Do we really need a designated diaper bag?

Posted by
We are 35 weeks along and keep seeing all kinds of diaper bags: big ones, small ones, lots of ugly ones… but none we want to buy! I have back problems and always use sturdy backpacks to carry things in to balance the weight ( I don’t even use purses). I also hate that diaper bags are predominantly “for women” or marketed that way. My husband and I will be doing equal lugging around of said bag.

We have seen specialty “backpack” style diaper bags that are very expensive, and were hoping for a cheaper alternative. We are planning to breastfeed and cloth diaper, so don’t need bottle warmers and we have small cloth diaper carriers already (for stuffing in bags).

So the question is: why can’t we just use a normal backpack? What makes “specialty diaper bags” so different and special? — Vivi

So if you’re not using a diaper bag… what kind of bag ARE you using? Tell us in the comments and spread the knowledge!

Comments on Do we really need a designated diaper bag?

  1. I bought a big diaper bag thinking we were going to use cloth diapers and I figured I’d need lots of space. They never worked out, and neither did the bag. My boyfriend had bought a Skip-Hop foldable changing-mat that has pockets for diapers/wipes etc. and we both just use that. It is slim so fits into other bags, plus it has a clip so I can clip it onto whatever it won’t fit into. Best purchase ever.


    I’ve carried this bag, by Ameribag, for about 3 years. Before that I had a smaller version that I still occasionally use. They are fantastic for carrying a lot of stuff without putting strain on your back. The “baby bag” is actually the same bag as their backpack, it just comes with a really nice changing pad. I bought the baby version because I found it cheaper, even though I didn’t have a baby at the time! I’m 36 weeks along now and just did a trial run of actually using it as a diaper bag – it’s fantastic!

  3. I bought a wet/dry bag from and it works really well. It’s a backpack (I have back issues too!) and my husband uses it without feeling emasculated 😛 We also cloth diaper and it holds enough diapes for a day trip. Plus the wet part of it is nice to put the wet ones, though it will smell if there are more than 5 or 6.

  4. I used a diaper bag for the first month… then I used a fabric basket. and now I have reusable shoping bag. I need to be able throw things in and grab them out. Having a diaper bag that has to be packed and has a million pockets doesn’t work for me.

  5. You sometimes need to take stuff with you when you have a kid, so you’re going to need some kind of stuff-carrying receptacle. Just use your backpack! What’s the big deal?

    Sometimes you don’t even need that. If we’re just going out for an hour or two, I don’t even bother with diapers. We change before we go and again when we get home.

  6. I just have to say, while I love the idea of a backpack now that it’s been said, I can’t wait for the excuse to buy some super awesome diaper bag/purse. Sorry ladies!

  7. For general running around, I clip a Skip Hop Pronto to my large purse (really a portrait-orientation slim messenger bag from Fossil), stuff two cloth diapers in the Skip Hop, with wipes, small waterproof bag for dirty diapers and a terry cloth and get moving. If I think I will be gone for a while, I stick one or two extra cloth diapers in my purse, or one to three biodegradable disposables in the Skip Hop as well. I now throw in a bib and a spoon or two, now that baby is eating.

    Every time I get insecure and carry around a huge diaper bag for shorter trips, I regret it.

  8. My husband and I faced a similar dilemma and were going to opt for using any old bag till my mother in law insisted on getting us a diaper bag stocked with goodies as a shower gift. To avoid whatever crazy, ugly bag she could find, I found a pretty handy Columbia messenger style diaper bag at Babies R Us that as the look of a regular bag but all the fancy pockets of a diaper bag. My husband actually was the one that got all gooey eyed when we found it.

  9. We just use a record bag. It’s slim and has plenty of pockets, more than we currently need, but I’m sure they’ll come in handy as our little boogie monster gets older. And, my husband doesn’t mind carrying it since it’s covered in boom boxes and not frilly colors or prints.

  10. We have a diaper dude diaper bag. It’s got some good bells and whistles but it just looks like a camo messenger bag from the outside. It’s so sturdy I’m planning on it being the kids out and about bag for years and years to come!

  11. We got a traditional diaper bag at first and hated it! It was entirely too big and unneccessary. We use a backpack now, plenty of space and pockets!

  12. One of my favorite topics!!
    It boggles my mind how women will completely sacrifice their own personal style when it comes to diaper bags(as if we don’t have enough of that to deal with already trying to dress a strange body that just ballooned out and back in!). Seriously, the Eddie Bauer girl with the pastel Winnie-the-Pooh bag? The delicate lacy shabby chic sporting the Enfamil hospital-issue?
    I had a friend who carried a black, wipe-clean Nine West purse every day of her life since 16. When the kid came? Black, wipe-clean Nine West bucket purse appeared from the clearance rack at Ross.

  13. the main reason i particularly like using ours is because it has a fold out changing pad. it’s come in very handy when we’ve had to change arty in the middle of nowhere 🙂 that said, you can buy portable change pads that fold up small for your handbag or backpack, or just use a blankie.
    the other reason i like having a nappy bag is because i like to keep my stuff separate from baby stuff so i don’t have to fish through nappies, wipes, toys, spare clothes, wet bags, etc. when i want to find my wallet or my phone.

  14. We have a couple bags. Mostly we use a MEC backpack (, which is super-durable, has lots of pockets and is comfortable to wear. When I was pregnant with my first, I bought a Skip Hop Duo messenger bag, but a few months into using it, it already looked pretty trashed and beat up, which disappointed me. Now, if it is just me and my daughter (almost 2), I just throw a diaper, wetbag, wipes and snacks into my purse. A proper “diaper bag” is not really necessary. That said, I also bought a Brooke Van Gory bag because I will soon have two kids in cloth and need some extra room, and I love it.

  15. I breastfeed and use cloth as well, my husband and I use the ergo back pack. It’s lightweight yet fits everything we need for a day out, he loves it and doesn’t feel out of place when wearing it for the day. The pack also attaches to our ergo (if you have one or plan or using one) so it’s a hands free system.

  16. Our daughter has epilepsy so we have to carry emergency meds (large syringes) on top of her cloth diapers and wash rags (wipes). We used a backpack we picked up from Taget and I LOVE it. Lots of pocket to help organize. And it’s easy to throw on my back when she is in my Ergo.

    As a side note we needed a hard case for her emergency meds. One that would allow us to carry it without breaking it. We bought a hard case in the automotive section of Target and bought some fun colored duct tape to decorate it. (boring black was not my thing). My point is you can make anything a baby product with a little imagination. =)

Read more comments

Comments are closed.