A diaper caddy is a basket or bin of essential items you can keep close by when you’re changing your baby’s diaper. It helps keep everything together and organized. It’s a great idea to set one up in your nursery and other locations around the home before you bring your baby home from the hospital. A portable diaper caddy is a great way to keep extra diapers, disposable wipes, and other baby essentials within arm’s reach.
So what do you put in a diaper caddy? Depending on your individual preferences, this may vary slightly from household to household, but every caddy needs some essential items like diapers and wipes.
Let’s dig in and at the end of this article, I’ll share with you a free printable diaper caddy checklist. You can print it off or screenshot it on your phone to save for later.
Diaper Caddy Essentials:
To have a well-stocked diaper caddy, there are a few essential items just about everyone will need. Here’s a list of must-have items that are well stocked up in all the diaper caddies around my house and my baby’s nursery.
This one speaks for itself. Of course, every diaper station in your home will need fresh diapers. Whether you’re using cloth diapers or disposable diapers, fresh diapers are a must-have item in your diaper caddy. If you’re cloth diapering, check out our guide on how to wash new cloth diapers for the first time.
Wipes are another essential item your diaper caddy needs to be well stocked with. Depending on how many diapers you’re doing, you could go through a whole package of baby wipes every few days. Stock up when you find a good sale and ensure your diaper caddies have plenty of wipes. If you’re using cloth wipes, you may also want to put a small spray bottle of water in your diaper caddy.
Diaper rash cream is another great item most people stock in their diaper caddy. Especially once your baby starts eating solids, they may become more prone to diaper rash. Keep diaper cream nearby for all your diaper changes to prevent your baby from developing a sore tush.
Vaseline is a multi-purpose item to stock in your diaper caddy. It’s great for helping to prevent drool rashes, and for making diaper changes easier. If you’re not a fan of petroleum products, Earth Mama Organics also makes some fantastic alternative creams and lotions I’ve used with my kids. In particular, their ‘Baby Face’ product is one of my favorites.
In the winter especially, a bottle of baby lotion is a must-have diaper caddy item. Baby’s skin is fragile and greatly benefits from frequent protection and moisturizing. If you get in the habit of putting lotion on your baby at each diaper change it can help soothe their skin.
Depending on your style of change station, a changing mat or change pad covers can be an important thing for your diaper caddy to hold. You never want to get stuck with a blowout on your change table and no backup. Stock a portable changing pad in your diaper caddy to prevent future disasters, haha.
Toy for distraction
Once your sweet baby is out of the newborn stage, you may need to put a toy in your diaper caddy to help distract them. Changing an older baby’s diaper can be like wrestling an alligator. A good distraction and a couple of small toys can be incredibly helpful. Pro tip – try to keep these toys separate from your regular toy rotation so they are still fresh and interesting at your next diaper change. Swap them out regularly to keep them special.
If your diaper caddy isn’t in your nursery, chances are you don’t have a proper diaper pail nearby. Plastic bags can be very convenient to load your dirty diapers into because they help contain the smell. You can also use plastic bags to keep dirty outfits in before they’re ready to go in the laundry. If you’ve been hit with a particularly bad blowout, it can be helpful to put the dirty outfit in a bag instead of setting it on your living room carpet, or wherever you’re using your diaper caddy basket.
Diaper Caddy Add-ons:
Moving on from the absolute essentials… There are some additional items you may like to stock in your diaper caddy to make life easier. If your diaper caddy is large enough, these care items can be very helpful to keep nearby.
If your diaper caddy is large enough to fit a spare outfit in, having a spare set of clothes or at least a set of zippered pyjamas can be helpful. Especially in those newborn days, when leaks and blowouts occur frequently, changing an outfit often goes hand in hand with changing a diaper. Save yourself a trip up and down the stairs and keep a change of clothes in a diaper caddy in your living room!
Another item very handy to have on hand in the early days of newborn life are burp cloths. Some newborns spit up quite a bit and burp cloths are another must-have item for many parents’ diaper caddies.
If your diaper caddy is located in a room of your house that doesn’t have a sink handy, then a bottle of hand sanitizer can be a helpful item to store in this kit. It will bridge the gap between when you finish a diaper change and when you can get to the sink for a good hand washing.
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, nursing pads are another item you’ll likely need to keep around the house. It can be helpful to have them within reach in your diaper caddy. Often, feeding and changing go hand in hand so why not keep them in the same kit?
Does your baby take a pacifier? If so, keeping a spare, clean pacifier in your diaper caddy can be a helpful trick. If you find your pacifiers keep falling on the floor and getting dirty, try using a pacifier clip. You can check out my article on the best pacifier clips here, I reviewed and tested the most popular brands. If you’re wondering how many pacifiers you need, I’ve written an article to help you decide.
Brush or comb
If your baby has cradle cap, keeping a cradle cap brush nearby can help you remember to gently brush them once a day to help remove it. If your baby has long hair, a comb or brush can help you detangle their lovely locks.
Get your baby in the habit of brushing teeth nice and early with a baby toothbrush. It’s a great item to let your baby play with while you supervise them during a diaper change and can even help with teething.
Baby fingernails can feel like little talons; keep a nail file or baby nail clippers in your diaper caddy so you can quickly trim them. It can help prevent your baby from scratching their face or your skin too.
Talk to your pediatrician about whether your infant needs to be supplemented with vitamin D drops. It is very common to add this supplement into your baby’s routine when their need for vitamin D is quite high. It can help support the bone growth of your child.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your baby is warm from being snuggled up from a nap, or if they are potentially starting to run a fever. For peace of mind, a thermometer can be a great item to keep handy in your diaper caddy.
Did you know a thermometer can sometimes be charged to your health spending account if you have one? For more items that are ‘Flexible Spending Account’ or ‘Health Spending Account’ eligible, check out this article of FSA eligible items.
Free printable diaper caddy checklist
Take a screen shot of this free diaper caddy checklist, or download it to print off later! You can use this checklist as a handy guide when you’re building your own diaper caddy at home. It will be handy to keep close by as you’re creating your own kit of must-have items.
Final thoughts on diaper caddies
Being a new parent can feel a little overwhelming at times, but having easy access to baby diapers, extra pacifiers, and other essential baby items in a diaper caddy organizer can help your day flow so much smoother and simpler. A well-organized diaper caddy with all the important items you need for your new baby is the perfect solution for diaper changes around the house or in your baby’s nursery to create a well-stocked changing station.