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What to Put in a Diaper Caddy for Newborns: 17 Essential Items You Can’t Forget

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What do you put in a newborn diaper caddy?

Those early days as a new parent can easily get out of hand, especially if you’re not well organized. Lack of sleep and constant feedings and diaper changes will have everyone on edge.

A well-stocked diaper caddy can be a huge lifesaver when you’re operating on autopilot. And having these baby items in a central location not only makes them easier to find but also keeps you from running low on these important items.

So, the only question is what to put in a diaper caddy for newborns to make your life so much easier at 2 am. You can find all the baby essentials right here.

A fully stocked diaper caddy also makes an amazing baby shower gift for new moms! So, share this list with all of your close friends well before your baby shower.

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baby on the floor getting ready for a diaper change
Photo by Keira Burton

What do you use a diaper caddy for?

A diaper caddy is used to keep all the essentials you need for baby’s diaper change within arm’s reach.

There’s two ways you can use a diaper caddy:

  • At your changing table as a stationary diaper caddy
  • Around the house with a portable diaper caddy

You can opt for two separate diaper caddies (or even more). Or use a portable caddy at the changing table that is light enough to carry with you throughout the house.

basket full of diapers
Photo by RDNE Stock project

Is a diaper caddy worth it?

For on-the-go diaper changes around your home or better organization in baby’s nursery, a diaper caddy is definitely worth it. For very little cost to you, you can easily put together a diaper caddy from everything you received (or will receive) at your baby shower.

Still looking to complete your registry? Sign up for Amazon’s baby registry for amazing perks and baby items delivered right to your door!
Add any of these diaper caddies to your registry, so all you need to do is fill them with the essentials, when the time comes.

What are diaper caddy essentials for newborns?

1. Diapers

The number one thing you must have in your diaper caddy is lots of diapers! But I’m sure this is the one thing on your what to put in a diaper caddy for newborns list that you already knew.

The more important thing is that you have the right size of disposable diapers or enough cloth diapers and to restock your diaper caddy regularly.

And if your baby is not yet here and you’re preparing your diaper caddy ahead of time, remember that all newborns don’t necessarily wear newborn size diapers. Be sure to include some size 1 diapers in there, just in case your little one is a little bigger than the newborn diaper range.

Parenting tip: You can fold down the top of a size 1 diaper to make it better fit a newborn baby (if you run out of newborn diapers).

2. Baby Wipes

Wet wipes are essential to cleaning up baby’s bum after every diaper change.

People always ask how many diapers they need in the first year but rarely ask about how many wipes they’ll use. I don’t have an exact calculation for you, but I know it’s A LOT, since you’ll have a lot of diaper changes with a newborn.

Figure at least two wipes for every pee diaper. And at least four to five for messy diapers. And even more, if it’s a blowout.

Also, if you have a boy, wipes make great pee shields.

I’m still using wipes constantly as a toddler mom for so much more than diaper changes. I use them to wipe my hands, my son’s hands and face, clean restaurant tables, and at our local fair recently to wipe cow poo off my son’s leg (I guess that is their intended use though).

Long story short, you need plenty of baby wipes. Find ones that are gentle on your baby’s skin and have enough moisture to clean baby’s bum. You may need to try a few different brands to find what works best for you.

Parenting tip: I don’t use a wipe warmer, as it tends to take the moisture out of the wipes. And if your little one gets used to warm wipes at home, you’re going to have a cranky baby when you need to use colder wipes when you’re out and about.

A+D Original Diaper Rash Ointment Prevents & Treats Diaper Rash, Moisturizing Skin Protectant with Vitamins A & D, Healing Skin Ointment for Dry and Cracked Skin 4oz 2 Pack

3. Diaper Rash Cream

A good diaper rash cream will help soothe and protect baby’s sensitive skin, if a rash should occur. It’s always a good idea to keep a tube in your diaper caddy, so you know where it’s at.

You should also keep a second one in your diaper bag, so you’re not scrambling between locations to find it or forget to pack it on your next outing.

Related: Everything You Must Pack in Your Newborn’s Diaper Bag

Bumco Diaper Cream Spatula Home & Travel Set - BPA-free Butt Paste Diaper Cream Applicator, Soft Diaper Rash Cream Applicator, Butt Spatula Baby, Mom-Invented Diaper Bag Essentials, 2-Pack

4. Diaper Cream Applicator

When your little one has those diaper blowouts, you can expect to be using diaper cream to soothe the pain. It’s nice to have an applicator on hand to keep from getting cream all over your hands, especially when you have a newborn and you’re doing a hundred things at once.

Parenting tip: If you are without your applicator, use a wipe to get the cream off your hand before washing or use a wipe to apply the cream to baby’s bum. Wipes are essential to life with a newborn.

A little off topic, but I never actually used our applicator for diaper changes. But my son found it when he was teething, and it became one of his favorite teething items, so you may get more use out of it that way.

Portable Changing Pad - Waterproof Travel Baby Diaper Changing Pad, Mat Foldable, Wipes Pocket, Gifts

5. Changing Pad or Liners

You should include a portable changing pad in your diaper caddy, if you plan on doing diaper changes around your home. This allows you to have a clean and comfortable space to change baby, and you can easily wipe it down if it gets messy.

If you’re using your diaper caddy near your changing table, use these liners instead. The fancy cloth changing pad covers that perfectly match your nursery are going to be a mess if you don’t use something to cover them.

These liners are the perfect size for your changing table or in your bassinet changer. Just throw them in the washing machine with your baby’s clothes and keep your nursery looking beautiful.

I actually got rid of the fancy changing pad cover and used the liners right on the changing pad, to save a lot of time cleaning up diaper blowouts.

6. Change of Clothes

Include at least one outfit change in your diaper caddy for unexpected messes or spills. Even if your diaper caddy is near your baby’s closet or dresser, you don’t want to leave your baby alone on the changing table while you’re looking for a clean change of clothes.

PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel, Clean Scent, 1 Liter Pump Bottle (Pack of 1) - 9632-04-CMR

7. Hand Sanitizer

Ideally, you’ll want to wash your hands after each diaper change and before any nursing session. However, if you are unable to put your little one down or if they are in an unsafe location (couch or bed), it may not be feasible to get to the sink.

That makes a bottle of hand sanitizer the next best solution. Keep a pump bottle in your diaper caddy. Not only will you be prepared, but it will be easy to access when you may be otherwise occupied.

what to put in a diaper caddy for newborns: diaper caddy filled with all the essentials
Munchkin® Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Refills, 6 Pack, 72 Bags

8. Disposable Bags

These plastic bags are perfect for storing dirty diapers and wipes when you can’t get to the diaper pail. Not only do they keep the mess contained but the smell, as well.

I always pack them in my diaper bag, so no one else is offended by those dirty diapers lingering in a garbage can somewhere.

Baby Burp Cloths & Baby Bibs 2-in-1 Design Large Size 3 Layers Thicken 100% Cotton Super Absorbent and Soft Baby Spit Up Burping Rags Baby Burp Cloth Set for Boys and Girls 12 Pack

9. Burp Cloths

Newborn babies spit up constantly, especially when you lift their legs for a diaper change. So, it’s super important to have some burp cloths on hand.

Actually, my go-to for the best burp cloth was these cloth diapers. I used them for everything! As a burp cloth, on the floor for tummy time, as a teething cloth for my son.

They’re huge, so you are completely covered. And since they’re actually diapers, they’re super absorbent!

Safety 1st Deluxe Healthcare & Grooming Kit

10. Baby Healthcare Kit

A baby medicine (or healthcare) kit can be something you put together yourself or something you buy as a packaged item. But it should at least include the following items:

  • Baby Tylenol
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Gas drops
  • Nail clippers and file
  • Thermometer

Although you probably won’t need these items during a diaper change, your diaper caddy is the best place to store them, so you know exactly where they are when you do need them.

Always check with your pediatrician on use of medications and dosage on children under 2.

Parenting tip: Trim baby’s nails while he’s asleep. I prefer these nail scissors, as you don’t have to worry about accidentally cutting your baby’s fingers.

11. Bottle of Baby Lotion

Baby lotion is a great alternative to baby powder, which is no longer recommended (source).

It can help moisturize baby’s skin after diaper changes and baths. To help prevent diaper rash, try this ointment. Since it provides a moisture barrier, it’s also perfect to use on baby’s face when he starts teething and drooling.

12. Baby Toys

Keeping your baby entertained during diaper changes makes it much easier to get the job done quickly. Even small babies will be distracted by soothers or musical toys during changes.

Small toys that are only available during diaper changes means baby will be more engaged with the toy, rather than something they have access to all the time.

Of course, as your child grows, he may become attached to just one or a few plush toys, and they will be an absolute necessity for any meltdown moments.

Related: Best Baby Soothers

MAM Original Baby Pacifier, Nipple Shape Helps Promote Healthy Oral Development, Curved Shield to Protect Skin,Clear/Boy, 0-6 , 3 Count (Pack of 1)

13. Pacifiers and Teethers

If you’re baby uses a pacifier, it is best to keep one or two in your diaper caddy, so you have one if you need it. And it’s always a great idea to keep things in one place, so you know where it’s at for next time. Mom brain is a real thing!

You also want to keep a few teething items in your diaper caddy for when those teeth start to appear (which can be as early as four months).

You’ll want to keep some water-filled ones in the fridge (never the freezer) for some cool relief. But other items that work well include clean cloth diapers, clean diaper cream applicators, these toy teethers, or these mitts.

set of 7 receiving blankets
Simple Joys Kid's 7 pack flannel receiving blankets Accessory, Grey/White/Mint, One Size

14. Receiving Blanket or Swaddle

Receiving blankets serve a multitude of purposes, and you should keep them throughout your house and a few in your newborn diaper caddy.

Use them for keeping baby warm, as a lightweight breastfeeding cover (if you have guests), or on the floor for tummy time (in case of spit up).

These swaddles are amazing and so much easier to use than any blanket. Keep one in your diaper caddy, so you can be ready for baby’s naps, wherever you are. (Check out why you should swaddle.)

15. Feeding Supplies

If you are bottle-feeding, keep feeding supplies in your diaper caddy, so you’re ready for mealtime at a moment’s notice. Clean bottles with the correct amount of water and a container of formula to mix up when you’re ready will have you ready for that next feeding.

For breastfed babies, there’s not much to keep in your diaper caddy (since you already have everything the baby needs). However, I wouldn’t have been able to breastfeed as long as I did without these. And check out all the other breastfeeding essentials you will need.

Related: How to Set Up the Perfect Breastfeeding Station

Medela Safe & Dry Ultra Thin Disposable Nursing Pads, 120 Count Breast Pads for Breastfeeding, Leakproof Design, Slender and Contoured for Optimal Fit and Discretion

16. Nursing Pads

Another important thing to include in your diaper caddy if you’re a breastfeeding mom is some nursing pads.

It’s not a bad idea to include nursing pads early on when you have a newborn, even if you are formula feeding. Nursing pads will keep you from leaking through your clothes until your milk completely dries up.

Use code SIP50 to get FREE washable nursing pads.

17. Emergency Contact List

Although you may have your emergency numbers listed in your phone, it is a good idea to keep a list of important numbers throughout your home, such as the pediatrician’s office and poison control.

It is an especially good idea to keep these numbers available if you have someone else watching your baby: a nanny, a babysitter or family member. In this case, also include your cell phone and work numbers on the contact list, as well.


There you have it: what to put in a diaper caddy for newborns and why it’s the best way to stay organized in those early days. From diapers and wipes to creams and spare clothes, a well put-together diaper caddy can transform the stressful and mundane task of diaper changes into a flawless routine.

Have you used a diaper caddy for your newborn? What things did you find you used the most? Let us know in the comments.

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