Diaper Bags: What’s In Yours?

What's In Your Diaper Bag | CorporetteMomsWhat’s in your diaper bag? Who stocks it, and who usually carries it? I know a lot of people keep their cars and/or big strollers well-stocked — and some have the nanny in charge of the diaper bag — but I’ve always kept the bag stocked and ready for us to go out to eat, to a museum, or to the airport. (While our big City Select Baby Jogger has a nice big basket, we find it way too large for the subway, so that nice big basket is never of help to us while we’re on the road!)

I actually planned to write this post a while ago, which is when these pictures were taken (last fall maybe?!). Because we had two kiddos in diapers at the time (thank GOD that isn’t the case anymore), I thought I’d use these pictures to show you what I’ve always carried. (Our bag is much more pared down with just one in diapers now — although we still try to have a spare set of undies and pants in case of an accident or tempting mud puddle.) So let’s hear it, ladies: what’s in your diaper bag? Perhaps more importantly: who uses your diaper bag (you, your partner, your nanny, grandparents-as-nannies)? Who restocks it when supplies run out? (Oh — and which diaper bag is your favorite?)

For my $.02: I’m a big fan of the “giant ziploc” system of organization, so at any given time we had one big ziploc filled with diapering stuff, one filled with snack stuff, and then some loose items like clothes and toys. All of this fit in our trusty Georgi diaper bag from Baby Cargo, which sadly looks like it’s been discontinued; Amazon has a few left for $60ish.

Diaper Ziploc Bag #1: The Diaper Bag

diaper-bag-2

In this bag we have:

  • 2 diapers for Jack (size 6 at the time)
  • A pull-up for Jack
  • A swim diaper for Jack
  • A little baggie of Pampers sensitive wipes. IMHO the “snack bag stuffed with wipes” works far better than anything else I’ve found in terms of having wet wipes in a condensed format. Note the label on the bag to keep it from getting confused with similar baggies filled with Wet Ones and Boogie Wipes (although here you see I have a little travel size case of Boogie Wipes).
  • Boogie Wipes: I’ve always found that when you have your kid horizontal on a changing pad, it’s an excellent time to overpower him and wipe his nose. Yes, I’m horrible.
  • A tiny tube of Aquaphor: It’s lip stuff! It’s diaper rash stuff! Just make sure you don’t cross contaminate anything.
  • A tiny tub of Vaseline (perhaps unnecessary in addition to the Aquaphor)
  • Munchkin plastic bags for disposing of diapers while out and about. I’d be curious to know if there are laws or anything on point, but as far as a “person in the world” etiquette tip, it’s always best to put human waste into a sealed little baggie and then dispose of it. (Particularly if it’s poop.)
  • A tiny laundry bag: in theory, for when you have wet/soiled clothes and nowhere to put them. A friend gifted us a whole set of nice Flight 101 laundry bags, including these teeny ones — I like that they are washable themselves.
  • L’Occitane’s hand purifying gel (or any kind of Purell). It looks like this exact product has been discontinued, but when you’re on the go you’ll definitely want some kind antiseptic for your hands. (If your kiddo is too small to wash his own hands, it’s also great to use after you exit the bathroom — god knows what’s on the changing table).
  • Finally, not one but two diaper changing pads, just in case one gets dirty or lost. One was a disposable diaper changing pad (from Sesame Street, I think, but Munchkin also makes these), and another was a super-thin vinyl one that was easy to wipe down and fold up. My colorful blue paisley one is from Snug Bug, and I have no complaints. It isn’t super padded, but it gets the job done as far as covering the surface, being easy to wipe down, and folding up into a small, condensed pack pretty easily.

Diaper Ziploc Bag #2: The Snack Bag

what to put in your diaper bag

I believe strongly in always having snacks, either if you’re dining out, traveling, or just on the verge of a meltdown. (Am I alone in thinking that my kids’ meltdowns are all linked to low blood sugar?) The exact contents of the snack bag are a moving target, but some of the things we’ve included are (going clockwise):

  • Wet Ones. Again, I usually find the snack-baggie-full-of-wipes better than these little packs, but if you can find them they’re great. We’ve used them for wiping down hands before and after meals, as well as wiping down tables before we sit at them. (See also: the Nice ‘n’ clean wipes, kind of duplicating the same thing.)
  • Disposable bib and disposable placemat. Because they barely take up any room, I figured they would be appreciated in case Stuff Happened and we really needed them. See also: the WallaBib, which I bought at a random trip to BuyBuyBaby — it’s a super-thin nylon, washable bib that folds up into a tiny pocket.
  • Small shelf-stable snacks such as granola bars, Bunny Grahams, GoGo Squeez, raisins, Plum Tots Mish Mash (we buy them in bulk on Amazon), craisins — and a tiny snackbag full of eating utensils. (If we knew we were heading out for a while we always brought along fresh snacks as well such as string cheese, pre-cut grapes and apples, cooked broccoli and carrots…)
  • A pack of tissues

Loose, General Items in the Diaper Bag

diaper bag stocked

This is where the diaper bag gets really bloated: the clothes and other random toys. Starting from the top left-hand corner (where you see the snacks and diaper stuff), we move on to:

  • Toys: random tiger on wheels (of course), loose crayons, a small pack of Tegu magnetic blocks
  • A collapsible water bottle. I’m not sure who loves this more, me or Jack. It also has a carabiner hook so you can hang it from the outside of the diaper bag. I think mine is a Vapur, but a lot of different companies sell them.
  • Baby sunscreen and regular sunscreen (looks like Neutrogena here, but we aren’t terribly loyal to any one brand). For the longest time I kept a stick of baby sunscreen in my diaper bag, too.
  • Organic chapstick for the boys — we like Babyganics’ Organic Balm.
  • Badger balm anti-bug spray (in case of buggy parks and whatnot)
  • Shorts and t-shirt for Jack and footed sleeper for Harry, as well as a hat and hoodie for cold weather.

In an outside zippered pocket I usually kept some tinted lip balm for myself, along with a grown-up snack (KIND bar, bag of nuts), and a photocopy of the boys’ insurance cards (which permanently live in my wallet.)

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Comments

  1. NewMomAnon says:

    Gosh, I don’t even know what’s in my “diaper bag” (actually a small messenger bag, I couldn’t handle the big diaper bag thing). I think this is a pretty accurate list:
    – diapers; usually 3 to 4, with a swim diaper just in case
    – mostly empty pack of wipes, because I never remember to buy travel packs and the mostly empty packs are pretty small
    – small pack of tissues
    – in the summer, a tube of baby sunscreen and a sun hat; bug spray is a good idea too
    – a tooth brush for my kiddo, because it’s the best toy in the world
    – several very small board books that have colorful pictures
    – snacks; packs of Annie’s cheddar bunnies, pouch of GoGoSqueeze, maybe an individually wrapped square of chocolate in case I need to bribe kiddo, maybe an apple
    – empty water bottle
    – my wallet, phone, keys, and a lip balm for me
    – diaper rash cream
    – an extra set of clothes and socks
    – a pen and a small pad of paper
    – a card with the pediatrician’s information on it

    For winter, I will replace the sun hat with a warm winter hat and a spare pair of mittens and warm socks (if anyone knows where I can buy thin wool toddler mittens and socks, would love to hear about it). Probably also some hand cream and maybe some hand warmers.

    Also for winter, I will add some items to my car for safety – a small wool blanket for kiddo, and a bigger one for me; a box of dog biscuits (high calorie density but not something that I’ll be tempted to eat while waiting at a stop light); another hat/mittens/socks combo; a small shovel; and some sand/ice melt.

  2. Marilla says:

    Is it too much of a threadjack to ask for diaper bag recommendations? I almost splurged and bought myself a Kate Spade one as part of the 75% off sale yesterday, but stopped myself when I realized the price was in USD. I could justify $150 (CAD) as a gift to myself, but not $200. The SkipHop ones seem like the standard and are available through Canadian Amazon and Babies R Us and so on — are they good? What should I be looking for? I’m thinking it would be good to have a cross-body and purse strap, outside pockets, and individual sectioned off pockets inside, plus obviously a changing pad. What else?

    • Stephanie says:

      I hope this doesn’t sound snarky, but can someone please explain the advantages of carrying boogie wipes and wet ones in addition to the more traditional wipes for diaper changes?

      • Stephanie says:

        Oops, sorry, that was supposed to be its own comment…

      • For whatever reason, my kids flip out if I try to wipe their face with diaper wipes (Pampers Sensitive). But they will tolerate it if I use Boogie Wipes. So I have two packs in my bag for that reason.

        • Interesting. I’m going to try some boogie wipes. My daughter acts like I’m trying to murder her when I wipe her nose/face with regular wipes.

        • CPA Lady says:

          Okay, weird question, but have you ever wiped your face with one of the baby wipes? Because I wiped my face with one of the ones I use on my daughter (Huggies Simply Clean), and it kind of hurt! It felt coarse and almost harsh on my face. Also, I think she just hates having her face wiped off. But now I use a Boogie Wipe on her face. She’s still not pleased, but is less hysterical about it all.

    • Stephanie says:

      I’ve seen a few bloggers rave about Lily Jade bags. I actually have a Kate Spade diaper bag which looks like the medium shopper tote. I bought it eons ago at an outlet (before the outlets were all made-for-outlet stuff) and I used it as a commuter bag for years. It has held up surprisingly well! I use it more than our Timbuk2 diaper bag (which is basically like one of their messenger bags).

    • I splurged on a Kate Spade Stevie back while I was pregnant, and it really is super pretty and easy to use. However, I bought my husband a “man-friendly” diaper bag in backpack form. We used it once a year ago and never switched back. It’s a fisher price model and had labels on the many pockets with their intended purpose, a wipe storage pocket on the outside, etc. Lately I have thought about switching back for the pure aesthetic purpose, but we don’t need nearly as much stuff with a 1.5 yr old. I still love it for functionality. It is so so so nice to have a backpack option when you are trying to wrangle a kid and a stroller and opening a door etc by yourself. Plus I still usually have my purse with me since I’m not usually with her and her bag. When I was on leave I could combine into the KS, but that wouldn’t work now.

      If my husband and I are out together, one of grabs the kid and one grabs everything else, usually depending on who the kid is more attached to on that day.

      • Oh I forgot to mention, I replaced the bonus changing pad that came with the backpack to a skip hop clutch. It is so nice for having everything within reach when kid is squirming around. I keep the extra changing pad in my trunk in a ziploc with a few diapers, wipes and a munchkin disposable bag.

        • Stephanie says:

          Yes! The Skip Hop diaper clutch has been so helpful. I always see them at Nordstrom Rack if you want to get one at a discount.

    • oil in houston says:

      I actually have the Kate Spade and love it, but couldn’t bear the price either, so I tracked down the one I wanted on ebay and found one for $95 :)

    • PregLawyer says:

      I looked for a long time and was willing to spend whatever, but I ultimately ended up deciding on a Storksak ‘Noa’ bag, from Nordstrom. I think it was like $150. It was a bit more subdued than some of the more designer bags, which I liked. It’s great — easy to clean coated canvas; long shoulder strap; good size with multiple compartments; and comes with an organizer and changing pad.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I hope this doesn’t sound snarky, but can someone please explain the advantages of carrying boogie wipes and wet ones in addition to the more traditional wipes for diaper changes?

    • mascot says:

      I scoffed at boogie wipes at first, but they really do work and are gentle on the skin. I’d probably pick baby wipes over wet ones for hand cleaning because I’m not a fan of anti-bacterial products. To each her own.

    • Lyssa says:

      We generally just use regular wet wipes for everything (dirty/sticky hands, spit ups, nose wipes, food spills). Maybe it’s not completely ideal for skin, but we’ve never had a problem. (And, I mean, how much more sensitive can you get than the type of skin that the regular wipes are for?)

    • NewMomAnon says:

      This is gross, but the boogie wipes do a really effective job at dissolving mucus – so all that crusty stuff under baby’s nose when they get a cold, goes away. Also good for cleaning up your clothes after baby wipes their nose all over your shirt/skirt/coat!

      I try really hard not to touch a raw, runny nose with a diaper wipe, because it stings like h*ll (from experience). So in my house, the boogie wipes are reserved for the times when I would usually use lotion tissues – really bad cold/flu/allergies with a runny nose that is getting raw and sore.

      And wet ones? I don’t use ’em. Baby wipes are just fine for everything that wet ones would do, and cheaper.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Yes, I initially scoffed at Boogie Wipes, but they are actually better for crusty boogers, and I have even used them for myself once I’ve reached that “I can’t let one more tissue touch my poor raw nose” stage. Plus they don’t smell like regular wipes, so my kids don’t squirm away quite as much (and getting regular wipes on your lips = gross taste that is hard to get rid of for hours, so I don’t blame the kids for that)

        I liked to have 2 different packs of wipes – either 2 travel packs of diaper wipes, or diaper wipes plus either boogie wipes or something like Wet Ones or tissues/paper towels/kleenex – because somehow it never fails that you swear you refilled them but one of the containers only holds 1 wipe when you get to your destination.

        We lived in car country, so I usually tried to keep at least 1 pack of wipes, a couple of diapers and an outfit change in the trunk – but we learned the hard way that when it is below freezing for several days in a row, the wipes can freeze completely solid. We are finally past the diaper stage, and I just ran out of my last pack of car wipes – I need to go restock a pack or two on my next Target run.

  4. shortperson says:

    for wipes we like the honest wipes packs of 10 which are $1 at target. it is too much effort for me to keep wipes in bags that are not dried out. we also subscribe and save to the babyganics single use sunscreens. i keep all diaper bag supplies in a cabinet near the garage that makes it easy to refill when we are running out.

    on diaper bags, my main bag has been the skip hop versa which is functional, decent-looking and non-designer in price. now that baby is bigger and i dont need to carry as much stuff but she’s heavier to lug around, the one-shoulder format is becoming annoying, so i just bought a small herschel backpack to use when we are out and about together and may not be using the stroller the whole time. i also got a skip hop clutch when she was born and keep that in the car for use on quick trips. when dh takes her out, he has either been stealing my skip hop clutch and forgetting to return it or just bringing her out without backup and gambling that nothing would happen. so i just got him a skip hop clutch for himself (the all black version).

    • shortperson says:

      also, our fave diaper bag toys right now for our ~1 year old are pipsquigz and a roll of painters tape, which are both great for restaurants and the like, a little car, finger puppets and straws.

  5. oil in houston says:

    We have a Kate Spade Stevie diaper bag, it’s usually in the pram rather than being carried, but if it needs to be carried I’m always the one doing so.
    we carry:
    – changing table cover (came with bag, love it)
    – 5 diapers
    – travel wipes
    – hat for baby
    – 3 change of clothes for baby (baby has GERD and spits up a lot), each outfit in its own ziplock bag
    – spare t-shirt for me (see above comments…)
    – 2 bibs and 2 burp clothes
    – hand sanitizer, diaper cream, sun cream
    – munchkin diaper bags
    -applesauce pouch
    – modesty cover to nurse her
    – teething toy

  6. Quail says:

    Our diaper bag for one kid is a cross-body small backpack. In it are 2-3 cloth diapers, an extra cover, a plastic grocery bag for dirty diapers, a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer, baby wipes, a muslin blanket (for changes and playing – never been a problem but maybe I’m gross.) Sunscreen, hat, and baby sunglasses in the summer, mittens and hat in the winter. I don’t carry extra clothes and it’s never been a problem so far. I used to carry a nursing cover but now I just nurse without a cover because it’s easier.

    Diaper bag is used by my husband and me, equally – we are usually out as a family. Whoever doesn’t have the baby carries the bag, or it goes in the stroller basket. Whoever remembers restocks it (which is usually me).

  7. Famouscait says:

    Things in my diaper bag (that I haven’t seen already listed):
    – a roll of doggie poop bags for dirty diapers
    – a plastic grocery bag for dirty clothes
    – spare pacifier, on a tether/clip
    – a SOFT hand toy (less-obnoxious for banging on the table)

    Our working theory on diaper bags is to have supplies everywhere, so we’re never caught without. We have a Skip Hop diaper clutch that we keep in the bottom of the stroller for walks, etc. I bought it used, and have learned you can machine wash anything – even though it says to just spot clean. I don’t think sturdy nylon knows the difference! We were gifted a small Lands End diaper bag (basic black) and I bought a blue, MZ Wallace-looking diaper bag from Nordies for myself. Hubby and I each keep these in our cars, which is what we’d use for impromptu errands after daycare pickup, etc.

    If we’re going out for a longer, planned trip we have a Tumi gray twill bag that either my husband or I will carry. We got it at an outlet store a few months before baby, because we thought we might not ever find again a bag that both of us would happily carry. It has been great and I think will get used after baby as a regular tote or something. It is more of a vertical/north-south bag, so it hangs easily between the narrow handles of our MacLaren stroller.

    P.S. In other news, my baby turned 1 year old today. What?!?!?!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have a 2 year old and I have never had a diaper bag per se. I bought a large purse (the hobo kind) and used that almost exclusively. It had a few diapers, wipes, snack(s), bottle, plastic bag, one change of clothes, and my phone and wristlet. During certain phases of life (most recently potty training), we brought along a tote bag filled with extra clothes and plastic baggies. Some days we bring a tote and put a water bottle/snacks.

    But generally, the tote only comes out on long day adventures.

  9. Chi Squared says:

    I used my work bag (MZ Wallace Kate) as a diaper bag on weekends. It’s already loaded with my essentials (lip balm, hand sanitizer, rewetting drops, a few paper towels, wet ones, etc), so I just replaced the laptop with a Skip Hop diaper clutch, which holds diapers, bags for dirty diapers and wipes. Then I’d add sippy cup to the oh-so-convenient external water bottle pockets, a small tupperware of snacks, extra clothes or sweater, lovey, and whatever else I needed on that errand. We keep a separate “eating out” bag – like a ziploc, but heavier duty – with a bib, the Summer Infant Tiny Diner, ziploc of clorox wipes, extra diaper wipes (my LO doesn’t object to us using those on her face), wet ones, straws, plastic toddler utensils, and extra paper towels and napkins.

    Now that she’s 2, and doesn’t need diaper changes so frequently, we leave the diaper clutch and eating out bag in the car, and I bought myself an MZ Wallace Hayley for weekends. The Hayley is big enough to carry all my essentials, and I can jam a sippy cup, lovey, and even her eating out bag in there for errands.

  10. We use a black shoulder bag from Target. It has 3-4 diapers (plus a swim diaper in summer), wipes, a small blanket for changes etc., extra outfit, hat (sun or winter), formula pre-measured into a bottle and a separate bottle for measuring water, usually a water bottle, mini-hand sanitizer, plastic bag for dirty diaper or wet clothes. One or two soft toys. Wow, that sounds like a lot! We used to have a plastic mat for diaper changes, but had to send it to daycare and have thus far been fine with just the blanket. We only take this whole bag if we’re going out for a long time, though. We tend to leave it behind for walks, trips to the park, or short errands. Sometimes there are extra diapers stashed in the car for short errand emergencies.

  11. Hi,
    Expecting our second in February. I’m wondering about getting a regular-sized Kanken backpack this time around. I love the quirky shape, bright colors, and want something hands free so that I can also attend to our toddler. The diaper-bag backpacks I’ve seen look boring or bulky. I did lots of baby-wearing with our first and found our traditional diaper bag to be a challenge (I had a skiphop versa) and didn’t use it very long. We actually mostly carried a kind of ugly academic conference tote bag! Has anyone used a Kanken or similar backpack? It doesn’t have lots of pockets, I was thinking that packing cubes might be helpful to create some organization for diaper stuff, snacks, toys, etc. We use cloth diapers and had lots of blow-outs when our daughter was little. I like reusable wet-bags that can be washed with the diapers. as a bonus they can be used to store a clean change of clothes until “called into service.”

  12. layered bob says:

    We have the Parental Unit from Tom Bihn – we are huge Tom Bihn fans. My husband usually carries it and also keeps it stocked:

    – 2 cloth diapers + extra cover + cloth wipes
    – small wet bag for dirty diapers
    – travel pack of Honest wipes if for some reason we don’t want to use cloth
    – old receiving blanket for changes – it rolls up small and we wash it when we get home
    – burp cloth
    – swaddle blanket (which I nurse under if I feel like I need a cover – usually I don’t.)
    – clean onesie + bib
    – pacifier, which our baby has never liked but will sometimes grudgingly accept in the car seat
    – hand sanitizer
    – a wrap or sling for carrying the baby – we have several and try to keep one with the diaper bag
    – chapstick, peppermints, a pen, a Kind bar, some cash, a water bottle
    – baby is still EBF so my husband will take a bottle of frozen milk if he goes out alone but that rarely happens.

  13. Steph says:

    I have a Kate Spade Stevie bag that I received as a baby shower gift- it’s very cute but stuff does tend to get lost in the bottom and it is easy to over stuff it. We are tentatively planning for #2 in the next year, and when that becomes a reality, I am going to treat myself to a Little Unicorn bag- several of my friends have them and they are very cute and functional- less diaper bag, more purse.

    We send our 19 month old to grandparent day care each morning, switching off between my parents and my in-laws. They don’t keep anything but toys and a pack and play at their houses, so I pack her up for the whole day. On the weekends, I keep the fully packed diaper bag in the trunk of the car and stuff one or two diapers plus an Honest Co. Travel pack of wipes in my purse. We are very rarely headed anywhere where I need to keep the diaper bag with me. And we are in LA, so our car is always nearby :)

    In our bag:
    -10 diapers
    -full pack of honest wipes
    -Snack Bag- a 1 gallon ziplock with some pouches of food, a bag of bunny cheese crackers, a banana, and a sippy cup of water
    -a washable “wet bag” with a change of clothes in it (something small, like a dress and bloomers)
    -Meds bag- a 1 gallon ziplock with diaper rash cream, sunscreen, baby tylenol, and a travel pack of Boogie Wipes
    -a light jacket
    -an Aiden and Anais swaddle blanket for sitting on at the park
    -crayons and paper packed in an empty DVD case
    -about 20 random hair clips and socks without a mate

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