Even before I became a mom, I spent a lot of time thinking about what type of diaper bag I might eventually carry: a backpack with versatility, a gender-neutral vibe so I could share with my husband, and a style nice enough for all situations. When I was pregnant, I found the perfect diaper bag to meet my needs (so many pockets!).
But all that changed when my son became more mobile. When I thought about what we really used, I was able to pare down what I carry to fit into a small shoulder bag or fanny pack.
What I Got Rid of From My Diaper Bag
Giant Packs of Wipes
The last 50 always seem to dry out before using them. And we’re rarely away from home long enough to need multiple diaper changes. I buy travel-size packs of wipes instead and keep a “diaper emergency kit” in the car with a spare changing pad, diapers, and wipes.
All the Snacks
Admittedly, this is one place where I sometimes end up having to carry a separate lunch bag. But most days, one emergency snack is enough and keeps me from having to worry about expiration dates and crumbs.
Blanket or Nursing Cover
Instead, I keep one in the car seat and simply pulling it out of the car when needed. This also helps me remember to wash it. When nursing on-the-go, I prefer using a sling baby carrier or wearable nursing cover.
Sunscreen & Bug Spray
Another spot where I take advantage of the car or stroller storage to pare down my diaper bag supplies. I choose sprays that are safe for the whole family, so I don’t need a separate variety for my toddler.
Tons of Toys
Being outside and on-the-go is the best distraction for my toddler—especially since our destination is usually a playground. When we do need a little help, I always have one toy that can double as a teether (like this or these) and book on hand (the Indestructibles books are perfect).
My Diaper Bag Essentials
- Keys, phone, wallet
- Chapstick, hair tie, ink pen (mom essentials, right?)
- Diapers (2) and travel-size wipes
- Emergency snack
- Bib (this one is my favorite)
- Backup onesie
If you’re starting to feel the burden of a heavy diaper bag, I recommend evaluating what you actually use. Take everything out of your diaper bag and only put back what you’ve needed in the past month. If there’s something you’ve only used once or twice, look for opportunities to keep these in the car or stroller.