We all know the sound. Hearing that tell-tale “rumble in the jungle” while out and about with your baby can be quite the sticky situation! Rather than root around the bottom of the nappy backpack looking for those elusive nappies, wipes and creams, many mums swear by a portable changing mat.
A clutch can hold all of those changing essentials in the one convenient place, as well as unfold to protect your baby’s bottom from rough and wet surfaces. (Or protect your friends’ carpets from your baby’s bottom!)
On longer day trips out of the home, a clutch sits in your baby bag or pram to keep all your changing necessities in the one organised change station, so you can change your little one quickly and easily before he has a chance to bless you with any new accidents.
On neighbourhood walks to the shops, or carrying your bubba in a sling, you’ll prefer to save on space and bulk, and simply take a nifty changing clutch with the bare essentials and your keys, phone, and wallet inside.
1. Bambino Mio Grab and Go Change Wallet
Baby change wallet with great capacity in a slim stylish package
Starting with the most deluxe of all change mats, this stylish baby change mat barely even looks like a change mat at all.
On the outside, the durable fabric has a cool denim appearance that looks like it might house an iPad rather than nappies. On the inside, cute hummingbirds in a repeating pattern hide marks that an older toddler might make.
The large cushioned mat is extra soft on your baby’s bottom, and water resistant covering makes this mat easy to wipe down to keep clean and looking gorgeous.
Apart from the style, what we particularly love is the quilted cushy padding, which is really the perfect thickness to keep babies comfy without being too bulky when folded to a thickness of approximately 4cm.
The size of this mat means it has enough space to hold approximately four nappies, or two and a light jumper. The pad is extra-wide when fully unfolded, to help you avoid contact with the more suspect public toilet change tables.
The top zipped pocket has easy access to your baby wipes whether the change mat is open or closed. The interior pocket at the bottom cleverly keeps nappies between your baby’s legs for easy access, while also being protected by the mat.
Bambino Mio also sells a matching change bag that this change wallet is designed to fit into.
2. Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station
The multi-feature all-rounder is the perennial favourite of city mums
The ever-popular Skip Hop Pronto portable baby change mat is the one we see out in the wild the most, and with good reason.
Attractive patterned designs make this change station easy to find when you need it quickly, without being garish in public.
The pockets inside are very large, enough to take two nappies and a light jumper, as well as the provided wipes case. There’s an adjustable clip that can tighten the fold somewhat smaller, but if you fill it to capacity it’s unlikely to fit inside a nappy bag.
With an easy clip at the corner, it can attach to a pram, or the strap of your nappy bag or backpack instead.
The way that the clutch folds is designed to support baby’s head on the most cushioned section, or if you prefer, the changing pad section can be unzipped to detach it from the rest of the supplies, and it’s a cinch to wipe down.
Honestly, I once accidentally machine-washed one of these and it came out bone dry, so I can personally attest that this thing is completely waterproof, including the stitching!
3. Babymel Change Station
The sleek and classy clutch with a disguised easy-access wipes pouch in front
A beautiful accompaniment to any outfit, this classy change station will be a favourite for mums who are in office attire as often as in the park.
The lightweight mat is water resistant with faux leather trim, with sweet little origami hearts printed subtly over the exterior to disguise any dirty marks, keeping your clutch looking neat over a longer time.
Our favourite feature on this mat is the built-in baby wipes pocket that allows you to pull out wipes easily from inside the opened mat, while you change your bub, or from the front without having to unfold and open up the change mat.
With the change mat open, a comfortable padded liner cushions your baby while you change her, easily removable from the clutch by smooth Velcro for machine washing.
The thick fabric is durable and long-lasting, whilst also being soft to touch and easy to wipe down.
The large zip pocket in the back has plenty of room for a couple of nappies and your phone and keys, if you’re hoping to take this out on a short trip.
The clutch handle itself unclicks neatly to be a pram attachment, without needing the dorky fabric loop on the corner.
4. Suessie Diaper Changing Station
The best portable change mat from Australia that’s big and begging for the beach
This excellent all-rounder from Sydney’s Bondi area is a top pick for mums who want all the features in a huge portable change mat large enough to use on the sand.
This totally waterproof change mat is the largest in our top 10, unfolding to a maximum size of a whopping 95cm, so you can be sure that you’ll get great coverage no matter where you choose to change the baby outdoors.
With large size comes extra storage, and this clutch can take quite a lot. The large internal zip pouch should hold a light change of clothes, while the mesh pocket could separately hold up to four nappies.
Two external zip pockets are fully accessible while open or closed, to store your keys, wallet, and phone, and some sunscreen and a rashie for bub.
Two internal stretch bands allow you to stow your wipes for super easy access. It’s worth noting though, that these bands stretch out quite far for a full large packet, so a wipes packet that’s nearly empty will be able to slide out and need to be moved to the zip section.
The change mat is unzippable from the clutch, so if you don’t need the mat, the clutch on its own can hold your supplies at only a third of the size of the two together.
Naturally, all those features and the super-large size does leave this change mat a little on the bulky side. You’ll want to keep this one in the car, or as a light replacement for your regular nappy bag.
5. Bambino Mio Change Mat
This cute little mat is popular for its small size, softness, and adorable designs
This adorable change mat is the easy pick for mums that just want a tiny backup in the handbag for a short walk around the block.
Easily the smallest of our picks at only 60cm in length, this mat may not cover babies over 6 months old from head to toe, it’s really more designed just to catch accidents in the nappy area.
Happily, that small size also means it folds down smaller than the others. With a hook-and-loop fastener, this light and compact change pad would fit even into a small handbag.
Rather than a waterproof wipeable surface that will repel little wees, the Bambino Mio mat has an absorbent quilted padding that lines the inside of the mat, allowing this change mat to be both super soft to lie on, and to hold accidents inside to be washed later.
These pads are machine washable and can be tumble dried, but because they work by absorbing rather than repelling the wee, you might want at least two for when the first one is soiled.
But with designs this cute, you might want at least two anyway.
6. JJ Cole Changing Clutch
The small travel change pad that looks like a purse
This sweet little change clutch by JJ Cole comes in a range of designs and looks more like a small purse than a change mat.
The entire unit itself is quite small when folded, only 24x14cm, yet folds out to a decent 48x70cm round mat.
The clutch pocket holds a small wipes packet and one or two nappies, perfect for a walk around the neighbourhood shops. That said, this clutch is unlikely to be suitable for all-day picnics, you’ll likely keep this in the nappy bag for longer outings.
JJ Cole also sells a matching nappy bag that this change mat is designed to fit inside.
7. Lekebaby Travel Nappy Changing Mat
All the features, plus a head pillow for squirmy head-bangers
This changing pad is Amazon’s #1 top selling best portable changing station, and it’s easy to see why, as this pad is essentially a more affordable dupe of the Skip Hop Pronto, with a couple of unique features.
The zippered mat detaches from the clutch for quick trips, and features a unique pillow sewn into the water resistant pad.
The pillow will really be a big relief for mums with fussy bubs, because using a regular thin mat on a public change table or at a shopping centre can often result in your wriggly baby knocking his head quite painfully, creating further anxiety and stress in change rooms.
The clutch has an interior mesh pocket for a couple of nappies and an interior zip pocket for wipes and a spare onesie. An external zip pocket is roomier than it looks to fit your phone, some keys, and a wallet.
Lekebaby also sells a matching nappy bag backpack that this change mat is designed to fit inside. The design is quite unique and feature-heavy, so if you’re looking for a matching pair you might want to check this one out.
8. iZiv Baby Changing Pad
For those who just want a simple affordable mat with extra storage
This folding change mat is a lightweight, simple pad that unfolds to be quite large, with plenty of room for storage.
Slim and flat when folded, the waterproof polyester will slide easily into any nappy bag or backpack, and also has a loop on the side to hang from a pram.
For storage, the clutch features large zippered and mesh internal pockets to keep several nappies, creams and wipes, and an adjustable strap and clip to contain the extra bulk inside.
The foldable changing pad unzips and detaches from the clutch, to keep messes away from the nappies and clothes in the mesh pocket.
9. iZiv Portable Clean Hands Changing Pad
The smart changing mat that keeps your baby’s hands away from mischief below
This clever changing pad with wings is designed to fold out and around your baby’s arms, trapping his arms near his toys and keeping his grabby little hands away from the mess!
The Velcro used to bring the wings together is smooth, and will grasp together firmly without scratching bubba’s arms or attaching to your clothes.
The mat even has a couple of toy rings sewn in to attach your baby’s favourite fiddling toys to, definitely a great way to distract determined babies away from your work.
The extra material used for the wings does mean the change pad folds up into a pretty bulky clutch, so you’ll want to keep it on or under the pram, rather than in the nappy bag.
10. Isoki Change Mat Clutch
An affordable slim clutch with three pockets
The ISOKI change mat clutch is our top budget pick for having three separate pockets, something hard to find in the most affordable options.
The large external pocket has plenty of room for wipes and nappy bags, while a smaller external zip pocket on the front will keep your keys and rings safe from prodding any soft baby bottoms.
Even better, the ISOKI folds up surprisingly thin, at only half a centimetre thick when closed. This means not only can you keep it under the pram or in the nappy bag easily, you can slide it into your laptop section if you’d rather just take your backpack to the park.
How to choose a portable change mat
When looking for a portable nappy change mat that’s going to suit your needs most closely, you should consider the size, carry capacity, and where you plan to take it.
The entire point of the clutch is to organise your necessities into a convenient travel change pad, but the size will determine what kind of convenience you’re going to get.
If you have an extremely large mat, you can always rely on having a surface large enough for your baby whether in contained spaces like the shopping centre baby rooms, or open spaces like the park. Large mats also usually mean more space inside for your essentials.
On the other hand, a small mat will take up less room in your bag, be more convenient to carry whilst holding your baby, and be faster to clean.
Similarly to size, capacity is a trade-off between convenience of speed and weight and convenience of extra supplies.
An important question to ask yourself is, “Do I want to take the clutch instead of the nappy bag, or inside the nappy bag?” Inside the nappy bag, you’ll want a light, small, foldable changing pad that just keeps a nappy and a few emergency wipes.
Another consideration is your baby’s propensity to spit up. Some babies spit up at every feed, and if this sounds like you, you’ll want the largest capacity to bring some spare clothes, bibs, and a terry towel, if you can fit it.
To replace your nappy bag on shorter outings though, you want the capacity to at least take a light change of clothes and a couple of nappies and a plastic bag, in case your baby has an overexcited vom or sudden poop-splosion!
Outdoors, indoors, or office?
Some of these change mats are elegance itself, but may trade on necessary features to keep you looking professional. If you’re dropping the baby off at your work’s crèche, the last thing you want is to be juggling multiple bags spilling toys and nappies out of your clutch in front of your colleagues and clients.
However, spending long days at the beach is also not going to be suitable for a sleek little change clutch, and any place where there’s lots of sand, dirt or dust is going to require the largest mat you can find. The largest mat with the largest capacity will also leave plenty of space for wet bags and a clothing change for those messy outdoor areas.
If you plan to mostly be at shopping centres, cafés and plazas though, the best portable changing station is going to keep your essentials in fast, easy access. The pad is likely to sit mostly in the pram, or attached to the pram handle. The shopping centre change tables or public fold-down change trays are fairly contained, so a large mat isn’t really needed. The priority instead will be on convenient access to your necessities in a cramped bathroom, and for this you’ll be looking for a mat that detaches from the clutch, so you won’t need your pram awkwardly crammed up against your legs.