Are You Packing the Diaper Bag Wrong?

I see you there.  You’re the mom doubled over by the weight of carrying both your baby and this ginormous diaper bag.  

I used to be you. Emphasis on the *used to*.

Now I’ve discovered a better way….

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links.  See our disclosure policy for more details.

Diaper bag effective packing


I’m going to let you in on a little secret….  You’re putting WAY too much in your diaper bag.

“But I NEED to have two different kinds of diaper rash cream”

“How could I survive without an extra, extra change of clothes?”

“That winter coat is for cold weather emergencies!”

Look, I totally get it.  As moms we rack our brains before leaving the house to think of the worst case scenarios and imagine every item we might possibly need.  Then we shove it all into our diaper bag and walk out the door.

Problem is, after you’ve done this you can barely hold your bag on your shoulder because it’s so bulky and heavy.  To top it all off, trying to find something in this bag stuffed full of crap is nearly impossible.

You may need to have all those things you packed available to you, but that doesn’t mean you need them constantly accessible and on your person at all times.

toddler travel airplane road trip planning


The Perfect Diaper Bag System

This diaper bag system came to me at work one day, when I was trying to find my car keys in my behemoth-sized purse/diaper bag.  

A co-worker mentioned to me, “you know, the more kids I had the smaller my diaper bag got because I realized what’s critical and actually important to have”.

Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to the “two-bag diaper bag system”.

It’s just that, have 2 separate bags.  

One is a large bag, it could even be a duffel, that you leave in the car.  That way, you have access to everything you might need.  

This large bag has everything you’re bringing “just in case”.  Here are things I keep in my car bag:

  • Diapers (read our reviews on the BEST diapers here)
  • Baby wipes (pssst… we spill about the BEST baby wipes here)
  • Aquaphor (I have this instead of diaper rash cream because it doubles as lotion)
  • Extra change of clothes
  • Diaper bags (although I use them for EVERYTHING – to hold wet clothes, dirty bibs, broken toys, and of course poopy diapers)
  • Extra toys
  • Portable Changing Mat
  • Jackets/sweat shirts
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disposable nursing pads
  • Hats

Related Post:  Diapering Essentials You Absolutely Need
Related Post:  Are Name-Brand Diapers Worth the Cost?

This bag stays in the car at all times.  This is how you can be constantly prepared without having to have a Mary-Poppins-style bag on your person at all times.  

I actually have 2 bags – one for my car and one for my husbands. If we happen to use something, we replace it that night after we get back home.

And that’s another thing that’s really nice about this system, you are constantly packed and you don’t have to perform an inventory every time you leave the house.


The second bag, the one you’re actually carrying around, is quite small.  For me, it’s a purse.

Here’s all I have in my purse:

  • Personal items (wallet, keys, phone, etc.)
  • Busy items (right now I have flashcards for my son that I made with this laminator.  For the baby I have a pill bottle filled with dried noodles, lol)
  • Bibs (I like the Bumkins brand because they fold up really small)
  • Snacks (for me this is almost always 2 toddler food pouches)
  • Tissues
  • A small book (right now we have a tiny copy of The Paper Bag Princess)

Yep, that’s all I carry around with me.  And it fits in a medium-sized purse.

I always need bibs because we’re usually eating when we go out.  The snacks I like to carry because it doesn’t seem like a good idea to leave food in the car with the temperatures it can reach.

If I need a diaper, a change of clothes, a jacket, etc – I go out to the car for it.  It takes an extra minute or two, yes, but it really doesn’t happen often and, trust me, it’s worth it to not have to lug everything around.

Please share this post so other moms can learn the right way to pack their bags:

Diaper bag effective packing Diaper bag effective packing Diaper bag effective packing

About Author


Hi, I’m Jo!

I have two small children, Ry and Lily, only 19 months apart. It’s usually crazy around my house, but thankfully my wonderful husband is around a ton and helps keep the peace.

I also own my own business and work full-time. I’d love to list all these amazing hobbies I have, but honestly I can barely handle keeping the kids entertained, the house clean, and food on the table. Although on days I’m too tired to do housework, I love to pour a glass of wine and watch Supernatural or Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix.

My husband and I like to stay very busy and drag our kids everywhere with us. Weekends often include relaxing at wineries, festivals, exploring Washington D.C. and other short getaway trips.


  1. Candy says:

    I do this also. My second bag is from the sewing section of Hobby Lobby. It is the size of a large book, has multiple plastic, zippered sleeves within, and zips all the way around. I have a diaper for each child,wipes, bags, paci, disposable bibs, crayons, sm book. Cheerio necklaces, emergency bottle, etc

  2. Most beutiful necklaces i have ever seen !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.