Minimalist Mama Diaper Bag

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I’m not into purses, bags, or loads of accessories.  Whenever I can, I leave my purse in the car (or at home!) and just stuff whatever I need into my pocket (or G’s pocket) rather than lug some silly bag into a store or to an event.  On trips, I make use of my jacket pockets (and I mean make use of them) and on shorter excursions, I make good use of my small camera case (only used if it might rain) and stick my wallet in that.

So when I was pregnant and considering what to do about a diaper bag, I knew I would be a little offbeat with that decision, too.

Originally, I thought I’d go the backpack route, but I wasn’t having much luck finding a small enough bag to use in this way.  Then I remembered this:

Each teacher received a bag like this a few years ago as a Christmas gift from our administrators.  We all loved the bags, but I soon realized that it was impractical because it didn’t really hold anything well – too small for a pack, but too big for a wallet.  It zipped strangely, too, making the top portion pretty useless.

I ended up trying to use it for field trips, but it wouldn’t really even hold my emergency first aid baggie (a pair of gloves, some band-aids, some wipes), cell phone, wallet, and folded-up class list.  But I liked the bag, so I held onto it.

I discovered that it was the perfect thing for me to use for a diaper bag.  Too small for a diaper bag you say?  Yes!  Why do you think I loved it so much?

So here’s what I assembled for my ideal Minimalist Mama Diaper Bag:
  • Shower curtain changing pad (see post here for more on this)
  • Smallish packet of wipes (since we use homemade wipes at home, it's whatever I have on hand - often it’s a full-size packet, but always in a pouch and not a box)
  • Diapers (a minimum of 4 disposable, but we’ve had more, depending on the outing, and sometimes I pare it down to 2 if I’m bringing along cloth diapers instead)
  • An extra outfit (onesie and socks) in case there’s a poopsplotion
  • A sweater or jacket and hat, in case it’s chilly
  • A receiving blanket (emergency breastfeeding cover, burp cloth, or poop cleaner) for whatever unforeseen mess might befall us
  • A birdseye diaper stuffed in the outside water bottle pouch, we use these for burp cloths and any other messes we might encounter
  • Plastic grocery bags (usually 3-4, stuffed into the front zippered pouch)
  • Hand sanitizer, hooked onto the bag with one of those fun holder thingies (I’m not generally a fan of hand sanitizer, but you know, sometimes it can be really helpful, depending on the conditions you find yourself in during a poopsplotion)
  • A couple extra sets of nursing pads (I don’t really like using these, either, but sometimes the faucet just won't shut off...)
  • A pacifier (which we don't really use, but it's helpful to have around when you're out and about)
  • A small toy 
The diaper bag innards

And that's it.  It's even more than I really need, but nice to have, just in case.  I keep it in the car inside a larger bag (for play date-type excursions) and to keep things better organized on the road.  When we get out of the car, I can either grab the entire big bag or just the diaper bag, depending on what we're doing.  I can even fit my wallet and cell phone in the diaper bag, so that's usually all I have to carry!

What's your diaper bag like?  Big?  Small?  Traditional?  Funky?  What do you fill it with?  I'd love to hear (and see photos)!  Either leave a comment here or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com. 

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