How to Pack the Perfect Diaper Bag

If there's one mantra that rings true when it comes to diaper bags, it's the Boy Scout Motto "always be prepared". Babies are unpredictable. As a first time mom, I have learned the hard way that you can never have enough diapers, wipes, or outfit changes when you're on the go. I've put together a helpful checklist of diaper bag essentials as well as a roundup to all the best diaper bag backpacks of 2019.


As for the bag, my advice is to go for a backpack rather than the traditional diaper bag. I opted for a $36 faux leather backpack from ASOS. The exterior of it is easy to wipe down, the front has a large pocket for my cell phone and the interior is the perfect size to hold the basics. At this price, I don't have to be worried about it getting used and abused as all diaper bags do.


Here's my guide of all the diaper bag essentials you'll need on the go:

  • Swaddles: Aden + Anais Swaddles are one of the most versatile newborn essentials. They work great for covering up your car seat when you are walking into public places, swaddling your little one and perfect for using as a nursing cover.
  • Baby Wearing Wrap: I've been keeping my Solly Baby Wrap in my diaper bag. If I'm running into the grocery store or going out to lunch with friends, placing Brody in the wrap is far easier than hauling the car seat in and out of the car.
  • Outfit Changes: Keep a minimum of 3 extra onesies in your diaper bag. One thing I've discovered about diapers is that none of them are fail proof for leaks. We learned this lesson the hard way when we ran out of diapers and outfit changes after spending an afternoon at the grandparent's house.
  • Socks: Newborns love kicking off their socks. I've found socks spewed all over our home and car. Keeping an extra pair in the diaper bag ensures your little one won't have cold feet.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Essential for those diaper changes when there is no sink around.
  • Diapering Essentials: I keep a separate pouch in my backpack with the diapers, wipes and changing pad. This works great when my husband is doing the diaper change. He can simply grab the pouch rather than the whole diaper bag. Keep a minimum of 6 extra diapers in your diaper bag (I keep a back-up stash in my car as well). As for wipes, this Huggies Reusable Wipe Holder works great! It's refillable and holds just the right amount of wipes.
  • Breastfeeding Gear: Nipple shield , breast pads , and lanolin ensure smooth breastfeeding on the go.
  • Trash Bags: The Arm & Hammer Disposable Bags are great for dirty diapers and big enough to hold soiled clothes.
  • Pacifier: You never know when a meltdown is going to hit. Keeping a pacifier on hand will alleviate some of the stress that comes with a fussy newborn. Brody and Isla loved the MAM pacifier and occasionally used the Avent Soothie .
  • Medical Info: Doctor's appointments are frequent with a newborn. Our nurse at the hospital recommended we keep our vaccination record and insurance card in our diaper bag so we would have it handy at all appointments.

Searching for the perfect diaper bag backpack? My go-to stores to shop for diaper bags are Nordstrom, Amazon, and Target! I've rounded up some of my favorites from these stores below.

best diaper bag backpacks of 2018 & 2019

One: Freshly Picked Convertible Diaper Backpack $175 - Comes in 3 great colors and can be worn as either a crossbody or backpack!

Two: Fisher Price Navy Quilted Backpack $45 - This one is a steal at only $45. Plus if you use your 20% off Buy Buy Baby coupon, it comes in under $40. Don't let the low price deter you, because the quality is still great! It also has a cell phone and keys pocket for easy access + an insulated bottle!

Three: Itzy Ritzy Boss Backpack $140 - With 17 pockets there is literally a place for everything. It also comes with an adorable changing pad!

Four: Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack $189 - Comes with a removable changing pad and wipes case.

Five: Skip Hop Riverside Backpack $60 - Ultra-lightweight and water resistant!

Six: Kerikit Joy Studded Backpack $395 - A designer bag that is worth the splurge. It's super trendy and would be great even after baby!

Seven: Freshly Picked City Pack Backpack $150 - This bag has a smaller profile, which is perfect for a mama looking for a more petite fit!

Eight: Pottery Barn Rosie Pope Highbury Hill Backpack $159 - I love that this one comes with a matching bottle warmer.

Nine: Ju-Ju-Be Onyx Be Sporty Backpack $160 - This back can be carried 3 ways and comes with memory-foam changing pad!

Ten: TwelveLittle On-the-Go Backpack $165 - This bag has a laptop sleeve, making it perfect for the working mama!

Eleven: Sole Society Faux Leather Backpack $70 - I love the tassles and the slouchy silhouette. Also comes in alot of fun colors!

Twelve: Ju-Ju-Be Onyx Be Sporty Backpack $198 - Super small and perfect for the minimal mama!

Do you use a backpack for a diaper bag? Are there any other essentials you carry around in your bag?

You Might Also Enjoy: Newborn Baby Gear Essentials or 9 Must Haves When Traveling With A Toddler & Free Packing List