I am the kind of person, and now the kind of mom, who has to plan everything. And when I say everything, I mean every single thing. I need to know what time we need to be somewhere and how long it takes to get there so that I can account for traffic, pit stops, time to get myself ready in the morning, time to get the kids ready, time to get everything together for everyone else (because that’s what moms do, right?). I have 20+ lists on my phone at any given time because I just need to have a game plan.
With both of my pregnancies I packed and repacked my hospital bags at least three times. Overkill? Maybe. But I didn’t have to send my husband out for anything, except food. My diaper bag wasn’t going to be any different.
I was due with Genny the day after Adriana’s second birthday. She made her arrival one week early, so for six days I had two under two. The idea of that, and the thought of going places with two little babes, was stressful. The planner in me made and changed my diaper bag list multiple times.The contents changed as they got older, especially after Adriana was potty trained. But the basics are the same.
My very first purchase when I was pregnant with Adriana was a gender neutral diaper bag. It was light gray with light blue accents. It was cute and came with a changing pad. But once I actually had her I realized the bag wasn’t realistic. It had a lot of pockets on the outside. Pockets are *usually* great, but these pockets didn’t close so anything inside of them could easily fall out. Plus, when you have a baby on your hip it’s much easier to have a bag you can wear on your back rather than on your other arm.
I purchased this diaper bag backpack when Adriana was six months old and we are still using it today, three years later. I’ve even gifted it a few times to friends and family. It has two large pockets, one in the back for clothes and diapers and the other with insulated pockets for bottles. There are two pockets, similar to wet bags, on the front and bag to keep dirty clothes. My favorite feature is the wpies compartment on the side of the bag. Wipes are a must have but they can take up a lot of room, so being able to put them on the outside is a big deal, in my opinion. Another feature that’s great are the stroller straps so you can hook the bag onto the back of your stroller. The backpack also comes with a small, separate insulated bottle bag and a changing pad.
Two little ones means diaper changes. Probably a lot of them. The easiest way to organize the diapers in different sizes are with Ziploc bags. I recommend 5-6 diapers for toddlers over 1 year and 8-10 for infants. Label the bags so you can easily grab the right size.
The Ziploc bags will be your best friend with these also. I kept 2-3 extra outfits for my girls 2 and under. Once Adriana was potty trained I started keeping just one extra outfit. I kept them in the Ziploc bags because they take up less room in the bag once you remove the extra air. I also recommend keeping 2-3 extra pairs of socks for your little ones because socks are easily removed and lost.
Thin, receiving blankets are very versatile. I always keep 2-3 rolled up in the bottom of my diaper bag.
First Aid & Other Essentials
Accidents happen and you should always be prepared. I used a clear, travel storage container to keep my emergency items in. I keep the following first and and personal care items in my diaper bag at all times:
Aquaphor Baby – our preferred diaper cream
Travel Baby Soap – We use Aveeno baby and Dove Sensitive. I used travel size bottles and filled them from what we have. Johnsons makes a lot of travel size soaps if that’s the brand that you prefer or you want a travel pack that’s ready to go.
Travel Dish Soap – We were given a small bottle of Dawn dish soap at the hospital to wash bottles. I saved it and refill it as needed, but you can also purchase small 7 ounce bottles. I recommend storing it inside of a Ziploc bag just in case it opens.
Travel Size Hand Sanitizer
Tide To-Go Pen – Messes are bound to happen and the Tide pen has been a lifesaver for me.
Small First Aid Kit – I have only had to use bandaids from mine a few times, but it gives me a peace of mind knowing I have it just in case.
Thermometer – Babies seem to get sick randomly and sometimes rather quickly. Whether its teething or a virus, I keep a thermometer in my diaper bag to easily check temperatures whenever needed.
*NOTE* we ONLY use this thermometer rectally, but we do have other ones at home that we use orally. I recommend marking them (you can use Sharpie or even colored tape) so that you know which is which and don’t get them mixed up.
Toys & Books
Since your diaper bag will essentially be going everywhere with you, you should always come prepared. We kept toys and a couple board books in our diaper bag to entertain the girls wherever we went.
Our favorites are:
Other Miscellaneous Items
Extra Pacifier, Clip & Case
My oldest used a pacifier until she was 3.5 but my youngest never used one (thankfully). Even with pacifier clips they can be easily lost. We always had one clipped to her clothes and kept another one in a carrying case attached to the diaper bag. The pacifier clips are versatile and can be used for other things as well. We had extras that we used when we would go out to clip toys onto the highchair/shopping cart cover or the stroller. This is another thing I love to give for baby showers.
Travel Brush & Drying Rack
When I knew we would be out for a full day or more I packed our travel brush & drying rack. It folds up and can easily fit inside the diaper bag.
Travel Toilet Seat
Once Adriana was potty trained we added this travel toilet seat into the diaper bag. It comes with a carrying case so it can be kept in the diaper bag with other items.
Snacks, Drinks & Milk/Formula
We bottle fed both of our girls (both breastmilk and formula). Because those items can be heavy and bulky, I always had a separate cooler and/or bag for them. I’ve linked those as well, but they do not fit inside of the diaper bag with everything else. For short trips I would keep one bottle inside of the insulated pocket and also had Adriana’s water bottle there, along with other snacks.
And there you have it! I really hope this list helps you. I put a lot of time into making sure my diaper bag was just right and adjusting as needed along the way. Don’t forget to download your printable checklist here. Navigating life and the changes that come when you add another baby into the mix is always crazy, but so so worth every minute of the chaos.