Diaper Bag Essentials For Toddlers
Now that your baby is a toddler, you are probably wondering what the diaper bag essentials for toddlers are so you can be prepared no matter the occasion.
As you know, packing a bag for a toddler is quite different to packing your diaper bag for an infant.
Toddlers are busy and messy, so you need to make sure you include essentials that will keep your child clean and comfortable.
Not to mention, toddlers have meltdowns and tantrums, so you want to be prepared to handle those big emotions.
So, to help make sure your toddler diaper bag is packed with everything you’ll need, we have put together this toddler diaper bag checklist filled with all our 20 must have toddler diaper bag essentials.
Don’t be caught off-guard; this list of things to pack in a diaper bag for toddler will keep you prepared for anything!
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List Of The 20 Must Have Diaper Bag Essentials For Toddlers
Diaper Bag Essentials For Toddlers
Packing a diaper bag for a toddler is easier than packing a diaper bag for a newborn or an infant. Toddlers are easier to take places, and most of the time, if you forget something, it doesn’t feel like the world will end.
Here are our favorite diaper bag essentials for toddlers that you don’t want to forget.
1. Extra Clothes
Toddlers are disaster zones; you always need to have extra clothes. Realistically, you may even want to carry extra clothes with you until your kids are five or six years old. You never know what will happen while on the go, but it’s better to be prepared.
We recommend keeping one or two complete outfits with you at all times, including socks (especially if you are potty training). If you have space to keep an extra pair of shoes, like crocs, you should. You’ll probably find you end up changing your toddler’s clothes more while you are out and about than you did with your baby!
2. Diapers or Underwear
Pack a diaper for everyone two to three hours that you plan to be out, along with two extras because you never know what life might throw at you. We also recommend keeping a few diapers or pull ups in your car just to be on the safe side as no one wants to be caught out with no diapers when you really need one.
If your toddler is potty-trained, or in the process of potty training, you’ll want to keep a few pairs of underwear and pants with you. Accidents are normal for quite a while when you potty train.
With their 360-degree all-around stretchy waistband and Dual Leak Guard barriers, Pampers Easy Ups are a great cost effective pull up!
Although they don't have a wetness indicator, they do come in cute gender specific designs to ensure your child's pull up has additional absorbency where it is needed most!
They are not very bulky which makes them feel a lot more like underwear helping to give your little one the idea that they are transitioning away from diapers into using the potty independently.
3. Swim Diaper
It’s a great idea to keep a few swim diapers with you during the summer season. You never know when your child might have the opportunity to play in the water since so many parks now have splash pads and sprinklers.
Having a swim diaper or two means your child never has to miss out on the fun.
You may also like our guide to the best swim diapers for babies and toddlers!
A popular choice, widely found in supermarkets and online, Huggies Little Swimmer offer everything that babies need and parents want in a swim diaper. From built-in leak guards that offer excellent protection against diaper explosions to a great fit, these budget friendly swim diapers are our top pick for disposable swim diapers!
A resealable pack of baby wipes always comes in handy for a toddler diaper bag. Whether it is for a diaper change or to wipe sticky fingers you will be grateful that you have them packed!
A handy tip is to always make sure that you check that there are plenty of wipes in the container before you leave or ensure you have an extra pack in your diaper bag or the car.
If you buy the larger baby wipe refill packs, take out a good amount and store them in a plastic sandwich bag, so they stay moist.
5. Sanitizing Wipes
Baby wipes are great for cleaning up messes but sometimes you also need to ensure that the surface has also been sanitized properly before you use it. That’s why we also recommend adding some sanitizing wipes to your toddler diaper back so you can ensure things like restaurant tables, grocery carts, car seat straps, stroller trays, and toys are clean before using them.
6. Diaper Cream
Toddlers typically don’t need diaper cream applied as often as infants, so we recommend getting a small, travel-size tube of diaper cream so it is available in your diaper bag if you need it.
And make sure you also check out these different uses for diaper cream if you do end up with spare cream!
When it comes to diaper rash creams, Butt Paste is our go to cream! It's fast acting with visible results within 24hrs. It's thicker so won't wear off as soon as your baby wets their diaper. It's more natural. And it can be less expensive!
7. Hand Sanitizer
Keeping a small bottom of alcohol-free hand sanitizer in your diaper bag is a must. It will come in handy for using before and after your change diapers, sanitizing hands before eating, or after visiting public places.
8. Portable Changing Pad
Quite often your diaper bag will come with a portable changing pad, but if not it is a great addition to ensure you always have a clean surface to change your toddler on. You can opt for a lightweight waterproof change pad or even a blanket in its place, just make sure whatever option you choose it is large enough to work with your toddler.
Some people think that you only need sunscreen in the summer, but you need to use it year-round. It’s best to use a chemical-free sunscreen made with zinc oxide for your toddler. Anytime that your child is outside, you should apply sunscreen.
10. Leak Proof Sippy Cups
Being a toddler can be thirsty work, especially with all that running around! So, to make sure your toddler stays hydrated you’ll want to make sure you have their sippy cup packed with you! Yet, because they can so easily be lost or left behind we recommend having a separate leak proof sippy cup (or two) just for your diaper bag. That way even if you lose one you will still have one available for use when you get home.
The NUK learner cup is a great spill proof sippy cup designed to help your little one make the transition from breastfeeding to cup easier.
It has easy grip, anti-slip handles are easy for baby to hold and can be removed as baby grows.
The soft spout is designed to be gentle on gums while teaching baby to drink from a spout and the air vent helps reduce swallowed air.
It is also BPA-free and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning
11. Disposable or Washable Placemats
Toddlers and plates don’t always go hand in hand; they end up on the floor more than they stay on the table. That’s why we love disposable or washable placemats! If you never feel like the table is clean enough to put their food directly on it this helps to give you peace of mind. It also makes cleaning up after them that much easier too!
Bringing snacks is a must-have when you have toddlers. Snacks are a boost of energy or a way to stop a meltdown. They’re rewards for good behavior and a cure for boredom when appointments run longer than expected.
Honestly, you never can have too many snacks with you.
You can’t bring all of your child’s favorite toys with you, but if it fits and will make your child happy, bring it with you. Small cars, a baby doll, books (like this quiet book), dinosaurs, or a stuffed animal are great choices. Avoid things with lots of pieces like puzzles or blocks; it’s too easy to lose those pieces.
14. Crayons and Paper
Crayons and paper are always a winner! You can keep the ones from restaurants in a plastic baggie with paper or use a kids erasable doodle book set if you are looking for reusable option.
You never know just when coloring in will come in handy to keep your toddler busy so it makes perfect sense to have one handy in your toddler’s diaper bag!
15. Waterproof Wet Bag
There is nothing worse than being caught out with wet, dirty, or soiled clothes and having no where to out them! That is why we recommend packing a waterproof wet bag. If your toddler falls in the mud or leaks out of his diaper, you can simply store the wet or dirty clothes in your wet bag until you get home.
16. Washable Bib
Bibs are great for when your toddler is getting stuck into their food or for an importune ice-cream. It helps to keep your toddler clean, and depending on the type of bib, it will also help to catch any mess. They are a great item to have in your diaper bag essentials kit.
If your child uses pacifiers, always have one or two extra stored in your diaper bag. To keep pacifiers clean, pop them in a resealable bag rather than letting them float around. They end up in the bottom of the bag if they aren’t stored properly.
You might also like this guide on pacifier alternatives for toddlers.
This BPA free, ultra-light, silicone pacifier is a popular choice amongst parents. With its symmetrical orthodontic design it is a soft and extremely durable pacifier option for your baby. Best of all it is easy to keep clean with anti-static properties prevent dust from settling and it's dishwasher safe!
Toddlers get cold, too, so keeping a toddler sized blanket with you is a great idea. Use can use a thin, muslin, swaddling blankets or something a litter heavier like a cotton blanket. They are especially great for cuddling or covering your toddler in the car seat.
Keep your baby warm and cozy while on the go with this 100% organic, GOTS certified stroller blanket! It has a breathable jersey shell and 100% polyester fill for extra warmth. It is reversible and comes in a range of gorgeous patterns and colors.
19. Travel First Aid Kit
A first aid kit one of our favorite diaper bag essentials for toddlers. You don’t need to have an extensive first aid kit. Bring along things like:
- Triple antibiotic cream
- Bug bite cream
- Tweezers for splinters
You might not need it very often, but when you do, you’ll be very grateful to have it!
Keeping a few medicines in your diaper bag can be a great idea. Make sure to keep the medication stored securely and ideally in a leak proof bag or container in case they leak or opt of a chewable tablet to prevent leaks. Tylenol or ibuprofen is a must-have, as well as tissues and cold medicine. Benadryl is excellent, too, especially in your first aid kit. It helps with insect stings or allergic reactions.
Toddler Diaper Bag Checklist
Final Thoughts on Packing A Toddler Diaper Bag
Planning ahead of the name of the game for toddlers. Picking the right diaper bag essentials for toddlers means you’re always ready to keep your child entertained or to handle a messy outfit after a fall in the mud. Don’t stress out; pack the perfect diaper bag ahead of time.
And if you’re looking for more great diapering guides, then check out these guides on best wet bags, diaper caddy essentials, diapers vs pullups, and best backpack diaper bags for twins.
Allison Banfield an experience mom of two, wife, writer, editor, and passionate parenting advocate! Backed with a Masters Degree in Public Health, a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion, a long career in health and safety, and 10 years of hands on experience using, researching, and testing baby products, Allison loves to use her parenting experience to support and encourage other parents.