Diaper Bag Essentials for a Baby and Toddler


When I found myself pregnant with my second child, my firstborn was 2.5 years old. One great thing about toddlerhood is not having to lug a diaper bag around with you everywhere you go.

I had long ditched the bulky bag for a sleek purse that I didn’t mind being covered in cheerios. I knew ventures with infants required lots and lots of stuff, but I hated the idea of again bringing a million things with me. Plus, the idea of toting a newborn, toddler, and huge bag scared me.

Not. Enough. Hands!

I knew I had to pack my bag with only the absolute necessary! And while, yes I did opt for a pretty large diaper bag, I don’t think it’s stuffed with inconsequential items. Five months into mom-of-two-hood, I have mastered my diaper bag packing game! Here are my diaper bag essentials for an infant and toddler!

— What to Pack for an Infant —


Whether you cloth or use disposal able you can’t leave home without them. My 3.5 is potty trained, thank goodness, so I only have to bring diapers for the baby.


Poop, pee, messy hands and faces. You never know what you might be wiping up. Wipes come in handy for both baby and Big Sister.

Diaper Cream

Protect that tiny hinny with a barrier of cream, especially if it might be a little while between changes.

Change of clothes

One word: Blowout. I tend to keep two changes of clothes in the bag just in case. One full on outfit and an extra onesie.


My son is primarily breastfed, but I always keep a bottle and some ready mixed formula in the diaper bag just in case.

Muslin Swaddle Blanket

These are so versatile! I use them for swaddling, duh, car seat shade, and a nursing cover. With my daughter I had a big bulky nursing cover, but this time around I found the swaddles to be so much nicer. Not to mention that these Aiden & Anais ones are just too cute for words and get softer and softer the more they are washed.

Burp Rag

Babies spit up. Burp rags protect your shoulders from ickiness.


My toddler was a paci queen as a baby! Little Bro is not as attached, but he does love his Wubbanub.

Teething Toy

With my firstborn, I bought a million little teething toys to entertain her and found that she loved just one or two of them. When she was old enough, Sophie the Giraffe was her BFF and before that her Taggie. With my son, it is a Taggie and his Wubbanub, which counts as a paci/toy combo (one less thing woo!).

Changing Pad

Babies require lots of diaper changes, y’all. You will want a clean surface to lay the tiny bum. My diaper bag came with one, but there are many options out there.

Mama Bag

I have a small clutch within my diaper bag that houses all my essential items. Keys, phone, ChapStick, wallet and sunglasses. I also have a couple of disposable breast pads in there as well.

The contents of my Toddler/Infant Diaper Bag - Columbia SC Moms Blog
The contents of my Toddler/Infant Diaper Bag.

— What to Pack for a Toddler —


I covered this one above.

Sippy cup

My daughter does pretty well with regular cups, but I also have one of these for when we are out and about running errands and don’t want to deal with a potential “I just dumped an entire glass of water on myself” wet shirt scenario.


Three year olds are human garbage disposals. Big Sister might not touch her breakfast or dinner, but goodness knows whenever we get into the car she will start starving for a snack.


Also known as distractions. I pack a couple to keep her entertained while we are waiting. Right now her distractions include a board book from Chick-fil-A, a small dinosaur figurine, and crayons. If we are going to be somewhere waiting for an extra long time (think newborn checkups), I might throw in her LeapPad.

Hair Tie/Clips

Growing out my toddler’s bangs has been a LONG endeavor. To keep her from looking like a sheep dog I always have a couple extra hair accessories in my bag. These can double as distractions in a pinch.

Hand Sanitizer

I love babyganics because it is alcohol free and a foam, which my daughter LOVES. But alas I ran out earlier this week, probably due to the boiling water advisory and excess use of hand sanitizer.

It might look cluttered, but everything has its place and purpose! Columbia SC Moms Blog
It might look cluttered, but everything has its place and purpose!

There you have it! Now, what did I forget?

All products featured are independently selected and recommended by our writer. As an Amazon Associate, Columbia Mom earns from qualifying purchases.
Previous article5 Fun Ideas for a Moms Night In
Next articleColumbia’s Best Baby Hotspots
Ashleigh always knew she wanted to be a mom, but a stay at home mom, not so much. At 26 she found herself trading in her lipstick and high heels for Burt’s Bee’s and nursing bras. The first of their core group of friends to have kids, Ashleigh and her husband Eric strive to maintain their fun loving lifestyle while simultaneously raising their toddler daughter. Luckily, Tiny Girl is an adorable extrovert who loves getting out and about as much as her parents. On weekends you can find the threesome strolling the aisles of Target, road tripping it to Charleston, or hosting friends in Irmo for epic board game battles.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here