Before the arrival of my second baby boy, I thought I had this Momin’ thing in the (diaper) bag, but boy did I learn the hard way in the first several weeks, ok fine – months, that I needed a little work. With moments like bringing my infant into his doctor’s office in just a diaper because he had a massive blow out in the car seat and I didn’t pack a second set of clothes, or the time that I did all my grocery shopping and had to quietly abandon my cart because I forgot my wallet, or when I had to drive to my husband’s work to get a house key because I took mine off the car set the day before and forgot to put it back on…

After much trial and error, here is my idea of a well-stocked diaper bag for life with a toddler and infant.

Diapering Essentials

  • Diapers for all kiddos
  • Wipes – making sure there is enough in the package for wiping bottoms, hands and faces.
  • Changing pad – my diaper bag came with one that mysteriously disappeared, so I picked up a couple of these.
  • Diaper lotions – soothing balm and/or zinc oxide based cream to use as needed.
  • Hand sanitizer – Honest Co. is my favorite, it drys so quickly.
  • Extra outfit in a ziplock bag – keeping in mind that kiddos have accidents, especially young babies. Pack undershirt, top, pants, bib, socks, a whole coordinating outfit. That Ziplock bag is also a good place to put soiled clothes.

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Essentials for entertainment, sleep and feeding

  • A couple of toys for each kiddo – my go-tos are teething toys, cars and small books
  • Crayons – “Mama, I need to color” is the phrase that comes out of my toddler’s mouth every time we sit at a restaurant. Sometimes places do not cater to the kiddos, so bringing your own art can make for a happier time.
  • SNACKS – I can’t stress this one enough. For anyone who has a toddler, you know that their life revolves around snacks. My go-to snacks are apple sauce pouches (love the Trader Joe’s ones) peanut butter crackers, pretzels, goldfish or other quick and clean on-the-go treats (that won’t totally ruin their appetite for lunch or dinner).
  • Spill-proof sippys – a great sippy is the Holy Grail of surviving early toddlerhood, as any mama knows
  • Emergency lolly pops – nope, I’m not a hater of bribery…sometimes a mama’s gotta use a secret weapon to get through Target.
  • Disposable bibs 
  • Disposable place mats
  • Blanket/nursing cover – when I forget my Hooter Hider, I just simply tie two corners of a muslin blanket and place it over my head, works like a charm.
  • Extra nursing pads
  • Bib/burp cloth – LOVE these Aden and Anais Burpy Bibs, because they kinda do both and my toddler still uses these, also great coverage.
  • If bottle feeding, a formula dispenser and water
  • Portable sound machine – my kiddos LOVE white noise for sleeping. This is the one I like because it never shuts off!
  • Pacifiers

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Other essentials

  • Lip balm
  • Seasonal stuff – sun screen stick,  bug spray, band aids for skinned knees at the park, etc (how cute and practical are these squish-proof tins?)
  • Wallet
  • Cell phone
  • Sun Glasses
  • Gum/mints
  • The bag itself! Our friends over at Tadpole have a fun and unique selection of diaper bags to put your haul in…

Let’s be real, my diaper bag doesn’t always look like this and most days it seems there are more receipts and crumbs than anything else, but at the very least, every day I restock things like diapers and snacks, and once per week I try to make sure that all my essentials are stocked and accounted for, and it really does make life much easier!

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