8 Things Every Toddler Mom Must Have in Her Diaper Bag

8 Things Every Toddler Mom Must Have in Her Diaper Bag

A busy mom of a toddler shares the essential items she always keeps in her diaper bag.


By: Marisa Torrieri Bloom

My two-year-old and I are always on the go — whether it’s a quick trip to the supermarket or a trek to granny’s house for dinner. And since I have two kids, I need to be super prepared for anything that could come up on a whim, like an impromptu trip to the beach up the street when my husband gets off work early. That’s why it’s important for me to always have each of my sons’ diaper bags stocked and ready to go — and yes, it is necessary to keep separate bags for my toddler and my six-month-old infant. There are things my toddler needs (entertainment, snacks) that don’t apply to my infant and vice versa (pacifiers and burp cloths). With that in mind, here’s the edited list of essentials every mom should keep in her toddler diaper bag at all times:

1. A small stack of diapers and wipes. Unless your toddler is potty-trained, diapers are de rigueur. Our standby is Pampers Cruisers, and there are always at least three in the diaper bag, but we also keep a few of his super-absorbent nighttime diapers (we like Pampers Extra Dry. This way, if he falls asleep and needs to be transferred to his bed, we can be pretty sure he won’t wake up soaking in wet sheets. During the summertime, I always pack at least one swim diaper, too, in case an opportunity arises for a quick dip in a friend’s pool. As for wipes, they’re multi-purpose: You never know where you’ll wind up changing your tot. And spills happen — but napkins aren’t always handy.

2. One or two changes of clothing. Our diaper bag isn’t huge, but having at least one spare outfit stashed inside is essential — you never know when your kid will projectile vomit, or just plain wind up bathing in spaghetti. The spare set of clothing we keep in the bag is loose and comfortable — usually a white tee and soft, sweat shorts in the summertime (for him to change into after a bath at a granny’s house, if we decide to stay late), or a thermal, long-sleeve onesie and sweatpants for the cooler months.

3. Changing pad. There is rarely an occasion when I take my toddler out that he doesn’t have a wet or soiled diaper. And other than at homes of other toddler parents, I can’t count on changing pads being readily available when I need them. That’s why we don’t leave home without ours.

4. Food pouches. While most people think those convenient food pouches are for babies, they actually make for great, convenient toddler snacks, too. They can be opened and eaten anytime, anywhere and are a great way to stave off a hungry toddler if you’re running late to a meal or hit traffic on the road. While I’m also a fan of graham crackers and other go-to snacks, those also tend to go stale more quickly so they’re not a great emergency food supply.

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5. Hand sanitizer. Surfaces — and your toddler’s diaper — can be grimy. While washing hands is ideal, it isn’t always possible (like if you’re at the beach). Keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer in one of our diaper bag pouches makes keeping hands clean much easier.

6. Antibiotic cream and bandages. While you might not need them on an everyday basis, toddlers are famous for their frequent slips, falls, bumps and bruises. Whether it’s careening too quickly off a slide, or just not knowing how to stop once they get their little legs going in a full trot, these accoutrements will give you peace of mind, not to mention the ability to bandage up a boo-boo without a backward glance.

7. A favorite book or two. While my infant can be entertained by a mere game of peek-a-boo, my toddler can get easily bored and frustrated when we’re out too long at a location that isn’t kid-friendly. Having a little pop-up shark book has been a lifesaver for me, and has helped keep my toddler’s eyes away from my iPhone (which he has been known to snatch). I usually keep at least one or two in rotation to keep him occupied.

8. His beloved “lovey.” Whether it’s a threadbare blanket or favorite bunny, every parent of young kids knows not to leave the house without that most cherished of objects. (One couple I know even bought multiple bunnies and stashed them in strategic places in case of a sudden disappearance.) Think of this as your security blanket when it comes to preventing point-of-no-return meltdowns.

Is this list enough? Should I be packing other things? What are you packing in your toddler’s diaper bag?


Marisa Torrieri Bloom is a freelance writer and guitar teacher who lives with her husband and two young sons in Fairfield, CT.

Image ©iStock.com/olaser


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