Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shopping For & Packing a Perfect Diaper Bag.....

I have had a few emails asking me about diaper bags, and believe it or not, I cant find the perfect one. I have, however found 2 pretty good ones. Bags are my THING. I love bags of all types and sizes so I have high expectations.
Here are some good diaper bag qualities ( IMO):
- I like a unisex bag or a bag that doesnt scream BABY, like a solid grown up color
- a bag that has a easy to clean outer and inner layer.
- insulated pocket of some kind for bottle or food spoon ( this eliminates extra insulated carriers and makes the overall bag more streamline)
- a paci pocket ( if baby takes paci you always wanna have it easy to reach and an extra on hand
- i personally prefer only one major compartment, because say you are digging for something in a hurry, if you have a split bag, you wont know which side its on and it makes overall navigation difficult, especially if you are digging with one hand, which you will be 9 out of 10 times.
- I like a mom pocket, which is essentially an outside pocket that holds mom stuff like wallet, keys and cell phone
- bonus would be a great strap that you can adjust to different lengths, shoulder carry/cross body carry/ or attach to stroller handles.
- an included diaper changing pad, that ideally has pockets attached to hold diapers and wipes ( because more times than not, you just wanna grab out that insert to go change a diaper and not haul the whole bag with you)
- an interior zipper pocket for medicine , toiletries etc.
- some great interior slip pockets for other items like burp cloths etc.
- light weight bag when its empty, which is why I favor Nylon

So in my research, these are some bags that make the cut :

The Columbia Diaper bag at Babies R Us $38

Kate Spade Diaper Bags (prices vary)$$$

The main differences in the 2 are price, and the Columbia bag is daddy friendly , while the kate spade bags are a purse/diaper bag combo. My girlfriend has a beautiful Burberry diaper bag which is also great because its not only functional, but beautiful and can easily pass as a purse and be used for either boy or girl child.
Skip Hop is also a very popular brand and THIS bag gets pretty good reviews. My qualm with it was the materials it was made from were not my fav.

Now for Diaper Bag Contents.
I am sure this is different for everyone, but just to be thorough, I shall list out what I carry around on a daily basis for all you new mommas who are thinking about such things.
 My philosphy is to have anything I could possibly need in there, because the times I have tried to carry light, I regretted it. Once I went with just diapers in my purse and peebles had a diaper blow out, in a restaurant, and I had no extra clothes for him. Totally embarrassing.
Another time, I needed some Mylicon, but had packed it in his suitcase, in the back of the car, so it was not easily accessible without stopping the car on a road trip. Lesson learned.

Zipper pocket carries:
  • Trial Sized Aquaphor
  • Trial sized sunscreen
  • nail clippers
  • brush ( because one day he will have hair :)
  • Orajel
  • Boogie Wipes individual packets
  • Mylicon
  • Children's Tylenol
  • Bottle top and Nipple ( for the breast feeders, it is very easy to grab some bottles of milk from fridge in a hurry and COMPLETELY forget to pack a nipple and top, so best to always keep one on you)

Main Compartment Holds:
    • Wipes and diapers go in the changing bag insert
    • Nursing shawl or cover. I HIGHLY , COMPLETELY recommend this ONE. You just roll it up and stick it in one of the interior pockets. It can also be used as a baby blanket when in a pinch.
    • Burp Cloth goes in an easy to access outside pocket.
    • Bib and change of clothes. If you are traveling, pack double. I learned that the hard way on our flight to Arizona.
    • 4+ months means you need to have a toy or 2 on hand. I got 2 great ones as gifts, one is a set of keys which is small and easy to keep in there, and one is a stuffed animal duck that has all sorts of textures, colors and noise making on it and it has a clip which is easy to clip to your diaper bag strap. Sophie is a good toy to have in there as well, or teething rings.
    • Bottles and or boon spoon with food goes in insulated pockets. I'm not to snacks yet but one day I'll be toting those too.
    • I like to have facial wipes by Johnsons or Mustela ( because I am a freak about his skin and don't like baby wipes (too harsh) so these are much better.  and if flying its always handy to have antibacterial wipes to wipe down chair arms, window, food tray etc.
    • a wet bag for soiled clothes or cloth diapers ( this could be a gallon zip lock bag) and some sort of disposal bags for dirty disposable diapers. You may not be somewhere where its easy to contain the smell and trust me, you don't want to be the lady who stunk up the place with dirty diapers. They make little canisters of diaper trash bags just for this purpose.

    So what am I missing? I know things will change with age so I would love to hear from all you other ladies out there about how you handle this. Do you ever carry a diaper bag or just put some things in your normal purse?


    Marion said...

    I am still carrying the purse and diaper bag, and it is TOO much! I definitely agree that mom's should plan for the 2-in-1. Great recommendations on the cute diaper bags. I am about to start shopping for one!

    Josh and Beth said...

    great post! I have to agree with everything you said and carry! I have the jj cole technique bag and love it! I don't use it as much now that Sully is getting older and my sweet husband got me a new coach bag, I quit using it. Sully has his own little backpack and I have my sweet new purse! One thing we could not live without now are those little sticky disposable place mats for munchkin. They are super easy to carry and ensure a safe eating surface for the little one! We still use our boon spoon and could not live without it when Sully was eating baby food! another cool thing we could not live without now is a snack holder called the packin smart snack conatiner. It is great for holding multiple snacks.

    Mrs. Holder said...

    Another item I always carry are disposable changing pads and scented disposable diaper sacks. They come in handy for those "blowout" moments when you don't want to wreck your changing pad.

    Also the Itsy Bitsy reusable bags are great.

    Since your diaper bag is your purse get one you love...I looooove mine, but got a backup one for the gym...just in case someone else loved it also.

    Perfectly Imperfect said...

    I completely agree with this post. I carry every single one of these items. I also carry a portable changing pad, snacks (puffs, teething biscuits) and a thing of juice. My bag is packed!!

    Anna said...

    Great post! Before I had kids I always wondered what moms carried around. The only thing I would add is pacifier wipes. Cole uses a paci, and these things save my life when it drops on the floor or something while we're out!

    grizaham said...

    i believe babies should travel naked.

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