Minimal Diaper Bag Essentials (from a Mama with a Toddler)

If you’d have told me a year ago what I’d be packing in my diaper bag today, I probably would have laughed. As a first-time mom, the first few months of Eden’s life I thought I needed to pack all the things.

Now, for a newborn you do need to pack more– because they will either spit up, have a blow-out, and/or spring a leak in their diaper just about every time you go out for a while, probably. You name it, it’ll happen sooner or later.

But when I say I packed a lot, I mean I packed a lot. I had all these cute new things I wanted to be able to use, and I also wanted to have too much than too little. But my bag was heavy and full, and looking back I know I overdid it. Just a little.

An extra outfit, burp cloth, nursing cover, a few diapers, wipes, extra nursing pads at first, and a blanket for my Winter baby are probably the only truly necessary things I needed to be carrying all over the place in my bag, but I also usually carried diaper cream, a bulb syringe, extra bows, extra socks, a changing pad (which, personally, I loved and did use), a planner, and even sometimes a book (who has the time–or free hands–to read with a new baby?! I didn’t!), and probably many other things.

But that’s another post for another day. Today I’m showing you my new-and-improved diaper bag (which–gasp!–is actually a purse!!), with much less inside than my bag had a year ago. So here ya go. Here’s what I consider my minimal diaper bag/purse essentials as a mom of a toddler:

  • Two diapers (I find that if we’re only going to be gone a couple hours–like to the grocery store, church, a friend’s house–two is more than enough for my 19 month-old, but that amount could be different for others)
  • Baby wipes (they’re not just for dirty bums, ya know!)
  • Essential oil bug spray (at least for the summertime– the bugs have been awful this year!)
  • Deodorant (not that this is a necessity– I’ve just always had the habit of keeping it with me)
  • Chapstick (I love Tom’s of Maine‘s chapstick the best!)
  • Sunglasses (this blue-eyed gal needs shades even on cloudy days!)
  • Keys (well, duh– but I do like the fact that I only have two keys, a car button, Kroger card, and a cute do-dad so I don’t have to search through unnecessary things to get what I need)

I’d also like to add that sometimes I do take with me an extra outfit for Eden, but that’s something I can keep in the car and not take up room with in my bag. And on Sundays I usually have two small board books on hand to keep her still during worship service. I do like to keep essential oils with me at times, too, but which ones I take varies.

Down-sizing my bag has been so nice and I love carrying a purse again instead of my bulky diaper bag (although I do so love that $5 Vera Bradley find at a consignment sale!). It’s such a relief knowing I can be fully equipped for a trip to town or church with only the bare necessities and not feel like I have to take everything but the kitchen sink with me. And this little bit of minimalism is an easy thing to incorporate.

Now, I know there are and will be stages of life that require more (or less) than the things I listed above, but for our current stage of life with a walking, but not yet potty trained, toddler, it’s what works for us for the time being.

What are some of your favorite ways you’ve down-sized your bag? Have you got any tips for minimizing anything else? I’d love to hear your ideas!

~Courtney Faith

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