Got stories to share? Become a contributor… click here

The Art of Packing a Low-Maintenance Diaper Bag

The Art of Packing a Low-Maintenance Diaper Bag

I was the epitome of low-maintenance. Hair in messy bun, yoga pants on, and I was out the door in 5 minutes flat. 

...then I became a mom.

Somehow becoming a mother made me high-maintenance.

As a first time mom, it was so easy for me to get caught up in believing I needed to bring a suitcase with me full of baby stuff everywhere I went. I mean I definitely had enough baby stuff to choose from! I would pack for the day using the “what-if” mentality:

Why do you need to bring 10 different outfits?
Because, what-if he poops through 9 of them?

Why do you need to bring 12 different toys?

Because, what if he gets tired of the first 11?

Why do you need baby shoes?

Because, what-if he decides to jump right out of my arms and start running?

..You just never know!

After about a month of this nonsense, I decided I needed to downsize and go back to my low maintenance routine.

I put my hair in a messy bun, put my yoga pants on, and grabbed only the essentials I need!

I now carry a toddler-sized backpack with everything I need for a full day of activities! The bag is packed and ready to go whenever I decide we want to have an adventure! 

What to include in your low-maintenance diaper bag!

For Baby:


I always have four diapers. I don’t know why I chose four, other than the fact that we rarely go through more than two. I would see how many diapers your child typically uses and and one or two extras… not 10 extra... only one or two!


I just buy the wipes that come with the flip top lid and throw a pack in my bag. We are at the stage where eating is also a creative art project, so enough wipes is pretty essential. 

Extra Outfit

Just one. This is only for blowouts. Your baby does not need to be changed because they got a little dirt on them. I typically just throw a random onesie in there. He doesn't need pants. Totally overrated. 


As I mentioned above, my son’s meals are somewhat like a creative art project, so a bib is essential. I carry a silicone bib because it’s super easy to wipe off with a wipe and throw back into the bag. I don’t want to have the extra maintenance of remembering to take the bib out when I get home so I can wash it. 


If you are not breastfeeding (or if you are breastfeeding and still like to give a bottle), definitely pack a bottle. I love the Playtex ones because you only need to pack one bottle and you can just change the liners out. 

Pre-portioned Formula

The key to this is that it’s pre-portioned. I do not pack an entire tub of formula. I use milk collection bottles (just because I breastfed for several months so I have a ton of them). I’m sure they actually make containers for formula, but small storage containers work fine. I scoop out as much as I need for each bottle. Then when I’m out and about I just pour the pre-portioned amount right into the bottle and voila! 


Honestly, I only bring water if I’m going to be somewhere that I can’t get water. In that case, I will throw a water bottle in there. 

Small Toy

Not 12 different ones! I typically pack one teether type toy and a book. My son loves books, but if your baby prefers another toy, bring that instead. The point is to entertain them. 


My son currently only uses a pacifier for naptime and bedtime, but I always like to have it handy in case he is extra cranky. If your baby is very reliant on a pacifier then I recommend packing more than one, just in case!

For Mom:

I always pack my three essentials: wallet, keys, and cell phone. I have packed the same three things for the longest time that every time I leave my house, I instinctively run through them in my head to make sure I have them. That’s really all I ever bring for myself. Sometimes, I also add in my water bottle.

Age-appropriate Additions:

All of the above items I have carried since my son was born. Of course as he grows up, the things I need have shifted a little. Here are the few age-appropriate items I added to the bag.

0-6 Months Old:

Swaddle blanket

My son loved to be swaddled. It was nice to have it handy when he was little to swaddle him if he started to get cranky. The swaddle also doubled as a burp cloth and a small blanket, if needed. 

Hand sanitizer

Babies’ immune systems are still developing, so cleaning your hands as often as possible is important. I basically bathed in hand sanitizer for the first few months. Now, I typically change his diaper in the bathroom, so I can just wash my hands after. 

6-12 Months Old

Sippy cup

As we are transitioning away from bottles, I always keep a sippy cup of water in the bag. My son personally loves the cup with a straw, but any cup works.


My son eats like a linebacker. I always make sure I have some snacks with me to entertain him. His personal favorites are puffs and Cheerios, but even if I packed broccoli he would be happy.

There you have it!

That’s everything I pack in my diaper bag. No extras, no frills, just necessities. Now I throw my hair in a messy bun, put on my yoga pants, pick up my son, grab my diaper bag, and I’m out the door in 5 minutes flat! 

What other things do you pack in your diaper bag? Are there any other items that are necessities for your baby? 

View more, it's free.


Share this

  • images not found
  • images not found
  • images not found
Nicole S

I’m Nicole, mom of spunky toddler! In addition to being a mother, I also have a full-time job, a book business, a bunch of side projects, a husband, a cat (named Kitty – super creative, I know!), and about 700 dirty dishes in the sink (anyone else?!). I like to describe my mom’style as a happy mix of overly researched and fly by the seat of my pants. I research EVERYTHING! It’s just part of my nature. Google is my mom best friend… we hang out a lot! I am just a busy mama trying to run my business, run my life, and run the world! ;)

  • images not found
  • images not found
Got stories to share?

Become a contributor… click here

Other mom stories you might like



To diagnose or not: How do we best support our children?

Given the increase in the last twenty years in diagnosis in ADHD, autism, and other neurodiversities, I think this is an interesting topic. I appreciate a diagnosis can offer a...

read more



5 Arts That Can Help Help Your Child’s Academic Journey

As parents, we all want to see our children flourish in their lives. For those of us with children who have learning disabilities, we want to do everything possible to...

read more



Summer Guide for Special Need Moms

Summer can be a stressful time for some moms for multiple reasons, if you're a working mom, finding a babysitter for your child during the summer can be a challenge....

read more