What’s In My Bag? Diaper Bag Essentials For My Toddler

Today I wanted to write a post about my go-to items that I like to have on hand when I leave the house with my toddler – especially now that she is just over one year old. And just to clarify, despite the title of this article, many of these items reside in my car. I don’t think I could manage caring ALL of these things all of the time!

It has taken me much trial and error to find a good mix of items. Sometimes I realize that I’m missing something vital, and other times, I feel like I am lugging around everything (minus the kitchen sink!) But for now, this is what works for us…

A list of diaper bag essentials for a toddler

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For quite some time, my favorite diaper bag was from Petunia Pickle Bottom. It was a surprise gift from a dear friend at my baby shower in the Sashay Satchel style. This style was perfect because it easily converted from a handbag to a backpack. I always preferred it in the backpack mode to keep my hands free for Little B.

When the new baby comes, I am afraid that I will have to graduate to a larger bag to allow for the additional newborn essentials. I’ve been testing a different bag (seen in this photo) but I certainly do not like it as much as my Petunia Pickle Bottom bag. I may try a few other bags before I make a final decision. ♥

Open diaper bag

In the past, I’ve always been a “small” purse person. A little cross-body bag was my ideal pick when running errands.

However, having a baby changed that reality for me. I’ve had to adapt to carrying around a larger tote that contains our new necessities.

Now that Little B is older, I occasionally leave the diaper bag in the car for shorter errands (for example, the grocery store,) but I generally bring it with me so that I don’t find myself without.

diaper bag contents

In my bag, I have a zippered tote that contains all of my normal purse contents. Essentially, this is my “small” purse that I fit into my diaper bag. It is great to have this smaller clutch because it is easy to find in a larger bag. Also, if I ever leave my diaper bag somewhere, I can easily grab this little tote and carry on with my errands.

I like to keep my sunglasses in my diaper bag too. I have a pair of Costas. My hubby loves to fish; so this is our favorite brand for being around the water. To be completely honest, it is impossible to get around in Florida without a pair of sunglasses! The state certainly lives up to its Sunshine State status!

I’ve also learned to keep a small variety of toys on hand (although these tend to reside in the car – not my bag!) My secret weapon is keeping a board books available too! My little girl loves books! ♥ Hold on to that love, sweet thing!

diaper bag contents

What is a diaper bag without diapers? This photo shows my changing table mat, size 4 diapers, and sensitive Pampers wipes that I keep secured together with a hair tie. It is so much easier to grab this packaged set than digging for all of the necessary diaper changing items. I’m sure you can relate! (Think: squirming toddler with a blowout and trying to find diapers, wipes, AND the changing mat? NO THANKS!)

I also like to keep sunscreen and insect repellant in my car for all of those unexpected outings! It is convenient to have them with us so that we can make spontaneous decisions to walk in the park or sneak out to the beach!

On that note, I also keep a sun hat and jacket in my bag or in a little basket in the back of my car. Little B hasn’t used the jacket very much in this Florida summer, but the hat has been a fairly common accessory. I’m sure that as the weather cools down in the fall and the winter, the jacket will become a more necessary item as well.

diaper bag contents

All of the items that I mentioned above are frequent residents in my diaper bag. I dislike scrambling for things prior to leaving the house; so I try to keep these essentials in their proper place. That leaves only a few additional items to add to the bag on a daily basis.

Now that Little B is weaned, anytime I leave the house I try to bring along a snack. Often times, I bring organic puffs in her Munchkin Snack Catcher. This little contraption lets her independently eat her puffs – with minimal spilling. If we will be gone for a longer period of time, I bring a more substantial food item too.

I also pack a sippy-cup with water. Her favorite cup is this Munchkin Miracle 360° cup. She mastered drinking from it relatively quickly, and it doesn’t spill at all (unless you count the water she spits out of her mouth!) Win for us!

Last, but certainly not least, I always pack a binky. We use Wubbanub and Bright Start’s Cozy Coo pacifiers. They both have a similar nipple and a plush animal (dogs for us) on the ends. Little B loves her “puppies” as we call them. I limit her binky time to naps, overnight, and car rides; but I always check to make sure we have one when we head out of the house!

what's in my bag?

And that is how we roll… for now… at least until December. After that, the packing and sorting will recommence as I learn to juggle two littles! I’m welcome to any suggestions for streamlining my current diaper bag essentials or for what should/should not be included when I have two kiddos instead of just one!

Feel free to leave any comments below or direct message me (found under “contact me” in the menu at the top of the screen!)


(PS – I know some of you will read this and think, “Whoa! First-time mommy status! Way too much stuff!” Keep in mind that I don’t lug this much stuff around 100% of the time. A lot of these items camp out in my car more often than in my diaper bag.)

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18 thoughts on “What’s In My Bag? Diaper Bag Essentials For My Toddler

    1. It’s tough to find one that’s not too big but not too small either. I feel like Goldilocks with the bowls of porridge sometimes! Lol. I think I finally found one that I really like but it took a lot of trial and error!


  1. I love how prepared you are and the contents of your diaper bag. With my first child, I would always plan the diaper bag ahead and have it ready at all times. Now I just throw it together last minute, which is such a bad idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a father, I have a diaper backpack and unfortunately am not as organized as you. Now that I think about it, I’m not even sure I have diapers in it right now. Note to self: pack bag ahead of time.

    Also, one thing I always make sure to bring is a gallon sized ziploc bag – just in case TRex decides to go stomping through the mud or spill food all over himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you’ve identified the essentials and that’s all you carry in your bag. When I baby wear, I put the essentials in my regular purse and it makes a huge difference. When I have the stroller, I have the heavy bag with all the extra stuff in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I only carry the essentials now! I remember the first month or two when I pretty much had half my house in the diaper bag. Now it’s just diapers, wipes, a onesie and snacks. Summertime I add sunscreen and bug spray. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

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