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I remember registering for the cutest diaper bag when I was pregnant with my first baby. Then my first baby arrived, and I realized the cute diaper bag I had registered for and bought was super impractical. It didn’t have a zipper across the top, the pockets were weirdly shaped and there weren’t enough of them, and the crossbody style always fell off my shoulder while I was trying to carry a heavy infant carrier.
Eventually I switched to a backpack style that I liked and used for years. I’ve been using a backpack for the past three years, and I love it!
However, my youngest baby is 15 months old now, and I don’t need to carry nearly as much stuff with me all time. I’m currently on the hunt for a smaller diaper bag that I love just as much but won’t have me knocking into things all the time. If you’re ready to move to a smaller and more toddler-friendly diaper bag, then this is the article for you!
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What to Look For
For a smaller, toddler-friendly diaper bag, I’m looking to hold only the essentials: wipes, a diaper or two, a few snacks, and my wallet, phone, keys, and lip gloss. Extra sets of clothes will stay in the car, and I can always bring my larger bag for bigger trips. In my research, I came across three styles that seem to work really well for toddler moms. Each has its pros and cons, but the three main categories are belt bags/hip bags, mini backpacks, and totes.
Belt Bags/Hip Bags
CleverMade Hip Pack :: The price is certainly right with this one. The size looks great, and the material seems to be wipeable. This is one of my top contenders right now. It can be worn crossbody or around the waist, making it quite versatile.
Lululemon Festival Bag :: Lululemon belt bags have become quite ubiquitous these days. The larger size of this festival bag seems like a good option for toddler mom life.
On the Go Organizer :: Not only can this bag be worn around the waist or crossbody, but it can also hook onto your stroller. Sounds like a big win for versatility and would be great for a day at the park (or amusement park).
Itzy Ritzy Mini Backpack :: This bag is wipeable inside and out and the rubber grippers on the bottom should prevent a lot of wear and tear.
Freshly Picked Mini Backpack :: I love the minimalist look of this one. It would be cute to carry around on days when you don’t have your kids with you too!
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Lands End Tote :: Lands End tote bags are amazing. They hold up forever — I still use one that’s more 20 years old and you’d never guess! The tote combined with a water repellent exterior is a perfect toddler-friendly diaper bag.
Naptime Kitchen Tote (ABLE) :: I’ve been a fan of Kate at NaptimeKitchen for a long time. This tote and the matching crossbody checks a lot of boxes for a cute and practical tote bag. I think the open top might be a problem for some, but it looks like a good option.
As our families continue to grow and change, our needs and our children’s needs change as well. A lot of flexibility (and a little shopping) can make our lives easier. I’d love to hear if you’ve found the perfect toddler-friendly diaper bag! Please let me know in the comments.