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What to Put in a Diaper Caddy (Just the Essentials)

If you have a big house or multiple stories, a portable diaper caddy is going to be your best friend. In this blog post, learn what a diaper caddy is and what to put in it. (Hint: you really don’t need a lot.)

diaper basket

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Once you become a parent, more time than you ever imagined will be spent changing diapers. Newborns typically go through about 10 diapers a day. Older babies use about half that.

With so many changes a day, you’re going to want to make it as easy as possible for yourself. One way you can do that is to get yourself a diaper caddy.

What is a Diaper Caddy?

A diaper caddy is a storage bin or basket for organizing all your diaper-changing supplies. Diaper caddies come in two forms: hanging and portable.

A hanging diaper caddy is usually used near the diaper changing station. It provides an easy way for everything you need to be within reach without having to open a drawer.

A portable diaper caddy is a bin or basket, usually with handles for carrying, that you can keep in other areas of the house. This portable caddy makes it so you don’t always have to go back to the nursery to change diapers, which saves you time and effort.

Especially if you have a large house or multiple floors, and especially in the first few weeks postpartum, you’re going to be glad you have a portable diaper caddy.

For the purposes of this article, I’ll be talking mostly about what to put in a portable diaper caddy. Since a hanging diaper caddy will likely be in the same room as clothes and other supplies, you probably won’t need to put as many things in it.

(For my hanging diaper caddy, I crocheted two simple hanging baskets: one for diapers and one for random things like nail clippers and diaper rash cream. We set the wipes on the changing table.)

crocheted striped hanging basket
crocheted purple hanging basket

Buying a Portable Diaper Caddy

You can find lots of fancy diaper caddies sold specifically for that purpose. These can be nice because they have lots of pockets and those pockets are often just the right size.

If you don’t want to spend money on something specifically sold as a diaper caddy, you can buy a basic fabric or rope basket or a plastic bin. The nice thing about buying something generic is that once your babies aren’t in diapers, you can use the basket for something else.

Here are some diaper caddy options:

grey diaper caddy with handles

This is the typical style of diaper caddy, with lots of pockets and easy-carry handles.

diaper caddy and changing pad

This diaper caddy comes with a changing pad so you don’t have to buy it separately.

green diaper caddy

This one is a little more stylish, with a few different color options. It also comes with removable dividers.

And here are some generic baskets that would work well:

fabric basket with rope handle

This fabric bin has nice rope handles and an interior that is easy to wipe.

rope basket

A rope basket is a cute option and holds a lot.

plastic bins

Plastic bins are super versatile and easy to clean. These ones come in a pack of 3.

What to Put in a Diaper Caddy

Once you’ve got your basket, you can start to fill it. While I could write a long list of possible items you might want on hand, I really don’t think that’s necessary. Instead, I’ll stick to the basics of what you’ll actually use for daily diaper changes.

1 – Diapers


Obviously, you’ll need diapers in your diaper caddy. Depending on your baby’s age and how often you refill your caddy, I recommend keeping 5-10 diapers in your caddy. 

My favorite diapers are Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand. They are the only ones that contained blowouts reliably for us. They’re also the cheapest I found. And they have pretty decent ingredients (no fragrances, dyes, etc.) so that’s a win-win-win.

If you’re not a Costco-goer, Amazon’s Mama Bear Gentle Touch Diapers are my second choice because of the price.

2 – Wipes

pack of wipes

Wipes are the second item to put in your diaper caddy. You’ll need them for diaper changes, plus they can be a nifty way to clean up a messy baby or a mess made by baby.

I prefer Walmart’s Parent Choice Ultra-Sensitive Wipes. They have just a few good ingredients and are the cheapest I could find.

Costco’s are pretty similar to Walmart’s, just a little more expensive.

I also tried the 99% water Amazon Mama Bear Wipes and liked them. But I soon realized I was paying more than I needed to. Plus, we decided a little more cleaning power would be good for those extra messy diapers.

3 – Changing Mat

diaper changing mat

Since this is your portable diaper caddy, I recommend you get a fold-up changing mat to protect floors from dirty diapers. Some diaper bags come with a folding changing mat but it’s a good idea to buy an extra one so you don’t accidentally leave the house without your mat.

You can find simple waterproof mats online for just $10.

4 – Diaper Rash Cream

diaper rash creams

Diaper rash is a funny thing. Some babies get it a lot. Some rarely do. My first daughter didn’t have a bad diaper rash until she was almost a year old. But when it got her, it got her bad.

For times when your baby has a diaper rash, rash cream is a must to create a barrier on their skin so it is protected from future poops and can heal.

Some rash creams are meant to prevent diaper rash. While they can be helpful, just be aware that petroleum, which is found in most creams, creates a seal on the skin. So while it creates an effective barrier while diaper rash is healing, it may inadvertently cause long-term dry skin and prevent your baby’s skin from truly cleansing.

My recommendation would be to keep diaper rash cream in your caddy if your baby is struggling with diaper rash, but to not worry about it when they’re not.

I’ve used Desitin, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, and Aquaphor. They all work about the same, though my favorite is probably the butt paste because of the ingredients (or, rather, the lack thereof).

TIP: Use a disposable glove when applying diaper rash cream so it doesn’t get on your hands. Or use your hands and then use a wipe to get the cream off before washing with soap and water.

5 – Extra Outfit

baby girl outfit

Blowouts happen, sometimes far more often than you’d like. For that reason, keeping an extra outfit for baby in the diaper caddy can make those messes a little easier to clean.

6 – Plastic Bags

plastic grocery bags

Speaking of blowouts, you might be glad to have a few plastic grocery bags tucked in your diaper caddy. You can use them as a holding cell for dirty clothes until you’ve got baby all cleaned up.

Or you can use them for dirty diapers and wipes if you’re not near a trash can.


Really, those 6 things are all you need in your diaper caddy. If you have some extra space and want to be super prepared here are a few extras you could include in your caddy:

You’ll find what works best for you. Over time, you’ll know what you need in your diaper caddy and what you don’t.

Diaper Caddy Tip

While a diaper caddy can be a great tool, it isn’t going to be of much use to you if it’s empty. To avoid an empty diaper caddy at a critical moment, form a habit of refilling the caddy before you start your nightly routine with your kids.

Putting in a few more diapers, a new outfit, and a full pack of wipes if it’s close to empty only takes a minute or two. If you add it to your nightly routine, you won’t have to think about it and you’ll always have a full diaper caddy when you start the next day.

Now You Know

Now you know what to put in your diaper caddy and how useful it can be. If you keep your diaper caddy stocked and in a convenient area, diaper changes are going to be just a little easier.

If you want some more tips and tricks, check out these blog posts:

And if you want a full list of things to include on your baby registry, go to The Baby Registry List I Wish I’d Had.

Until next time,


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