A small diaper bag is perfect once you get beyond the newborn phase. You’ll find you don’t need all the stuff you used to pack: change of outfit for the baby, change of clothes for you, extra bibs, extra nursing pads, nipple cream, nursing cover, diapers, extra diapers, wipes, creams, pacifier, receiving blankets etc.
Being able to leave the house with just what you need can be very liberating.
On this page you’ll find more reasons to switch to a small diaper bag and a list of criteria to look for when choosing your diaper change kit.
Or, you can just skip ahead to the diaper bags. I’ve included a few links to some really great small diaper bags that I have hand-picked based on their features and the customer reviews. I’ve also included a review on the diaper change kit that I use.
The Day I Decided to Switch to a Small Diaper Bag
Before I got my small diaper kit I would often leave the diaper bag at home if I was just making a quick trip or taking my daughter out for a stroller nap. It was bulky, it took up too much space and I never used it during these short trips.
This worked out fine for a while, but one day I ran into a friend walking her baby and we decided to go to lunch. I had to borrow wet wipes to wash my toddler’s hands and I spent the entire lunch on edge praying that she wouldn’t do a number two.
I didn’t want to be caught unprepared ever again. I invested in a small diaper bag and I absolutely love it. It’s so freeing to leave the house with just the essentials.
Nowadays, I take the small diaper bag wherever I go. If we’re going to be out all day, I’ll add a small thermal lined lunch bag. If we’re going somewhere with water activities, I’ll bring a small tote bag with a change of clothes.
Reasons to Switch to a Small Diaper Bag
- Once you get beyond the near constant spit-up and frequent diaper explosion phase, you really don’t need all the stuff you would carry for a newborn.
- Most umbrella strollers have smaller pockets under the seat that won’t fit a large diaper bag.
- It’s excellent to have your diaper changing equipment right at your finger tips when changing a squirmy toddler. Inevitably the change table will have a broken or missing safety belt and you will be using one hand to hold your child down while using the other to make the change. This is so much easier when everything is right at your fingertips.
- You can take the diaper kit on its own or add it to your beach bag or a tote bag.
- It’s more convenient to have your food, clothing and diaper changing gear packed separately so you only take what you need. Personally I prefer to not have to sort through snacks and clothes to find the diaper rash cream buried at the bottom.
What To Look For in a Small Diaper Bag
There are a few things to consider when choosing an ‘on the go’ diaper changing kit. Some of these points will be more important to you than others, but they are all helpful to note when making your choice.
Size of Change Pad: Any diaper kit you choose should have a change pad that is large enough to accommodate a growing toddler. Many change pads that come with diaper bags are ‘baby’ sized and will be useless in a year. You want a change pad that will be big enough for a two-year-old so they don’t come in contact with dirty change tables or the ground.
Padded Change Pad: For your child’s comfort I highly recommend making sure the change pad is padded since you won’t always be changing them on an even surface. Some change pads aren’t padded or only have the padding at the head.
Easily Accessible Pockets: While all quick change kits have at lease one pocket, they differ in location and orientation. Think about whether you want a kit with the pockets at the top or bottom, or a kit with pockets that fold out to the side. Some kits offer a detachable change pad which takes this dilemma out of the equation.
Comes with a Wipe Case: Some kits come with a wipes case and some don’t. I wouldn’t let this be a deciding factor though as it is easily remedied for less than $3. If you’re preferred kit doesn’t come with a wipes case, or even if it does (it will just be of the open and shut variety with no dispenser), I highly recommend buying a Huggies travel wipes case. You can refill it with the brand of wipes of your choice (I’m a fan of Pampers wipes) and it keeps your wipes moist. The best part, there is a main opening to refill your wipes and a smaller opening to easily dispense the wipes.
Recommended Small Diaper Bags for Toddlers
Based on the above criteria and customer reviews here are my top picks for a diaper quick change bag:
Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station
The Skip Hop Pronto changing station is currently a #1 Bestseller at Amazon. The kit is stylish, compact and well-priced.
Change Pad Dimensions: 21.5″ x 21.5″
Kit Dimensions: 11″ x 8.75″ x 1″
- Large detachable, easy wipe change pad with two fold-out wings and padded pillow area for baby’s comfort
- One compartment for the wipes case and a mesh pocket that holds up to four large diapers and / or creams
- Wipes case included, translucent so you can easily see when it’s time to refill
- Exterior zippered pocket for additional baby items or your wallet, keys or cell phone
- Folds into a clutch bag with a clip strap to attach to the stroller or your wrist, or you can fit it into any bag
- Available in several appealing colors and patterns
- Pockets are mesh on both sides, so it can be a bit tricky getting soft items (such as diapers) in and out
First Years Deluxe Fold and Go Small Diaper Bag
The First Years Fold and Go diaper change kit has a waterproof change pad with fold-out panels and mesh pockets to hold all your diapering essentials.
Change Pad Dimensions: 21″ x 24″
Kit Dimensions: 10.25″ x 5.75″ x 2″
- The padded change pad has two fold-out panels to accommodate a growing baby and is waterproof
- Two large mesh pockets at the bottom for a wipes case, up to three diapers and creams
- Exterior pockets for additional baby items
- Wipes case included
- Folds into a clutch bag with a Velcro strap to attach to the stroller or your wrist
- Some customers weren’t happy with the wipes case that came with the kit. You can easily purchase a travel wipes case to replace it with
Brica goPad Diaper Changer
If you want a change kit that has a detachable change pad, then the Brica goPad Diaper Changer is a great option.
The Brica goPad is unique because it has a built in Bag n’ Toss dispenser for plastic bags so you can easily dispose of soiled diapers. Each Bag n’ Toss roll contains 25 plastic bags.
Change Pad Dimensions: 20″ x 28.25″
Kit Dimensions: 12″ x 7.25″ x 2.75″
- Removable change pad (attaches with a zipper)
- Change pad is extra wide (two fold-out panels), easy to clean, and fully padded with extra padding at the head
- Built in bag dispenser for easy disposal of soiled diapers
- Two large mesh pockets at the bottom for a wipes case, diapers, creams and even extra clothes
- Folds into a clutch bag with a Velcro strap to attach to the stroller or your wrist
- The outer shell of the clutch is firm so it holds its shape even when empty
- Must supply your own wipes case
Kalencom Quick Change Kit
If style and color are important to you then Kalencom has a great selection of practical quick change kits in an abundance of colors and patterns from classic and refined to wild and expressive. You can see the full selection of designs through the Amazon link.
The Kalencom Quick Change Kit folds out into a change pad with two pockets that fold out on either side. One is designed for diapers and wipes, the other for soiled clothes. The kit folds closed and is secured with a buckle, there is a handle along the top. There is a zippered pocket on the outside for creams but you could also use it to hold your wallet and keys.
Change Pad Dimensions: 12″ x 29.25″
Kit Dimensions: 12″ x 7″ x 1.5″
- Vinyl change pad wipes clean easily
- Three pockets – two fold out (one on either side) and a zippered pocket on the outside.
- Comes with a wipes case
- Convenient size
- Stylish and fun
- Since the pockets fold out on either side, the one next to the wall may flop down onto baby while in the middle of changing. You may want to take the contents out of the pocket prior to changing, or use this for soiled clothes.
- The width of the change pad is 12″ which may be a bit narrow for infants older than 1 year (your child’s body will still fit but their arms will lay off the mat). After 1 year you could bring along a receiving blanket to place under the change pad to keep your child from touching the change table.
Portable Infant Diaper Changer
This kit is identical to the one I have. A number of manufacturers sell these and they all call them something different. When I bought mine it was from Babies R Us and called the ‘Especially for Baby Change Kit’.
Overall I have been very happy with this kit. It can easily carry three size 4 diapers, diaper rash cream and wipes. Or, if I really wanted to I could pack one pocket with the wipes, one size 4 diaper (or two if I really cram them in) plus the cream and pack light clothing (t-shirt, leggings, socks) in the other pocket. The kit easily fits under the stroller or I can use the Velcro strap to hang it from the handle.
Once my daughter was out of diapers this was a great little kit to have to hold wipes and the spare set of clothing for those inevitable potty accidents.
Change Pad Dimensions: 21″ x 24″ (total width including pockets 31″)
Kit Dimensions: 11″ x 7.5″ x 2″ (3.5″ thick when packed)
- Large fully padded change pad that easily wipes clean
- Two large mesh pockets that fold out to the side – they hang nicely off the change table. Even though they are mesh on both sides, the opening is at the edge of the kit which helps when sliding in softer items such as diapers (although clothing is still a bit tricky).
- Comes with a wipes case (although it’s just the open and shut variety. I chucked it and bought a Huggies travel wipes case).
- Convenient size. I can easily carry it under my arm as a clutch bag if I go into a restaurant without a stroller.
- No exterior pockets.
- The loops for creams are pretty useless for larger tubes. I use Aveeno Diaper Rash Cream and the tube is 7.5″ long which is too long to comfortably close the kit if I use the loops. But the mesh pockets are large enough that I can easily slide this tube in with the travel wipes case.
- Since the pockets fold out to the side and hang off the change table, I can’t use the safety buckle on the table. But, since everything I need is right there, I have no problem using one hand to secure my child and the other to change the diaper.
I hope this helps you on your search to find a small diaper bag for your toddler.
1) Brica goPad Diaper Changer from Amazon
2) All other non-affiliate images by Isle of Baby