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Changing bags

You’ve heard you’ll need one. But can’t work out quite why you can’t just use the trusty rucksack you normally wheel out for work. Here’s the lowdown…

Why do I need a changing bag?

If you’re wondering why you can’t just use your old bag, then wait until that first poo explosion when you’re out. At that point, you’ll need a nappy sack now and you’ll see why changing bags are indespensible…


Changing bags come with plenty of separate compartments and that is super handy for quickly and easily finding stuff like those nappy sacks. It’s also crucial to have lots of different sections in the bag so you can separate things that nobody wants next to each other, like your baby’s food and a dirty nappy.

In your changing bag, you might want the following compartments:

  • Washable, wipe-clean changing mat. Normally, changing bags come with one that detaches so you can change your baby whenever and wherever you need.
  • Insulated bottle pocket for keeping food or bottles of milk cold or warm.
  • Compartments that can keep liquids upright.


You’ll also need something that’s easy to clean and changing bags tend to be just that. Some kind of spillage is bound to happen so look out for a bag that you can wipe clean or wash easily.


A bag that’s robust enough to last the two or three years that you’ll probably need it is a plus. This is especially the case if you plan to have more children.

Changing bag style

Designer v basic

It’s now possible to get changing bags that are genuinely cool, so shop around to find one that you’ll be happy to use every day. Some brands are beautiful and have a huge range.


Have a think about how you’ll use your changing bag. If you plan to use a sling or carrier a lot, then a rucksack might be good. If you will use a pram, something that attaches to the handles or fits in the section under it can make life easier.

Something you already have

As with everything baby-related, there’s a lot of pressure to rock something new and baby-specific. But if you have found a non-baby bag that does the job – lots of pockets, plenty of space and masses of comfort, then go with that. You can buy organisers online to slot into a normal bag and make it more baby stuff friendly too.

Check out NCT Nearly New Sales as well. You might pick up a bargain there.


It is a good idea to share the load. So if you and your partner are both going to use the changing bag, consider getting one that you both like. Otherwise, you could both have a bag that you keep packed and ready to go depending on the day.

So now you have your lovely new bag, you’re ready to fill it. Check out our article about what to put in your changing bag for all the useful things you never knew you might need while out and about.

This page was last reviewed in November 2018.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700. We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

You might find attending one of our NCT New Baby courses helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

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Changing bags

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