30 Diaper Bag Hacks Every Mom Should Know

Megan Zander | Apr 8, 2020 Baby
30 Diaper Bag Hacks Every Mom Should Know
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diaper bag hacks

For being so adorably small, babies sure do require a lot of stuff. When it comes to putting together a diaper bag for a day out, knowing what to put in and how to organize it all can get overwhelming quickly. Spare diapers and wipes are obvious, but what else? Will she need a change of clothes? Toys? What about feeding? And why didn't we register for a bigger diaper bag? 

As baby grows, every parent learns through trial and error how to put together a diaper bag and what the essentials are. But rather than learn the hard way (like me, who thought my twins shouldn't leave home as newborns without the entire Winnie the Pooh board book collection) there are diaper bag hacks to learn now to rock this parenting thing from day one. 

Part of packing a diaper bag like a pro is in picking the right bag in the first place. If having cold bottles of formula on hand is a must, consider a bag with insulated sleeves. If dad plans to do his fair share of carrying the diaper bag, consider a neutral color or a backpack option that frees up the hands. 

The inner workings of a diaper bag will change as kids grow, but there are a few basics that will serve any parent well. Snacks for the family, including mom and dad, can help prevent the dreaded hangries and avoid a trip through the drive-thru when on the go. Toys to entertain bored kids are a must, and a toy tether can help prevent a favorite rattle from getting lost while out and about.

Changing diapers is never fun, but clever diaper bag planning can make swapping old bundles for fresh ones a little easier. Keep diaper changing supplies together in a separate bag that be grabbed quickly and taken to the changing table. Keep a spare shirt for mom and dad with a change of clothes for baby in case a serious spit-up situation strikes. 

Let these 30 diaper bag hacks make a day out with baby a little less stressful and a little more fun. 

  • Keep a Backup Kit in the Car


    Want to always be prepared without carrying around a super big or super heavy diaper bag? Then getting a trunk organizer like this is key. Keep spare changes of clothes, extra diapers, wipes, and whatever else that's needed in this little tote, and no one will ever be caught off guard.

    Collapsible Trunk Organizer & Changing Station ($35, Amazon)

  • Use Space Bags


    This might sound a little silly, but for some of us, it's worth it! Use space bags to store extra diapers and changes of clothes, sucking all the air out of them with a vacuum before packing them up in the diaper bag to save space. This could be invaluable! 

    Ziploc Flat Space Bags ($17 for 6, Amazon)

  • Organize With Cosmetic Cases 


    Keeping the inside of the diaper bag organized is important to be able to quickly grab what's needed, especially in a hurry. Using cosmetic bags to divide things into categories will ensure that everything's easy to find, and these come in a few different sizes.

    Mesh Makeup Bag Cosmetic Organizer ($10, Amazon)

  • Add a Mini Umbrella 


    Looking for more essentials that should be included in any diaper bag? A mini umbrella is perfect if the room exists for an extra addition. It's hard to predict when it could rain, and it's definitely better to be prepared, especially with little ones in the mix. 

    Extreme Degrees Mini Umbrella ($8, Amazon)

  • Consider a Diaper Clutch


    This definitely doesn't replace a standard diaper bag -- it's just an addition for those times where it would be annoying to carry around an entire bag, especially during short outings. This bag is small and light and includes just enough room for wipes and a few diapers, plus it folds out to a changing pad.

    JJ Cole Diaper Changing Clutch ($10, Amazon)

  • Baby First Aid Kit


    It's hard to predict what can go wrong when babies and toddlers are involved, so why not be prepared in case of an emergency? This first aid kit is perfect for taking on the go, and includes items like thermometer strips, burn cream, bandages, and gauze pads.

    Small Compact Mini First Aid Kit ($20, Amazon)

  • Three Words: Dog Poop Bags 


    Yes, we know babies and dogs are different, but honestly, dog poop bags are a lifesaver for anyone who's got kids in diapers. They're built to conceal a poop smell, which makes them perfect for storing dirty diapers in until they can be disposed of -- and the bags are inexpensive and come in a cute dispenser that's compact and easy to store or clip on the diaper bag's handles.

    Simpletome Dog Waste Bag Dispenser ($13, Amazon)

  • Bring a Spare Charging Cable


    At first, it seems like this is more for mom and dad than for the baby, but anyone who's ever been out and have a device die when in desperate need for kid entertainment understands that having a charger on hand all the time is totally invaluable -- and one like this is super portable and easy to clip on to the outside of the bag.

    Oneenjoy Leather Tassel Lightning to USB Phone Charger Keychain ($10, Amazon)

  • Invest In a Wet Bag 


    Wet bags are important because they safely contain wet things -- like diapers, clothes that have suffered from a major blow out, or wet clothes or swimsuits from days out at the park or the pool -- without getting everything else in the diaper bag wet. Plus, they're reusable, and come in all kinds of adorable colors.

    ALVABABY Wet Dry Bags (2 for $9, Amazon)

  • Pack a Wallet 


    Carrying a diaper bag is hard enough, so why bother carrying a purse on top of it? By buying a wallet that's big enough to carry everything a mom could need over the course of an outing that slides easily into one of the diaper bag pockets, it's one less thing to lug around -- and decreases the chances of forgetting that purse somewhere.

    Chelmon Women's Wallet ($20, Amazon)

  • Ditch the Bag for a Backpack


    It's easy to get swept up in baby registry madness, but that giant diaper bag won't be nearly as cute when it's knocking against the car seat while trying to bring both inside. And trying to smush it under the stroller? Annoying. A backpack designed with baby in mind frees up the hands, plus dad won't mind holding it. 

    Axis Backpack ($139, Petunia Pickle Bottom)

  • Make Tissues Easy To Reach


    Having tissues in the diaper bag is Momming101. But having tissues hanging from the outside of the diaper bag to grab the second an epic snot bubble shoots out of a child's nose is Advanced Momming. Stop scrambling through the bag in a panic trying to find that tiny pack and level up. 

    Go Anywhere Tissues ($2, Target)

  • Stash a Spare Set of Clothes

    diaper bag hacks
    Megan Zander

    Spit-up and diaper explosions can happen anywhere and at any time. Plan for the worst by keeping a full outfit -- onesie, pants, and socks (yes, socks too -- trust us) rolled together in a plastic bag. Keeping the outfit bundled makes it easier to find everything while trying to change baby on the go, and the plastic bag can be used to hold the soiled outfit. 

  • Repurpose Breast Milk Storage Bags


    Don't toss leftover breast milk bags (or those single samples that come with maternity clothes purchases). Their study seals and long shape make them great for diaper bag storage. Use them to hold dry snacks such as crackers or puffs, or for keeping baby spoons sanitary while in the diaper bag. 

    Breastmilk Storage Bags ($12 for 100, Amazon)

  • Keep Crayons in One Piece

    diaper bag hacks
    Megan Zander

    Crayons are clutch for keeping kids occupied while waiting at a restaurant or during a long car ride. But with so much rolling around in the bag, it's easy from them to get broken, and we all know how toddlers feel about snapped crayons. Repurpose an empty prescription bottle as a crayon holder to prevent a "the blue is broken!" meltdown. 

  • Travel Formula Dispenser


    Those single-serving formula packages are useful on the go, but can be expensive and hard to find. A formula dispenser, such as this one that holds enough for three separate 9-ounce bottles, makes it easier to feed baby on the go without having to worry about keeping pre-made bottles cold. Just pack a bottle of water and mix as needed. 

    Travel Formula Dispenser ($5, Amazon)

  • Keep Keys Easy to Reach


    With so much stuff inside, it's easy for car keys to go missing inside a diaper bag. No one wants to be digging through the bag looking for them, especially when it's past nap time. Use a colorful carabiner to secure keys to an inside tag or loop so they're always in the same spot and easy to snag. 

    Carabiner ($7 for 5, Amazon)

  • Make a Diaper Changing Kit 

    diaper bag hacks
    Megan Zander

    Tuck diaper changing essentials -- wipes, diaper cream, fresh diapers, and a travel changing pad, into a large plastic bag inside the main diaper bag. When a diaper disaster strikes, everything's all together and easy to grab. It's also simple to hand the kit off dad or anyone else stepping up for diaper duty. 

  • Keep Teething Toys Chilled


    Keep a teething baby from getting fussy while out and about by bringing chilled teething toys in the diaper bag. Fill a wide-mouthed water bottle with ice and a little water. Leave space to tuck a couple teething toys on top, and pop the bottle in the diaper bag. Mom gets to stay hydrated, and the baby has something soothing to gum when needed. 

    Insulated Wide Mouthed Water Bottle ($45, Amazon)

  • Pack Pacifier Wipes