Having everything you need in a toddler diaper bag is crucial to a day out with little ones. Here you will find all the essentials for your toddler diaper bag in one backpack, whether you are going out for just a couple hours or an all day adventure.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclosure here.
Only a few months ago your child was an infant who needed bottles every few hours and bibs to prevent messes with baby food. You had a good handle on what you needed to pack for daily outings. Now, your child is a toddler who has very different needs when you are on the go.
Having all the essentials together in one diaper bag will help prevent meltdowns and unnecessary stress when out with a busy toddler.
If you are planning a day trip with your toddler, check out this post about what to pack.
Finding the Right Diaper Bag
When it comes to toddlers, an easy to carry diaper bag is very important. Once kids are walking, you will be chasing them down the street and a messenger-style bag may feel very bulky.
My recommendation is a medium-size diaper bag backpack, as it can work for short trips or all day. We have had a couple different diaper bags over the past few years and have learned what styles work best. I cannot find our exact one online, but you can find a similar one here.
A couple key features to look for are:
- Front zipper pocket for easy to reach items
- Side pockets for cups
- Interior pockets to help with organizing items
- Exterior material that can be wiped down when spills happen
Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials
Bathroom and Clean-up Essentials for Diaper Bag
If your toddler is not yet potty-trained, you will want to keep a good stock of diapers and wipes. We keep our diapers in a separate organizer pouch so that we are not having to dig in the bag hoping we have another diaper at the bottom. This also makes it really easy when packing for the day to see how many diapers we have. I try to make sure there are 4-5 in the pouch when we go out for the day.
You will also want to have diaper rash ointment on hand. I recommend Aquaphor because it works on diaper rash as well as scratches, scrapes, and chafing.
Baby wipes are a necessary item for more than just diaper changes. I am constantly using wipes for sticky hands and cleaning up messes.
One thing to consider here is the size of your wipes pack. I recommend not having more than a 64-wipe pack or it will take up a huge amount of valuable space in the diaper bag.
In addition to baby wipes, it is also a good idea to have antibacterial hand wipes for snack times. I love the Wet Ones travel packs as they are the perfect size for diaper bags.
Portable Changing Pad
We still use a simple travel changing pad as an extra layer of hygiene on changing tables, and also during those emergency back of the car changes!
Disposable Bags for Dirty Diapers
This hack was a game changer for us. Maybe it’s just me, but every time I had to do an emergency car diaper change, I then couldn’t find a trash can. There is nothing worse than a dirty diaper and wipes rolling around in the back of your car.
Now we keep a roll of dog waste bags in the diaper bag. You can throw the dirty items in and tie it up until you can find a trashcan. The roll is also compact and takes up no room in the diaper bag.
First Aid and Toiletries
First aid and toiletry items are where your interior pockets and organizer pouches come in handy. When your kid falls and scrapes their knee, you need a Paw Patrol bandaid in 0.2 seconds.
- Spray sunscreen
- Face stick sunscreen
- Bug spray
- Toddler sunglasses
- Hair ties
- Tide to-go instant stain remover
Extra Change of Clothes
Whether it is a diaper mishap or a yogurt pouch spilled all over your toddler’s shorts, you will want to keep a full change of clothes in your diaper bag.
Make sure to have a season-appropriate top, bottom, socks, and underwear if they are potty-trained. I have been guilty of forgetting the socks, and that is the day they decide to go jump in dirty puddles.
Snacks, Snacks, and More Snacks
This is where the front pocket of the diaper bag backpack is very helpful. Before I leave for the day, I load this up with snacks to make my toddler and preschooler happy.
Before we leave the house, I fill up my toddler’s reusable water bottle with ice water and put it in the side pocket. Side pockets are especially great for this because it does not get the rest of your diaper bag wet inside.
Here are some of my toddler’s favorite snack options:
- Annie’s cheddar bunnies
- Annie’s fruit snacks
- Happy Baby puffs
- Fruit and vegetables pouches
- Fruit bars
I find it helpful to keep snack options that are both quick to eat, such as bars, and those that can drag out longer, like puffs and crackers. Because sometimes your toddler is starving and needs to inhale a pouch in 4 seconds. And other times you just need to give them a snack that will last 5 minutes so that you can peacefully load up your cart with more snacks while shopping at Costco.
Toddler Games and Activities
This may be one of the biggest changes in what you pack in your diaper bag for toddlers compared to infants. When they are babies, you do not have to think through as much what to pack to keep them entertained. At this age, you need a few things in your diaper bag backpack to keep them occupied for a few minutes.
These are some of the items we keep all the time in our diaper bag:
- Water WOW! books
- Play Pack grab and go activity books (these are awesome – they have coloring pages, crayons, and stickers all in one resealable bag)
- Brain Quest cards
- Board book or magazine (such as Highlights Hello magazine)
There you have it. This should be pretty much everything you need for a day out with a toddler all in one diaper bag backpack. See below for an easy printable list of everything you need for a toddler diaper bag.
Pin it for later!
Comment below and let me know what you forget to pack most often in your diaper bag. For me, it is definitely forgetting to make sure the extra change of clothes is right for the season and my kid’s size!