15 Diaper Bag Essentials | Phoenix Newborn Photographer


Packing a diaper bag may seem like a simple thing. Until you start packing one and end up trying to stuff the kitchen sink into that stylish diaper bag. It looked so roomy and then, BAM. It’s full and you still have a pile of stuff you want to put in there. There are some items that you can leave at home, and there are some diaper bag essentials.

What do you really need in that diaper bag, anyway?

phoenix newborn photographer diaper bag essentials

Here’s a list of 15 diaper bag essentials

  1. Diapers, obvi.  You don’t need to pack the whole package, unless you are going on an overnight. But for short day outings five diapers should do the trick.
  2. Wipes, diapers best friend. A mid size package of wipes and you will be good to go. You don’t want the tiny 10 pack, but don’t need the whole 70 pack either. Something mid range so you can have enough to wipe bottoms as well as hands and faces. If your baby has diaper rash, I highly suggest trying Water Wipes. They are super mild and seem to help get rid of and prevent diaper rash.
  3. Changing pad. Most diaper bags come with one, so you don’t need to go out and find something separate to put in there for this. Some bags have a fold out one attached, which is cool. There are also disposable options out there, too. 
  4. Extra outfits. Don’t just pack one, pack at least two outfits. Depending on the weather, a onesie may suffice, or you may need a couple warm sleepers if it’s cooler outside.
  5. Rash ointment.  A couple of my favorites are Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, and Tubby Todd All Over Ointment. Rashes can pop up suddenly, so it’s good to be prepared with a good ointment.
  6. Burp cloth. I was so fortunate that my babies didn’t spit up a whole lot. But I’ve seen plenty of babies that spit up after every feeding, so it’s good to have a couple of nice, absorbent burp cloths on hand.
  7. Pacifier. Baby’s need to suck and as they get older you may be in real trouble if you leave that precious binky at home. Best to keep at least one extra in the diaper bag for when you are out and about.
  8. Bottle and formula, if you are bottle feeding. If you are breast feeding, you may need some nursing pads instead. 
  9. Blanket. These days there are some beautiful and super soft options for baby blankets. These can also double as a nursing cover, if it’s a good size. That will save some space so you don’t have to pack one separately. Baby blankets can be used for swaddling, sun shade, nursing cover, burp cloth, changing pad, etc.
  10. Little disposable bags to throw away dirty diapers, and you can also use these as a wet bag. That way you don’t need to pack a separate wet bag for those dirty baby clothes. Even if you use cloth diapers you can use these bags, but if you prefer a reusable wet bag make sure to pack one.
  11. If baby is older you need some toys and books for entertainment. Pack something that makes noise, but also something quiet in case you are in a situation that you don’t want a noisy toy.
  12. Snacks for baby and for mom. Don’t forget those mama snacks! And a water bottle would be a good idea, too.
  13. Nose frida. (aka booger sucker) When you have a tiny one, those stuffy noses can really be a struggle. Be prepared with a nose frida so you can make sure it’s easy for baby to breathe.
  14. Your wallet and phone. You don’t want to tote around a separate purse, so make sure to bring your wallet in the diaper bag. Designate a small outside pocket for your keys, as well. That way they won’t get lost in the bag causing you to have to unload everything to find them. Yep, done that many times!
  15. The mom essentials – hand sanitizer, lotion, and chapstick. Yes, the diaper bag is for baby but it’s for mama, too! Just keep it simple. 

A stocked diaper bag is a great thing to bring to your newborn session, too! Make sure it’s packed the night before so you don’t have any stress over it the day of your session.

These 15 items should have you covered for anything that comes your way while out and about with baby.

Want to read about more diaper bag essentials? Momlovesbest.com has a great article on 4 simple tricks to pack the perfect diaper bag. You can check out their diaper bag checklist as well as some organization tips!

BONUS- Looking for a stylish diaper bag? Here are some top favorites: 

Petunia Pickle Bottoms has this cute backpack style.

Nordstrom also has a stylish diaper backpack.

This Anthropologie bag is super cute!

JuJuBe is always a favorite.

This Amazon bag has a great price point and looks very chic.

Here’s a link to an article with a list of favorite diaper bags. Happy hunting!


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