What do you need to think about when packing a diaper backpack? In this post, we share a checklist of our diaper bag essentials including our favorite eco-friendly diaper brands, necessities for nursing on the go and the best non-toxic baby care products like diaper creams, wipes and burp cloths.
I must've read 100 of these kinds of posts as I was putting together my baby registry–it's like looking in people's fridges. I'm so fascinated by the inside look into someone's life and feel like it can tell you a lot about the person.
What my diaper bag says about me: quality matters. Obviously you know how important using clean, non-toxic, eco-friendly and safe products and materials are for me and my family, and my diaper bag is no different.
I hope it also says that yes, I'm a mom, but I'm still a person, an interesting woman who has a life outside of wiping my kid's butt. But let's be honest–it's a diaper bag, and most of the items in here are for doing exactly that!
Here are the essentials that help me keep my sanity when the babe and I are out and about, all with a natural and healthy twist, of course!
The Best Diaper Bag
First off: the bag! I was so stoked when I found Fawn Design's Vegan Leather Diaper Backpack. Most diaper bags look gross (just being honest!), but this backpack is chic and beautiful. I'd wear this even if it wasn't a diaper bag–in fact, I do use this as my purse even if I'm out without Jackson!
Not only is it pretty with its premium faux leather, but the fabric is wipeable inside and out (which is critical for being around a newborn!). It's got six interior and six exterior pockets to keep organized, plus a keychain hook inside (anyone else always digging for your keys?!). The comfortable straps are interchangeable so you can even wear it as a messenger bag if you prefer. If you can't tell, I'm in love with this backpack!
Diaper Bag Essentials
Without further ado, let's get into it!
- Eco-friendly diapers: What would a diaper bag be without the star of the show–diapers?! Some of my favorite eco-friendly, chlorine-free brands are:
- Andy Pandy: These diapers are made from breathable bamboo that help wick away moisture while being soft on the skin, plus have an aloe liner and a wetness indicator to help you know when the diaper is wet (how cool is that?). They're also naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial, making these a great choice for babies with sensitive skin.
- ABBY&FINN: A convenient subscription box for diapers! You can pick up to two sizes per box, mix and match your designs and cancel or pause at anytime. This is a great option so you don't have to worry about running out of diapers, ever. 😉 They're hypoallergenic and free of all the bad stuff like fragrance, heavy metals, dyes, latex, moisturizers, etc.
- Earth's Best: These latex-, dye- and fragrance-free diapers are made with renewable resources like corn and wheat starch, featuring a moisture barrier cuff and breathable sides to prevent leaks.
- I'm also a big fan of the super soft Aden + Anais diapers and Bambo Nature. A more comprehensive diaper comparison post is coming soon, so stay tuned!
- Non-toxic baby wipes: Talk about clean ingredients–Water Wipes are literally made from 99.9% water and just a drop of fruit extract. They're so pure that they're suitable for sensitive skin, newborns, premature babies, nappy rash, skin allergies and eczema. And most importantly, they actually work! Cheers to clean tushies!
- Changing pad: It's so convenient to have Gathre's diaper changing mat that folds and fits right into your bag for diaper changes that you can do literally anywhere! They're wipeable and water impermeable, so you don't even have to launder them–just wipe clean with your favorite non-toxic cleaner. Plus, they're so darn cute–who knew stylish diaper accessories were a thing 😉
RELATED: My Current Green Cleaning Routine
- Diaper rash balm: We know by now that pretty much any mainstream diaper rash cream is going to sadly be filled with hazards like petroleum, BHA, sodium borate, fragrance, and parabens. These toxins can cause endocrine disruption, allergies, and organ system, reproductive and immune system toxicity. I love the no-mess Grovia Magic Stick for an all-natural, petroleum-free solution. The stick makes it super easy to apply, no mess, no stress, and it smells amazing thanks to gentle essential oils!
- Hand sanitizer: ‘Cause yeah, poopy diapers don't mess around. I always keep EO's spray hand sanitizers in my diaper bag, as they're Certified Organic or non-GMO, synthetic fragrance-free, made from botanical extracts, and simply scented with pure essential oils. The coconut and lemon scent smells like Hawaii, which certainly makes crappy diapers a bit sunnier!
- Bottle of breast milk: Of course we can't forget about nursing while on the go! I love the bottles that come with my favorite hospital-grade pump from Spectra. The pump has adjustable suction levels plus a massage mode to encourage natural milk flow, a back-flow protector, and is super quiet. The wide neck bottles are BPA free and easy to clean. I also really like Comotomo bottles.
- Blanket, hat + change of clothes: Keeping baby warm and protected from the sun are musts! Plus, you never know when a change of clothes will be in order after an unexpected spit up or explosive diaper (which, I'll be honest, has happened more times than I care to admit), so I like being prepared.
- Blankets: I love my 7AM Enfant Blanket 212 Evolution! It's not only a large blanket, but also a wearable garment/jacket, stroller cover (that fits any stroller!) with a water-repellent outer shell, poly insulation, and a super soft micro-fleece lining. Read: warm, weatherproof, and durable. It doesn't fit in my diaper bag though, so I just keep it in my car during cold weather. For a diaper-bag-sized blanket, I can't recommend Aden + Anais' muslin swaddlesenough–they're soft, their designs are beautiful and they get the job done! I also love the silky soft buffalo check swaddle blanket from MilkMaid Goods.
- Hats: I think Jackson has more hats than I do… they're just so darn cute, aren't they?! Some of my faves include i play. baby, Sapling Child and Colored Organics.
- Clothes: I'll be doing an entire post about the best organic, eco-friendly baby clothes next month, but for now some of my faves include Hanna Anderson (get 20% off $100+!), Pact, Colored Organics, Sapling Child, Oliver & Rain and Hope and Henry.
- Burp cloths: aden + anais' burpy bibs are the best! They're made from muslin, are super absorbable and they have the cutest designs.
- Reusable Gallon baggy: You just never know. Honestly, that's why I always keep thisSilicone Gallon Bag in my diaper bag–dirty clothes, burp cloths, food, you never know what you might need to store in a safe place, that's separate from the rest of your diaper bag.
- Pacis, rattles, teethers, lovey, book: All the things to keep your little one entertained and comforted when they start screaming bloody murder. Bioserie makes eco-friendly, plant-based toys and is the first toy brand to be MADE SAFE® certified. Sophie La Girafe is a cute-as-can-be 100% rubber teether with a dynamic shape that gives your baby multiple size options for teething. For the ultimate classic toys, Bannor Toys are handmade, eco-friendly wooden heirloom toys made in the USA. They have the cutest stuff like personalized wood toys and wood blocks, wooden rattles, wood teethers, wood toy cars, building blocks and more. Finally, let's not forget Lovevery's play kit toys–the crinkle pocket is Jackson's fave and seriously entertains him for hours.
- Nursing cover: I adore Milkmaid Goods' nursing ponchos–they're not only completely functional for easy nursing, but super comfortable and absolutely gorgeous. Yes, it is possible not to feel frumpy with a newborn with their stylish and beautiful covers. Plus, it doubles as a car seat cover–how convenient!
- Breast pads: Goodbye, embarrassing leaks! Hello, Bamboobies' washable nursing pads. I recommend the multipack because it has both a thinner option for light leaks that are less noticeable, and a thicker overnight option for heavy leaking and newborn nursing. They fit right in your bra!
- Gripe water: What's gripe water? It helps with settling tummies, gas and keeping the babe calm during his occasional fussy meltdown. The cleanest brand I've found is Zarbee's, made from chamomile, fennel, ginger and lemon balm. Jackson seriously stops crying the second this touches his lips. It's magic!
- Acetaminophen: Baby's first fever? Scary! Just in case, I like to keep some meds in my diaper bag. The only “clean” brand I've ever found for this (meaning it's paraben-, dye- and gluten-free, plus has no corn syrup) is Little Remedies Infant Fever + Pain Reliever.
- Sunscreen stick: I always opt for a stick with Jackson since it's so much easier to apply to his face than lotion. But like many store-bought skincare products, most conventional sunscreens are full of toxic chemicals that have been linked to reproductive problems, tissue damage, asthma, allergies and other negative side effects (source). Not only do we not want to put this on our own skin, but we for sure do not want this on our precious baby's sensitive skin! When looking for natural sunscreens, you want “mineral” sunscreens made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as their active ingredients, and it must also be “non-nano” to be considered reef-safe.
- Babo Botanicals has baby-safe non-nano zinc sunscreens that are certified Made Safe®, Reef Friendly and are hypoallergenic. They're non-greasy and go on clear. I also like their Moisturizing Stick for dry, chapped skin.
- Beautycounter: Another non-nano zinc formula, their formulas blends seamlessly into your skin without leaving any white streaks. It’s amazing how great the coverage is (especially since it’s rated a 1 by the EWG). The light citrusy scent smells incredible, too!
- Baby wrap: I'm cheating a bit on this one as this doesn't really fit in the bag… but I can't help but mention some of my favorite carrier wraps that I like to have in the car. Lillebaby's eco-friendly Tie the Knot Wrap is really supportive and easy to tie, or their Eternal Love Ring Sling is lightweight and breathable since it's made from 100% linen, easily sliding on and off. I also really like the Ergobaby Carrier–it's ergonomic with lumbar support and adjustable from newborn all the way to toddler, and is much more supportive for walks or extended use. Looks great on my hubby, too! 😉
- Wallet, keys, sunglasses, headphones: Obvious essentials for being on the go, baby or not! I get my prescription sunglasses at Karoo, my wallet is essentially just my iphone case, which is super handy and convenient, and I've been digging the iKanzi wireless headphonesI got so I can stay hands-free.
- Reusable water bottle: Can't go anywhere without my trusty reusable, stainless steel water bottle! It’s 100% food grade, non-leaching, toxin-free and keeps your drinks cold for hours. Having filtered water on the go is a must and I really don't like being wasteful with disposable, BPA-ridden plastic bottles–ick!
- Chapstick and lipstick: No explanation needed. For clean, green and beautiful lipstick, I love my Beautycounter Sheer Lipstick in Plum and Mineral Fusion’s Sheer Moisture Lip Tint in Adorn, and my favorite chapstick is from S.W. Basics.
- Travel size deodorant: I'm kinda obsessed with smelling good, and Native is one of the only natural brands I've found that actually works! Plus it's affordable and the travel size is so cute, fitting perfectly into my diaper bag for any stinky emergencies!
What do you keep in your diaper bag? Let us know in the comments below!