Can You Use A Regular Backpack As A Diaper Bag?


Adding a baby to your household means not only adding one extra person, but adding a sometimes unfathomable amount of extra stuff. You’ll set your home up with a diaper changing station, have an enviable toy collection, and more clothes than you would like to admit were only worn once or twice.

That’s just at home though – what happens when you want to take your little one out on an adventure? (or you know, go to the grocery store to buy some food. I guess that is absolutely still an adventure, mostly for you!)

You won’t be taking all of your baby’s things every time you leave the house, but they are absolutely a number of baby items you will want to take with you. so how exactly do you cart all of this around? Do you need a specifically designed diaper bag? Can you use the backpack you used to take with you to the gym, once upon a time?

We going to go through the differences between these bags and weigh up the pros and cons, see you can decide whether you need a diaper bag as part of your arsenal. I also share some of my favorite backpack turned diaper backpack options below!

Can I use my regular backpack as a diaper bag?

Backpacks are a wonderful option as a substitute diaper bag because they may be used for both kids and adults. Some backpacks include large compartments and extra pockets, making them ideal for use as a baby bag.

If you already have a normal backpack that you love, you may find that using it as a diaper bag is perfectly fine. I have a backpack that has the most amazing shoulder straps, so particularly when carrying around a lot of items, this backpack is super comfortable.

Regular backpacks are so popular to use as diaper bags that many traditional diaper bag manufacturers now include a backpack-style diaper bag in their range. On the outside, they look just like regular backpacks, but they come with a stack of the features you would expect in a specifically designed diaper bag.

What are the best backpacks to use as a diaper bag?

The best backpacks to use as diaper bags will be ones that have multiple exterior pockets (including a cell phone pocket) zippered pouches, roomy main compartments, and ideally insulated pouches. Ultimately the more storage pockets your backpack has, the more flexibility you will have in the way that you pack your new backpack diaper bag.

I do have a specifically designed diaper bag for everyday use, but particularly when dad is heading out with the kids, or when we are heading out on a more ‘adventurous’ outing, I actually do use a backpack instead. Mine is an old laptop backpack – not only does it have plenty of roomy compartments, but it has the most amazing backpack straps. Since it is also designed to take a laptop in and out regularly, the zips actually go all the way down to the base of the bag so that the main larger pockets can be opened completely. Game changer! The fold-out changing pad fits perfectly!

You can’t buy my backpack anymore, but here are a few similar ones that I have found on Amazon.

AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack - Fits Up to 17-Inch Laptops
  • Large multi-compartment backpack with a padded sleeve for laptops
  • Holds up to 17" notebook computer
  • Mesh water bottle pockets at side
  • Organizational compartments for pens, keys, and cell phone
  • Internal Dimensions: 12" x 4.5" x 17.5" (LxWxH); External dimensions: 13.39 " x 7" x 19.29" (LxWxH)

Last update on 2021-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

AmazonBasics Backpack for Laptops up to 17-inches

AmazonBasics Backpack for Laptops up to 17-inches can be a great choice for parents who are looking for an affordable, stylish, and functional diaper bag. The backpack can hold laptops with screens up to 17 inches in size, which means it is big enough to fit that fold-out changing pad! It features a large multi-compartment design with padded sleeves, side mesh water bottle pockets, expansive organizational compartments (for pens, keys), padded shoulder straps so you can carry your baby gear without any discomfort.

AmazonBasics Backpack for Laptops up to 17-inches is made of 100% Polyester material making it easy to clean after a family day out. This one has plenty of storage space to hold all your baby gear, and expansive organizational compartments can make it easy for you to quickly find exactly what you need.

Last update on 2021-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CoolBELL Lunch Backpack 15.6 Inches Laptop Backpack Bags with Insulated Compartment

Write an intro paragraph for CoolBELL Lunch Backpack 15.6 Inches Laptop Backpack Bags with Insulated Compartment CoolBELL Lunch Backpack 15.6 Inches Laptop Backpack Bags with Insulated Compartment is a great backpack for any parent to use as a diaper bag!

The insulated compartment at the bottom of the backpack is great for storing wet clothes or multiple lunch boxes, which can keep all of your food warm (or cold) throughout the day. It also includes a hidden basketball net pocket that can be hidden when not in use but that can hold extra soiled items away from the main compartments where they might get mixed into other things like clothing or toys. There are even more compartments to organize your personal items such as keys, snacks, or mobile phone!

What is the difference between a regular backpack and a diaper bag?

Since the diaper bag is specifically designed to carry your baby essentials, all of the odd-shaped and sized items have a place. A regular backpack is designed to be multipurpose, so it doesn’t have some of the specialty buckets or features that can be really helpful in baby’s first years.

Diaper bags have storage compartments made specifically for the items you’ll need for your baby, such as diapers and bottles. Backpacks do come with storage pockets and compartments, but they are not designed to store all of the baby necessities.

Diaper bags are generally worn on one shoulder or across the body, but backpacks are carried on the back, keeping everything out of the way as you look after your baby. If you’ve taken out a stroller, a backpack’s straps can more easily be looped over the stroller’s handlebars for easy access. A sling diaper bag may need specific hooks to do the same, or be placed in the undercarriage.

The majority of diaper bags come with a wet bag to keep dirty things separate from the rest of your baby essentials. You can always buy a wet bag to use in your backpack, but you’ll need to factor in the additional cost.

You’ll also find most diaper bags open extremely wide to make getting even the most awkward items in and out an easy task. A lot of regular backpacks only open toward the top – this reduces the flexibility in how you can use it, but also means you are less likely to accidentally spill all of baby’s items all over the floor. (which has absolutely happened to me!)

Is a diaper bag really necessary?

Ultimately you will need to carry your baby gear around one way or another, so you’ll need a bag of some sort. But purchasing a specifically designed diaper bag is not necessary.

You can use a regular backpack, or even another type of bag, as your diaper bag. While it’s not going to be quite while versatile because a dedicated diaper bag is, you can get by with something else if necessary – particularly if you’re running short errands when an extensive amount of gear isn’t required.

If you are willing to invest some time money in to convenient baby gear, a diaper bag can be a great choice. However, if you’re just looking for something temporary or can’t afford to buy additional gear at this time in your life, using a regular backpack as your baby’s diaper bag can work out just fine. Expect diaper bags to be a little more expensive than a similar-sized bag.

Consider trialing a regular backpack before making a decision

You don’t have to have all of your baby’s items purchased on day one of their life! I know when my kids were born I absolutely had more baby gear than actually needed, and that was a mistake that I actually made twice! if you haven’t been given a diaper bag as a gift already, you could consider taking an old backpack you already have and giving it a try.

Insulated pockets might not be important to you (though you can absolutely buy a cheap attachable insulated pouch separately – which can double as a drink bottle holder for many years to come!) and it might end up being something that other members of the family or caregivers actually prefer to use, as opposed to a traditional messenger bag style diaper bag.

In conclusion – any bag is a diaper bag if it has diapers in it

If your goal is convenience and affordability, then using an old laptop backpack as an alternative could work just fine. If money isn’t much of an issue for you, investing in one specifically designed diaper bag may be well worth it!

The best diaper bag backpacks will have plenty of exterior pockets and should be roomy enough to hold your baby’s items. Insulated pouches aren’t necessary but are handy, especially if your little one is bottle feeding, or you’re planning a solids meal when out and about.

Regular backpacks can come in handy for quick trips when only one parent is out with the kids, or to give dad a more traditional bag to carry around all of baby’s items.

In the end, all you need to do is make sure that your baby essentials are easily accessible when you need them. Whether you use a specifically made diaper bag, use one of your old bags as a diaper backpack, or your day-to-day handbag, the choice is yours.

Carly Wight

Mother of two young boys (6 and 3!) and an avid "Googler", Carly is the kind to research something to the nth degree. Be it about products, hacks, or techniques, she shares what she finds out at her website - Fairy Good Mommy.

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