Your baby is going to need a ton of stuff after he’s born. Every time you leave the house it will feel like a major undertaking with all things you’ll need to take.
Before long, your diaper bag will be an invaluable lifeline to your sanity. You’ll have all the essentials your baby will need in there.
But choosing a diaper bag isn’t going to be easy. It’s a bit like purse shopping, which as we all know, can take forever. You need to examine every little feature before you finally make a decision.
When you’re searching for the best diaper bags, be prepared to spend some time going over your choices to ensure you get the one that best suits your needs.
|1. Bag Nation Backpack||Backpack|
|2. Kate Spade NY Blake||Luxury|
|3. Utopia Alley ALLCAMP||Large|
|4. Skip Hop Duo Double||Twins|
|5. Luliey Messenger||Messenger Bag|
|7. Diaper Dude Sport||Guys|
|8. Wallaroo Backpack||Unisex|
|9. Kidnid Diaper Bag||Stylish|
|10. Damero Tote||Tote Bag|
Are Diaper Bags Necessary?
I understand where you’re coming from on this. Babies are expensive and you might have already drained your bank account buying all the big-ticket items your baby will need. You have a large stash of bags already hanging out in your closet — you have book bags, backpacks, messenger bags and oversized purses. Isn’t it possible just to earmark one of those regular bags to use as your diaper bag (source)?
You can try, but the beauty of real diaper bags is all the compartments they contain. They’re designed to make carting all the baby essentials around from place to place easy on a baby’s parents (source).
When I was pregnant with my first baby, my husband encouraged me to grab a cheap diaper bag he saw on sale while we were shopping one day. I held out for one that cost a bit more. I wanted that one because it was bigger, the material looked like it would hold up to stains well and I liked the color a lot better than the one he had mentioned.
He wasn’t crazy I was spending the extra money on the diaper bag I liked, but it was important to me. I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time lugging that thing around so it might as well be one that I liked and had all the features I needed.
It turned out to be a great diaper bag and it did hold up well. I used it for both of my babies and never bought another one. If I had bought the one my husband picked out, I would definitely have bought another down the road.
What Should I Look For in a Diaper Bag?
If this is your first baby, there are likely some things you haven’t considered when it comes to selecting a diaper bag. And there might be other factors that you are already well aware of and that you’re unwilling to compromise on. Knowing what you want in a diaper bag will make your selection process much easier.
Here are some of the things I considered when buying my diaper bag.
- Style: Trying to find a bag that won’t scream to the rest of the world that you’re a mom can be a challenge. We may be moms, but that doesn’t mean we automatically have to embrace looking frumpy or unstylish. I wanted a bag that reflected my own personal style because as a new mom you begin to lose your identity a bit (source). It was important to me to remind myself of the person I was before I became a mom.
- Cost: Some diaper bags are outrageously expensive. But keep in mind — more expensive doesn’t always mean better. And, at the end of the day, it’s just a diaper bag. It’s not worth the price of making a car payment. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t buy the cheapest bag you can find, unless you’re totally in love with it, because it might not last as long as you need it to. You should consider buying a middle-of-the-road bag that has both quality and affordability.
- Material: Do you want something soft, or a diaper bag that’s a bit more durable than that? Are you looking for something that will be easy to clean? If you are, you may want to stay away from certain types of material that will be harder to clean when something inevitably gets spilled on it (source). Because, believe me, at some point, something is going to leak into or onto your bag.
- Compartments: A variety of compartments, both big and small, is one of the single most important features in a diaper bag. You need small compartments for things like pacifiers and teething rings that will get lost in the bag’s big compartments. And you want more than one compartment to keep things like clean bottles away from dirty clothes and soiled cloth diapers. Compartments help you stay organized.
- Easy to lug around: Ideally, your diaper bag will have the kind of straps that will make it easier for you to carry around — whether it’s handle straps or a big strap you can put up on your shoulder. If you feel uncomfortable while lugging it around, you should look for a different one. You’re going to be spending a lot of time carrying this thing, so you might as well be comfortable with it.
- Size: Some moms like a big diaper bag that can fit everything they’ll ever need. Other moms like things a bit on the smaller side so they don’t have to add a few more pounds to what they’re carrying every time they leave the house. I personally liked larger diaper bags, especially for vacations, weekend getaways or day trips.
- Color: That bright pink diaper bag with the crazy pattern might be eye-catching, but you need to think about your wardrobe before you make any rash color choices. If the diaper bag clashes with most of your outfits, you shouldn’t get it. You might want to look for one that has more of a neutral color that will go better with most of your clothes.
- How it closes: Do you want a zipper top or a snap top, or a diaper bag with drawstrings? If you go with a zipper top, you can have difficulty getting it to zip up when you’ve got everything in there. But a zipper top also means you won’t have things falling out of your diaper bag. I can’t count the number of times my diaper bag tipped over in my car while I was driving and spilled everything onto the floor because I didn’t go with a zipper top.
- If you want a waterproof lining: I wholeheartedly believe a waterproof lining is a staple in a diaper bag. Your baby is going to wet through clothes that need to be stored in your bag until you get home. Plus, bottles often leak, and if you don’t have waterproof linings, they’ll leak all over everything else in that bag.
The Best Diaper Bags of 2018
Now that you know about the different kinds of diaper bags, things to think about before buying one, and exactly what to look for —
Here are our top 10 picks in 2018:
This bag has all your bases covered. It comes with stroller straps, a changing pad and a sundry bag. Made out of twill polyester, this bag offers durability and it’s water resistant, which will be nice in case of rain or spills.
It also has a whopping 14 multi-sized pockets, which will make it easy to organize. You’ll be able to keep your baby’s dirty cloth diapers well away from his clean bottles with this many compartments.
An insulated pocket in this bag will hold multiple bottles at once.
When you’re carrying it, you’ll be sheltered somewhat from the weight by the padded shoulder straps.
- Manly-looking enough for your baby’s father to use.
- Enough pockets to keep everything clean and organized.
- The stroller straps will save you a lot of heavy lifting — you can just attach it to the stroller.
- You could use this as a real backpack after your small kid days are over.
- Only comes in one color.
- It’s a bit on the expensive side.
This bag is made of nylon, and it comes in three colors. It has gold-tone accent hardware on the bag, and its interior is water resistant polyester. So if things leak into this bag, you’ll be able to easily wipe them up with a damp cloth.
It comes with a good-sized changing pad, which measures 16 inches by 27 inches.
Just as many other bags have, this one has two outside pockets which will work well for holding bottles. It has four inside pockets which provide plenty of room for all your baby’s stuff.
- It comes with a detachable strap that you can wear across your body if you prefer.
- This bag will hold up well over the years.
- Stylish for moms who are concerned about fashion.
- Super expensive.
- The bottle pockets aren’t insulated.
This polyester diaper bag comes with a changing pad, and it has 19 pockets both on the inside and outside of the bag. It has a zipper closure for the one main compartment. You can put bottles in the two side pockets.
A larger exterior pocket is great for putting wet items in, and it keeps them away from the clean, dry things in the interior part of the bag.
It also comes with straps that hook onto the stroller, and it has shoulder straps that are padded. The material is easy to spot clean if it gets dirty.
- Roomy bag.
- Plenty of pockets.
- The gray color of this bag will go with most of your outfits.
- Pricier than some other bags.
- Some moms reported the bag is stiff feeling, instead of softer and more comfortable.
This classy looking bag can strap onto the back of a double stroller, which will give your tired arms a much-needed break. It’s made out of polyester, which is a material that can take a beating.
With 16 pockets, you’ll be able to stay on top of the essential needs for two babies with a little bit of planning and organization. It has two outside pockets to make baby bottles easy to access when you most need them without tearing apart the contents of the rest of the bag in a frantic search for them.
Your can either carry it as a messenger bag or as a tote bag. The main compartment has a zipper closure, while the other sections use magnetic closures.
- It has an easy-to-reach cell phone pocket.
- It offers a good mix of exterior/interior pockets.
- Uses patented Shuttle Clips to attach to a stroller.
- It includes a changing pad.
- The bag is phthalate free.
- It will only attach to a double stroller, not a single.
- It’s so big that it can be a bit much for a shorter person to carry.
This diaper bag is made of easy-to-clean polyester. There’s a large compartment in the middle, and there’s three zipper compartments on the front of the bag. It has one elastic pocket for a bottle on the side of the bag.
It uses a broad, padded strap to distribute the weight on your shoulder more evenly — that eliminates a thin strap digging painfully into your skin. You can also adjust the strap so you can find a good setting for your height.
It includes a diaper changing pad so you won’t be left looking for a place to change your baby while you’re on the go.
- Its simple color scheme won’t clash with your outfits.
- This bag is comfortable to wear.
- Easy to clean.
- The chest strap is comfortable.
- It has a weird smell to it that needs some time to air out.
- Some parents have had problems with the zipper bending.
This bag is a powerhouse for traveling because it also serves as a portable bassinet, a travel crib and changing station. The changing station option is particularly nice because using the bathroom changing stations while you’re traveling is gross. They never seem to be clean.
This one bag can save you from having to take a bassinet with you or asking your hotel for a crib that will take up a good portion of your small hotel room. The bag has five zippered sections and one insulated compartment.
When you’re not using it, it folds up and fits nicely into any small space.
- Great versatility with this diaper bag.
- Easy to spot clean.
- Easy to store when not in use.
- More expensive than many other diaper bags.
- A bit heavy to carry around.
This olive-colored men’s messenger bag comes with a strap to wear across the body. This bag looks as manly as a bag can.
It has a cell phone pocket and even comes with a cheat sheet in the form of handy checklist which is kept on the inside of the flap lining. Clips to attach the bag to a stroller are also included.
The lining of the bag, as well as the changing pad that comes with it, are bright orange and easy to clean with a damp cloth. In all, there are six outside compartments and three inside pockets.
- This bag is inexpensive compared to many others.
- Easy to carry with a padded strap.
- Wipes clean easily.
- Can attach to a stroller.
- Comes with a padded tablet pocket.
- The velcro fastener doesn’t always stay put.
- The inside doesn’t have a divider, which isn’t great considering you’ll want to keep dirty items away from clean ones.
This diaper bag comes with a diaper changing pad and stroller straps. It also comes with a wet bag so you can toss any soiled cloth diapers or wet clothes in and it will protect the other contents of the bag.
Made of water resistant polyester nylon, this bag gives you easy access to all your items with a number of handy outside pockets. It also has an cell phone pocket on the outside.
If you need to get some work done and you have extra space in the diaper bag, it also will hold tablets and laptops. There are two water bottle holders on the side.
- You can use this as a regular backpack once your early parenting days are done.
- It is roomy and has large easily accessible pockets.
- The fabric is soft.
- The dark color won’t show stains that will develop over time.
- The fabric is thinner and easier to tear than some other diaper bags.
- The bag is shorter so it rides high on your back, which doesn’t make it super comfortable for carrying all day.
This diaper bag makes you look like you’re about to step onto a yacht and go off on some big adventure, even if you’re just heading out to do your weekly grocery shopping. It has a ton of compartments and pockets, including the main zipped compartment, five exterior pockets and five inside pockets.
You’ll also get two stroller hooks and a changing mat with this bag. It’s made of waterproof canvas cotton, which means the fabric will hold up well month after month.
- It has a pacifier clip to prevent that little item from being lost.
- Cute and stylish striped pattern.
- It isn’t as bulky as some other bags, and it feels lightweight.
- Can only be hand washed.
- It can’t stand up on its own for people who prefer more rigid diaper bags.
- The shoulder strap isn’t padded.
This bag is brightly colored and has an interesting pattern. It’s not the type of diaper bag that will fade into the background — it’s a show stealer. The bag is made of waterproof nylon and uses a drawstring to close.
There are seven interior pockets that are smaller in size and are insulated. Four pockets are on the outside of the bag, including two pockets for bottles on both sides of the bag. It also includes straps that can be used to hook it onto a stroller. You’ll also get a changing pad with this.
- This bag is lightweight.
- It is very inexpensive.
- It has a lot of pockets both on the inside and outside.
- The shoulder strap isn’t padded.
- The drawstring isn’t easy to cinch.
Are You Worried About Being a Friend to the Environment?
Some moms only want to buy diaper bags that are eco-friendly — your interest might be in protecting your baby from harmful materials or protecting the planet. Eco-friendly diaper bags can be hard to find, but they are out there. This qualification didn’t affect my decision when I was shopping for a bag, because I felt it was more important to watch for eco-friendly crib sheets and clothes. Your baby won’t really interact with the diaper bag — she’ll only have indirect contact.
But if this is a concern of yours, you’ll want to look for organic materials that don’t contain chemicals like BPA, PVC or phthalates (source). You’ll be able to find diaper bags that are made out of fabrics like cotton, hemp or even recycled items like water bottles. These bags tend to be more expensive, but if that helps you sleep at night as you positively impact our planet, that’s worth every penny.
Is Dad Going to Be Carrying the Bag Too?
One final thing to consider before ordering your bag is whether your baby’s daddy plans to carry around the diaper bag too. Chances are, he’ll have to do it at some point. How will he feel about carrying around a girlish-looking diaper bag? Will he feel like he has to turn in his man card to his friends when they see him lugging around what looks like an oversized lady’s purse?
If you want to spare him the torment of being emasculated, you could opt for one of the unisex diaper bags they have on the market. Or you can order the girliest diaper bag you can find and have fun watching him squirm.
Our Favorite Is…
I love the Wallaroo diaper bag backpack. When it comes to diaper bags, I’m a fan of both the messenger styles and the backpacks. To me, they are the easiest to carry, especially for moms who are having to lug most of the stuff by themselves.
This bag has a wet bag, which I appreciate since moms often end up with wet baby clothes they need to keep away from the other items in the bag.
The bag’s dark color won’t show the stains that happen routinely when you’re a mom, and it has enough pockets to keep me happy.