You may be asking yourself, what do I need to pack in my diaper bag now that I use cloth diapers?
To put the answer simply, not a whole lot different than a standard diaper bag. The only thing that’s different is the type of diapers you have, and that you need to carry a wet bag for any dirty diapers or reusable cloth wipes!
In terms of what the best cloth diaper bag is, that really depends on how many things you need to pack and what your budget is. There is no one "best bag for everyone" because everyone has different needs and budgets. I will share that my favorite is a backpack bag that has a built-in wet bag that you can zip out and put in the wash,It also has a handful of other great features, and I used it as one of my main bags before starting cloth as well! Truly you could even use a simple tote bag as long as it holds all of your things inside. There are no rules!
The basic supplies that you need in a diaper bag are truly just diapers, wipes, spare clothes, diaper rash cream, something to put dirty diapers in, and something to change the diapers on like a mat or blanket. You can also add things like bottles or snacks or toys, depending on the ages and the needs of your kids. They really is not a big difference between a diaper bag for someone who uses disposable diapers and uses cloth diapers aside from a wet bag to hold them in which is relatively inexpensive and almost always can snap onto the outside of any bag with their practical snaps on the straps.
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The real "essential" items:
Diaper rash cream (cloth safe! coconut oil is great if baby doesn't have an allergy!) with applicator/spatula if you want one.
Wet/dry bag to hold dirty diapers
Something to change the diapers on
Wetbag above is from Texas Tushies, one of my favorite prints called "Ray Cakes". I love animal foods. The code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD saves 15%! These are about $9 full price if my memory serves me, and they often have a handful in their sale section for around $5.
Additional note about wet bags: I will never use a wet bag that I have for my breast pump supplies for dirty diapers and vice versa. I have specific pumping wet bags and specific poop wet bags. I will never cross them over, I don't care how clean they are. I cannot bring myself to do it. This is a personal preference.
Trying to figure out how many diapers you need to bring with you is relatively easy, for the most part.
You should be mostly familiar with how many diapers your child normally goes through at home in the same amount of time. A certain number of pees and poops, and then I would bring extra because more often than not, the vibration of the car and angle of baby car seats really gets things moving, if you know what I mean! I normally bring what’s called a “pod “outside of my diaper bag with a few extra diapers, just in case, and I end up needing some of them!
For example, as I write this post my son is 3 months old. He typically gets changed around every 2 hours unless he fills the diaper sooner, so when we go out I plan the normal number plus I quite literally fill an entire pod with backup.
This is one of my pods, by Cleverly Bags. These cost $35 full price. Inside are some of my favorite diapers, the Cleverall Pocket Diaper. These are $10 not including the cost of inserts. (That's a good price for a pocket diaper, I've seen some well into the teens or higher just for pockets!)
Other brands make pods that are made of PUL (the same material as wet bags) that cost less money than this one, but I do really like these for other things aside from cloth diapers so they're versatile and worth their price.
My personal favorite diaper bag for cloth diapers is called the Ellie backpack, which retails at $179 (for options with prints on them) and $189 (for options that are all vegan leather). Both types are all identical in features. Zip out wet bag that you can toss in the wash, sidewall pockets for easily accessible gear, elastic bands for changing roll or blanket, a ton of useful pockets, and more.
You are even able to purchase a version that includes a second wet bag so that you can have one in your bag and one in the wash and it’s very convenient. This bag also has a ton of other practical pockets as you can see in the photo below, they lined the sidewall of the bag so you can truly access everything that’s in it once you open the front pocket flap.
The inner front zip-down (which takes up the bottom half of the image below) is the removable wet bag I mentioned previously. I have never seen this in another diaper bag and I find it so handy for cloth diapers.
Inside of my bag you can see the following items:
6 pocket diapers
1 wipes container
3 spare outfits
1 rolled up blanket
1 diaper rash cream
1 burp cloth
Another one of my favorite features about this bag is the very wide-expanding exterior side pockets for bottles. I usually carry a fancy milk chiller with me when I go out (I'm a pumping mom), and it fits very well in the side pocket where some other bags do not hold it as well. Additional features that I’m a fan of include the very large front pocket for extra things like keys and wallets and other mom supplies, and the secret pocket on the back that you can fit a flat changing pad inside if you have one. The straps are very comfortable and padded and overall it’s a very well thought out bag- it was designed specifically with cloth diapering parents in mind!
But remember, you don't need a fancy bag just for cloth diapers!
If you are on a lower budget, you can use pretty much anything as a diaper bag, I would recommend a large, inexpensive tote style bag that you can put everything inside of, and carry it easily. I always prefer a backpack for ease of use, but typically they are a little more expensive than something like a simple grocery tote.
If you need to be walking while carrying your bag 100% I recommend a backpack so you can stay hands-free. But if it’s something you just need to carry from your car to a building and then set it down somewhere, a backpack is not a requirement.
There are other lower priced bags out there that are just regular ole diaper bags that do the job just fine for cloth diapering.
Here are a few examples if you're on a lower budget:
This one costs $65 from Oos Yádi - I have one on the way to try out. TEACH5 should take a little off at checkout.
This one costs $30-$40 from Amazon, called RUVALINO - I have this one and do not enjoy it but for a very cheap diaper bag it's well made. You get what you pay for, but it sure does hold some diapers.
This one is about $22 on Amazon - I do not have this but the reviews look good for the price point.
Looking for more information? See these related posts!
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