Looking to have your diaper bag contents contain less disposable items and encourage you to be less wasteful?! Well why don’t you take a look inside our zero waste diaper bag! From cloth diapers and potty training supplies to food essentials and even parent essentials, it’s all in there. So here’s a sneak peek into the 19 things we keep inside our zero waste diaper bag!
So you’re interested in eco-parenting or maybe going zero waste when it comes to your little one? It’s definitely hard to go to a full zero waste household. Seriously, zero waste or even low waste is difficult with kids, I know, but it can be easier if you start with something small. A great first step is to build a zero waste diaper bag.
If you’re already a parent, then you probably know that a diaper bag carries more than just diapers. It’s a full on survival kit containing as many essentials as possible when out and about with your little one. It has everything to help avoid your child running around naked, but also can contain items to help minimize your waste when you’re away from home.
Now you might be asking yourself how you can get rid of all the disposables in your diaper bag. There are lots of zero waste options for all your essentials, including diapers/pullups, baby wipes, snack bags, and more! Come join us as we imperfectly try to take steps to create a little footprint on this planet, and read on to see what we keep in our Zero Waste Diaper Bag!
Cloth Diapering / Potty Training Supplies
Well your zero waste diaper bag obviously needs to include these items. Otherwise, why would you carry a diaper bag!?
- Diaper Bag with Changing Pad – This is obvious as you need something to carry all those baby supplies!
Firstly, you can use a backpack or bag you already own as a diaper bag. It helps to purchase a changing pad (like this one), so you have a clean wipeable surface to change your little one on in various places.
We didn’t have a backpack we wanted to use and wanted one with some insulated pockets to keep milk cool. So we purchased one like this one that came with a changing pad and an insulated pocket. Pro Tip – Buy one you truly like and that dad will wear too…otherwise mom will always be carrying it!
- Cloth Diapers OR Training Underwear – Depending on whether your little one is in the diapering or potty training stage, you’ll have either cloth diapers or training underwear. We’re in the potty training stage, which is super fun (ha ha sarcasm). Obviously the quantity varies depending on age and how long you’re going to be out. I always pack at least one or two more than I think I need…haven’t ran out while out yet! Though we have gotten close!
- The potty training underwear (replacing disposable pullups!) we are using is MooMoo Baby. They are slightly padded underwear that will absorb small potties while still letting your child feel wet. And they can be washed just like cloth diapers!
- The cloth diaper brands we use are Mama Kola, Alva Baby & Bum Genius Freetime. If you’re looking to start your cloth diapering journey check out our posts on How To Wash A Cloth Diaper – Our Laundry Routine.
Both the cloth diapers and training underwear have some ADORABLE colors and patterns, so check them out!
- Wet Bag – You’ll need a wet bag to hold your used cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and any dirty clothes. These AlvaBaby wet bags are the ones we use. They work great at keeping the mess contained and don’t leak to the rest of our clean items!
- Diaper Balm – Definitely do not want to forget some diaper balm to protect those cute little booties! We love Earth Mama Organic Diaper Balm as it doesn’t damage our cloth diapers and does a great job preventing diaper rash!
- Cloth Wipes – Baby wipes keep your little one clean and fresh! We made the transition to cloth wipes later in the game as no one told us that was an option. We use OsoCozy cloth wipes and you can check out our suggested cloth baby wipes and wipe solution here. Additionally, we received a reusable wipe case like this one to hold wipes in when on the go. It’s great to hold all your wipes and waterproof in case you pre-soak your cloth wipes!
Other Baby/Toddler Essentials
Beyond the diapering essentials there are other zero waste baby items to pack into your bag.
- Burp Cloth – A cotton or bamboo option is best. Honestly, we just used Gerber cotton pre-folds as burp cloths because they’re super absorbent and could be used as backup diaper liners. Something I picked up from my mom!
- Extra clothes – An obvious must-have due to various reasons like spit-up, blow-out, or just a messy eater.
- Extra Cloth Wipes – used as all purpose wipes (tissue, napkin, face cleaner etc.) OsoCozy cloth wipes are still the best in our opinion because they are thick and soft.
- Pacifier – if needed. A soothing device is always helpful to have in your diaper bag. Personally, we haven’t tried any of the natural rubber pacifiers, which I hear are a great eco-friendly option. Our little one used pacifiers we were gifted from the hospital or from baby gift sets, so they didn’t go to waste/end up in the landfill.
- Nursing Cover – if needed for those mamas who want to cover up.
Optional Food Essentials
Depending what stage your child is in and where you’re going, you may or may not need these in your diaper bag.
- Bottle and/or Breast Milk or Formula – Depending on your feeding situation or not comfortable breastfeeding in public, you may or may not need this.
- Small Reusable Water Bottle – Hydration is super important with your little one. If they’re at the point where they have started drinking water, a small reusable water bottle in your zero waste diaper bag is great. It’s also perfect even if you need to add water to formula!
We’re a BIG Disney household, so our little one was gifted a small Lion King water bottle that is the perfect size. There’s lots of cute patterns/options too if you’re a Disney fan!
- Reusable Snack Bag or Refillable Pouches – Best things I have ever accidentally got. A friend gifted us an adorable reusable snack bag for a baby shower and it had never occurred to me that they make anything besides ziploc plastic bags. Absolutely love the concept. Here’s a couple cute options: one, two, three!
Also, totally got a refillable pouch as a freebie with a bib set I got. It’s become a game-changer with my toddler. He craves applesauce and yogurt for snacks, so instead of buying individual pouches (lots of plastic waste!). I can buy a bulk size applesauce and then use this refillable pouch. So much better and cheaper! We needed a few more so we bought this pack of refillable pouches and gave the ones we didn’t need as gifts to other parents.
- Bib – I used to forget all the time and then ended up changing my little one’s clothes more often. So pre-pack one and then add a spare every time! We’re starting to get past the stage where our toddler needs/wants to wear a bib, but it’s definitely a diaper bag essential if you know you’ll be feeding your baby food while you’re out.
- Reusable straw – I’m trying to teach my toddler to drink with an open cup, but sometimes that’s just too much when at a restaurant. So instead of opting for the plastic one, we can pull out a reusable straw for him. There’s a ton of reusable straw options, but we had purchased these metal straws.
Optional Parent Essentials
Don’t forget that your zero waste diaper bag can have items stashed for parents too!
- Change of Shirt – When I wrote “optional” above, I didn’t truly mean that for this one. This is CRITICAL to have when your child is young. You will inevitably end up with spit-up on you or get peed on, so pack one for each parent!
- Water Bottle for you – my toddler and I just share the same water bottle, but you can also bring your own (I know some people might think ewww sharing germs, but we do everyday all day). We love our Contigo water bottles that we’ve had for a long time. Here’s a Brita stainless steel one with a filter, which is also nice!
- Reusable shopping bag – most of the time we just keep a few in our car in case we need them. However, if you have a compact reusable bag that becomes really small, it’s nice to have in your diaper bag for when you forget the others. Or you unexpectedly acquire something that can’t fit into your diaper bag and you need your hands free for carrying and chasing children.
- Hand Sanitizer – Okay, so this is a plastic bottle with a clip and many of us probably have them already. I’m not sure if there’s a zero waste/eco-friendly travel hand sanitizer out there, but I always think it’s best to use what you already have. So we refill our little plastic bottle hand sanitizer and keep it with the diaper bag. But truthfully, it’s a necessary piece of plastic that we use constantly to sanitize our hands (especially with the COVID pandemic). If you don’t know already, babies and toddlers constantly put their hands on their face or in their mouth and there’s not always an accessible sink.
Well there it is, the contents of our eco-friendly and zero waste diaper bag! Check out our Parenting Archives for other lists, tips, and fun in eco-parenting and green living with children!
Hope seeing inside our zero waste diaper bag helps you see how easy it is and becomes a checklist for you! Let us know what you have in your zero waste diaper bag or other suggestions in the comments below!
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