If being a first-time mom isn’t overwhelming enough – we have to think about what to pack for an outing with the baby. I’m here to help YOU mama make your life less stressful. I promise the essentials needed for baby aren’t as overwhelming as you think.
Whether or not the baby is here yet, you can still pack your diaper bag so that you are ready for your first outing with baby. I was too anxious to not have my diaper bag prepared before the baby arrived.
It can be hard to transition from only worrying about what to pack in your purse to packing for baby too. Have you ever heard someone say “Did you pack your entire house?” I tend to overpack … A LOT and had a few people tell me that funny saying. But I can reassure you, I was always prepared no matter the mishap with my son.
Heading to the hospital soon to have your baby? Read Essentials You Actually Need In Your Hospital Bag.
Let’s check out the must-have essentials for your diaper bag below.
Some of the below links are affiliate links. Please review our disclosure policy here.
What are the must-have items in a diaper bag for a baby?
CHANGE OF CLOTHES
Babies tend to spit up or have blowouts and you always want to be prepared. Pack 2-3 extra outfits for baby including a onesie, socks and a one-piece pajama set.
Don’t forget to keep a hat in the bag no matter the season. This is helpful to keep the sun off of baby’s head/face in the summer or keep baby warm in the winter.
DIAPERS & WIPES
Depending on how many times you change your baby’s diaper and how long you will be out for, typically a diaper every 2 hours is essential. Keep a full package of wipes accessible at all times. They aren’t only used for diaper changes but for washing hands and faces too.
DISPOSABLE BAG HOLDER & BAGS
You’ll need bags to put dirty diapers in or soiled clothes, burp cloths or bibs. I added this disposable bag holder and bags to my baby registry. It hangs off my diaper bag and the bags smell good! If you prefer to reuse grocery bags, that’ll work fine too.
Not sure what to add to your baby registry list? Read List of Must-Have Baby Items.
The baby may not need diaper cream/ointment all the time but it is good to keep on hand just in case they end up getting a rash. I always had packed Aquaphor Ointment Tube and Triple Paste. I would rotate between the two. The Aquaphor ointment can also be used to help heal scratches or for dry/chapped skin.
The changing pad is convenient when you are out and need to lay baby down to change their diaper or outfit. Be sure you have a changing pad that comes with pockets. You can easily put a few diapers, wipes and any other items in one place so you don’t have to bring the entire diaper bag with you.
Some diaper bags come with changing pads but this one is my favorite that I personally use. It has many pockets, it is easy to clean and matches my diaper bag!
BIBS AND BURP CLOTH
Baby’s tend to spit up or drool and need a bib or you may be feeding the baby and want to keep their clothes clean. 1-2 bibs are essential along with a burp cloth.
Keep baby occupied if you are in the car, in a store or if they are upset. Depending on the baby’s age, a car toy, rattle or teether will come in handy to keep baby busy. These items are small enough where it doesn’t take up too much room. I used this teether for my son – it acted as a pacifier while soothing his gums.
SUNSCREEN, BUG SPRAY & LOTION
Depending on the season and the outing, I always had on hand Bug Spray and Sunscreen (for babies 6+ months). Sometimes we would unexpectedly go outside and needed either one. I used this on myself if needed. A travel-size lotion is nice to keep in your bag too.
This can be used to quickly clean your hands before touching baby, changing their diaper, or a surface baby may be touching. Keep in mind that items in the baby’s diaper bag can be for you too so you have less to carry in your purse. Baby’s diaper bag can be for both of you!
PACIFIER AND CLIP
If the baby uses a pacifier, use a pacifier holder to store it in. It keeps it clean and don’t forget a pacifier clip. Babies tend to drop pacifiers a lot and the clip will keep the pacifier from falling and getting dirty.
TIP: Keep an extra pacifier in the pacifier holder, not one from home. That way, in case you lose it, you still have one at home!
BLANKET OR NURSING COVER
A receiving/muslin blanket or nursing cover is essential to pack in your diaper bag. The blanket has many uses and is very thin. It doesn’t take up much room. Depending on the season, a receiving blanket can be used to keep baby warm when sleeping, placed on the changing pad if it feels cold, covering the car seat, burp cloth, etc.
If you plan on breastfeeding, a nursing cover is very versatile. You can use it to cover you and baby when nursing, use it as a receiving blanket, car seat cover or high chair cover.
I always packed one receiving blanket and my nursing cover. I used this nursing cover which was used for many reasons not just when nursing.
You may need to babywear the baby when you are out but some wraps and carriers are not lightweight or foldable. I used the Boba Wrap, which I personally recommend. It comes with a carrying case made of the same material that the wrap itself is made of and is easily foldable. It’s also easy to put on and baby stays cocooned.
FIRST AID TRAVEL-SIZE KIT
A few bandaids, ointment, and disinfecting wipes are all you need for a basic first aid travel-size kit. You can make your own or buy a premade first aid travel-size kit. I added in our kit a few q-tips in case it was needed to apply ointment or use to clean the baby’s ears. I also added a few pieces of gauze that were cut into small squares.
This will vary depending on if you are breastfeeding or formula feeding.
If you are formula feeding, you will need a few bottles, formula and a thermos with warm water.
Are you suffering from sore or cracked nipples? Read Sore Nipples Remedy.
If you’re pumping, you may need a few bottles with the storage bags filled with milk and/or your pump/haakaa and additional accessories.
I breastfed, so I would just use my nursing cover to nurse my son, however, sometimes if we were going out somewhere, where it was easier for me to give my son a bottle, I would have the breastmilk in the bottle already or bring it in a storage milk bag, kept cool with an ice pack in a sundry bag. I would warm it up in a thermos filled with hot water.
Nail Clippers: I am a stickler for trimmed nails and sometimes rushing out of the house I would forget to trim my son’s nails. I always keep nail clippers in his bag.
Brush/Comb: After a nap, my son’s hair is always wild. I’d also use it for myself if needed!
As your baby grows, you may add additional things to your diaper bag, like different toys, snacks/pouches, etc. But for now, this list of essentials for your newborn baby’s diaper bag will help you be prepared for your outings.
Keep in mind that the baby’s diaper bag can act as your purse! Stick in some of your items so you don’t have to carry a purse. I kept a wallet clutch with my credit cards/cash and any little items needed for me (don’t forget snacks and water for mama ;))!