Gone are the days of leaving your house with just your keys and your phone. A diaper bag is a must-have for toting diapers and wipes, of course, but also bottles, snacks, toys, books, blankets and alllll of the other things you’ll need to take your family show on the road.
Do You Need a Diaper Bag?
Real talk: kids are unpredictable. Just when you think your child is full, minutes later they’ll want a snack. It’s practically guaranteed that your baby who always poops in the morning will have an afternoon blowout if you’re anywhere inconvenient (think: on a plane, hiking, shopping, at that nice-ish restaurant). Having key essentials at the ready means you can deal with any scenario without having to pack up and head home.
If you want to skip the diaper bag, you definitely can use a regular backpack or even a tote to cart around whatever you need. (You can even slip a diaper changing clutch—a compact changing pad that can hold a few diapers and other bare essentials—into your usual bag.) But lots of parents choose to register for a diaper bag since they’re specially designed for organizing baby + kid gear and often feature extra compartments, insulated pockets for bottles and other helpful perks.
Figuring out which diaper bag is best for you is a matter of personal preference and can also depend on how much stuff you’ll want (or need) to carry around when you’re out with your baby.
A bestselling favorite among Babylist parents, the Mainframe backpack diaper bag backpack from Skip Hop is utilitarian but stylish and has a place for everything. This structured bag opens wide so you can fill it with all the things (and actually see and find them), and it has lots of pockets: interior, side, tech, insulated and more. It also comes with carry handles, backpack straps and stroller straps.
Freshly Picked, maker of some of our favorite baby mocs ever, also makes one of our favorite (and most beautiful) diaper bags. Their classic bag is made from vegan leather and is 100% wipeable and spill-resistant inside and out. The clean, unfussy lines give it a stylish, minimalist look, the metal feet on the bottom keep it upright (and prevent it from touching the ground) and there are 10 pockets to stash all of your stuff. The bag can be worn as a backpack, crossbody or purse.
Another popular diaper bag among Babylist parents, the standout feature here (other than the bag’s fun sense of style and its incredible functionality) is washability. The whole thing is machine washable; just pop it right in your machine when it starts getting yucky and it will soon be as good as new. Other thoughtful details include lots of interior and exterior pockets (including a quick-reach one for your phone, which we love), convertible straps to wear it as a shoulder bag or a backpack and tons of space for all of your stuff.
There’s a lot to love about this roomy bag (other than just its good looks) that’s perfect if you’re toting around stuff for two (or more!) kids. The messenger-style shape means it’s large enough to hold lots of stuff, and parents like the top flap’s magnetic closure that you can open and close one-handed. It’s made from a durable cotton canvas so it’s sturdy enough to hold up to years of wear and tear and easy to wipe down. And it can be carried five ways: backpack, shoulder bag, crossbody, clipped onto the stroller or by the short grab handles.
For something with a lot of style—and vegan-friendly—this diaper bag from Luli Bebe is a good mix of casual and a little more formal. There are nine pockets and a quilted magnetic flap front pouch for easy access to all of your stuff. You can wear it as a crossbody, over your shoulder or as a backpack and the largest pouch is big enough to hold a 13” laptop.