Diaper Bag Essentials 101

Of all the things standing between you and getting out the door with your little ones, your diaper bag might be the most unnecessary of obstacles. 

If you’ve managed to get their diaper changed, shoes on, and stroller or baby carrier all strapped up, the last thing you should have to worry about is your bag. 

As a new parent, staring into the empty abyss of your diaper bag, you might have asked friends for advice about what diaper bag essentials they pack. Or maybe you even Googled it (and you ended up here!) Like so many parts of parenting, knowing what you need to bring when you leave the house is largely a product of experience. The more times you go out with your little one, the easier it becomes to know what you need...and what you don’t.

But parenting in 2020 is hard enough as it is, so let us make it a little easier for you. 

Below we’ve broken down by age exactly what you need for those few hours out of the house. 

What diaper bag essentials do you need for your little one? 

Here’s how to show 2020--and that diaper bag--who’s boss:


Kibou_Diaper_Bag_Essentials_2Kibou_Diaper_Bag_Essentials_3Kibou_Diaper_Bag_Essentials_4We’ve all seen those massive diaper bags: the ones that look like weekender bags chock full of  every single thing you could possibly need in the event that something near-apocalyptic prevented you from getting back home for several days. As a new parent, especially in 2020, it can be tempting to pack everything but the actual kitchen sink. Maybe it feels like an insurance policy against forgetting something important.  Rather than taking the time to figure out what you actually need, it can feel easier to include everything you’ve ever used with your little one, just in case.

So, why not just stuff your diaper bag full of everything you could possibly need?

  1. A stuffed bag makes it impossible to find the one thing you’re actually looking for when you need it.
  2. More stuff= more weight, and you have to carry (or push) it all. 
  3. Who are we kidding? Once it’s packed, you’re never making the time to unpack it. And once it’s stuffed, it’s impossible to remember what’s in there, so--if you’re like us--you just pile more essentials on top...until one rainy day when you can no longer zip the bag shut, you empty it out to find 3 sets of keys and every pacifier you’ve ever been looking for jammed into one crumb-filled corner.  

So what’s the solution?

Know what the essentials are, and only bring those. 

When you’re only going out for a few hours, bring only what you actually need. 

Not only does a minimized diaper bag make it easy to find what you need, it actually makes it easier to ensure that you have everything you need. 

How is that possible? Because it’s all right there in front of you. In a small, organized bag, you can see everything and quickly note what’s missing.  No more diaper bag black hole. 

Minimal diaper bag bonus: there’s no need to put your bag down or be far from what you need. You can keep everything you and your little one need right by your side.

The best part? You’re free to focus on your little one instead of being distracted or weighed down by your stuff.

Carrying only what you need leaves your arms free to hold all you ever wanted. 

What if you’re going out for the whole day?

For those longer trips out, you likely need to bring along more: 

Extra snacks, a full change of clothes (or two), an extra water bottle, more diapers, more baby formula, perhaps even a towel or other activity-based items. 

If your day-long adventures call for more, you’ll need a full size diaper bag or backpack to keep everything organized. 


But here’s the hack to keeping things light: 

Even if your day out requires a bigger bag, you can still take that hike or run around the playground without being weighed down. How can you still have easy access to your diaper bag essentials and have all that you need for these big days out? 

First: pack all the core items you’ll need into a smaller bag. Then, pack your bigger bag with all the daylong items you need. Once that bag is packed, throw your smaller bag in on the top. When you get where you’re going, leave the big bag behind, grab your smaller bag, and go. 

Pro tip #1: Having a small bag that’s intentionally designed for organization of and access to the items you need when you’re out with your little ones, makes life even easier.

Pro tip #2: Wearing a fanny pack or cross-body bag means your bag doesn’t get in your way, slip off your shoulders or keep you from having 2 free hands for all you really need them for.

You want to be able to run around with your little ones without the weight of a bag on your shoulders. But you also want to keep your valuables and all those essentials for your little one nearby.

What are the most important things to have in arms reach?

  1. Baby wipes: for everything from dirt-covered hands or snotty noses to bird poop on the one free swing at the playground.
  2. Hand sanitizer: Last year this might not have been a non-negotiable, but in 2020, you need it on you always.
  3. First aid supplies: if your kids are anything like ours, bandaids are always needed.
  4. Your phone for photos and phone calls.
  5. Your cash and cards just so you don’t have to worry about where they are.

With COVID-19, health and safety are even more important in 2020 than ever before. And as parents, our children are always our #1 concern. Having quick and easy access to what we need to stay protected and germ-free is essential. 

Whether you’re going out for a walk around your neighborhood or for a day full of fun, a small, compact diaper bag takes the head (and back) ache out of being prepared. Carry exactly what you need and leave the bulk behind. 

Questions, tips, or diaper bag essentials tricks? Shoot us an email! 

We’re always updating our resources and love to share what we hear from YOU!



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