Baby & Toddler

15 Must-Have Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials

Mother holding toddler
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The transition from what do I need in my baby diaper bag to what toddler diaper bag essentials I need are bitter-sweet. Your baby is not a baby anymore. They are gaining independence, walking, and now that they have entered the toddler phase, they are certified explorers.

This means extra clothes for the muddy days, extra underwear for the potty training phase and lots of snacks for on the go. While you need much less in a toddler diaper bag, these are just a few diaper bag essentials we take everywhere we go.

If you are wondering what to pack in a diaper bag for 2-year-olds and a diaper bag for 3-year-olds this post covers the older toddlers too. I’m listing all of what should go in a toddler diaper bag.

Diaper Bag Checklist

  • Band-aids 
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sandwich
  • Snacks
  • Extra Clothes
  • Underwear
  • Diapers, if you are still using them.
  • Toys
  • Disposable placemats
  • Sippy Cup
  • Wipes
  • Chapstick
  • Sunscreen
  • Wet bags
  • Nursing cover

Diaper Bag Essentials For Toddlers

Extra Clothes For Toddler Diaper Bag- The one time you leave the house without extra clothes will be the last time you leave the house without extra clothes. Pack at least one extra outfit for your little one. No matter how you slice it, kids are messy. Extra clothes should be at the top of your toddler diaper bag essentials list.

From blowouts to a hard day worth of play, you just can’t get around it and that’s ok because that’s the beauty of Toddlerhood.

Extra clothes are a diaper bag must-have. One extra outfit should be all that you need. At the end of each day, it’s a good idea to go through the diaper bag to restock.

Diapers- If you are still using diapers, pack extras to cover you while out.

Extra Underwear– If you have moved on to underwear or are in the potty training phase, pack at least 2 pairs of extra underwear to be on the safe side.

If you are potty training, the Gerber potty training pants are great to have. They are much thicker than regular toddler underwear and available in styles for both girls and boys.

Snacks- Bring lots of options! Yesterday they loved blueberry muffins. Today they’re “disgusting” as my son would say. For the younger toddlers, Happy Toddler has great snacks to pack in your toddler diaper bag.

Sometimes I will even bring leftover breakfast or lunch as snacks. Stasher and Stackable snack containers are both fantastic for tossing in the diaper bag to have snacks on the ready.

Stashers is a silicone pouch with a tight seal that will hold sandwiches, snacks, and they have a few other larger sizes.

Stasher snack bags to pack in a toddler diaper bag.

Stackables come with 3 containers in a few different sizes. Each container comes with a lid and there is also a handle to carry. You can take all 3 containers or just 1 if you like. The carrying handle will fit all 3 containers.

Sandwiches- Bring along a sandwich or 2, whether it’s for yourself or your little one. Food is a diaper bag necessity because sometimes you are out much longer than you had planned.

Cups For Toddlers- Sippy cups are essential for toddler bags. The best kind are cups that are durable and leakproof. Re Play sippy cups have spouts and are pretty much indestructible and leakproof. These are great to start out with.

Dr. Brown’s 360 cups are some of the best cups for toddlers. As you can tell by the name, they can drink from any area of the cup. They come in a pack of two.

Disposable placemats- For those long park days or eating out at a restaurant, these placemats are diaper bag necessities for us. No need for your little one to set their snacks on the park bench or the park’s table. Use a placemat.

Toddlers need something to do when out at a restaurant with family. These placemats have a street on them and a few parking spots. LOL. We bring a few Hot Wheel cars for entertainment.  

They come in a variety of designs. Simply fold a few up and toss them in the diaper bag.

Place mats for toddlers are a toddler diaper bag essential.

Toys- What to have in a diaper bag? Toys! Bring the toys your toddler enjoys the most, their favorite. One-piece toys are much better than toys with multiple pieces.

Hot Wheels, dinosaurs, and small trains are some of our favorites for what goes in a diaper bag. But think dolls, their favorite stuffed animal, kid’s fidgets, and board books.

Nursing Cover- When you are making a list of your diaper bag contents, don’t forget about a nursing cover to use out in public places if that’s your preference.

As they get older, you may want to ditch the nursing cover and wear a breastfeeding top instead. Of course, all kiddos are not the same, but as they get older, they want to see and be seen.  They will try their best to get the cover out of the way so they can see what’s going on around them.

Check out 16 Breastfeeding Essentials, Essentials For A Breastfeeding Station, and Breastfeeding Tips For First-Time Mothers if you need more breastfeeding tips.

Wet Bags- Wet bags are diaper bag essentials for toddlers and babies. They hold in smells, so if you are changing a diaper in a pinch with nowhere to toss it, just throw it in your wet bag. Soiled underwear or wet clothes, no problem toss them in your wet bag and into the laundry once home.

Band-Aids- Add a few band-aids in your diaper bag for the bumps and bruises along the way.

Hand Sanitizer- For lunch at the park, snacks and potty breaks, or anytime you need to clean your hands.

Wipes- Whether you’re in the newborn or toddler phase, wipes are essential for a diaper bag to help you keep their faces clean after a snack, diaper changes, and hands clean.

Chapstick- For the older toddlers and yourself.

Sunscreen- For the warmer months, having sunscreen on hand is an important part of your toddler diaper bag essentials.

Toddler Diaper Bags

Honest City Backpack- If you’ve been around for a while, you know I talk about the Honest City backpack a lot. To me, it’s one of the best toddler diaper bags out there.

There is a ton of storage space from different compartments to outer pockets. The changing mat also has a zipper section where you can store a few diapers or 


Indi Diaper Backpack- The Indi diaper backpack is what we moved on to for the older toddler years. The Indi is outstanding because it comes in small, medium, and large. So if you are looking for a small toddler diaper bag, the Indi is a great option. It’s the perfect bag to carry toddler stuff.

I’ve been known to leave the house with my Lulu Lemon fanny pack, which you can see here stuffed to the gills. HAHA.  

Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials FAQs

Does a toddler need a diaper bag?

Not necessarily. Once you get past the potty training phase and they are much more independent, there’s less to carry. You certainly don’t have to carry a bag. You could carry a tote to carry around what you need for your toddler.

How do I organize my toddler bag?

Start with the items you will use the most, like diapers. Put those in their own little area of your bag. If your bag comes with a changing pad, you could store diapers inside and wipes in the zipper section.

Store snacks, sunscreen, sippy cups things of that nature in the inner pockets.

Fold clothes, underwear, nursing cover items in the middle of the bag for easy access.

How many diapers do you keep in a diaper bag?

Pack enough diapers for every 2-hour diaper change. Add a few extra just in case.

Can I use a tote as a diaper bag?

Yes, you can use a tote. Diaper bag backpacks are just easier for hands-free.

How do you keep wipes in a diaper bag?

You can keep a pack of wipes in your diaper bag in its original packaging or you could use an on-the-go wipes dispenser.

Can Neverfull be a diaper bag?

Absolutely, as the name suggests, it holds a lot of stuff! It’s best to have an organizer insert when using the Neverfull as a diaper bag, otherwise, you will be on a scavenger hunt at the bottom of the bag trying to find what you need.

Another thing to consider when using the Neverfull as a diaper bag is having your hands free. I started off using my Neverfull as a diaper bag until I realized how one really needs their hands free.

Two good organization insert options are the ToteSavvy organizer and the purse organizer from Amazon.  This one is similar to mine but comes in a variety of sizes.

I hope you find this list of diaper essentials for toddlers helpful. Enjoy!

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