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When I think of toddlers I think of messiness, tantrums, constant hunger, and diaper rash. They're goofy, silly and often fun to be around...IF you're prepared to handle minor emergencies like hunger, thirst, and spills.
If you have a toddler you know that your diaper bag is more important than ever. I have a short list of toddler diaper bag essentials, and I never leave home without everything on that list.
Long after the infant days are over there are a few more items that you will need in order to make your life easier, happier, and run more smoothly. Pack these items in your diaper bag and your toddler will be a happy kiddo.
1. Change of clothes
I always carry an extra set of clothes. You never know when your toddler will have an accident, get covered in paint, or will decide to pour a whole cup of juice down her shirt. The extra clothes have been very useful when we find a splash pad unexpectedly on a trip to the playground or when we decide ice cream is the perfect afternoon snack.
2. Wet bag
Wet bags have so many uses, from holding dirty cloth diapers to bringing wet swimsuits home. I use my wet bag mostly in my diaper bag. I keep my toddler's change of clothes in it, and when I need to change her, I swap out the dirty clothes for the clean clothes. I don't have to worry about wet, dirty clothes contaminating the rest of the diaper bag contents. Of course I also pack extra diapers or underwear and wipes.
3. Aquaphor Baby Fast Relief Diaper Rash Paste
Even when your toddler is out of diapers she may still occasionally experience diaper rash from any changes in her diet, chafing, or sitting in a soiled diaper for too long. You've probably used Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment for a variety of purposes in the past, but did you know Aquaphor Baby now offers a Fast Relief Diaper Rash Paste?
I pack my Aquaphor Baby Fast Relief Diaper Rash Paste in a little bag with diapers and wipes so I always have it when I need it. It provides diaper rash relief quickly and is super easy to apply and clean off. I love that it is hypoallergenic and free of parabens, talc, and fragrances so I can feel good about what I'm using to protect and heal my toddler's bottom.
Look, I'm realistic about my limitations as a mom, and there are some times where one just needs to resort to bribery in order to complete an errand. I now carry a few Dum Dum lollipops in my diaper bag in case I need to distract my toddler for a few extra minutes, like when the bank line is extra long or we are waiting an extra 20 minutes in the doctor's office before seeing the doctor. Never underestimate the power of a lollipop!
I don't let my children snack too often, but there are definitely times where we have to get a few extra things done and I want to wait until we get home to eat lunch. For those times I always pack a protein bar and some sort of crunchy, dry snack.
6. Portable snack cup
This deserves its own item because it is crucial to any mom's sanity. These Munchkin snack cups have special lids that allow a toddler to easily access a snack but not to easily spill it everywhere. I pride myself on having a clean car, and I credit that mostly to these snack cups. Always pack your toddler's crunchy, dry snack in a portable snack cup. Sometimes I just bring an empty snack cup in case I buy a snack on the go.
7. Water cup
I never leave home without a Thermos Funtainer water cup filled to the top with ice and water. Hydration is important, especially for toddlers who run nonstop. I love that the water stays cold all day.
So many boo-boos, real and imagined, magically feel better with the power of a Band-Aid. You will often find my diaper bag well stocked with Band-Aids, from Minions ones to superheroes to Frozen. A little Elsa Band-Aid has saved more than one tantrum in this family!
Whether you go out for an hour, need to run a million errands, or spend the day by the pool, don't forget to pack these diaper bag essentials. You'll be happy you did.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.