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The Cloth Diaperer’s Guide To Packing A Diaper Bag


Photo shows a diaper bag with text that reads "The Cloth Diapering Mom's Guide to Packing a Diaper Bag"

I know a lot of us cloth diaper at home, but feel like it’s too much work when we’re going out to bring cloth diapers, a wet bag for dirty diapers, and try to keep everything organized. It is much easier just to take disposables and throw them away after using them!

After a while though, especially with baby number two bringing about my determination not to buy any more paper diapers, I worked out a system that I feel works really well – for me at least – and since I’ve read a lot of cloth diapering tips, blog posts, and even wrote a few (such as how to strip cloth diapers – that one’s important), but never once found any advice on how to pack and streamline things to make cloth diapering work in a diaper bag, I decided to share my diaper bag packing routine and how I keep it all organized and working.

Photo shows a pile of clothes, wipes, and other items to keep in a diaper bag

Here are the things I pack:

  • Diapers (that one is obvious ).
  • Wipes.
  • Wet bag.
  • Grocery bags
  • 1-2 changes of clothes
  • Baby carrier
  • Changing pad
  • Nursing cover
  • Sippy cup
  • Snacks

Most of these things just live in the diaper bag all the time since I don’t use them at home anyway, and it makes getting ready to go a lot easier and less stressful.

The biggest difference between the cloth diapering diaper bag, and a paper diaper bag, is the additiion of the wet bag, and the method of dealing with dirty diapers, which is detailed at the the bottom of this post.

Photo shows the diaper bag packed with everything needed for cloth diapering

Diapers. I take 4-8 depending on how long we’ll be gone. I find it easiest to bring pocket diapers that are stuffed and baby ready with me. Occasionally I’ll take covers and flats, but it takes slightly longer to change a diaper with these, which can turn into a disaster when you’re changing a curious baby in a strange area (think holding kicking, squirming, reaching baby down while trying to snap things up with one hand).

Wipes. These are one of the items that stay in the diaper bag. They don’t actually get used very often, so a small package can last up to several months.

Wet bag and grocery bags. These are dirty diaper receptacles that are used together depending on whether the diaper is soiled, or just wet.

Changes of clothes. Honestly, we rarely need to use these, but when we do, they’re a lifesaver, and I feel really nervous leaving home without them. What if somebody has an accident, or a food spill, or finds the only spot of mud for miles around? Those things happen, so best to be prepared.

Baby Carrier. I never leave home without a baby carrier. Since my pocket sling folds up nicely and fits right into the outer pocket on my bag, it stays there all the time so that I don’t have to worry too much if we’re taking too many diapers to fit the Ergo carrier, which doens’t happen very often, but it’s still nice to have backup.

Photo shows changing pad in a side pocket of the diaper bag
Changing pad, and Seven Slings carrier

Changing pad. This is another item that fits into the outer pocket, and another that lives in the diaper bag. It’s a must have, especially for tiny babies.

Nursing cover. I don’t use this at home (but highly reccomend it away from home!), so it’s always in the diaper bag, just rolled up in the same compartment that the diapers go in.

Sippy cup and snacks. These, obviously, are taken on a case-by-case basis. I used to take a cup for each kid, then I realized that Garrett is perfectly capable of drinking from Hadassah’s cup, so I only needed one. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it’s one less thing to keep track of.

And, now we get to the good stuff:

How to Deal With Dirty Diapers On The Go

First, you can stick wet diapers directly in the wet bag.

If we have a stinky diapers, I wrap it in a grocery bag first so that it doesn’t come open and soil the inside of the wet bag. Then when we get home, I take the grocery bag(s) out, and if there are solids that need to be removed, I deal with that in the bathroom. Otherwise (which is most of the time), I dump them, and the rest of the contents of the wet bag directly into the diaper pail. Last of all, the wet bag goes into the pail and the bags go in the trash.

That’s me, and my method of madness. What’s yours?

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  1. Hi! I really enjoyed reading your article. I just started cloth diapering with my fourth baby a free months ago and we actually used disposables for the first 4 months.

    When we go out I usually bring a couple grocery bags, at least 3 per folds(because that what I use), one diaper cover, wipes, a few flushable liners, and the normal stuff like clothes and bottles.

    My wet bag on slightly to large and I fine plastic bags work just fine when to keep in any smells.

  2. The idea to bring grocery bags to put the soiled diapers in! That would’ve saved me so much turmoil with my first baby. Thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely be using it for the second baby!

  3. This is precious information. My baby is 2 months and I am switching to cloth diapering and this is a huge help and guidance for me to get my cloth diaper game on. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. I think it’s a helpful article for any parents specially the mom. Here you gave some ideas about packing diaper bag which is essential for the baby. I really appreciate with your ideas. And i will must follow these ideas when i am going for packing diaper bag. Thanks for the sharing such a helpful article.

  5. My kids are now much older but what I pack still hasn’t changed: food, drink, balm made with shea butter, tea tree oil and lavender, band-aids, had sanitizer, phone, keys/ wallet, something to blow a nose on, something to wear/ wrap up in when it gets cold and a hairbrush and sunblock in the summer.

  6. Mine is about the same! Except we do cloth wipes, so I leave a bunch of those, dry, in a side pocket and a water bottle so I don’t have to worry about getting to a sink.

  7. I’ve been cloth diapering for 10 years.. I took them everywhere when we first started.. Then hubby changed our oldest son once out of the house with cloth and declared we would spend the money to use disposables while out and about (it was a really messy diaper) lol. I still pack up cloth when they are tiny and need changed A LOT.. But past that and we just used ‘sposies.. If it means hubby takes a few diaper changes then I’m all for it. I’m planning on using cloth nursing pads 24/7 when our new comes in July.. i’ve always used disposable ones when gone in case I leak… So I’m adding an extra shirt for mom to the diaper bag then and making a few wet/dry bags just for the nursing pads.

  8. I only bring wet bags (no grocery bags) because my wet bags can get washed in the same load. 3mo is still BF so the whole wet bag goes into the Dekor when we get home and I wash like normal. We use cloth wipes (although I have a sample pack of disposables in the diaper bag at all times) so some of them (2/diaper) and a water bottle + extra outfits, all in a wet bag (with another wet bag for dirties) are all we bring (plus the normal stuff…some books/toys, snacks for mom and dad, lip balm, hand sanitizer, changing pad, carrier etc)

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