Diaper Bag Contents: differences between infant and toddler needs

Posted July 6, 2016 by Julie in Parenting / 33 Comments

You see her, purse slung over one shoulder and an overstuffed tote slung over another. A squirming child in her arms. Then you realize: you’re seeing a reflection of yourself.

Why does the new title of Mom seem to be synonymous with “bag lady” these days?  Babies require a lot of stuff just to get out of the house for a quick grocery run or (if you’re brave) restaurant meal. Juggling a teeny tiny baby and car seat and stroller and bags is an interesting initiation into parenthood. And really, why do we even call it a diaper bag? It is more like a suitcase of essential emergency preparedness supplies in case zombies attack, or babies poop. We should just refer to it as a mom bag, am I right?

We ended up with two “diaper bags”, mainly because my husband refused to use the “monkey bag” that was gifted to me by his own mother! So he used a tactical backpack instead – which ended up being the main diaper bag because seriously, keeping two bags stocked at all times got old. Since hubby had Fridays off and was taking Baby H to his weekly physical therapy and DOC Band appointments while I didn’t have any time off after returning to work, he won the diaper bag debate.

Diaper Bag Contents Infant vs Toddler

Newborn Diaper Bag

Itty bitty babies require so much stuff! Here’s a list of the type of things I carried around with me when Baby H was a newborn/infant.

  • Several diapers. And extra diapers.
  • Wipes.
  • Little doggie bags for diaper disposal.
  • Changing pad.
  • Bibs.
  • Extra baby clothes. Lots of extra clothes. What is it about spit up or poonamies?
  • Extra clothes for me, too, since the poonamies typically happen on me.
  • Formula, pre-measured in the awesome disposable containers.
  • Baby bottles.
  • Water bottles. For making formula but also for my hydration.
  • Nipple shield, since I was also breastfeeding.
  • Burp cloths.
  • Rattles or other toys.
  • Pacifiers.
  • Dish soap to wash said bottles of formula.
  • Mom snacks.
Recommended Post:  Fun Uses for Baby Cereal

Toddler Diaper Bag

A toddler’s diaper bag is a bit different than that of a newborn/infant. There’s still a lot to lug around, but you can often get away with leaving it in the car. Here’s what I currently carry for my little man.

  • Several diapers.
  • Wipes.
  • Little doggie bags for diaper disposal.
  • Changing pad.
  • Sippy cup full of water.
  • Scooby snacks, including crackers and food pouch squeeze packages.
  • Extra clothes, because he tends to play hard and get dirty.
  • Hat.
  • Toys, books.
  • Pacifier.

I haven’t reached the potty training stage yet. I am in no hurry for that one. But I imagine my diaper bag of zombie apocalypse will change yet again.

What did you pack in your diaper bags? Did it change a lot with each stage?


This post is part of the July Blog Hop with some awesome mamas from my Mom Blog Tribe on Facebook. Check out their post titles below and feel free to “hop” around! Also, if you’re a mom blogger, you are invited to join our hop next month. Just join the tribe and watch for details!

Diaper Bag Contents: Differences Between Infant and Toddler Needs // Fab Working Mom Life

Diaper Bag Contents of a New Mom // Mothersrule

Mama’s Beach Bag // My Mama Project

Pool Time: What’s in Our Bag? // Diary of a New Mommy

What’s in My Bag? The Kids’ Day Pack // Mama’s Sweet Home Team

What’s in My Bag: A First Time Mom’s Weekend Bag // So(lace) in a Small Town

What’s in Your Diaper Bag? // Sophia Says Hello

What’s in Your Bag? – Packing for a Road Trip with Toddlers // The Crafty Christian



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JuliepicI'm Julie, a new mom who works full time and blogs, all while wishing I had more time to read fun books. I write about being a first time working mom in order to help myself and other working moms in our journeys to find balance between family, responsibilities, and hobbies so we can thrive both at home and at work.
I can be found blogging at Fab Working Mom Life and Chapter Break, and hanging out on social media: Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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33 responses to “Diaper Bag Contents: differences between infant and toddler needs

  1. Your account of having 2 diaper bags is pretty funny. Your husband’s refusal to carry the “monkey bag,” as he calls it, is probably relatable for many fathers.

  2. My husband had to buy his own bag as well since he didn’t want to carry around the one that I had picked out. I am long done with diaper bags but the times I do miss diapers is when traveling and we have to stop in a dirty restroom in the middle of nowhere to go pee. Sometimes I just hold my girls and let them squat outside if the bathroom is too bad. Of course my little man can just whip it out wherever. Thanks so much for linking up with #momsterslink :))

  3. This will all be a thing of the past once you have potty trained. I figure we can buy anything that we need desperately and travel much lighter now. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  4. I have to say my bag was pretty much the same when I started potty training, now it just includes travel potty and travel potty bags. Oh and more changes of clothes lol! #thelist

  5. I completely get it! When my daughter was a newborn I would overstuff her bag. We had diapers, wipes, clothes, baby food (once she started eating solids), formula, bottles (which I have already pre-measured the water because it was easy and we were putting Kayro syrup in them for constipation), burp rags (because she was a messy eater), diaper cream, changing pad, spoons, binkys, bibs, toys, tylenol and motrin, and anything else I thought I might need. I also ditched my purse and kept anything I needed in the outside pocket. As she got older we were able to remove a lot of things. Currently at 2 all that I have in the bag is a couple of diapers, wipes, and snacks. She carries around her drink cup. I have a few things I may need in the bag as well. Honestly at this point I leave the bag at home if we are only going to be gone for a couple of hours because we can get away with it. I can’t wait until we are potty trained and don’t have to worry about it any more! After the move, that’s my goal.

    • The potty training phase makes me nervous, but after it is all settled it sounds like things will be so much easier. Until baby #2, of course haha. Then back to a giant suitcase.

  6. This is great. But I always tried to simplify my diaper bag as best as possible. We never used a pacifier for any of my children. I cloth diapered the last baby, making changes less frequent therefore only needing to carry one or two diapers along with a few cloth wipes. Always a sippy cup, and maybe a snack, along with the “wet bag” for the diapers. With my now potty training baby let me suggest taking the kiddie potty with you or having one for the car. This way if your wee one has to wee wee, you can just pull over and put the potty in the back if you have an suv or on the ground if you don’t and let them do their business, opposed to having to hurry and pull somewhere that will let them use the bathroom and risk having them make in their pants. Great post! #momsterlink

    • What a great suggestion to keep a spare potty in the car. You’re right, no need to have to search for a bathroom and by then it would be too late.

  7. Just wait until your little one is potty trained (don’t rush it though). But then you can actually get away with stuffing a quick change of clothes in your purse and out the door you go!

  8. Haha, I’ve never heard of the term “poonamies” before. Definitely going to start using it (though hopefully my two are past the days of those!) Once you potty train, the bag gets easier. I have a backpack for each kid now that I keep in the car, and in the potty trained one it’s just an extra change of clothes and some pull ups. And a plastic bag for wet clothes to be put in. Easy enough!

  9. I love this post; the irony is when Lily was a baby I used to think I can’t for her to be a toddler so I dont need to carry around as much; the truth is I now carry changes of clothes (potty training), a large amount of snacks (very hungry caterpillar) and have an unimaginable entourage of toys think prams, car seats, dolls, a picnic chair, balls, Lego set – yes that was just one day out last weekend 🙂

    • Well, the big gear like car seats and strollers was a given from day one – but yea, I do feel like I carry more toys and activities now heh.

      • I mean toy pram and toy car seat lol I have a doll in her car seat and bring the dolls pram out too ?

        Lily still uses her pram too, I usually do multiple trips to/from the car for toys if we’re watching daddy play bowls!

  10. I have the diaper bags but I call them doggy bags because… let’s face it, that’s what they are. But my mom hates it that I call them that. haha. I actually don’t even carry a diaper bag. Never have. I’ve thought of putting a bin together for my trunk but so far that hasn’t happened. 🙂 Loved this post!

    • Oh a bin for your trunk is a great idea. I just have bags – several of random grocery variety full of toddler stuff – in my trunk.

  11. And then, there is the Bag-almighty for the mother of a toddler and a newborn!! AAARGH! Basically a suitcase…
    I just downsized to a rucksack as my youngest is approaching two…time to pack a little lighter!
    Thanks for joining in with this weeks #coolmumclub

    • Haha, well the dogs don’t use them since we rarely actually walk them – they roam free in the yard and I don’t bother cleaning my own yard haha. So might as well use the baggies for the poonamies.

  12. Am with you on calling it a suitcase ?. Good on you and your husband for using two diaper bag before. I only pack one and it can be frustrating especially if i forget something. But thanks for pointing out the difference with toddler vs infant diaper bag. I will need this when my lil man becomes a toddler.

    • It is awesome to not have to carry as much stuff all the time anymore. Though, once we start potty training I can see the amount of stuff increasing again.

  13. I’m a veteran mom and this list came in handy. I was at the store Sunday and I could not remember what do carry in a diaper bag! LOL. I started to Google list but gave up and went home. I will be using your list now!

  14. I was so glad when my kids turned one, and I no longer needed to pack 18 bottles, formula mix, water, bibs, and burp cloths. It’s amazing how much room is in the bag now! Plus when we run errands now, I don’t even take a full diaper bag anymore. I just throw some diapers and wipes in my purse. 🙂

    • Haha same! I’ll have the bag in my car, and just a small makeup bag type bag in my purse with the extra diaper and a small snack container. SO. Much. better!

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