I’ve been straight up using a backpack as a diaper bag since like – forever.
I’ve checked regular diaper bags before and while they all look so convenient and cute, they are also very expensive.
Plus, I don’t really see the big difference they have from regular backpacks, apart from the insulated bottle compartments.
But if you can’t decide yet between a diaper bag vs a regular backpack and you need further convincing, then keep scrolling.
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Can You Use a Regular Backpack As Diaper Bag
Absolutely! You can use any regular backpack as a diaper bag!
A lot of parents mentioned using their old college bag, even a laptop bag as a diaper bag.
A few even said they have used their hiking backpacks as diaper bags!
Can Any Bag Turn Into A Diaper Bag?
Yes, you can turn any every day into a diaper bag!
You just need pouches and inserts to organize baby items inside your everyday bag and you’re good to go.
But first, let’s check what exactly are the differences between a diaper bag vs a regular backpack.
Diaper Bag vs Regular Backpack
Below are the features that make most diaper bags different from regular backpacks or everyday bags:
All diaper bags have insulated pockets for the baby bottles.
That’s actually what makes them different from an everyday bag or a regular backpack. Those narrow pockets that can keep your baby’s milk bottles standing straight, warm or cold for an hour or so, depending on the situation.
Pockets & Compartments
Most, if not all diaper bags also have lots of pockets and compartments for all types of baby items – diapers, baby wipes, clothes, and towels.
Even little things like bibs, nail clippers, socks – you name it, they have a pocket for it.
Some even have special compartments/ dispensers for baby wipes!
It makes things easier to organize and find, so you don’t need to rummage through your bag to find your baby’s toys or pacifiers.
Which makes it convenient, especially if your baby is having a stage 4 meltdown and they want a particular toy pronto!
Some backpacks, on the other hand (especially laptop backpacks) also offer a lot of pockets and compartments that are meant for electronic devices such as power banks, chargers, and extra phones.
They are not designed to hold baby products but I’m pretty sure they can accommodate any small items as long as it fits!
Most diaper bags also have waterproof linings to make things easier to wipe and clean.
Most regular backpacks don’t really offer that feature.
And if it does, it can a little bit more expensive than the usual backpacks
Padded shoulder straps
Most, if not all diaper bags, have also padded shoulder straps.
Which makes it very comfortable to carry, especially if you’ve carried half of your baby’s nursery room, as you’re not sure yet about the diaper bag essentials for going out with your newborn.
So you just brought everything with you!
So the padded shoulder straps make traveling, hiking, and grocery shopping with a baby much more bearable.
Especially if your diaper bag is really heavy!
Some bags or regular backpacks don’t really have that feature.
Some are not built for comfort and are primarily there for functional or design-wise use.
If you noticed, almost all diaper bags have a top handle that makes it easier to strap or hook them on a stroller.
Not all everyday bags or regular backpacks have that feature.
How To Turn A Backpack Into A Diaper Bag
Here’s what you need if you want to turn your existing regular everyday bag or your current backpack into a diaper bag:
You’d want something that can make your baby’s bottle stand upright and keep it that way, to avoid spills.
An organizer insert that can fit at least 2-3 baby bottles and that has multiple compartments would be ideal to have.
Waterproof or Regular Pouches
You can get a clear, waterproof pouch or just regular pouches will do.
Some moms mentioned have used makeup bags.
These bags will mostly be for small trinkets and baby items so it will be easy for you to look for them inside the bag.
You will need at least 3 pouches.
One that can fit your baby’s diaper-changing essentials – 2-3 diapers, baby wipes, diaper rash cream, and a traveling changing mat.
Another one is for other baby items, like toys, pacifiers, bibs, snacks, etc.
And another one for your own needs, like your tissues, masks, keys, phone, pen, wallet, etc.
Wet bags and Ziploc bags
Get some wet bags to put in your baby’s extra clothes and towels.
The small Ziploc bags will be for the pacifiers, toys, and even snacks.
Which you can all put and organize in a regular pouch.
Features To Look For in a Backpack That Can Turn Into a Diaper Bag
Look for these features if you want to get a brand-new regular backpack that can accommodate your baby’s diaper essentials:
Get something that can accommodate a lot of baby stuff.
Lots of pockets and compartments
Bonus if they have an insulated compartment big enough to fit 2 baby bottles.
But if not, look for a bag with pockets at the side, in front, and multiple compartments inside.
Ideally, the whole bag should be waterproof, from the inside and out.
You want something light yet sturdy and remember, you’d be carrying a couple of baby items PLUS your baby if you’re going to use a baby carrier when you’re going out with them.
So test out the bag, carry it and see if it’s light enough for you.
- Padded shoulder straps
Make your life easier and comfier by getting a bag with padded shoulder straps.
- Neutral color/design
And by that, I mean a color or design or pattern that both you and your spouse will like.
Some parents have opted to use a regular laptop backpack as most are waterproof, have a lot of pockets and compartments, and are very comfortable to carry.
Top Recommended Backpacks As Diaper Bags
I’ve gone through dozens of parenting groups and forums online that are contemplating diaper bags vs backpacks and a lot of parents dishing out advice there shared what backpacks they’ve been using.
I’m sharing those backpacks below.
It’s a mix of recommended regular backpacks and diaper bags:
FAQ on Using Backpack As Diaper Bag
Can I use a normal backpack as a diaper bag?
Yes, you can use a normal backpack as a diaper bag. You just need to buy some organizer inserts, pouches, and wet bags for your baby’s essentials and organize them inside a normal backpack.
What can I use instead of a diaper bag?
You can use any kind of bag, instead of a diaper bag, provided that they’re big enough to fit your baby’s diaper essentials and they’re comfortable enough to be lugged around.
Is it really necessary to use a diaper bag?
No, it’s not necessary to use a diaper bag. You can just use your everyday bag or a regular backpack and turn that into a diaper bag.
Final Thoughts on Using Backpack As Diaper Bag
If you can afford a diaper bag, then go get one!
Don’t feel bad about purchasing something that can make things more convenient and easier for you.
Plus, there are tons of diaper bags that look absolutely adorable, even stylish nowadays, so splurge if you have the budget for it.
But if you don’t want to and you find it impractical, then a regular backpack or even an everyday bag will do just as fine as a diaper bag.
Especially if it’s a bag with a design that you really like, that you’re comfortable wearing even for long periods and that can hold a lot of your baby’s diaper essentials.
If you like this article, check out also my guide on Diaper Free Time, Diaper Rash (Treatments, Types, Causes, and Prevention), 27 Best Diaper Blowout Hacks Every Parent Should Know and What To Do When You Run Out of Diapers [Outdoors or At Home!].