Your Travel Diaper Bag is A Mess! Here’s How to Fix It

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Does packing your travel diaper bag fill you with frustration? Does choosing the best diaper backpack for travel give you anxiety?

Is your bag cluttered, overpacked, and disorganized no matter how you rearrange?

Are you frazzled as a mother???

Take a deep breath and read on, because I’ve got you covered!

I’ve made all the mistakes and I’m here to show you how to fix them.

So let’s unpack this shall we?

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The first step toward an organized diaper bag is choosing the right bag.

And without a doubt, one style stands above the rest!

It is easy to access, has lots of pockets, and it won’t fall off your shoulder as you chase a toddler.

Is that even possible? YES! A backpack diaper bag!

These stylish but practical bags usually have a secure pocket for passports and other important items, and include other perks as well.

For example, a backpack counts as a handbag rather than a carry on, but still allows for plenty of space.

Also, a backpack can easily hang on a stroller and won’t fall off easily.

My baby backpack becomes my control center as I navigate airports and planes with my kiddo.

By the way, I use and love this backpack.


It has a modern appearance that doesn’t scream “diaper bag,” the fabric is durable, and it has So. Many. Pockets.

It even comes with a nice changing pad!

various baby items for travel diaper bag


Now that we know the best diaper backpack for travel, let’s start packing!

This is where things get a bit tough, so let’s start with something familiar.

Mama, you know what your kiddo needs!

Do you have a spitty baby who needs plenty of burp cloths?

Do you have a busy toddler in tow who likes to chew anything and everything?

Start with a list of what your child needs every day and tweak as needed.

It’s really as simple as that!

Here’s an example of two lists I’ve made, one when LC was around 4 months old and one when he was 18 months old:

4 months

Onesies, socks, pants, bibs, receiving blankets, extra shirts for mom

diapers, rash cream, wipes, plastic bags

nursing cover, hakaa

pacifier, quiet toys

18 months

Onesies, socks, pants, bibs

diapers, rash cream, wipes, plastic bags

sippy cup, food, snacks, spoons

quiet toys, peppa pig videos downloaded

Your list will look different from mine because every mom and baby are unique.

Some moms formula feed, some breast feed.

Others use screen-time and some do not.

Some follow traditional weaning and some enjoy baby-led weaning.

All of these choices are valid and will dictate your packing needs.

But seriously mama, don’t forget a few plastic bags for wet clothes or dirty diapers!

Disposable plastic bags can make your flight and layover more convenient.

By the way, do you want to know how to make your layover with kids manageable, and even fun? See my post about that -> HERE!

mom and baby with overpacked diaper bag suitcase


The most frequent question I receive is not what to pack, but how much to pack. How many onesies, bibs, sippy cups, snacks, etc???

I get it. As a mom, you want to be prepared for EVERYTHING.

However, the luggage scale likely won’t let you bring that second winter coat for your trip to Mexico.

Here’s the thing…anxiety will always push you to overpack.

So let’s say you recently had a three hour flight and your WORST CASE SCENARIO came to life.

Your baby had THREE separate blow outs.

Anxiety had pushed you to pack your diaper bag full to bursting.

And you had outfits galore, but really you only needed three!

So with your bag so full of stuff, everything ended up all over the tiny bathroom floor.

Hellooooo chaos!

By the way, what has been your most frustrating diaper related experience while traveling? Let me know in the comments!

The good news: It’s unlikely your baby will have three blow outs on one trip. So stop packing for them!

If you want a clutter free diaper bag, follow my first packing tip:

The “one hour/one item” rule.

So what is the “one hour/one item” rule?

Simply put, for every item which you are tempted to pack a million of, only pack one item per one hour of your travel.

Therefore, a three hour flight translates to three outfits, three bibs, three diapers, etc.

This will keep your diaper bag organized and easily accessible even one handed!

But what if something crazy happens?

What if you need that fourth or fifth onesie or two extra diapers?

Real talk, you probably won’t.

But to put your mind at ease, follow my second packing tip:

Pack a little extra in your carry on.

After you’ve packed up your carry on, leave a little space on top for an emergency stash of baby items.

A few more diapers, an extra onesie or two, an extra pack of baby oatmeal and puff snacks.

You probably won’t need them, but they’ll be there if you do.

What about looooong trips? I hear you.

If you’ve got a four hour flight from Tbilisi to Munich, an eight hour layover, and a nine hour flight from Munich to Chicago (been there), the “one item/one hour” rule as written will have your bag bursting at the seems.

I promised this process would be easy, and this is too!

So the “one item/one hour” rule still applies but with a twist.

Pack only as much as you need in your diaper bag for one leg of your trip at a time, and the items for the rest of your trip will go in your carryon.

Once you’ve found a convenient place to sit on your layover, switch out the used or dirty items in your diaper bag for the clean items in your carry on.

Keep a small garbage bag in your carry on to separate dirty items from clean.

And boom! This will keep your diaper bag uncluttered throughout your entire journey.

purse with various adult and baby items for travel


So now that we’ve packed for baby, what about mama’s stuff?

If I’m traveling with my husband, we have another handbag and our stuff goes there, and it’s nice to have it all separated.

If I’m traveling alone, I make sure to dedicate at least one pocket of the diaper bag for me.

And you should too, because you deserve it!

Generally I keep deodorant, ibuprofen, my passport/ID, and headphones in my section of the diaper bag.

If it’s a long trip, I also pack some makeup, a toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste.

Well that’s it!

You now know the best diaper backpack for travel, what to pack, and how much to pack.

Your travel diaper bag will no longer drive you crazy! And it’s a good feeling isn’t it?

Do you have a favorite travel item for your diaper bag?

Comment below and tell me about it. I’d love to hear from you!

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