Baby Gear Health & Safety

5 Practical Diaper Bag Alternatives

Diaper bags are one of those baby accessories that tend to divide opinion among parents.

For every mom or dad who says they are an essential piece of baby gear, you’ll find others who will tell you that a diaper bag isn’t something you absolutely must have, simply because there are equally good alternatives out there.

If you’re reading this article then a good chance that you’re not sold on the concept of a diaper bag, perhaps because you think they are too expensive for something you’ll only get a few years out of, or you fear they are a little too gimmicky for you liking.

Whatever the reason, let’s explore some of the other options out there, in the hope that you end up using something that’s both practical and better suited to your specific needs and wants.

Do I Really Need A Diaper Bag?

As a parent you definitely need somewhere to put things like a changing pad, spare pair of clothes, bottles, diapers, wipes, cream and anything else you might want to take on an outing with your child.

However, there’s nothing to say all these items must go in a purpose-built diaper bag.

We recently looked at whether diaper bags are necessary and their pros and cons, and below is a quick summary.

With cleverly designed pouches and purpose-built storage, diaper bags make it easier and faster to find what you’re looking for, and have clever features like insulated pockets to keep your child’s milk, water or other beverage cool.

However, many diaper bags are often bulky, gimmicky and overpriced for what they are, especially as you may only give a few years of use out of the bag if you’re only planning on having one child.

What To Use Instead Of A Diaper Bag

So you think the traditional diaper bag might not be right for you then?

That’s fine and you’re certainly not alone, and if that’s the case let’s now take a look at 6 of the best diaper bag alternatives, some of which you may already have lying around in your house.

1. Backpack

Why spent top dollar on a diaper bag when you can get an awesome backpack that will last you for years instead?

Many backpacks now come with extra pockets and bottle holders, and with ample space inside, they are surely one of the best alternatives to a diaper bag that you can find.

Abshoo Classical Basic Travel Backpack For School Water Resistant Bookbag, available in 23 colors ($29.99, Amazon)

2. Tote Bag

Another great alternative to a diaper or nappy bag is the classic tote.

These are particularly handy because the wide opening makes it easy to identify what you’re looking for, so you won’t need to rearrange or move items to get your hands on whatever it is you’re trying to take out of the bag.

Tote bags are more stylish than backpacks, particularly as they come in a variety of designs and materials.

BAGSMART Women Tote Bag ($32.99, Amazon)

3. Belt Bag or Fanny Pack

As your child gets older you won’t need to change their diaper as often, and diaper blowouts typically become less common.

For this reason a fanny pack or belt bag can make an excellent alternative to a diaper bag, especially for those times when you’re only out of the house for a short period of time with your toddler.

Given they are much smaller than a traditional diaper bag, and can be attached to your body, a fanny pack is also a great choice if you need to free your hands for other things like carrying shopping bags.

MAXTOP Large Crossbody Fanny Pack Belt Bag with 4-Zipper Pockets, available in 30 colors ($11.97, Amazon)

4. Clutch Bag

Another alternative that’s on the smaller side is a clutch bag.

Again, these are typically better for when your child is older and when you only need the absolute essentials, such as a couple of diapers and a few wipes.

You could opt for a traditional clutch already in your wardrobe, or one that’s a bit more versatile with straps and a built in wipe pocket like the one below.

Liuliuby Crossbody Diaper Clutch – Diaper Pouch ($22.99, Amazon)

5. Messenger Or Laptop Bag

Our final diaper bag alternative is a classic messenger or laptop bag.

With their large main compartment it’s easy to find what you’re looking for, and there should be plenty of room to store things like clothes, snacks and toys, in addition to the changing essentials and a changing pad.

You might even find there’s room for a couple of mom or dad’s items such as a water bottle or some adult snacks too!

ESTARER Computer Messenger bag Water-resistant Canvas Shoulder Bag ($46.99, Amazon)

Lastly, Remember The Changing Pad

Many diaper bags come with a folding changing pad, so if you aren’t going to buy a diaper bag it’s important to purchase a changing pad separately.

Look for something that’s lightweight, foldable, machine washable and has a soft cushion padding to make changes as comfortable as possible for your little one.

Portable Diaper Changing Pad ($11.96, Amazon)

Nick is a passionate dad who co-founded Rockinbaby to share his parenting journey with other new parents. He has a BSc and MBA, and works as a senior marketing professional. In his spare time Nick loves watching sports, staying fit and traveling. Learn more about Nick here.

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