16 Diaper Bag Essentials Parents Shouldn't Leave Home Without

The diaper bag. It is a necessary part of parenthood, from baby's first few days in this world well into what may be their toddler years. It can seem daunting at first to try and determine what defines "must-have" versus "meh, maybe not" on-the-go gear. That's why we've rounded up our favorite diaper bag essentials, from a few ideas as to what to pack in a diaper bag for the hospital to what might even be a bit of a "bonus" for mom and dad. Speaking of, not much differs when it comes to diaper bag essentials for dad or mom, but guys on the go may appreciate a diaper bag backpack or duffle of their very own. You know, to avoid potential paisley prints or darling designs perhaps less desired by some dudes.

Diaper Bag Essentials Honest Diapers photo

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The Honest Company Baby Diapers

What's a diaper bag without the diapers? Not a diaper bag. We love The Honest Company Baby Diapers because they come with a super-soft liner, fit securely around baby's bum, can hold 17 times their weight in fluid, and are made of eco-friendly materials. These are practical, but cute, diaper bag essentials for dad and mom that pack easily and are dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic. If there's one diaper bag essential you must have, it's some trusted diapers. ($11; honest.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Diapering Station photo

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J.L. Childress Diapering Station To-Go

Diaper duty is most convenient on those soft, clean baby-changing pads and covers at home, but let's be honest:; it can also call at the most inconvenient times and downright grossest of places. Thankfully, parents can turn to a diaper bag organizer like the J.L. Childress Diapering Station To-Go, which features three oversize mesh pockets and an 18-by-26-inch changing mat that quickly wipes clean. The unit conveniently attaches to your car seat headrest so you have everything you need when the time comes. The mat also detaches so you can toss it in the diaper bag on the run. ($20; amazon.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Itzy Ritzy Teether Necklace photo

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Itzy Ritzy Teether Necklace

You may find yourself in the trenches of teething, or perhaps baby needs something to pass the time while you're out and about. Either way, be sure to keep the Itzy Ritzy Teether Necklace in your diaper bag organizer. It's a stylish necklace for mom — and dad, if he's so inclined — made of nontoxic food-grade silicone for baby. Free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead and cadmium, this accessory quickly and easily hangs around your neck, eliminating the dread of a dropped toy or teether (for safety reasons, there is a breakaway clasp and individually knotted beads). Once done, toss it on the top shelf of your dishwasher in one of those dishwasher baskets or let it soak in some mild soap. ($9; target.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Kids N' Such Multi-Use Cover photo

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Kids N' Such Multi-Use Cover

Wondering what to pack in a diaper bag for the hospital? From breastfeeding and car seats to shopping carts and high chairs, this versatile cover comes in handy from day one and all day long after that, making it one of our top diaper bag essentials. The Kids N' Such Multi-Use Cover can be used as a car seat cover, nursing cover or shopping cart cover. Whether it's shielding baby from blustery winds, offering privacy for you and baby during mealtime, or protecting from those pesky cart germs, this stylish, soft and safe cover has you, well, covered. ($23; walmart.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Kiddopotamus Portable Placemat photo

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Kiddopotamus by Summer Infant TinyDiner Portable Placemat

While it may not be a newborn necessity, infant and toddler parents appreciate the Kiddopotamus by Summer Infant TinyDiner Portable Placemat when the time comes. Ideal for on-the-go, it is baby and kids tableware that ensures a dining surface you can trust. It suctions to the table and provides a reservoir for crumbs and spills. Then, this diaper bag essential conveniently folds into itself until you can get home and clean it all up. ($11; jet.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Babyganics Hand Sanitizer photo

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Babyganics 1.69 Oz. On-the-Go Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer

There's no question there will be many needs for some child-safe sanitizers and cleaners in your diaper bag and your life. It's one of those diaper bag essentials for hospital visitors before they snuggle baby for the first time and also after a mid-morning visit to the zoo or mall play area. The Babyganics 1.69 oz. On-the-Go Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer tackles germs with the sweet scent of tangerine. Alcohol-free and also without triclosan, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial fragrances or dyes, this sanitizer still kills up to 99.9% of germs. Think it can't get any better than that? It's never tested on animals. Win-win! ($3; buybuybaby.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Honest Company Baby Wipes photo

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The Honest Company Baby Wipes

Wipes are one of those things that serve many purposes, hence the need for them in the diaper bag backpack, changing caddy, car organizer, and scattered everywhere else for that matter. From quick face wipes and diaper duty (essential to remember face first, then bum) to high chair sweeps and food court tabletops, a good package of wipes is out-of-this-world wonderful. The Honest Company Baby Wipes are a hygiene-grade cloth that is over 99% water and plant-based, infused with an all-natural botanical blend of pomegranate, chamomile, cucumber and masterwort leaf. These ultra-thick, durable wipes will be your BFF before long. ($5; honest.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Biodegradable Poop Bags photo

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Eco-Clean Biodegradable Poop Bags

Keep diapers contained with the help of disposable poop bags. And with diaper bag essentials like like Eco-Clean Poop Bags, you won't have to worry about adding even more plastic baggage to the landfills. Not only are they unscented, leak-proof and easy to tear off, but they are also biodegradable and made of recycled materials. The set comes with a free clip-on dispenser and 24 rolls that each hold 15 bags (that's 360 bags total!). ($16; amazon.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Medela Breastpump and Accessory Wipes photo

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Medela Quick Clean 24-Count Breastpump and Accessory Wipes

Whether you're toting around that beloved breast pump and need something to clean it quickly, or merely want some hygienic wipes that are proven safe and effective on "life," the Medela Quick Clean 24-Count Breastpump and Accessory Wipes are a must. It's a welcome addition that tosses effortlessly into a diaper bag backpack or tote, pumping bag and more. Unscented, bleach-free and alcohol-free, these wipes clean everything from breast pumps and high chairs to toys and tables without the need for soap and water. ($98; amazon.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Donna Sharp Quilted Patchwork Wallet photo

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Donna Sharp Quilted Patchwork Wallet

You don't want to carry around a purse and a diaper bag, do you? (Hint: the answer is "no.") Make sure you have a small "carry it all" wallet to quickly and easily toss into the bag whether your style is backpack, tote, duffle or messenger. The Donna Sharp Quilted Patchwork Wallet is a bi-fold clutch wallet that features a fun quilted patchwork design and space for 10 cards, three slip pockets and a zip pocket. It measures 4-by-8.25-inches, making it one of our top diaper bag essentials for moms — not too big, not too small — to add to whatever bag you're bearing. ($24; kohls.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Baby Einstein Book Set photo

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Baby Einstein 12-Book Block Set

Books, books and more books. Children's books belong on the nursery bookshelf, scattered throughout the car, tossed into those beautiful toy room baskets — and in your diaper bag! The Baby Einstein 12 Book Block Set by Editors of Publications International is perfect because it supplies you with miniature board books perfect for babies and toddlers. They're small, sturdy, and can be swapped out easily and often to ensure books are fresh and new and keep baby's interest. Mini novels, such as these, are dearly loved diaper bag essentials for dad, mom, grandma, grandpa and anyone baby may be hanging with day or night. ($10; barnesandnoble.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Kid Joy First Aid Kit photo

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Kid Joy Small Travel First Aid Kit

Don't forget to spare yourself the stress of finding a bandage post "bump" or "bonk" by stashing kids first aid kits and supplies like the Kid Joy Small Travel First Aid Kit in your go-to diaper bag. This diaper bag essential comes with 50 first aid supplies that can handle minor cuts and scrapes, such as character bandages, alcohol-free antiseptic wipes and triple antibiotic ointment, as well as a convenient zippered bag with space for a few hand-picked items. This cute kit even comes with stickers to encourage itty-bitty babes to cheer up, making it a must for any beach tote, diaper bag backpack or car caddy. ($21; amazon.com)

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Diaper Essentials Plum Organics Super Puffs photo

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Plum Organics Super Puffs

Spare some space in that diaper bag for some healthy baby food and nutritious snacks for you. Plum Organics Super Puffs are USDA organic certified and help develop a taste for the healthier side of things thanks to the various real fruits and veggies and whole grains. The sturdy, BPA-free packaging is shaped perfectly for a cup holder or side pocket in the diaper bag and ensures nothing is crushed by the hustle and bustle of the day. Expecting parents: Stashing a few favorite snacks for yourself is one of those diaper bag essentials for hospital stays that you won't want to forget! ($3; buybuybaby.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Bazzle Baby Go Bib Set photo

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Bazzle Baby Go Bib Set

Bibs and burp cloths banish the need to soak and pre-soak those cute baby outfits. Bring on the Bazzle Baby Go Bib Set! This diaper bag essential is ideal for diaper bag organizers, bags, backpacks and more because it stashes neatly, features a pocket perfect for those pesky spills and then conveniently contains messes thanks to its fold-up design. Once home, drop it in the wash and you're ready for the next dining adventure! ($13; target.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Carter's Newborn Set photo

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Child of Mine by Carter's Newborn Baby Boy Cap, Cardigan and Foot Pant Set

Your newborn is all decked out to go home from the hospital in that new, adorable baby outfit you picked out — and then spit-ups, splatters and leaks happen. You need a spare set of clothes. It's one of those diaper bag essentials for hospital suitcases, lunch outings and playdates, quick errands and more. The Child of Mine by Carter's Newborn Baby Boy Cap, Cardigan and Foot Pant Set features three pieces that will ensure baby is looking good even after a fashion faux-pas. Plus, the cardigan and hat come in handy when there's a chill in the air. ($9; walmart.com)

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Diaper Bag Essentials Honest Company Formula Dispenser photo

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The Honest Company Formula Dispenser

If baby formula feeds your bundle of joy, make sure you've got a proper way to quickly and safely get it from Point A to Point B and still have easy access. The Honest Company Formula Dispenser is one of our favorite diaper bag essentials for dad and mom because it's compact, quick to clean and each of the three compartments can handle 8 ounces of powdered infant formula, which can be dispensed via the rotating lid and pour spout. It's BPA and BPS free, made of food-grade materials and is one of our favorite — and most convenient — diaper bag essentials. Bonus: This handy dispenser makes a great small snack cup during future toddler years! ($7; honest.com)

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