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Diapering Essentials & 7 Things You Need for Your Diaper Caddy

Last Updated: October 17, 2021

Buying diapers and getting things setup before your newborn arrives is one of the easier items to check off your baby to-do list. But there are some diapering essentials that make life a little easier. As much as Pinterest may be showing, you don’t need a large wheel-about diaper caddy cart. You need something small and handy to fit a few diaper changing essentials. And then you restock it as needed! We found a 5″x11″ dresser drawer organizer box to be the perfect size! Here’s everything you need for newborn diaper changes.

Plus, jump below to download the spreadsheet for the Minimalist Baby Registry Checklist.

Diapering Essentials for minimalist baby registry checklist

Diaper Caddy Essentials

We skipped a baby changing table, and went straight for a simple, sturdy dresser (IKEA $129). This not only provides tons of surface area for baby changing and a diaper caddy, but is future-proof for your child’s room. And with clothing, and re-supply storage just an arms-reach away, in the top drawer! It just makes sense over a traditional diaper changing table! So here’s what you need for diapering!

1. Diapers – 10 per day to start

Diapers are one of those baby things that you can research a ton and still get totally wrong. Why? Because all babies are different! It can be very hard to calculate how many diapers you will need. First, you won’t know how big your baby is until they’re born. Second, you don’t know how fast they’ll grow, after that. And third, you don’t know what shape they’ll be. Some babies are long and lean and others are chunky and others have little skinny legs. So have your bases covered with some diapers but don’t go overboard. Target is a quick trip and Amazon is 2 day shipping away.

little snugglers huggies diapers newborn
Newborn Size Diapers – Huggies Little Snugglers are gentle and soft for infants! Buy a small pack of newborn size, some big babies skip straight to Size 1. And they’re easy to go buy more of the correct size, as needed!
honest diapers bundle box sale
Size 1 Diapers – Most babies are in Size 1 diapers from about 8-12 pounds! And then Size 2 Diapers from about 12-16 pounds. The Honest Co diaper brand offers diaper and wipe bundles, where you get 7 packs (175 Size 1 diapers), and 4 packs of wipes (72 wipes per pack). They usually offer $20 off your first bundle, so it’s worth trying to a month at least to see what you think! We used Honest for a few months but ultimately switched back to Huggies for price and blowout reasons!

And of course you also can decide whether you want to do cloth diapering or disposable diapers. Most people recommend to just start out with disposable even if you plan to do cloth diapers later the first couple weeks of baby’s life is pretty messy and continual diapers and you’re learning so many new things already that I would advise starting out with disposable diapers and you can figure out if you want to do reusable or even a cloth diaper service later. Why put extra pressure on yourself to figure it out right away?

How many diapers do you need?

Plan for about 10 diapers per day for the first few months of newborn life.* So if your baby is doing a week of newborn diapers, and then switching to size 1. That would be 70 Size N and 210 Size 1 diapers, and 9 packs of wipes for the first month!

*Give or take a few diapers per day, and depending on the urgency level of your baby. Some newborns seem to go constantly and others all at once! And as a new parent, you’ll want some wiggle room as you learn on the job! Is it a 3 wipe diap or a 7?!

2. Diaper Wipes

water wipes for newborn sensitive skin
Water Wipes pack: $12 for a 4 pack. Water wipes are very gentle wipes for infants, who have extremely sensitive skin. Our little one needed these for the first few months. You can always try regular wipes, but these are great to have on hand in case your baby needs them.
costco baby wipes
Costco Wipes: These wipes are a great deal and great for sensitive skin. We switched from Water Wipes to Costco and Target wipes about 3-6 months in. Don’t have a Costco membership? These are a great one to add to your registry. We didn’t even register for them, and still had two well-meaning pro-parents friends give us boxes!

You’ll go through a lot of wipes in the first three months! Plan that a newborn uses about 10 diapers a day, thats 300 diapers per month. And if you’re using an average of 3 wipes per diaper, that’s 900 wipes per month! Thankfully, babies start to slow down on the diaper train after a few months, (and you’ll get more skilled at using fewer wipes!). Then you’ll just be using about a pack per week!

3. Changing Pad & Covers

Basic changing pads are all you need here. After a few months, you’re going to be a pro and diapering mid-air or on the bare ground sometimes. So don’t worry about having the fanciest expensive ergonomic changing pads.

changing pad
Summer Infant Changing Pad: $20 The best basic mat! Start with one, but two is nice if you have a 2-story house!
changing pad cover
Aden + Anais Changing Pad Cover: $16. Lots of cute options from Target’s Cloud Island as well. These are nice as a nursery decoration. They’re not super practical for actual using, so feel like a waste of energy as they instantly get dirty.
waterproof changing pad liners
Bamboo Waterproof Changing Pad Liners: $15. These liner are all we used on the changing pad after the first couple months of wasting time with the covers. If you live in a cold weather area, it can make baby more comfy than just the pad, but easier than an instantly dirty pad cover.

4. Diaper Pail vs Trash Can: Diaper Pail Alternatives

The main difference between a diaper pail and a regular garbage can, is that the diaper pail has a layer that locks away the odor. However, depending on your smelling sensitivities, you will still smell diapers or the odor masking smell that most diaper pails use! Diaper pails are in the $40-80 price range. You’re buying a hunk of plastic (or metal) that is only going to be used for about a year or two.

diaper pail vs trash can - simplehuman 1.5 gallon step can
Simplehuman 1.6 Gallon Step Trash Can: $35 Use it for diapers now, and a regular trashcan in a couple years! And skip the simplehuman bags. The Glad 4 gallon small trash bags fit this can if you store the trash bags box in the can!
diaper pail
Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail: $70 The most popular current diaper pail. At least it doesn’t require special garbage bags like most.

Plus, you usually have to buy special diaper garbage bags, use smelly arm & hammer refill things, and anyway you do it, it’s going to smell like S#!t in whatever room you put it! Or you can buy a modern looking simplehuman 1.5 gallon step trash can with lid and liner bin to use as your diaper pail! If you think about the average of 10 diapers per day… You’re going to be emptying your smelly diaper garbage frequently anyway in the first year. So you may as well have a small and usable can!

5. Supplies for Your Diaper Caddy

We just used one of the drawer organizers from the nursery dresser. It perfectly fit diapers, wipes, rash cream, and hand sanitizer and any other little things. If you live in a two story house, have one upstairs and one downstairs next to your changing mats.

Another great thing about having your diaper changing station on top of a dresser, is you have all your baby stuff handy – back up diapers, a new outfit etc. And if you get a longer dresser, you can have space for a small nightlight for low-light night changes.

diaper caddy essentials
IKEA SKUBB Drawer organizer 11″x5.5″: $5 for set of 6. Use the rest to organize baby clothes! This small box was perfect for diaper changing essentials!
natural diaper rash cream
Baby Diaper Rash cream: $7-9. Honest Co, Boudreaux Butt Paste, and Desitin are all go-tos. We only needed diaper rash cream a few times. But when you need it, you sure do!
baby safe hand sanitizer
Baby-safe hand sanitizer: 1-3 pack. This was great to keep handy for upstairs diaper changes since we don’t have a bathroom on that level. Also great to keep close for visitors who want to hold the baby.

We also tried to keep a small plastic bucket (tub trug with handles) nearby to toss any wet or soiled stuff that needed to be dealt with right after. Sometimes if you’re dealing with a blowout, you just need a place to set all the dirty stuff that isn’t going to get even more stuff dirty!

Diapering Items You Don’t Need

Things you don’t need: a diaper cream application tool (use your fingers, then wash your hands), diaper pail (use a small garbage can w/lid), changing table (use a dresser that will be usable for years to come!) or a changing pad right on the floor, wipe warmer (depends where you live & if you have a winter baby. You can also just warm a wipe with your hands or chest first), diaper caddy cart (use a small organization bin).

I hope you’ve found this diapering essentials checklist useful! Let me know if you have any questions!

Download the Minimalist Baby Registry Checklist Spreadsheet

This post is part of my Minimalist Baby Registry checklist series. You can download the spreadsheet for a “Pay what you want” price. Consider your checklist spreadsheet a planner for everything you need and a baby budget! While your Amazon registry is your shareable list with friends and family for gifting.

spreadsheet for minimalist baby registry checklist

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