11 Diaper Bag Essentials for the Toddler Years

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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.


1. The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray

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.


2. Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Straw Cup

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.


3. Stasher Silicone Reusable Food Bag

The perfect reusable bag for water bottles or unfinished snacks.


4. Munchkin Snack Catcher

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.


5. Puffworks Baby Organic Peanut Butter Puffs

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.


6. Baby Stripe Flutter Hat

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.


7. Water Wipes

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.


8. Pampers Swaddlers

Whatever your diaper of choice is, have a few ready to grab at all times.

Buy Buy Baby

9. Obersee Baby Changing Mat 2-Pack

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.


10. Baby First Favorite Long Sleeve Bodysuit

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.

Happy Mango

11. Mini Board Book Set

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.

Read More: What Your Enneagram Reveals About Your Toddler-Parenting Style