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I thought leaving the house with a baby was really hard. Now I have a toddler, and guess what? It’s also a challenge! In new ways, though, and I know leaving the house with a kid at any age comes with its own set of obstacles.
I’m thankful my daughter has moved into a convertible car seat, and I no longer need to lug around a heavy infant car seat for every outing. But even with that piece out of the equation, my diaper bag is still a hefty item that joins us for all adventures.
As parents, we can’t remove all obstacles when it comes to leaving the house, but expertly packing your diaper bag helps. Toddlers require some of the same things they needed as babies, like extra diapers and spare outfits (you still never know what will happen!). As we move into the toddler stage, the contents inside my diaper bag have evolved, like now including snacks and beverages to keep my little one content.
Here’s a look at the 11 diaper bag essentials that we never leave home without, making for mostly-smooth adventures together.
It's probably safe to say we all carry around hand sanitizer wherever we go. I like a small, hypoallergenic version specifically for the diaper bag.
Just like I always have my own water bottle, now my child requires one as well. We love this weighted straw cup, though I will admit that at certain angles it does leak. I keep it in a Stasher bag (below) to avoid messy spills.
The perfect reusable bag for water bottles or unfinished snacks.
And speaking of snacks, we always have one of these snack catchers filled with puffs of some sort. They aren't totally mess-proof, and we do have puffs flying all over the place, but it's the best option we've found for the toddler stage.
I'm not sure I should be bribing good behavior with snacks, but sometimes you need to calm down an upset baby and snacks work pretty well. These peanut butter puffs are a favorite.
If I can get my daughter to keep this hat on her head, it's my preference over sunscreen, which can be messy and a pain to apply. This hat has a chin strap to help it stay in place.
Wipes are a must for various uses when out and about. I like Water Wipes since they are just water and a drop of fruit extract. I use them for diaper changes, face and hand wiping, high chair wiping, and anything else that might need a quick clean up.
Whatever your diaper of choice is, have a few ready to grab at all times.
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Diaper changes still happen on the go, more than often in the backseat of our car. These thin pads are perfect because they won't take up much diaper bag space.
I'm happy to report blow outs happen far less frequently than they used to, but it's always smart to have an extra outfit on hand.
A toy, book, or lovey can help keep your toddler distracted and entertained. One of these mini board books is small enough to toss in the diaper bag.