This post contains affiliate links.
Need a quick and easy diaper bag checklist (PDF) to print off so that you can leave the house feeling confident with your babe? Grab your free copy below!
Wondering what to pack in a newborn’s diaper bag?
Today, we’re taking a look at what’s in my diaper bag –
My 15+ newborn diaper bag essentials, how I organize my diaper bag, and even a few helpful mom hacks, too!
Let’s get to it –
Diaper Bag Checklist PDF
Of course this one is a no-brainer.
The real question is – how many diapers should you pack in your diaper bag for a newborn?
While the general rule of thumb for newborns is to have one diaper for every hour you’ll be out, I like to keep a little stash in my diaper bag that’ll last for a few outings, so I don’t have to refill it every time.
I think 6-10 diapers is a good number, and I like to store them in a big zip top bag so that they’re contained and organized. If your little one happens to have a blow-out, you can take the diapers out of the zip top bag and seal their 💩 clothes in it until you get home!
Baby wipes come in both soft pouches and little plastic boxes – you’ll want to keep one or two of the pouches in your diaper bag.
(Some diaper bags even have a special spot to store the wipes, like this super cute one!)
03. Changing Pad
While you can definitely buy a pretty, reusable changing pad for on-the-go, these disposable ones work perfectly, are nice and big and don’t require cleaning.
I keep two or three of them in my diaper bag.
04. Swaddle Blanket
From burp cloth to sun shade to nursing cover, emergency changing pad and beyond – swaddle blankets are a mom’s best friend!
Pack one in your diaper bag and use it for whatever you need while you’re out.
05. Doggie Bags
Yep, you read that one right.
This is such a great mom hack, but you probably won’t realize how great it is until your baby unexpectedly poops everywhere and you have nowhere to put the dirty diaper (like in the middle of a long road trip😆).
Keep a small roll of doggie bags tucked away in your diaper bag so that you have somewhere to contain dirty diapers in a pinch (you could also use the bags regularly to help contain the stink!).
06. Hand Sanitizer
You never know where you’ll need to change a diaper, so making sure you have some hand sanitizer in your diaper bag is very essential.
07. Small Toy or Teether
While newborn babies don’t actually okay with toys, as they get a little older, they will begin to look around. Having a small item like a crinkle toy, or these light linking rings can help distract or entertain your baby while you’re out.
Always gotta have one or two pacis with you!
09. Soother Case
I like this cute case that just attaches to the outside of your diaper bag so that you can get to it *immediately* (my son was colicky and there were definitely a few days where we did not have time to be digging through the bag to find it).
If you wanna go the less baby stuff is a good thing route, you can just use a small plastic food storage container or zip top bag and keep it in your diaper bag.
10. Extra Drool Bib
For the first few months, babies’ bellies are so tiny, so it’s common for them to spit up pretty regularly. So, if you’re taking your newborn out, you’re probably just about guaranteed that they’ll spit up at some point.
Having an extra soft cloth bib (not the silicone type that’s used for feeding solids) is really handy because it allows you to just swap the bib out when it’s dirtied instead of doing a whole outfit change.
11. Change of Clothes
I like to keep a simple back-up romper in my diaper bag (instead of pants and a onesie) just because it’s fewer items to worry about.
I also keep a pair of socks, and a sweater for when the weather’s cooler.
12. Baby Blanket
A small baby blanket is super handy not only to put over baby if you’re out somewhere and it gets super chilly, but it can also be folded up and used as nursing pillow substitute to help you prop baby up when nursing while you’re out.
13. Extra Bottle (Milk or Formula)
Even with the best planning, it’s not unlikely that your newborn will have to eat while you’re out.
While you can definitely breastfeed them if that’s what you’re doing, I found it more convenient to do a quick formula feed while we were out.
(Most malls and many stores will have designated nursing areas for you to sit down and nurse your baby, it can be a little awkward, especially when you’re new to breastfeeding.)
We really loved these super convenient 2-oz bottles of formula for our diaper bag (they’re what they gave us as the hospital).
I love that they are sealed, and do not have to be refrigerated, so you can put 3 or 4 of them in your diaper bag and not have to worry about refilling it every time you go out.
Alternatively, if your baby is exclusively breastfed, and you bring pumped milk, you’ll want to be mindful of how long you’re out for, though, as it can only be kept at room temperature for so long. You can also look into ice packs for the milk – some breast pumps even come with a mini insulated on-the-go cooler bag.
14. Nipple for Bottle
Make sure you’ve got a nipple for the bottle, too!
15. Mini Hair Spray
Okay, time for a disclaimer:
If you have got a baby who sleeps well, on their own, and isn’t incredibly fussy and high-needs, then you can probably go without the hair spray.
Such was not the case for me.
In those early weeks and even months after my son was born, there were sooo many times when he’d just be soo cranky, and I’d have to quickly pack him up and go for a drive to calm him down.
Time to shower, fix my ponytail, brush my hair?
Lol. No. Not with a screaming baby.
So, a travel-size hair spray and/or dry shampoo was a must for me to be able to – at least somewhat – not look like a crazy bag lady.
If you want to throw in a few makeup essentials, too – that’s a great idea (and if you haven’t checked out this list of the best drugstore powder foundations over on the Melissa Jane Lee blog, you need to!)
16. Hair Tie or Scrunchie
Same idea here, but once your newborn starts to grow and becomes a bit more aware; they will soon start pulling on your hair, too, so having something to tie it back is definitely very handy!
I know it seems really simple to just plan to fill your own regular water bottle, or grab one from a coffee shop while you’re out, but, you will be surprised at how simple things like that can become very challenging when you’re managing a newborn.
From nap schedules to fussy babies, to having your hands full – it can just be tough with a new baby on board!
I liked to keep an extra bottle of water or two in our diaper bag for on the run, especially in those warm summer months!
Snacks for mom – another diaper bag essential.
I liked keeping some granola or protein bars, and small individual packets of nuts or trail mix in our bag.
19. Phone Charger
Remember the part about having to pack my baby up in a hurry and drive around to calm him down?
Same idea here.
It honestly felt like my phone was always dead in those first few months, so keeping a phone charger, or portably charging pack, was definitely essential for me.
Diaper Bag Checklist (PDF) – Wrapping Up
And there you have it – all the essentials that I completely *relied* on with my newborn. I hope this printable diaper bag checklist PDF is everything you needed!
Now, get to packing, mama!