What I Keep In Our Diaper Bag for 4 Kids

posted by Andrea | 02/5/2018

In my Peek Into My Week post last week, I mentioned a quick mini diaper bag purge — which included greatly simplifying the contents of my diaper bag.

As crazy as it might sound, we actually keep LESS in our diaper bag with 4 kids than we did with 2 or 3. I’m not exactly sure why.

Maybe it’s because the older kids don’t require all that much and I’m learning to make do with less for the younger kids. Or maybe it’s because we keep the van stocked with a variety of “just in case” supplies if we ever run stuck. Or maybe, it’s simply because we don’t go all that many places right now 🙂

Whatever the case, my diaper bag is much lighter… and I love it!

For starters, we use the JJ Cole Satchel Diaper Bag.

We’ve used this bag for almost 3 years now and I really like it. It’s flexible enough to hold lots of different size items, but sturdy enough to keep things nice and neat inside.

It has shoulder straps, a large crossbody strap, and clips to attach it to a stroller or shopping cart.

I love that is has several pockets inside and outside and that many of the pockets zip closed. Most of all, I love that it’s less than $50 (even less with coupons from BuyBuyBaby).

What We Keep In Our Diaper Bag (with 4 kids)

As I mentioned above, our diaper bag has 4 elastic inside pockets and 4 outside pocket, plus 2 tiny front zippered pockets and 2 pouches on the side for water bottles.

Talk about a lot of storage!

Also, for reference purposes, my children are currently ages 6, almost 4, 2 1/2, and 4 months. The older 3 are potty trained! 🙂

Inside Pocket #1: 

  • travel changing pad
  • refillable travel wipes pouch (we have this one — it’s amazing!)
  • travel size baby powder and Butt Paste
  • travel size hand sanitizer (which we refill as needed)

Inside Pocket #2: 

  • 4-6 diapers for Clara
  • 1 pull-up for either Simon or James (in case of an emergency)
  • diaper disposal bags

Inside Pocket #3: 

  • Cloth bib
  • A zip-top bag with 2 silicon straws and lids (we use these and LOVE them)
  • Small first aid pouch (bandages, ointment, children’s and adult’s pain meds, cough drops, hair elastics)
  • A travel placemat (not pictured)

Inside Pocket #4: 

  • Extra underwear for Simon and James
  • 1 extra pair of boys sweatpants and socks (they’re a bit small for Simon and a bit big for James)
  • 1 change of clothing for Clara (onesie, sleeper, socks)

Large main inside compartment

  • Thin muslin blanket
  • We leave this open and throw snack cups, water bottles, or other larger items we take with us at the last minute.

Outside Pocket #1: 

  • 2 burb cloths
  • travel pack of tissues
  • travel pack of sanitizing wipe
  • food-safe wipes (like for pacifiers, sippy cups, etc.)
  • a few extra paper napkins

Outside Pocket #2: 

  • teething toy for Clara
  • 2 Matchbox cars for the boys
  • 1 My Little Pony for Nora
  • A pack of mini colored pencils and pad of paper for everyone

Outside Pocket #3: 

  • empty — I usually put my wristlet wallet in this pocket

Outside Pocket #4: 

  • empty — we usually put one of the 3 older kids’ water bottles in this pocket

Tiny Front Zip Pockets

  • Gum and mints
  • Cell phone charger

Two Side Pouches

  • empty for 2 of the kids’ water bottles

As I finish typing all of that, it sounds like a TON of stuff to me — but it all fits very nicely in our bag without feeling or looking cramped. And the bag really isn’t that heavy to carry at all.

I’m certain we could get by with less if we wanted to — but since I usually only take the diaper bag when we’ll be away from home and our van for an extended period of time, it makes sense for our family to have it stocked with several “necessities”.

As our kids get older, I’m sure the contents of our diaper bag will continue to change… and one day in the not to far-off future, I’ll write a post about donating my diaper bag to our local thrift store! 

At that point, I’ll probably need large duffle bags to cart around all the big things my kids will need for sports practices, band concerts, and school projects 🙂

Am I right?

I’d love to know… what items do you take with you on-the-go?

Oh, and if you’d like more of a history of ALL the diaper bags we’ve tried over the last 6+ years — including the features we liked and didn’t like, READ THIS POST!


Filed under: OrganizingFamilyHomeKids StuffChildren

Leave a comment


  1. Pixie508


    I actually don’t even care one anymore! I keep a fabric grocery bag in my car with a seasonally appropriate clothing choice, including underwear/diaper, socks, etc. In the summer, I also keep a beach towel in the bag – just in case we must hop in some water! I like not carrying around stuff I basically never need, but I like to have the backup, and since I always have my car, it’s always wherever we are, just in case.

    I have a small one strap backpack style purse – I keep a travel diaper changer in it, which has 2-3 diapers, and a refillable slim case for wipes, and a small tube of diaper rash ointment (this is it, I’ve had it for 6yrs, and it’s still like new!https://smile.amazon.com/Skip-Hop-Portable-Changing-Cushioned/dp/B00B7XUVOE/ref=sr_1_sc_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1517980028&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=skiphop+dipaer+changer) – it’s basically as tall as the bag, and about the biggest thing that could fit in it. In the bag, I keep pretty basic things – my portable battery charger for my phone with a short cable, my glasses case (which has either my glasses or sunglasses, depending on what’s on my face), some hand sanitizer, epipens (kid with a peanut allergy), lip gloss, pen, usually a few matchbox cars, or other small toys, a fruit pouch/goldfish, or some other quick snack, and my wallet. It has a small pocket in the back liner that’s the perfect size for my phone, and a waterbottle sleeve on the side, which usually has either my youngest’s or my water in it. I really like it because it’s small, and because I can sling it over my back, it leaves both hands free for whatever I need to do.


    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve looked at that SkipHop diaper clutch… but now, with only one in diapers, I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and don’t want to purchase anything new 🙂


  2. Michelle


    I don’t normally worry about products but please be careful with baby powder. A dermatologist warned me not to use with my daughter. He said the problem is it is mined next to asbestos and he was concerned about ovarian cancer. Just passing along the info he gave me. I’m sure you get so many weird tips/advice about things like this that your head would spin if you tried to follow it all.


  3. Meg


    I have 3 kids and The only time I have ever carried a diaper bag is on a plane! (Because a trans-Atlantic or pacific flight is not the place to run out of something)! Otherwise I just toss a diaper or two and some wipes in my purse. Even for a full day trip- I figure I’m always either near my car or, if we take the train into the city then there’s always a drugstore nearby if we need something else, but that’s never actually happened!


    Andrea Reply:

    Well, you’re braver than I am, but I have been going out and about without a diaper bag much more often these days! It’s nice not to have the big bag all the time 🙂