5 Unexpected Essentials For Your Diaper Bag

diaper_bag essentials
Image via Flickr/ Lori H. Designs

Even though I have done the pregnancy and mom thing with four babies  (or maybe because I have) I try really hard not to be one of those parents.

You know the kind I'm talking about, right?

The know-it-all parent? The one who exchanges knowing looks with other “experienced” parents when you mention your TV time limits or how you never, ever let your kid have sugar? The one that basically says, “how cute that you are a first timer who has no idea what you're doing …”?

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I really hate that.

So even though I try my hardest not to do that, part of me does at times want to cringe a bit when I see a new parent struggling under the weight of her overladen diaper bag. With enough clothes to outfit an entire fleet of babies and every possible toy in the world, I want to gently take her hand and say, “It's OK …”

Because the truth is, there are only 5 key items that you always need to carry in your diaper bag at all times to really get through any situation.

Image via Flickr/ rik


Aha, bet you didn't know your diaper bag would double as a medicine cabinet, did you? I can't count the number of times that we've been out and about and my baby has spiked a temp, or a kindly grandma has noticed the previously-totally-fine baby bottom now with a raging case of diaper rash. (Nice one, mom!) If nothing else, carry some baby Tylenol and some super-strong diaper rash cream in a spill-proof container, out of the way of little hands.

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Image via Flickr/ Kim Love

A hidden diaper.

Obviously, you're going to pack diapers in a diaper bag. But I guarantee you will inevitably forget to re-pack the diaper bag after a busy day out, or your baby will have an unheard of amount of poopy diaper blow-outs and you will use up your very last diaper. But that's where you–the prepared parent–will be ahead of the game, because just when you are lamenting your lack of diapers, you will remember the single spare you have reserved, carefully tucked away in a hidden compartment of the diaper bag, for just such an emergency.

granola bar
Image via Flickr/ Meal Makeover Moms

A snack.

And yeah, I'm not talking about a snack for your little one–that one kind of goes without saying, right? I'm talking about a snack for you. I don't know about you, but nothing makes dealing with a tired, cranky baby out in public worse than my own hunger-fueled stress and exhaustion. I throw a couple healthy granola bars in the diaper bag and let me tell you–when I remember they're in the there and I'm starving and we're miles from home? It's a good day indeed.


Image via Flickr/ Dinner Series

A disposable placemat.

I mean, the point of a diaper bag is that you're out and about, right? So it just makes sense that you might also be eating out and about with your baby in tow. And nothing has amazed me as a parent more than the discovery of disposable placements. Out in a restaurant and not quite trusting of the busboy's table wash-down? Throw down some stickies and let your baby eat in peace! At the park and want your baby to practice her eye-hand coordination? Place a placement and let her play with her food to her heart's delight! Really, these things are awesome and help ease my mama's mind so much. You can pick up at a pack at your local grocery store in the baby section, or online.

baby pajamas
Image via Flickr/ MissMessie


By far, this is the single most forgotten item in my diaper bag. Too often, a dinner over at Grandma's or a night of shopping and dinner turns out to be a too-late night for baby. Nothing makes my life easier than having a handy, comfy pair of pajamas to put on baby before we hit the road again–because we all know that he or she is going to sleep as soon as that car starts moving. Even better, if you keep a comfortable sleeper or onesie in your diaper bag as an extra set of jammies, it can double as an outfit change in case of an emergency.

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What's your #1 diaper bag essential?

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What do you think?

5 Unexpected Essentials For Your Diaper Bag

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. je55ica2boys says:

    I read the 5 this thinking maybe I will find something new to add. No wrong! All that was on that lost I have been doing in my diaper bag, other than that spare diaper, that is in my car along with a baggie of wipes.
    Thought learn something, I did, I learned that I have it all under control!

  2. Maria says:

    I totally was the mother who needed everything in her diaper bag. Lol now that my son is entering toddler years and still in a diaper I find I can carry my essentials in a purse. Wipes, a few diapers and snacks. I always keep some extra diapers, blankets clothes and diaper cream in a small bin in the trunk of the car.

  3. definitely something to think about.

  4. mommy nhoj says:

    Nice list. I managed to have a hidden spare diaper and used it one time I forgot to refill the diaper 🙂


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