I’m on my second kid and a lot has changed about what I toss in my diaper bag. Though, to be fair, I still think I’m a bit of an over-packer. Let’s be honest, with two kids, you never really know what you might need in a split second. I’ll spare you from a boring list with diapers, wipes, and snacks. You know you’ll need those. Instead, these are the things I’ve come to know as my essentials; the things I never want to be without.
- An awesome diaper bag. I went through entirely too many until I found the perfect bag. Learn more about why this bag is my absolute favorite!
- Change Mat (affiliate). I’ve found that the ones that are waterproof and unpadded are best. They fold very small and are typically larger than most of the ones that usually come with diaper bags.
- Wet bag. I like Bumkins bags (affiliate). They’re inexpensive yet durable; I’m still using bags I bought 4 years ago! I prefer these over more expensive bags like PlanetWise because they fold down much smaller and they don’t fade with repeated washing. Plus they have a snap on the handle; perfect for snapping on the stroller if needed! They’re great even if you don’t cloth diaper because it gives you a waterproof place to toss yucky clothes without getting anything else in your bag contaminated.
- PipSquiz Loops (affiliate). They’re a perfect diaper bag toy! I can rinse it off in a pinch, and they also have a suction cup base that will stick to a table at a restaurant. No more toy throwing and retrieval games!
- Indestructible books(affiliate). These things are incredible. My preschooler likes to read them and the baby can chew (or otherwise attempt to destroy them) and they cannot be ruined. We’ve had the one pictured for FOUR years!
- Boogie Wipes(affiliate). Kids are gross. The grape are our favorites.
- Play Packs. I usually find these in the dollar area at Target, but I have seen big packs of them at Costco too. My preschooler loves to pick out new ones every so often! They’re perfect to keep in the diaper bag and pull out when a quick distraction is needed. They’ve got a mini coloring book, a few crayons, and stickers.
- Hand sanitizer. My older kiddo is autistic and hates the sound of hand dryers in public restrooms and, as a result, we often have to escape the bathroom quickly and use hand sanitizer. The small ones from Bath and Body Works are well loved here. They don’t smell like rubbing alcohol, and the colors are more fun.
- Chapstick. Never know when you might need it! O’Keeffe’s Lip Repair (affiliate) is my favorite. It’s the only one I’ve found that actually works and doesn’t cost a million bucks. Added bonus, my husband can use it too because it’s not tinted or scented.
- Bib. Now that the baby is eating solids, a great bib is a must have! I like to carry one that can be wiped clean because it can be quickly wiped off and it’ll be ready to use again. I also prefer ones that snap; babies have superhuman strength and velcro bibs never stand a chance. Andrea at Roots Cloth made the one pictured for me from laminated fabric. It’s a workhorse!
- Emergency outfit for the baby. Diaper blowouts are real, so I always have an outfit for the baby on hand. I do keep an emergency bag in the back of my car with other essentials. For more info on what I always have in the car, check out my post on what I keep in my emergency Oh Crap Pack!
I just could not narrow this list down to ten items! So, I guess it’s a top eleven. What are essentials you never leave home without? Let me know in the comments!