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Diaper Bags that Don't Suck! (And What to Pack)

Rachel O'Reilly

By Courtney Ward

Packing your first diaper bag can be a little intimidating. Early into my motherhood adventure, I packed what felt like a bag full of bricks. Here are some tips to help you streamline the process, so you can save your sweating for the gym.

First off, toting a baby around is heavy, so keep that in mind. I have found that pairing your diaper bag with a very small, cross-body bag where you can store personal essentials is the best way to go. Keys/phone/ATM card/lipstick, all accessible by one hand. If you are running a quick errand or two, you can strap your babe in a carrier, and be on your way, sans diaper bag. Major win. When headed out for a longer adventure, we think being a little more prepared is the way to go.

Diaper bag essentials:

  • Refillable water bottle

  • Granola bars or healthy snacks for Mom and Dad

  • Lightweight scarf that can double as a nursing cover or stroller cover to block the sun

  • Two extra sets of baby clothes, including socks

  • Baby sunhat

  • Four diapers

  • Travel-sized wipes

  • Diaper cream

  • Teething ring

  • Two pacifiers

  • A small toy or two

  • Extra shirt/top for Mom and Dad (babies spit up a lot!)

Optional: diaper changing pad - I often used my scarf or a swaddle blanket.

Here are our picks for the most stylish, functional, and eco-friendly diaper bags!

 

 

We love this "diaper bag" that's made in CA and designed using eco-sourced, quality materials including water-proof canvas, leather and wool quilted straps. Inside is a removable lining made of BPA free wipe-away materials and organic cotton (less mess!). The interior also has two thermal pouches to keep things cool or warm depending on your needs. The sweet addition of the wool role-out changing mat with a snap-off organic cotton bamboo pad for easy cleaning is genius! Use this bag for hikes and travel when the diaper days are over... 

  Fawn + Cub : The Ruckus Sack Diaper Bag $375

Fawn + Cub: The Ruckus Sack Diaper Bag $375

This sleek tote will have you looking tres chic for trips out with your babe. We appreciate that it's sustainably made in Argentina of locally sourced, strong, luxurious leather. It has one interior pouch, a full zipper closure and removable strap. This tote will live beyond the bottle as a classic durable bag for everyday life... After all, it's about having, "fewer, better things," as Cuyana so beautifully suggests.

  Cuyana : Large Carryall Tote $185

Cuyana: Large Carryall Tote $185

This bag is perfect for baby's needs, but will have many lives in the family... From diaper bag to work backpack to overnight sack and, maybe one day, first day of 5th grade pack! The unisex elegant utilitarian design is made of sustainable water resistant canvas, vegetable dyed leather, interior mesh compartments to keep everything in place, and includes a matching change-kit! This is a bag that will keep on giving.

  Leader Bag Co. : Julien Backpack $465

Leader Bag Co.: Julien Backpack $465

We have our eye on this stylish multi-use backpack from The Honest Company, which is made of vegan leather with a wipeable PVC-free lining. Additionally, it's a unisex design and allows you to be completely hands-free! This smart pack also has a padded electronics pouch.

  The Honest Company : "City" Backpack $149.95

The Honest Company: "City" Backpack $149.95

We adore these custom wax canvas bags, handmade in Santa Cruz, CA. Strawfoot's creations are all about quality of materials and durability. If you want a truly unique bag crafted to your specifications, Garrett and team will take excellent care of you.

  Strawfoot : Example of Wax Canvas Diaper Bag $298

Strawfoot: Example of Wax Canvas Diaper Bag $298

This charming diaper bag is made by hand in Paris and features a waterproof cotton design that includes 10 interior pockets, key fob and a durable leather strap and base. Ikabags has been a family business since 1952, producing high end practical bags that will withstand baby and time.

  Ikabags : Stockholm stripped diaper bag $136

Ikabags: Stockholm stripped diaper bag $136

All of Graf & Lantz's bags are made in LA, CA by a small group of craftsmen who source the finest leathers, canvas, and cottons to produce their handmade unique collections. We love the seasonal colors this line offers, as well as the simple functionality of a large tote with interior zipper pouch and removable strap. A well-made classic family tote!

  Graf & Lantz : Bedford Tote $275

Graf & Lantz: Bedford Tote $275