Stay Stylish And Organized With The Best Diaper Bag (2018 Guide)
It may sound silly, but finding the perfect diaper bag was a life-changing experience for me.
The best way to describe it is that the right diaper bag allows you to have all the conveniences of home whenever you're away from home.
A great bag will allow you that freedom, flexibility, and so much more!
Read on to learn how to choose the best diaper bag and some other helpful tips to make shopping for this baby necessity a no-brainer.
Why You Need a Diaper Bag
You need a diaper bag because—as you're about to find out—your baby needs a lot of stuff!
You need diapers, milk, a change of clothes, butt paste, burp cloths, and—as your baby grows—snacks, sippy cups, and other high demand items that allow you to always be prepared!
Your diaper bag also serves as a purse, since it doesn’t make sense for you to lug around two bags. So, your bag will be able to hold your keys, wallet, phone, and other necessities with ease.
A diaper bag also helps a new mom feel confident and comfortable leaving home.
Mommyhood is intimidating at first. And, it can take awhile to get into the swing of things.
A large, organized diaper bag filled with goodies helps a mom get out of the house without a second thought.
Before you purchase a diaper bag, the following elements are crucial to think about:
The style of your bag is a direct reflection of your personal taste.
Remember that diaper bags can be fun and fashionable, and not just functional.
Some moms prefer to go all out and select a large, traditional diaper bag that's designed to complement their baby’s gender.
Other moms prefer to pick a gender neutral bag, so they can reuse it if planning on extending their family.
And some select a basic backpack style bag so both parents feel comfortable carrying it.
There are even some diaper bags that literally look like an oversized purse, so moms can convert the diaper bag to a personal purse after using it with their child.
Here are some other things to think about:
Some diaper bags are ultra-expensive, while others are more than affordable.
So, there is a diaper bag available for a number of budgets.
Some moms prefer to go brand name and designer, while others feel they can get a high quality product for less and without a label.
The average, non-designer diaper bag costs about $50, while the average high-scale bag runs about $200.
Within this range you should be able to find a bag that fits your style and needs.
When choosing a great diaper bag, opt for a material that is easy to clean, which generally means nylon and plastic.
They are generally waterproof, which means you can literally take a wet cloth and wipe them down. Some can also get tossed in the washer.
Cloth and canvas can also be spot treated, but can tend to stain, especially if designed in lighter colors.
Genuine leather is strong and durable, it does wipe down pretty well, but it can stain or streak when overly wet.
So, it probably isn’t the best material to seek out in a diaper bag’s design.
Benefits of Having a Great Diaper Bag
When you have a great diaper bag, you can reap the following benefits:
Different Types of Diaper Bags
A tote is a classic diaper bag and has two handles to hold onto and usually a long, detachable strap for your to sling around your shoulder when you want or need to go hands free.
- "TOTES CUTE!" - Our new Hip Cub Weekender Tote collection is as 'fashionable' as it is 'functional'. The thin stripe cotton canvas (available in 3 colors; gray / black / navy with white) and the tan accent trimming are a perfect match!
- FROM MATERNITY TO ETERNITY! - Let's face it... Kids are a MESSY business and diaper bags go through A LOT! We therefore knew it was critical to manufacture these totes with only top quality, durable (not cheap) materials so that they are built to last! The exterior cotton canvas is super easy to spot clean and the interior is a wipeable polyester.
It comes in a variety of sizes, but is usually pretty roomy and is loaded with pockets and compartments.
This style of bag can also be made to look like a traditional woman’s purse, which can be used after for personal purposes after toting diapers around.
A messenger bag is designed with a long strap, which can be placed over the shoulder or across the chest for a more secure and stable fit.
These bags provide plenty of space and lots of storage.
Its design is sleek and streamlined, and can be used by either parent, comfortably.
A backpack is the ultimate way to go hands free.
Moderate in size, its straps can be adjusted so either parent can wear it comfortably.
Straps are padded and thick, and the bag itself lacks lots of compartments, but makes up for it in size and space. Both parents also feel comfortable carrying it.
Top 10 Items to Keep in Your Diaper Bag
You’re going to be carrying around a lot of different items besides diapers in your bag. Here are the top 10 things you need to make sure your bag always contains:
Wipes aren’t just for tooshies—they also clean faces after eating, dirty hands before, they mop up drool, snoot, and even blood in some cases!
Wipes are ultra-useful, so be sure you’re able to fit an entire pack in whatever bag you choose.
Diaper Rash Cream
Your little one can get diaper rash anytime, anywhere.
So, it’s best to keep a tube in your bag to prevent pain and eliminate fussiness.
If you’re breastfeeding, you’re going to need nursing pads to keep you dry and discreet in between feedings.
Leaks happen often and it’s smart to keep a stash in a side compartment of your bag.
When out in public, babies can get overwhelmed. This is where a pacifier comes in play.
If you choose to give your little one a paci in between feedings or before/during nap, keep an extra one in your baby and leave your go-to one at home.
A paci helps smooth things over when your baby is upset or simply disgruntled when traveling or strolling around.
Change of Clothes
Accidents happen a lot when you have a baby. Think spit up, spilled milk, smooshed food, snot, poop, pee—you name it!
A change of clothes is always a good idea to have in your bag. In fact, I kept two!
Don’t forget to update them each season and check the sizes regularly to ensure you have something in your bag that your baby will actually fit into.
A wet bag is a must because it keeps your wet and soiled clothes away from your dry ones and other important baby items.
These bags won’t leak, are zippered, and can be clipped easily on your handles.
Babies need to be engaged and they don’t understand the concept of waiting.
So, keep a toy in your baby that they can play with if out at restaurant, in the car,or waiting at the doctor’s office.
Your baby will feel a lot of pressure build up when they are going through the teething stage. So, keep a teether on hand that they can latch onto as needed.
Be sure to clip your teether onto your bag to keep it off the ground and to find it easily.
If you’re nursing or pumping, and you either don’t want to do it in public or if you simply want a backup device, a manual pump is a great item to keep in your bag.
It doesn't’ take up much space and doesn’t require any battery or electric power.
A burp cloth serves a few purposes.
It can cover you while nursing, it can mop up spills and spit up with ease, and it can also serve as a barrier between your baby and the surface when doing a diaper change in public.
Because they roll up neatly and are light weight, be sure to carry a few in your bag.
Best for Travel
Hip Cub Diaper Bag and Baby Changing Pad Combo
One of the more popular diaper bags out there is the Hip Cub Diaper Bag and Baby Changing Pad Combo (click here to check the price on Amazon).
It fits most of my needs and has several different strap options available, so if you're looking for a bag that is mid-sized, this might be the one for you.
Easy to clean. Both the diaper bag and the baby changing pad are made from materials that are perfect for spot cleaning. Although technically the inside is not completely waterproof, it is made from 100% Polyester, so you can quickly wiped out many spills with no problems. The canvas outside and the faux leather can be spot cleaned with a cold soapy rag.
Lots of compartments. A great feature worth mentioning, this diaper bag is great for the parent that likes to stay organized. There are two large pockets on the outside for anything you may need to quickly access. Inside is a large pocket, among others, that is perfect for mom stuff such as keys or a wallet.
Gender neutral. The black and white striped pattern makes this a bag that the whole family will appreciate. Mom loves it because it pairs well with just about any outfit, an dad loves it (or is indifferent!) because he can still look masculine when running errands with the baby.
Keep in mind
No thermal pocket. A lot of women rely on thermal pockets for carrying baby food and breast milk, so this could be a deal breaker if you fall into this category. It is certainly an added feature this bag could use.
Limited ways to wear. While there are many bags that can convert to backpack style, this isn't one of them. If you need to quickly get to an item, you must first completely remove it. This diaper bag does have a strap that can be either worn over the shoulder or adjusted to fit across the entire body.
Best for Twins
Skip Hop Duo Signature
The Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag (click here to check the price on Amazon) is another popular option.
A large messenger style bag with lots of pockets, this Skip Hop bag is recommended for overnight trips, mothers of two, or the mom that has a lot of items of their own.
Security. As a mother, you never know where you'll eyes will be, so you don’t have time to worry about constantly monitoring your bag. The main compartment is secure with a zipper, so you don’t have to worry about someone seeing your cell sitting on top and grabbing it.
Big enough for two. This bag fits everything needed for two kids, which is why we also recommend it for twins. There are lots of compartments to organize each child’s things so you can easily find them. If you are expecting your second child or even twins, this bag may be just what you need.
Baby changing pad. When a bag comes with a matching changing pad, it’s always a plus for me. You always hope that you won't need it, but the moment you do, it’s nice to have. Nobody wants to change their baby on an unhygienic surface. Easy to clean so that you can move onto your next disaster.
Keep in mind
Could use a better shape. This bag works for well for a lot of moms; however, when packing you might have to be strategic. Instead of the traditional shape of a bag being wider and short, this bag is tall and thin. To get to everything you need sometimes requires some fishing. This can be difficult, especially if two hands are needed. If you put the items you use less often on the bottom it all works out. With ten separate pockets, you can’t complain.
Best Luxury Diaper Bag
JJ Cole Stone Satchel
When JJ Cole designed the Cole Stone Satchel Diaper Bag (click here to check the price on Amazon), they had their customers’ best interest in mind.
This roomy bag is very stylish and loaded with accessories, and you may want to check this bag out if you plan to carry lots of items or if you have decided to use cloth diapers.
Stroller grip clips. Sure, you can buy stroller grip clips to be used with certain bags, but that’s only one more thing to worry about purchasing. These clips are designed to fit this bag. They work well and give you a hand-free bag so you can focus on other things.
Easy access. Finding things is pretty easy with this bag for a lot of parents. The outside alone has seven pockets to hold your assortment of items. A handy bottle pocket is helpful when you need to quickly grab a bottle or sippy cup to quell a breakdown.
Removable shoulder strap. A lot of parents enjoy the wear-ability of this bag. When you and your family plan to be gone most of the day, you can throw the bag over your shoulder or across your body. This provides a cozy, hands-free, fit. If you're going on a short run to the grocery store, you can remove the padded shoulder strap and wear it like a purse.
Keep in mind
Durability: As much as moms love the functionality of this bag, after only six months time, some began to notice wear and tear. The stitching can start to unravel, and the material can begin to peel slightly.
Best for Cloth Diapers
SoHo Grand Central Station 7 Pieces
The Grand Central Station 7 Pieces Diaper Bag Set by SoHo (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a fairly large bag suitable for families with one to two kids.
If you are looking for a bag that will keep you organized, this might be the bag for you. The pattern is feminine without being over the top, so even dad won't mind carrying it around.
Packed with accessories. Where do we start? This bag has so many accessories it's crazy. Some of the main things you'll appreciate are the padded changing station, an insulated bag for baby bottles, grip stroller attachments, and of course the small purse just for you. All these things add up to keeping you organized and ready to go at a moment's notice.
Fashionable. This stylish bag is really nice looking. You don’t want to have to sacrifice your sense of style just because you're a mom. The dark colors of this bag can match just about any outfit you wear, so you don’t have to change bags to correspond with what you're wearing.
Keep in mind
Lightweight material. Diaper bags are sometimes carried for hours at a time, so while you may love all the accessories that come with this set, it does adds extra weight. Some moms were surprised just how heavy it was even before putting anything inside. When carrying the baby, a heavy bag can become daunting.
Changing pad issues. Yes, the padded changing station is lovely, and you will appreciate that it comes with the bag. However, some moms noted that it simply doesn’t fit into the pocket without using both hands. Even then, you need to work at it.
Best Tote Diaper Bag
Hip Cub Weekender Tote
The Weekender Tote Diaper Bag by Hip Cub (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a heavy-duty bag that will fit everything you need.
This bag is recommended for long trips, or large families. If you have been searching for a bag that can hold all your stuff to no avail, you may want to try this one.
Built to last. This truly is a bag that was made for long term use, made with incredibly durable materials that won't easily rip or tear. A tough cotton canvas is used for the exterior fabric, which many moms have found easy to spot clean. The inside material is a sturdy polyester and can be easily wiped down when needed.
Functionality. Other bags are loaded with lots of pockets, but as always Hip Cub is one step ahead. Each pocket was designed with purpose. Featuring a whopping nine pockets, this bag is ahead of the curve. The two pockets in the front work great for things like bottles and sippy cups. A large pocket in the back was made to store messy items, so they don’t soil everything else in your bag.
Keep in mind
Removable shoulder strap. Even though the shoulder strap is my favorite style of bag, it'd be good to have the option for removal. If you ever do choose to carry it by the handles, the strap dangles way too far. The only option for fixing this is stuffing it into the bag itself which in turn can become unwieldy.
Weight issues. Whew, this bag is huge. When you combine a starting weight of 2 pounds, plus everything you need to fill this bag up, it gets heavy quick. The strong materials are excellent, but they certainly contribute to its weight. If you are using this bag from the car to the stroller or hotel, you should be fine. Just don’t think you are going to be walking around all day with it.
Best Toddler Diaper Bag
Skip Hop Duo Special Edition
A mid-sized bag that looks great, The Skip Hop Duo Special Edition Diaper Bag (click here to check the price on Amazon) combines style and storage beautifully.
This bag is great for the newly expecting mother but may need an upgrade once your child becomes a toddler.
Allergen-friendly. This bag is both BPA-free and Phthalate-free, for those that are susceptible to allergens. For you, this may not be an issue, but I can appreciate the fact that Skip Hop takes its customer's health under consideration. I have not seen many bags out there that are Phthalate and BPA free.
Insulated pockets. This Skip Hop bag boasts not only one, but two hidden insulated pockets. These pockets are great for hiding snacks for a hungry little one. You can also carry two bottles wherever you go without worry.
Easy to clean. The coated canvas makes this one of the more clean-friendly bags. The extremely easy wipe-clean surface helps protect your bag from incurring stains due to small spills or dirt.
Keep in mind
Ease of access. For some moms, this bag is just a little too deep. More often than not to find one thing you need requires both hands. Anyone that has a young child knows just how difficult that is. The numerous pockets can help alleviate some of your struggles, but if you're in a hurry and just toss something on the top, it might not work for you.
Food storage. The insulated pockets are great for your little one if they are still bottle fed. The only problem, some moms noticed, is stout bottles just don’t fit in the pockets no matter how hard you try. In some instances, they get lost in the cavern of the main compartment. Occasionally this causes a major cleaning headache of all other items in the same space.
Best Designer Diaper Bag
Kate Spade New York Blake Avenue Taden Baby Bag
Kate Spade’s Black Avenue Taden Baby Bag (click here to check the price on Amazon) is sleek, streamlined, and strong.
A classically designed tote, the nylon bag has dual handles and a removable and adjustable shoulder strap.
The entire bag is water resistant (even it’s lined interior), and it has a large zippered pocket, two open slip pockets (for easy access to wipes), and a diaper pouch.
Black and basic, the bag is designed for either parents to carry it, and it’s gold toned hardware make it shiny and snazzy.
It’s easy to clean. Parents remark that the bag never stained and it was simple to sanitize. A wet, soapy rag gets the job done.
Comes with a changing pad. This helps parents safely change their child’s diaper on all surfaces.
Doesn’t look like a diaper bag. Although it’s a tote, many moms feel that it looks more like a purse and it allows them to carry it with them to a variety of venues.
Keep in mind
Fraying strap. Many owners notice that the straps tend to fray and aren’t sewn well on the edges.
Unravelling handles. Some moms noticed that the handles started to unravel after heavy use.
Best Large Diaper Bag
Utopia Alley Allcamp
Utopia Alley’s diaper bag (click here to check the price on Amazon) is ideal for both parents to use.
A unique, backpack design, the bag is practical, stylish, and comfortable.
You get lots of diaper bag features, all on your back. It’s not overly large or bulky, like some totes on the market, and it boasts 19 compartments in all-some large, some small.
It has a built in stroller strap as well, so it’s easy to hang across the bar when your back needs a break.
The grey bag is easy to wipe down and is perfect to go anywhere-from the park, to the beach, and even on a hike in the woods.
The two insulated side pockets. Many users remark that they fit their bottles perfectly and they were easy to access while keeping them chilled.
External pockets. Parents felt that they didn’t have to bring a wet bag around with them because the bag’s external pockets were great for holding wet things.
Very sturdy. The bag is also loved because of its high quality craftsmanship and sturdy support.
Keep in mind
Can be difficult to open one handed. Some parents felt that the zippers were a bit stiff and it was hard to open or close while holding their baby.
Metal bar. The opening around the top has a metal bar installed to keep it strong and sturdy. Some moms report that it makes the bag a bit heavier than it needs to be, which can be uncomfortable over extended use.
Best Messenger Diaper Bag
Luliey Diaper Messenger Bag
Luliey’s messenger diaper bag (click here to check the price on Amazon) is simple, yet stylish and sleek.
Convenient to carry for both sexes, the bag has roomy compartments that provide plenty of space for diapers and other necessities.
It also boasts three zippered pockets across the front, so parents can store their own stuff.
The bag contains a changing mat and is has an ergonomic design.
Spot clean the bag as needed and adjust its across the chest strap to your liking.
Perfect size. Many parents who used the bag can’t get over how perfect in size it is. It’s large enough to hold all the essentials but not too big that makes it uncomfortable at all to wear for extended amounts of time.
Zippered front pocket. Nothing will fall out of this bag since it’s main compartment is fully zippered.
Boasts a top clip. You'll love how simple it is to clip this bag from a stroller or table to keep it off the ground and free up the use of your hands.
Keep in mind
New bag smell. Do be aware that the bag needs some time to air out since it has a new bag, plastic-like smell.
Zipper metal flimsy. Several users felt that the bag’s zipper metal was on the flimsy side, and did notice that it bent over time.
Best Organized Diaper Bag
Lullababy Portable Bassinet Bag
Lullababy’s travel bassinet bag (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a backpack and bassinet in one.
This bag makes traveling a snap. Ideal for parents who are constantly on the go, the bag hold everything you need in several large pockets, and rolls out into a cozy resting place for baby.
It has five zippered compartments and one insulated pockets that keep milk or juice nice and cold. The mattress is easy to clean and it also boasts stroller straps, so you can go hands free and let your stroller do all the work.
It’s also super easy to set up, so you won’t be fumbling around after a long day of travel.
Serves as a changing station. Forget about purchasing a diaper mat. This bag triples as a changing space. It’s all around, soft walls prevent your baby from rolling around and keep them in place.
Mesh sides. When your baby sleeps in this bassinet, you’ll gain peace of mind since it’s breathable and allows for lots of airflow.
Lightweight. Many parents feel the weight of the bassinet bag is important since they will be taking it with them on a plane, and/or wearing it with them as they go out and about.
Keep in mind
Short term use. Many parents feel it’s good for babies up to six months of age. Once they start getting really active and rolling around, it can be hard to contain a baby of that age/stage/size.
Sheet comes loose. Users feel that the sheet gets loose often, and it would be wise to have it snapped or velcroed down to keep it perfectly in place.
Best for Dads
Diaper Dude Sport Bag
This sling messenger bag from Diaper Dude (click here to check the price on Amazon) is designed mainly for dads, but can certainly be carried by moms too.
It is loaded with pockets inside and out, to keep a parent perfectly prepared.
It wipes down well, so you don’t have to worry about spotting or staining. It also comes with a wipe clean changing pad.
In addition, dad can utilize its key hook and pockets to carry his own wallet and phone.
Shoulder straps are fully padded and adjustable, so it’s comfortable to wear for an extended time.
Changing pad pocket. Not only does it come with a pad, it actually comes with a pocket to put it in.
Waterproof interior. Don’t worry about spills—the entire inside is waterproof, so it can dry quickly and it won’t be difficult to clean out, as needed.
Quality construction. You'll love how strong and sturdy the bag itself feels when carrying around lots of larger items.
Keep in mind
Tends to have zipper issues. Multiple users report that zippers have broken after using the bag for awhile.
Can be stinky. Some users report an initial plastic-like smell that the bag gives off. So, they recommend allowing it to air out before using with a baby or putting items inside of it.
Best Large Diaper Bag
Damero Large Diaper Tote
Damero’s diaper bag (click here to check the price on Amazon) boasts a satchel design and is designed in waterproof nylon, making it a cinch to clean.
The satchel is fully expandable, so you can toss in plenty of diapers, clothes, and toys. It has seven small insulated inside pockets, one of which will keep your baby’s bottle nice and warm.
Some of the other pockets are smaller and are designed to hold rolled up burp cloths or other tiny items, like diaper cream or powder.
It has an adjustable, padded shoulder strap for parents who want to use it and go hands free.
It’s stretchy. It’s soft, flexible (it can expand to become 20% larger) yet strong, so you'll love how you can really load up the bag.
Its pockets are amazing. This bag is loaded with pockets. And, not just little ones. Pockets line the entire bag and are designed in larger sizes, so each major item can have its own place.
Extremely lightweight. Users feel that this diaper satchel is much lighter than others ones they’ve come across in the past. So, this factor makes it great for traveling and wearing it for prolonged amounts of time.
Keep in mind
Doesn’t stand on own. Many users remark that it doesn’t stand up on it’s own, it tips over. So, they either have to spread out their items evenly, or get a cardboard bottom to insert to make it more steady.
Slippery shoulder strap. Users notice that the bag’s shoulder strap seems comparable to a seat belt and tends to slip off their shoulder. So, it’s not very conducive if you’re wearing a silky, not-textured shirt.
Choosing the right diaper bag is easy if you know what to look for and how you want to use it.
Select the style that will work best for your lifestyle, as well as features that really stand out to you.
The right diaper bag helps you stay organized and allows you to remain active and get out of your house, even with a new baby in tow.
Be sure to consider how you want to arrange your essential items and what kind of color, material, and print you wish to reflect your personal taste and style.