As a new mom, one of the most important things you’ll use almost every day is your diaper bag. It’s incredibly important that you like your diaper bag and that it’s functional. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to deal with a baby blowout with a huge tote bag full of stuff — and you can’t find anything. In this review I’m going to cover the best diaper bag for infants and the best diaper bag backpack for a toddler or for two kids.
I’ll link to some additional diaper bag roundup reviews below so there are more options for you to choose from, but I wanted to go in depth on the two diaper bags I’ve chosen for my kiddos, and why they’re so awesome.
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The best diaper bag for infants
The best diaper bag for infants (IMO) is the Pottery Barn Classic Diaper Bag.
We used this diaper bag for our little lady’s first two years, and definitely felt it was important to have such a big bag during the infant phase. Note that when we bought this bag and carried it around, we only had one kiddo. I wanted to pack three outfits everywhere we went, and we usually brought 1-2 blankets along as well for nursing covers, etc.
Since we were also toting around 5+ diapers every day, it was important to me to have a lot of space. I transitioned to a diaper bag backpack after our little lady was two because I wasn’t willing to give up a bag. It feels significantly smaller so I’ll probably transition back to the bigger bag for a while after we have baby #2.
Here are the dimensions and care instructions from the Pottery Barn website:
DIMENSIONS & CARE
- Overall: 17″ wide x 7″ deep x 13″ high
- Shoulder Strap: 27.5–55″ long
- Handles: 1.75″ wide x 9″ long
- Interior Zipper Pocket: 7.5″ wide x 6″ high
- Interior Elastic Pocket (2): 8.5″ wide x 8″ high
- Side Pocket (2): 7″ long
- Spot clean with a damp, white cloth.
- Blot to remove excess water.
- Air dry.
Even though I think this is the best diaper bag for infants, as with anything, there were definitely pros and cons to the bag. Here are the very best and worst features of the Pottery Barn Classic Diaper Bag, in my opinion.
PROS of a duffel diaper bag
- Size. This thing is huge. It’s a duffel style bag, so you can pack a TON of stuff in here for daily use. As I mentioned above, I was NOT a light packer with my first. I was looking at some of the really cute leather diaper bag backpacks, and there was no way I could have fit all the stuff we toted around in some of those bags.
- Storage Compartments. There are multiple side compartments to keep you organized. If you’re like me, you’ll end up with multiple things in each compartment, but having the storage on the sides was critical to keeping me organized.
- Can be used as an overnight bag. We actually used it as an overnight duffel for her when we were traveling once we switched to our diaper bag backpack. It’s a great size for overnights when the clothes are so little! Side Note: I also brought it to work when I packed it as a pump bag with a cooler for my own travel. I got multiple compliments when it was just sitting at my desk.
- Ability to pack for any situation. This might tie into the size comment, but what I really loved about this bag is that I could pack for any scenario. Need three outfits? Two blankets? An extra large changing pad? Full pack of wipes AND diaper cream? This bag can handle it.
CONS of a duffel diaper bag
A lot of the cons of this diaper bag are related to the size, which was actually a pro for me. However, I know not everyone wants to carry around a bulky diaper bag everywhere. Here are some of the downsides to this particular style.
- Size. I’m listing this as both a pro and a con. For me, the size was a huge bonus. However, for some people the duffle style can be cumbersome. It’s too big to fit under many strollers so you’re stuck either carrying it or trying to hang it on the stroller handle bar, which isn’t recommended by any stroller manufacturer.
- Items can get lost. It’s so big and deep you can end up burying items at the bottom if you’re packing a lot. As I mentioned, I’m a big believer in packing for the unknown. This means I might end up with my wipes buried under multiple outfits and blankets at the bottom of the bag.
- You may need to section the bag yourself. If the bag is just too deep or long for you, you might want to put in a divider or somehow section it even further yourself. I never did this but it would be a way to make it even more functional. I’m not sure if this is really a con or just a suggestion to make it more user friendly, but I wanted to call it out as an option.
- Diaper pad is stylish but not functional for blowouts. The diaper pad is nice to have included, but I wanted a waterproof pad with “wings” for the infant phase. There are so many messy diapers I wasn’t comfortable using the small diaper pad that came with this diaper bag.
Awesome alternative changing pad
Since I didn’t love the changing pad we got with the diaper bag, I got one that was super functional.
We used this one for reference, and loved it. We also occasionally took it out of the diaper bag and tossed it under the stroller if we didn’t want to lug the entire bag around but needed an emergency diaper.
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The best diaper bag backpack for toddlers
Our choice for moving into the toddler years was to move into a new diaper bag, and this one fit the bill: The Freshly Picked Classic Diaper Bag
It’s a convertible style diaper bag that you can wear multiple ways, but I almost always use the backpack for an easy to carry hands free option.
After our little lady got through the infant blowout phase and we swapped our nursing covers and four outfits for crayons and coloring books, my duffel diaper bag wasn’t as user friendly. I wanted a hands free bag to be able to chase her around and I no longer needed all that space that I craved during the infant phase.
While I think this might have been too small for how we initially packed our diaper bag as first time parents, I’m hoping we can continue to use this as we transition from toddler to toddler + baby. We may need to go back to the duffel, but I love the backpack style so much I’m going to fight to keep it!
Here are the dimensions directly from their website:
- 13” wide x 15” high x 7” deep
- 24” backpack strap 47” shoulder strap (at longest length)
- 4” top handle drop
- 2.3 lbs. weight
Like everything else, there are pros and cons to this bag as well. Here are some of my thoughts on the very best and worst features of this diaper bag backpack.
PROS of a diaper bag backpack
- Size: For a toddler or mom on the go, the size of this bag is perfect. You can pack it full of stuff but it’s still compact enough to carry around the park or while running through the airport.
- Compartments. The website says “10 pockets” but that basically includes every space of the bag. Inside there are four internal compartments including an insulated bottle holder. Plus a large sleeve that can hold a 15” laptop. We use that space for two coloring books or our travel folder when we’re traveling. In terms of helping keep things organized, it doesn’t get much better than this.
- Includes small diaper pad. We liked this feature for our second bag because we didn’t always need to carry around the larger changing pad from infancy. The smaller pad is great for quick toddler changes on the go. We really never even carried the diaper pad in the backpack, but left it in the car for emergencies.
- Easy to access outside pocket. The front zip pocket is awesome. I usually stick my phone in there for quick access, or airline boarding passes when we’re flying. It’s perfect for anything you want to be able to grab quickly.
- Two cup holders on the sides. This is great because it allows for your drink + baby’s drink, or easy access to both drinks for two kiddos. Most traditional backpacks only have a drink holder on one side, so this is a huge bonus of an official diaper bag backpack.
- “Feet” so it doesn’t touch the ground. I’m a germophobe. It’s true. Even with a toddler in daycare I can’t seem to get over my fear of gross germs. The feet on this backpack make me feel *slightly* better when we have to put it on the floor places. Trust me, I still prefer the chair, but it’s a nice feature just in case.
- Style. This backpack is truly for everyone. The gender neutral color options don’t make it hard for dad to carry. Bonus, there are so many different colors that mammas with every sense of style have a choice to make them happy. You can go full on metallic or classic black. The vegan leather is fashionable. You won’t have to worry about carrying a bag that screams “BABY” on the outside.
- Three ways to wear. Finally – this bag is super functional. I chose it for the backpack style, but you can also wear it cross body or like a purse. The strap also lengthens to attach to the back of the stroller. Although, again, this isn’t recommended by stroller manufacturers. This makes the bag even more versatile depending on what else you’re carrying or who is wearing the bag.
CONS of a diaper bag backpack
- Size. I’m listing this as a pro due to the phase in which I purchased the bag. However, it’s probably too small if you’re a serial over-packer with an infant AND want to fit your toddler’s stuff in there. There are a lot of pockets. However, I can see how you’d easily fill up the large middle compartment to the brim with blankets, extra outfits, a huge pack of wipes, etc.
- Side snaps. The side snaps don’t stay closed to give the bag the polished look from the picture. This may be because we were constantly opening and closing the bag, but it doesn’t diminish the style too badly.
There are a ton of awesome diaper bag options on the market, so I wanted to link to a few of the diaper bag options we almost bought. These all had amazing reviews and while I haven’t tried them personally think they are great options if the above aren’t your style or don’t fit the budget.
I hope the information above helps you narrow down your diaper bag selection. The choice is really a personal one in which you need to balance function, fashion, and price. I think the two options we chose were the perfect balance of function and fashion for our family. If you have any other diaper bags I need to add to this list, leave them in the comments below and I’ll check them out!
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