what’s in that massive bag, anyways?

I read a post my friend Chelsea wrote about what’s in her diaper bag. Chelsea’s daughter is only a few months old, and as I read through her post I realized how much my diaper bag contents have changed over the last 18 months.

So what’s in my massive bag, anyways?

Short answer: everything.

Longer answer, with crappy cell phone pictures, goes a little like this…

For starters, I’m obsessed with my diaper bag. Obsessed. It was a “mother’s day” gift from my husband before I was even technically a mother and before C arrived I used it to tote my laptop to and from work.

Except that’s a lie, because I didn’t actually have a laptop at work at that time, so I used it as a big purse. Because let’s be honest, it’s THAT chic, and I couldn’t wait to use it.

It’s the Timi & Leslie Charlie Tote, owned by one Jessica Alba (although she’s probably moved on to something newer and cooler by now…) and one Rebecca Reed, and that’s really all that’s important.

Here is the classy looking website picture, complete with the accessories it comes with:

And the beauty shot of the inside…

And then there’s mine……

diaper bagdiaper bag2

Almost two years later and it’s holding up pretty well! I have the shoulder strap on there, and use both carrying methods interchangeably.

So about what’s inside.

I dumped the contents of my bag from today’s trip to Harris Teeter onto my dining room table and this is what I found:

everything in my bag

First thing to note…I realize none of my little bags match. I don’t care. They are all individually adorable and are never all out on display at one time (with the exception of this picture…), so I frequently get compliments on each one as they are pulled out for their very different reasons.

My SIL’s mother made each and every one of them for me (the 3 cloth ones at least) and I am so thankful for her! They give me such an easy way to organize all my crap…because even with all those pockets you see in the inside shot above, it’s very easy to lose things in such a huge bag.

Those bags are my diaper bag sanity savers. There are tons of cute shops that sell similar bags on Etsy if you aren’t lucky enough to have Momo in your life.

So what’s in all those bags, you ask?

Let’s start with my diaper changing essentials:

changing essentials

1. Honest Diapers - these are the diapers I now prefer to put on Carter as often as possible. They are all-natural and chemical free. There is, however, a Pampers Cruisers diaper underneath there as I still use them for naps and bedtime because C is a superman in the peeing department while sleeping.

I generally always have 3 diapers in that bag at all times.

2. Wipes – These wipes are the Pampers Sensitive Convenience Pack that I picked up at Target last time I went grocery shopping. I like these because they are cheap, soft and are easy to access with a wiggling toddler on a changing table. They are good for on-the-go, the flip top keeps them from drying out.

3. Baby Powder – It’s Johnson and Johnson and I’ve been weaning myself from using this on C daily because of the bad stuff in it. I have a huge guilty conscious when it comes to natural products with my son and am trying to move towards using all products that are as natural as possible. While I think baby powder is helpful in the summer when it’s hot and he’s stuck with his boy parts cramped up in a diaper, for daily use, I am cutting back.

4. Honest Hand Sanitizer - For obvious reasons, I love having hand sanitizer with me. When you’re holding a toddler in a public bathroom, it’s not always feasible to wash your hands without putting him down to run around and touch god knows what. Having this on hand allows you to feel clean after a messy diaper change. I keep the smaller, 2fl oz, bottle in my bag.

5. Honest Healing Balm - I use this if C has any redness in the diaper area. The trial size has been perfect for the diaper bag.

6. Changing Pad – it came with the diaper bag. It’s awesome and has held up during multiple, multiple washes, and is so necessary for public diaper changes.

The snack bag.

the snack bag

Oh so important for my little guy that eats like a full grown man…especially when he gets cranky and we’re in public. I always have NutriGrain bars, applesauce and raisins on hand whenever we leave the house, along with a sippy cup of water.

Yes, I realize I just admitted to giving my kid food to curb public tantrums. I try to stick to healthy snacks, but judge away if you’d like. Sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do….amiright?!

The toy bag.

the toy bag

It looks kinda lame today…what 18-month old wild child will really stay entertained by 1 book and 2 cars? But as we were only going to the grocery store and our local HT has the awesome race car carts, I was counting on us vroom vroom-ing and beep beep-ing our way through our shopping trip, making the toys unnecessary today.

If we’re going for a longer outing, or god forbid out to a restaurant (which I try to avoid at all costs right now…), I fill that bag up with play remotes, blocks and more books that make noise or have flaps. Mostly things for him to fiddle with for 45 seconds and then throw across whatever room we’re in, but I give it a good effort anyways.

The emergency bag.

the emergency bag

Nothing in this bag would solve a real emergency, but whatevs. The bag itself is ugly and plastic-y and stays zipped away in the diaper bag, but it still has some items that I always like to have on hand.

1. Children’s Tylenol

2. SPF50 sunscreen

3. Spiderman band-aids (duh…)

4. Nasal aspirator

5. Butt Paste

6. First aid kit

7. Hospital Vaseline

8. a comb (no idea why…as C’s hair is often all over the place no matter how frequently I brush it)

Mom’s emergency bag.

mom's emergency bag

These items, however, really do solve personal emergencies.

1. Mascara - I use Mary Kay’s Ultimate Mascara in black. Mascara and lip gloss are my go-to make-up items after I slather myself in tinted moisturizer before I leave the house to make myself less scary looking.

2. Lip gloss – As a natural follow-up, I have 3 tubes of lip gloss in my bag, all Mary Kay, too. I keep on hand, at all times, Au Naturel and two discontinued shades that closely resemble this and this.

3. Chapstick with SPF

4. Tylenol – it’s off-brand, but this pregnant girl can’t take anything else and it’s a must for the onslaught of a massive headache while out with a toddler.

5. Honest Face and Body Lotion – it’s the trial size, again perfect for the diaper bag.

6. Scented hand lotion – I got it as a gift for participating in a marketing panel discussion. It smells amazing, and sometimes that’s needed.

7. Aveeno Natural Face Sunscreen – SPF50 – you can never have too much sunscreen on hand.

Only thing missing in there is a bottle of wine, right?

The extra pockets.

extra pocets

1. Boogie Wipes – between teething and a cold that has lasted since November, having saline wipes on hand is really crucial for me as C’s nose has been running like a faucet.

2. Wet Ones – antibacterial hand wipes. For obvious reasons, right?

3. Stroller straps – they came with the bag and are clutch for keeping the diaper bag off the ground.

4. Tide To Go Stain Pen - again, a no brainer to have on hand.

5. Brush – who even knows.

6. Bibs

So there you have it! The multiple contents in a massive diaper bag of a mom of one 18-month old. I usually keep an extra shirt and a pair of pants/shorts in there, too, for accidental spills or tumbles while out and about, but in an effort for full disclosure, that back-up outfit is MIA from the bag at this time.

I hope that this was helpful for mothers who may be transitioning from a baby diaper bag to a toddler diaper bag!

For other moms with kids of a similar age to Carter, do you carry anything extra or different than the things I keep on hand? Any must-haves that I’m missing?


  1. […] an attempt to look moderately stylish, I’ve put my huge, black leather diaper bag away for the summer and have opted for a more casual, brightly colored crossbody style bag that I […]

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