Top 10 Changing Totes

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Updated March 2, 2017
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Big diaper bags are great, but nobody wants to lug one everywhere. That’s where changing totes step in. You can go with a fold-out changing pad that has built-in pockets for diapers and wipes; or opt for a diaper clutch/pod (aka teeny diaper bag) with a separate pad inside. The goal is to have just what you need for a quick change and enough protection to keep baby squeaky clean (a step up from most public restrooms).

To find the one that’s right for you, think about how you’ll use it most. Just want something that you can pull out of a bigger bag for fuss-free trips to the potty? Look for an option that’s as small as possible and easy to open and close. Want something stylish for an afternoon out? Grab a snazzy “diaper clutch,” a new trend in baby gear that looks just like, well, a cute clutch. (Come on, moms still care about cute accessories.) You’ll want to go for something with more storage if you’ll be out for long; and by all means make sure the pad wipes clean if you won’t be near a washing machine in the next few hours.

Here are the best portable pads I’ve found on the market. There are a ton of different features (cushioning, mesh pockets, different straps and closures, fun patterns), so check them over to find the one that suits your style.

Confession: I did include one option that’s nothing but a roll-up changing pad, just because it’s so darn cute. Since there’s no storage, you’ll need another diaper bag or purse to hold the goodies.

Skip Hop has a reputation for cool, functional baby stuff, and the Pronto definitely fits the bill. There’s a clip-on strap, plus a big mesh pocket — and I love how this storage section zips off, so you can use it alone to tote around diapers if you don’t need the pad (or vice versa). As for looks, the outside is cute and simple (aka, dad-friendly), with a fold-out pad in fun prints. And one other bonus: padding for baby’s head. *$30, Giggle.

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**- 21.5” x 21.5” unfolded

  • Laminated pad wipes clean and zips off

  • Mesh and zippered pockets

  • Strap with clip

  • 6 pattern choices**

Some diaper clutches are obviously baby gear, but the stylish JP Lizzy version might actually be mistaken for a real handbag. (Well, until you pull some butt paste out of it, anyway.) It has a wrist strap and coordinating changing pad, plus a divided interior to keep you organized. $38, Overstock

**- 8” x 12” x 1” clutch

  • Faux leather or microfiber

  • Cute clutch holds matching pad

  • Detachable strap

  • 10 pattern choices**

Super-cute and modern, the Clairebella clutch has just enough space for a couple of diapers, a few wipes, your cell phone and keys. It wipes clean inside and out, so messes are no problem. Plus, there’s a removable wrist/stroller strap and nine design choices, from classic toile to a fun giraffe print. $44, Uni-Q Baby

**- 30” x 11.5” unfolded

  • Laminated — wipes clean

  • Holds 2 to 3 diapers and wipes

  • Removable strap

  • 9 mod designs**

This one doesn’t have pockets or straps, but it is nice and compact — just a basic changing pad that wipes clean and rolls right up afterward. It’s big enough to cover any icky surface, and the loop-and-button closure is a snap. Best of all, the patterns are ridiculously cute. (You can even get little outfits to match!) $24, resa design

**- 20” x 20” unfolded

  • Vinyl pad wipes clean

  • Machine washable

  • Closes with button and loop

  • 13 pattern choices

The Escape Pod is pricey, but it does double as a toiletry bag long after baby’s learned to do her business elsewhere. In fact, that’s essentially what it is — a really cute waterproof toiletry bag that happens to come with a changing cloth and wipes case. There are a ton of pockets to hold diapers and creams (or blushes and perfume), a mirror for Mommy, and better yet — it’s made of Fleurville’s signature environmentally friendly polyurethane laminate (instead of PVC). $54, Baby Earth

**- 7” x 11” x 3” bag

  • Made of wipeable Green-LAM

  • Zips closed**

Just like it sounds, the Cushy Tushy has one huge bonus — squishy-ness. The whole deal is made of stain-resistant neoprene, so baby will feel sort of like he’s lying on a wetsuit rather than a park bench or whatnot. This one might not double as (or fit in) a purse, but it’s easy to stash under a stroller or in a diaper bag. $20, BUILT NY

**- 20.6” x 20.1” unfolded

  • Stain-resistant neoprene

  • Machine washable

  • Interior pocket for diapers or wipes

  • Red or blue

The Danielle Elizabeth diaper clutches are diversion from the “mod” styles lining the shelves. These don’t come cheap, but they do come all dressed up in sweet ribbons, delicate feminine prints, and even some bling (a row of tiny rhinestones). You’ll need to master the art of tying a bow while holding an infant, but moms are made to be multitaskers, right? $70, 2SweetSisters

**- Oilcloth pad wipes clean

  • Removable pocket section

  • Rhinestone details

  • 10 pattern choices**

Talk about variety — this one has more than 30 cute pattern choices. Thanks to a big satin ribbon, even the football print turns feminine (sorry, Dad), but for quick trips baby will surely appreciate the super-plush fleece pad. Just be ready to toss it in the wash when you get home. (Fleece doesn’t exactly wipe clean if you run into a blowout.) $38, Tusy Gear

**- 28” x 12” unfolded

  • Cotton exterior; fleece pad

  • Machine washable

  • Ties closed with satin ribbon

  • 30+ pattern choices**

This tiny diaper bag looks kind of like an uber-mod lunch box — in a good way. It’s easy to strap onto a stroller or larger bag and is just big enough to store a diaper or two, the matching wipe-clean pad, and some cream for baby’s bottom. There’s an outside pocket for extras which works well for holding a wipes case (it can be a tight squeeze to shove one inside).  $17, JJ Cole Collections

**- 5.5” x 9.5” x 1.75” pod

  • Laminated canvas (wipes clean)

  • Magnetic closure

  • 6 pattern choices**

This no-fuss clutch isn’t winning any beauty contests, but it comes at a great price and has everything you need: pockets for diapers and such, a Velcro strap, an included wipes container, and a full-size fold out changing pad. (Hey, baby’s cute enough on his own anyway, right?) $10, Amazon

**- 20” long unfolded

  • Moisture-resistant surface wipes clean

  • Velcro strap

  • Black or gray**

*All prices are subject to change.

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