Being a parent or caregiver can be tough, but the perfect cloth diaper diaper bag can make life so much easier. Since everyone has different needs, I would say there is not one perfect cloth diaper diapering bag, but with a lot of options and packing hacks out there, you can find one to fit your needs! Everyone has their own preferences; I found myself liking backpack-style diaper bags more often than not, but always had times that I liked an over the shoulder bag or just a small “quick” trip bag.
One thing I have learned is you do not need a Mary Poppins bottomless bag, but planning ahead and packing smart can help maximize the space you have so much. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve used while packing a diaper bag for cloth diapers.
What I Look For In A Diaper Bag for Cloth Diapers
I love cloth diaper bags that have outside pockets for water bottles! It just makes life so much easier. It was always nice to have the pocket to put a water bottle in for on the go. Those pockets just made life so much easier while running around.
I also love interior pockets on my diaper bags, but this is not a deal breaker for me, as I also love packing things in wet bags or packing cubes for diaper bags to further organize. The pockets just help keep everything organized, especially for snacks and other small items. I try to coordinate prints with whatever items I pack inside, but this isn’t always practical. Figuring out a good system to organize your diaper bag is a little different for cloth diaper users and depends on you and your diaper bag needs.
Some Of My Favorite Cloth Diaper Diaper Bags
For example, I love the outside pockets on the Oh Lily Perfect backpack for snacks and sunscreen, cream, bug spray, or any papers you need (like for the doctor). The inside pocket is great for wipes. I also like the adjustable straps—it can fit easily on kids as well as adults. It also makes a great snack-packing bag for long trips—I even pack extra water in it. This bag also has a snap on the top carry handles so you can snap the backpack to hang on a chair, stroller, or wagon handle. I love being able to just hang it on a hook as well, but the snap feature is great for added flexibility and ease.
The Oh Lily All Day Tote, on the other hand, doesn’t have outside pockets. It has one inside pocket the length of the bag. Wet bags are perfect for organizing the large open space the bag provides. This bag can be packed a multitude of ways and I love that it has many uses. It can also be used packing for travel, library books, and trips to the grocery store.
The Planet Wise wet/dry clutch or medium wet/dry bag also makes a great quick trip bag by itself if you don’t need to pack a bunch. The clutch is great for wipes, cream, and a diaper or two. For these bags I did utilize the dry part of the bag for clean items such as diapers and then used the wet side as needed for dirty diapers. Many times I did not even end up needing the “just in case” diaper bag when just making a quick grocery run.
Other great options are Jujube bags. The price point for these is higher, but I did love using the BFF. I loved its wide shape, and the little feet on the bottom, allowing the bag to stand on its own. I also know many people that love and prefer the BRB. Both of these styles have the drink holder pockets on the outside and numerous pockets for storage.
I also like using the Smart Bottoms totes. There’s only one pocket, for folding up and storing the bag in itself, but it’s still a multi-use bag. Sometimes I think using wet bags to pack and organize items is a level up in the cloth world. It’s really amazing how many uses they have. They then always double as an extra wet bag if you find yourself needing one.
Another bonus about these options is they are all machine washable!
Personalizing Your Diaper Bag for Cloth Diapers
I find that I like to have the cloth diapers out and ready to grab in the bag, so I didn’t typically pack them in wet bags or packing cubes. For wipes, I liked to pack them dry in a small wet bag. Sometimes I’d use a wet bag that could fit the peri bottle in it so it’s all in the same space (and easier to reach with one hand).
Wet bags and packing cubes can be a great way to organize your diaper bag in the way it works best for you! For vacations, I liked to pack clean diapers in wet bags and then rotate them into the diaper bag as I needed. I’d pack overnight diapers in separate medium or large wet bags as well. I loved using wet bags to pack clean items since those same bags can also be used for the same dirty items.
I like rolling or folding the change pad to make it easier to pack. For wet bags I would make sure to roll or fold them so the handle is out (if the wet bag has a handle). Same thing for swaddle blankets. Using a wet bag with a handle is perfect for dirty diapers as well since you can hang the wet bag on the outside of the diaper bag. Extra storage—yes, please!
The Planet Wise reusable sandwich bags are also fantastic accessories for organization and practicality. I found that packing baby medicine in a sandwich bag was a great packing hack. These are also perfect for little items like diaper cream, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, snappis, pacifiers, bibs, utensils, or even busy bags. Don’t forget your Nicki’s silicone teethers too!
I liked to pack the cloth diapers and a change of clothes first, then pack everything else around it. I think using the cloth diapers first helps structure the rest of the bag and then you know you just need to reach down to the bottom to grab a clean diaper.
I also like thinking of items for multiple uses. Forget a change pad? Use a swaddle or wet bag, or even extra prefold or flat. Don’t limit yourself to the purpose of a specific item.
What To Pack In Your Cloth Diaper Diaper Bags
When on the go with cloth, I always bring clean diapers, cloth wipes with a peri bottle to wet them, wet bag(s), and change pad. This would just be the absolute minimum I would pack for a quick trip, but I also prefer being over-prepared to being under-prepared.
I also recommend making sure to prep your cloth diapers when packing them. Ensure the insert is in the pocket, the prefold is in the cover, or the AIO is all folded and ready to go. Ideally, you’ll just be able to reach into the diaper bag with one hand and grab a clean diaper.
Don’t forget to pack anything else you might need, like bibs and utensils, swaddle blankets, snacks, books, toys, etc. Make sure to also pack bottles, water, and formula. For me, organization is key!
I didn’t experience major differences using cloth versus disposable, other than the fact that I would roll the wipe into the diaper and pack it in a wet bag instead of throwing it away. I would also wait until we got home for the day (or wherever we were staying if traveling), and dealt with the poop at the final location for the day, unless it was easily ploppable. The more I used cloth diapers on the go, the more it evolved into a natural routine for me.
I liked to keep a larger wet bag in the car for dirty diapers; then I would pack a smaller wet bag in the diaper bag itself. I recommend packing more diapers and wipes than you think you might need, just to be safe. Depending on the trip, you should factor in the needed vehicle space for any extras you might need. You don’t necessarily need to pack the whole day into your diaper bag—try to mix it up!
For two little ones in cloth diapers, I liked to pack the diaper bags with one kid’s diaper accessories on one side, and the second kid’s on the other side. I usually packed diapers on one side and trainers on the other due to the ages of my kids. You can also use the wipes as a divider for multiples in cloth, or even use an extra empty wet bag to make the divider (and double bonus if you happen to need another wet bag for 798,954,623 reasons). Some sort of divider would be extra helpful if your kids are on different rises.
The Best Diaper Bag for Cloth Diapers Is The One That Fits you Best
There are a lot of great options out there, some simpler, some more complex, but that’s another thing I love about cloth diapers—there’s something out there for everyone!
Feeling stuck? Join us in Nicki’s chatter for more tips and tricks! We all have a lot of experience and no one’s experience is the same!