to sit or lay down on.
I always have a nice, cuddly, plush blanket with us. I know many people who prefer to have a receiving blanket, and those work great as well.
10. Small Toys, Teethers, Or a Book
Now, when personalizing your minimalist diaper bag checklist, you certainly don’t have to add all these items. But choosing at least one thing you know will entertain your baby if they start getting fussy can be helpful.
Also, if your baby enjoys using a pacifier, you’ll want to ensure you have one in the diaper bag. You can use a pacifier holder to keep it clean in your bag. And to prevent your baby from spitting it out onto the dirty floor, you can grab one of these pacifier clips.
11. Anything Mama Needs
Your diaper bag or backpack will likely become your new purse. It’s not that fun to lug around a diaper bag and a purse, especially if your purse is large.
You’ll want to grab your must-have items for the diaper bag. Your must-haves will be things like your wallet, feminine hygiene products, a water bottle, and anything else that you need to have with you.
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What to Pack in a Diaper Bag for a Toddler
1. Diapers (if Not Potty Trained)
If your toddler isn’t potty trained yet, you’ll need to add some of their diapers to the diaper bag. Like for newborns, you shouldn’t need to keep more than two extra diapers in the diaper bag.
2. Potty Seat (if Potty Trained)
Next on our minimalist diaper bag checklist is a travel potty seat. If your toddler is potty trained, I recommend snagging one of these travel potty seats to keep in the diaper bag!
These potty seats are fantastic for your little ones because they make it much easier for your toddler to use the potty when you’re out of the house. Plus, these seats fold up pretty small, so they can easily fit in a diaper bag.
Snacks are a good idea to have in your diaper bag for you and your toddler. I know I get hungry when I am running errands! Plus, snacks are always a hit when your toddler gets bored while out of the house. I recommend choosing snacks that are easy to eat and not that messy.
4. Water Bottle/Sippy Cup
Be sure to pack a water bottle or a sippy cup with water. It’s essential to stay hydrated!
What to Pack in a Diaper Bag for Breastfeeding Moms
1. Nipple Cream
If you’re breastfeeding, you already know the importance of nipple cream. Be sure you have a small tube in your bag!
2. Breast Pads
It’s a good idea to keep some breast pads with you, especially in the first few months of breastfeeding. I used these ones and liked them, but I know that many moms prefer reusable ones.
3. Nursing Cover
If you feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public with a nursing cover, ensure you have it packed in your diaper bag. I love this one; it’s stylish and functional as it’s a nursing cover and a car seat cover!
What Diaper Bag Essentials to Keep in a Car Kit
Many parents wonder, ‘how do you pack less in a diaper bag?’ One straightforward answer to that question is to make a car kit! A car kit is a stash of diaper bag essentials that you keep in a plastic tote or tote bag and leave in your trunk.
Keeping extra supplies in your car allows you to have a minimalist diaper bag while still having everything you need nearby. Here is everything you should keep in a car kit:
1. Extra Diapers
There have been a couple of times when I have used all of the diapers in my bag, and I forgot to refill them when I got home. You will never have that issue by keeping extra diapers in your car! I recommend keeping around ten extra diapers in your car kit.
2. Extra Wipes
Similar to having extra diapers, you’ll also want to ensure that you have extra wipes in your car kit. You don’t need to keep many extra wipes; one additional package will do just fine.
3. Change of Clothes
In case of the occasional blow-out, spit-up, or accident, you’ll want to carry a change of clothes for your baby and your older children if it applies. You don’t have to get too carried away; one change of clothes for each child will suffice!
4. Extra Shirt for Mama
If you’re worried about spit-up landing on your shoulder, or if you’re breastfeeding and concerned about leaks, add an extra t-shirt to your car kit.
5. Hat and Mittens
In the event that you decide to go out to eat, you will always have a bib with you if you keep one in your car kit. These bibs are great for eating at a restaurant because they catch food before it falls on the floor!
If your children are six months old or older, keeping some sunscreen can be handy for days when you’re outside and it’s nicer weather than expected. My kids use this sunscreen, and I’ve found it works well!
8. First Aid Kit
If you don’t already have a first aid kit in your car, now’s a great time to get one. This one is an excellent option with most things you might need, plus it’s budget-friendly!
What to Look For in a Diaper Bag
Now that you have the minimalist diaper bag checklist, you need to find the perfect option for your needs. While you could use any large bag as a diaper bag, getting a bag that’s specifically a diaper bag can give you many more pockets to work with.
Here are the five best things to look for in a diaper bag:
The first thing you want to look for in a diaper bag is that it’s comfortable to wear. For example, if you have an over-the-shoulder bag filled to the brim, it will most likely be uncomfortable.
Think about how much you’ll need to carry in the diaper bag, and try on different diaper bags you think will work before buying them.
Next, you need to think about the bag size you’ll need. You’ll want a bag large enough to fit everything you need, but you don’t want a bag so big that you have a lot of unused space.
Typically, when you have a bag that’s too big, it becomes a catch-all, and you’ll carry around unnecessary things. That’s the opposite of the goal when trying to have a minimalist diaper bag!
Whatever bag you choose will need to fit into your budget. Think about how much you want to spend on a bag, and stick to that budget! The good news is that there are plenty of great diaper bags at all price ranges!
Ease of Use
Bags that have multiple pockets are great! But if you have so many pockets that you need help remembering where you put things, that isn’t an easy-to-use bag. When looking for a diaper bag, you’ll want to ensure you can grab whatever you need at a moment’s notice.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider the style of your diaper bag. Yes, it’s just a diaper bag. But who wants to carry an ugly bag around everywhere? Ensure you like the style of the bag that you choose. This bag may become your new purse!
What’s the Best Minimalist Diaper Bag?
When I was looking for the perfect diaper bag, I ended up choosing this diaper backpack, and it’s excellent! It has a good amount of pockets, an insulated side pocket for bottles, and it also comes with a changing pad. Not to mention, it’s comfortable. You can throw it on your back and have both arms free.
Also, I have used this diaper bag for the last 3.5 years and counting. It’s still in exceptional condition! And it’s worked perfectly as a minimalist diaper bag for two children.
And there you have it; the best minimalist diaper bag checklist. I hope this guide has helped you have a simple diaper bag system and feel less overwhelmed! You won’t regret carrying fewer things in your diaper bag, especially those you don’t need!
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- The Best Items To Keep In Your Diaper Caddy
- Newborn Essentials Every New Mom Needs
- How Many Diapers Do You Need for the First Year?
- How To Get Things Done With a Baby at Home
- The Best (Natural) Teething Remedies
What are some of the minimalist diaper bag essentials you always have with you? I would love to know in the comments below!