Diaper Bag Essentials For The Cloth Diapering Family

Cloth Diaper Bag Essentials

Cloth diapering may be easily done in the home but it can seem like a daunting task to accomplish when out of the house.

From the time my seven year old daughter was two weeks old, we’ve cloth diapered her full time.

At first, we thought we would use disposables when we left the house but it ended up being pretty simple to just take our cloth along, so we did.

The following are some things we keep in our diaper bag when we leave the house with our cloth diapered children.

The Absolute Essentials

The following are things that you absolutely must have with you in your diaper bag at all times if you plan on cloth diapering out of the house.

Cloth Diapers

Bring one more cloth diaper along than you think you’ll need for the amount of time you will be out of the house.

I generally bring along one cloth diaper for each two hours we will be away, plus an extra.

I also choose the diapers that are the easiest to use and the most absorbent.

Wet BagWet Bags

Bring along a wet bag that will fit all the diapers you anticipate using in the amount of time you will be away.

I always try to keep a spare wet bag or two in my diaper bag just in case I need to use more than one for soiled clothing or extra diapers.

I also like to have an extra in there just in case I forget to throw a new clean one in before leaving the house.


Whether you go with disposable wipes or cloth wipes, you need to have them with you.

You can store them dry and keep a spray bottle of wipe solution with you, or you can store them wet as long as you use something like tea tree essential oil to keep them from getting mildew and mold and you change them out frequently.

You can also use disposable wipes, though coupling them with cloth diapers can be tricky because the diapers will go in your wet bag to be washed but the disposable wipes can’t.

You will have to find a trash can for the wipes which may not always be an option depending upon where you are changing your baby’s diaper.

Other Necessities

Extra Clothes

You really should always have a change of clothing with you. Though chances are you won’t need it, if you don’t have it you will be sorry.

Take clothing along that is appropriate for the weather, and within the right size range.

In the cold months, you’ll want to make sure you have an extra sweater, hat, and some socks in your bag.

It shouldn’t be your favorite outfit as it may spend a lot of time being unused.

It should be clothing that is appropriate for many situations: like a knit onesie and a pair of pants or a fuzzy, warm sleeper.

Rash Cream

Even if you don’t use rash cream often, it’s nice to have a bottle of cloth diaper safe cream with you just in case an emergency arises.

A Changing Pad

SkipHop Changing Pad

Changing pads are great for giving your baby a barrier between their little bums and the germy world.

They’re often just a bit squishy so that the baby can be comfortable even if you have to change them on the floor or the trunk of your car (I’ve had to do the latter so many times!) and usually waterproof or wipeable.

Many changing pads also come with cute little pockets for things like wipes and diapers which makes the whole process almost as easy as a diaper change at your changing station at home.

Disposable, Flushable Diaper Liners

I’m a huge fan of the diaper sprayer. Unfortunately, that isn’t something you can take with you when you leave the house.

When your baby poops you can either take the soiled diaper with you in the diaper bag and wait to spray it when you get home, or you can dunk it in whatever toilet you that’s available at the time.

Neither one of those options is really so desirable.

You can generally skip either by using disposable diaper liners.

Diaper Liners

These are comprised of a strip of thick paper that acts as a barrier between your baby’s bum and the diaper.

When the baby poops, you will ideally be able to just toss the solids into the toilet with the flushable liner.

Sometimes, the poop doesn’t stay in the liner but even still, it’s almost always an easier mess to clean when you use flushable liners

Cloth Diaper Extras

If you prefer to use cloth diapers that come with extra accessories like, say flats, prefolds, hybrids, or fitteds, you’ll want to be sure you have those things along with you too:



You’ll need to take along your snappis, diaper pins, or boingos if you plan on using prefolds or flat diapers and you use any folds other than the pad fold.

Diaper Covers

Any cloth diaper that isn’t a pocket or an all-in-one will need a diaper cover.

You usually need one cover for every three to six diaper changes so pack accordingly and with accidents in mind.

I usually add an extra cover for every four to six diapers I pack.

Even if we are going on a short trip, I always pack at least one extra diaper cover in case we have a blowout.

Non Diaper Necessities

A Toy

Always try to have something along with you that will keep your baby occupied while in the car, in a waiting room, or in the shopping cart.

You can go with something that can clip to their seat or your diaper bag, or you can even opt for a nursing/teething necklace which is worn by you but intended to be a chew toy for your baby.

A Blanket

Muslin Cotton BlanketsBlankets are good for covering a cold baby, making a safe and clean spot for them to play on the floor, as a nursing cover, as a carseat cover, and even as a burp cloth in a bind.

I prefer muslin swaddling blankets in the summer and flannel receiving blankets in the winter because neither takes up much room in my bag.

A Snack

If your baby isn’t exclusively breastfed or formula fed, bring along something they can munch on that is developmentally appropriate if they get fussy or hungry.

A Bottle Or Sippy Cup

If your baby is formula fed, you will always need to take a bottle and formula along with you.

If your baby is breastfed but beginning to enjoy water, cows milk, or juice, you’ll probably want to take along a sippy cup.

Bibs And Burp Cloths

No matter how your baby eats, they’ll probably need something to wipe up spit up, spilled food, and drool.

Always take along some burp cloths, bibs, or both for this reason.

A Baby Carrier

I always take along my Boba Air baby carrier whenever I leave the house.

Boba Air Baby Carrier

Being able to wear my baby while grocery shopping or running errands leaves both of my hands free to shop and to grab my other children by the hands.

It also keeps my baby much more content than her carseat or the child seat in the shopping cart because she’s held close to me and feels safe.

I like the Boba air because it folds up into a small pouch that is no bigger than four by six inches.

Slings are often good baby wearing options that also don’t take up much room in your bag.

Lotion And Chapstick

These things are good not just for your baby, but for older siblings and for you.

It’s always a good thing to keep them on hand whether or not you are with your children.

Plastic Baggies

Because you never know when you’ll need to save the rest of an apple or safely carry the beads from a broken necklace.

Alcohol Wipes

It’s a germy world out there. Also, your kids are klutzes and get scrapes and cuts easily. It’s nice to have a wipe on hand to disinfect children, toys, or tables.


Preferably with superheroes or princesses on them.

Character Bandaids

As I just mentioned, kids are klutzes.

My two year olds always end up with a couple of new scrapes or cuts every week.

Kids are also pretty dramatic about seeing their own blood.

They may not need a bandaid but having one will sometimes quell a panicked temper tantrum that arises when they get that tiny scratch that they are convinced is a mortal wound.

Nail Clippers

These aren’t just good for cutting nails – which sometimes has to be done while you’re out and about. They’re also great for opening tough packages or cutting small things like knotted hairbands.

So, that’s what I like to keep in my diaper bag. Hopefully you’ll find the list to be helpful.

What do you keep in your diaper bag? Is your list the same as mine or are there any differences? Did I leave anything out that is an absolute essential for you and your family?

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