How I Pack My Diaper Bag for a Toddler

And we’re back! I don’t know what happened last month. It seemed to fly by. We had family over and lost track of time. It felt very much like summer here in the DFW area so we were still in the lazy-days-of-summer mode. I don’t know about you but I am excited for fall.

Baby is a toddler. But on this blog, I’m still going to call him Baby, probably for forever. Despite the meltdowns and fits over nothing (sheesh!) I love this phase because we are a lot more free and able to do more. We’re taking walks to the grocery store (conveniently across the street) and to the park and to the library (heaven). I’m still kind of waiting to take him to Dallas for the aquarium and other exciting adventures, but the time will soon come, I’m sure.

What I love most is that I don’t have to take a lot of stuff with me anymore. I pack lighter and smarter. Toddlers need snacks instead of nursing cover and burp cloths.  They need distractions since they are more awake and more opinionated. If you choose your snacks and toys carefully, they will also be easy to carry.

It also helped that I got a smartphone last year. Finally. We were like the last people on earth to get them. No more pad and pen like during Baby’s newborn days. I carry around a mini computer instead.

You will need:

  • a diaper bag (bag shown is still the Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack)
  • hand sanitizer and facial tissues
  • wipes and diapers
  • a change of clothes (think simple and basic) stuffed into a wet bag (Itzy Ritzy)
  • mom stuff: cell phone, keys, snack
  • snacks, snacks and more snacks! (i.e. food pouches, crackers)
  • spoon/fork (plastic ones from your take-out dinner will do), sippy cups, bib
  • small toys and distractions

UPDATE: The Boxy Backpack is still doing well. It has been in constant use for almost 24 months.

Ideas for Snacks


  • I still love these food pouches but I buy only a few for going out. Baby’s teeth came in so slowly, so textured foods have been a huge challenge for him so I always like to have an option in case he can’t eat what we are eating. If you can find them on sale, they are a great portable option. (I found Earth’s Best Apple Apricot Yogurt smoothie on clearance at our Sprouts for 50c. I also found Happy Baby 3rd stage at Kroger for $0.99. Check those displays!) Baby finally has mastered sipping through a straw, so these pouches with a straw-like opening are fun to sip and I don’t need to use a spoon anymore!


  • Unsweetened applesauce is a great option for an on-the-go snack. These individual cups from Walmart are good for the diaper bag. There are many varieties and brands (organic, light, cinnamon etc.) but I like to use the unsweetened kind. They do need a spoon and bib though as they can get messy.


  • Another applesauce option is GoGo Squeeze. We get ours from Costco, about $10.99 for 20 pouches. I like their smaller size, it’s just perfect for a light healthy snack and doesn’t ruin Baby’s appetite.
  • Other ideas are string cheese, Gerber snacks (puffs, crunchers), Teddy Grahams, Hello Panda, and Goldfish Crackers.

Ideas for Toys and Distractions


  • Toy Cars: I just love these Tonka Mini Wheel Pals from Playskool. They are no longer sold in stores. I bought mine off eBay after buying a huge collection of the larger Tonka Chuck and Friends Wheel Pals. (Note: Just make sure you look for ones of excellent used condition, as a lot of the wheels of the smaller cars get worn and don’t roll as smoothly or at all. It is hard to find ones that are like new, because they were probably played with a lot)
  • Baby REALLY loves his dad’s collection of Hot Wheels, a lightweight toy that’s better for older toddlers age 3+ but we monitor 2-year old Baby playing with them. We bring two cars on vacations so he gets his fix of car-playing even when we’re not at home.


  • Another idea is the Take and Toss straw cups from The First Years. Once you get your baby to use these, they are amazing. While not completely spillproof (like if the straw is pulled out), they are really durable and also lightweight. Baby loves to hold the lids, the straws, the cups. And I don’t feel bad if they get destroyed. These are available at WalMart and other retailers.

2 thoughts on “How I Pack My Diaper Bag for a Toddler

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