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You are watching: Diaper bag for cloth diapers
If you’ve decided to cloth diaper your baby, you may wonder about how it works when you’re on the go. Perhaps you have visions nightmares of toting around a diaper bag with a gross, poopy diaper, causing people to part like the Red Sea as you walk by. Don’t worry! Learn how to pack your diaper bag when you cloth diaper your baby.
Select your diaper bag
Not all diaper bags are created equal, people! When deciding what to pack in your diaper bag when you cloth diaper, consider first the type of bag you need/want. We were gifted several different diaper bags, and found that some worked better than others for cloth diapering.
Cloth diapers are bulkier than disposables, so you need a bag with a lot of room. Don’t overcomplicate it with a ton of pockets, but check that the lining and zippers are good quality so the bag will stand the test of time.
Types of diaper bags
There are basically two types of diaper bags: totes and backpacks.
Totes tend to be a little bigger than backpacks, and there are tons of great ones on the market. They don’t sell the one we have anymore, but it’s the same brand and basic style as this one, and we really like it.
It came with a bunch of extra little bags, most of which we used for other things, and has a wipe holder. Look for a tote that has big straps so you can hang it on the stroller, or buy one that has stroller straps included.
Backpack diaper bags are increasingly popular with moms on the go. They stay on your back and you don’t hurt your shoulder if it’s heavy. I found they usually aren’t as roomy as a tote, but they still work for cloth diapers. I have a different color version of this one, and I use it for short outings. It has stroller straps, which are fantastic, and a wipe holder.
What to pack in your diaper bag when you cloth diaper
I use this list every time I pack my diaper back as a cloth diapering mama. It’s important to be prepared for every scenario, so pack with a purpose!
How to pack your diaper bag when you cloth diaper: The basics
Before leaving the house, take a moment to consider how long you plan to be gone, and pack the appropriate number of diapers. Newborns obviously go through many more diapers than toddlers. For a newborn, I pack at least one diaper for every hour I plan to be away from home, and then add two more, just in case. For a toddler, I pack one for every two hours I plan to be gone. I rarely use all of them, but it’s so much better to be safe than sorry.
If using cloth wipes, make sure you have enough to get you through the time away from home. Pack a few extra in case of a really bad poop. I bought my wipes from FuzziBunz, but they don’t seem to sell them anymore. I plan on purchasing the ones below to increase my stash.
Pro tip: you can fold the wipes and get them to fit in the wipe dispenser section of your diaper bag. Just remove the plastic dispenser (if your diaper bag came with one) and put the wipes right in so you can grab one at a time from the hole.
You don’t really want to use cloth wipes dry (ouch!), so pack a small spray bottle with water. Spray the wipe and/or baby’s bottom to moisten before wiping. I have a spray bottle like these dedicated just to the diaper bag, so I don’t scramble before we leave somewhere looking for it.
Obviously, you need somewhere to put those dirty diapers on the go, so make sure to pack a small wet back with a zipper. Wet bags are awesome because they lock in the smell, and keep everything else in the bag from getting wet. We use these wet bags, and love the different sizes.
Most diaper bags come with a basic changing pad, and if you like yours, use it! We found that the ones included with the diaper bags are pretty flimsy, and not very big. When Little Man got bigger, he was way too long for those pads, and on a changing table in a public restroom, you need something that will protect your baby from the gross.
We use a changing pad similar to this one, and it’s really cool because it has a little cushion for the baby’s head. It also expands on the sides, offering more surface area. It also has a little flat zipper bag where you can store your wipes and spray bottles.
Pack an extra change of clothes, or two, in case of leaks. Most cloth diapers don’t leak if used properly, but sometimes a little wetness escapes. Another great thing about cloth diapers is parents rarely (if ever!) experience blowouts, but you never know! Pro tip: make sure to update the extra change of clothes to go with the season and your baby’s size. Don’t be like me and get caught on a brisk fall day with a pair of shorts and t-shirt that are too small for your baby.
For newborns, I like to pack an entire outfit (onesie, pants, socks, etc.) and put it in a sandwich size plastic bag. That way, you don’t have to dig around trying to find each article of clothing with a fussy baby on a changing table.
How to pack your diaper bag when you cloth diaper: Extras
Here are a few extra things you want to pack in your diaper bag when you cloth diaper.
Even if you breastfeed, when out and about, sometimes it’s nice to have a bottle for your baby instead of whipping out the girls. So consider packing a bottle and either formula or pumped breast milk (which can keep at room temperature for two hours). If your baby is a little older, pack a water bottle and some snacks.
If you have that breastfeeding thing down and your baby doesn’t mind a cover, be sure to pack one in your diaper bag. If you’re like me, the last thing you want is to be caught without one and be forced to choose between baring it all in public, or feeding your baby in a restroom—yuck!
If your baby self-soothes with a pacifier, be sure to pack one in your diaper bag! I recently found myself without one when we were gone for the entire day, and Lord, it was a hot mess. Luckily, I found an extra in the car, but it was stressful for a bit there.
Remember to pack things to keep your little one entertained. Small toys for newborns include rattles, balls, and blocks. Little Man had an elephant toy similar to this one, and it’s so cute!
It has tons of textures and colors, and he loved it. And I love it because you can clip in on the diaper bag so it doesn’t take up room on the inside.
Always keep a light blanket in your diaper bag, especially when your baby is small. You never know when you need to bundle baby a little more, cover the car seat, or lay on the floor for tummy time.
Tips for packing a diaper bag when you cloth diaper
Here are a few tried and true tips for your diaper bag when you cloth diaper.
Tip #1: Keep your diaper bag stocked at all times
Rushing to get out the door is not the time to stock your diaper bag. If you plan on leaving early in the morning, pack the bag the night before. It’s easier to remember everything when you aren’t stressed out.
Tip #2: Remove wet bags with dirty diapers as soon as you get home
Wet bags are awesome at keeping odors in, but they can only do so much. Don’t make the mistake of leaving the wet bag with dirty diapers in the diaper bag overnight, especially if your baby is older because their urine smells much stronger than a newborn. And trust me, it will make everything in the diaper bag smell gross: clothes, toys, blankets, everything. So transfer those dirty diapers into your big wet bag until it’s time to do laundry.
Tip #3: When baby gets older, don’t store clean clothes in dry section of wet/dry bags
Many wet bags are actually wet/dry bags. This means that they have two zipper pockets: one for wet items and one for dry items. They are super handy for saving space, but when baby gets older, that urine smell can seep into the other items in the bag.
Tip #4: Wash used diapers in your next wash cycle
Cloth diapers from your diaper bag don’t need any special treatment. Just wash them like normal in your next wash cycle.
Packing your diaper bag when you cloth diaper isn’t as complicated as it seems. I promise you don’t have to walk around smelling like dirty diapers! With these few items, you and your baby can be out and about all day without the stink.
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