If you’re going to be taking your baby out for the day, then trust me. You need a diaper bag.
You should always have supplies on hand to change an emergency diaper or two, and having some snacks or bottles on hand is always a good idea. Plus you can have some toys, a change of clothing, and even store your phone and other belongings in it.
I personally use my diaper bag as a replacement for my purse when I’m out with the kids (which is always) so I’m a huge fan!
Diaper bags don’t even have to be ugly; there are a lot of really nice looking ones out there that are super cute! It’s so much better than throwing everything in a big sack that gets mixed together; a nice diaper bag has different pockets and sections to put things in.
So, have I convinced you yet? I have? Good! Let’s take a stroll though the wonderful world of diaper bags!
MomTricks Picks: Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared Diaper Bag
It has a zipper enclosure, and the messenger strap is adjustable, so you can get it as comfortable as you need. What’s awesome is that it’s machine-washable.
You have to air-dry it, but once you have a bag that can be washed in the machine, you’ll never want one that can’t be.
My favorite part is the “mommy pockets”, which are basically extra storage spots to put things like your cell phone, makeup, etc. It also has insulated bottle pockets (awesome for day trips) and one of the pockets even has a crumb drain.
The only downsides are that it, well, looks like a diaper bag, and it is a little bulky. That’s the trade-off for having a great bag that can fit everything you could possibly need.
What To Look For In a Diaper Bag
When it comes to what’s important in a diaper bag, there are a few things to think about.
Storage is Key
Storage should be the first and most important thing you take into consideration. There are a lot of things you’ll want to put in the bag, including:
- Cell phone
- Makeup bag
- Water bottle
Any good diaper bag will be able to fit (most!) of these things and have them in convenient reach, without smooshing it all together in a big mess.
Ithink a bag with insulated pockets (to keep bottles/snacks cool) and lots of separate storage is ideal, since you don’t want cool bottles sweating on diapers, and things like that.
Keep in mind that your needs here will vary depending on how much stuff you want to bring with you. If you need more diapers, or less clothes, it will make a difference.
Weight: The Lighter The Better
How heavy your bag is makes a huge difference; you’re going to be lugging it around all day, and it’s going to be full of stuff, so you want one that’s not going to break your back, right?
You would be surprised at how heavy some bags are; depending on the style, some can weigh 2+ pounds more than the lightest ones, and that makes a huge difference when it’s loaded up with gear.
Imagine yourself in a public restroom with your baby on the changing table. One of your hands is busy with baby, and then you realize you left something important in the bag.
If you can reach in the bag and retrieve whatever it is you’re missing with just your free hand, you’re really in business. It’s a lifesaver.
An ideal diaper bag will not only open wide so you can reach inside to look around for something among the other contents, but the interior will ideally be lightly-lined to make it easier to see what’s going on.
If your diaper bag is lined in a dark color, it’s going to be hard to see, and you’re going to be frustrated pretty quickly.
The Enclosures: Also Important
Contributing to the ease-of-use is the type of closure the bag uses. Typically, diaper bags either use velcro, a zipper, or a magnet latch.
The best type of closure is a zipper: it makes sure the bag is sealed tightly and nothing is going to fall out while it’s knocked around, and zippers are often the only type that can be opened with one hand.
Magnetic latches might seem handy, but once you have your bag loaded up with diapers, clothes and everything else, chances are it’s not going to stay shut.
You absolutely want to avoid velcro.
- It’s noisy; awful if you want to open it around a sleeping baby.
- It sticks to everything, and can quickly turn your favorite sweater to spaghetti.
- It will eventually wear out, rendering your fancy new diaper bag useless.
Material: Makes It Easier to Clean
The material is important to think about! Your bag is going to get kicked around, dropped in the dirt, get baby fluids all over it, and more. I’d strongly recommend going for a bag that’s easy-to-clean, made of material that won’t absorb and stain, and can be wiped clean both inside and out.
The ideal is a bag that you can throw in the washing machine, but those are few and far between. If you can find one, great!
The Different Types of Diaper Bags
There are a few different types of diaper bags available. The first thing you should do is decide which type will work best for you. Here is a list of the different types of diaper bags available.
Backpack Diaper Bags
If you tend to bring a large variety of items with you when you’re out and about, this might just be the best choice for you.
These are similar to a regular backpack but have specialized pockets for things like diapers, wipes, changing pads and other small baby items.
Since they’re worn on the back, and the weight is distributed evenly across both shoulders, they can be great for those with back problems when compared to other types of bags..
If you’re looking for versatility, these are probably the best type of diaper bag, but they generally aren’t the most stylish. However, if you’re going for functionality over aesthetics, you really can’t go wrong with one.
Tote Diaper Bags
These look like a larger handbag, but have extra pockets and sections for holding all of your baby items.
While some totes are more about functionality than fashion, there are some models that are definitely quite nice looking and fashionable, too!
Some totes have removable/adjustable straps, letting you turn it into a backpack diaper bag or a messenger bag.
What might be a downside to some parents (or a bonus) is that most tote bags have to be held in the hand or slung over one shoulder. Backpack diaper bags will spread the weight over both shoulders, so if you have a problem with one of your shoulders, a backpack-style bag might be the better choice
Messenger Diaper Bags
Last but not least, messenger bags are designed with one long strap to be worn on the shoulder or across your chest.
These messenger diaper begs are generally marketed toward men, but they’re perfectly usable for women, too!
Depending on the model, some messenger bags have an adjustable strap so that you shouldn’t have to worry about it not fitting properly, or even better, you’ll be able to share it between both parents.
Some models come with perks like insulated bottle holders, padded changing pads, etc. As they’re geared toward men, these messenger-style bags might just be the bag for you if you’re a daddy.
Stroller Handlebar Bags: Not Recommended!
Stroller handlebar bags on first glance might seem like a great option for parents that use a stroller and also want a diaper bag to go along with it.
They have long straps which are meant to sit on the handlebars of the stroller, making it easy to carry around with you.
The problem is this: experts (the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) agree that stroller handlebar bags can be a safety hazard.
The problem is that in certain situations, depending on both the stroller model and how heavy the handlebar bag is, it can possibly lead to the stroller tipping backward.
If you’re determined to use a stroller as well as bring a lot of gear along with you, you might consider purchasing a convertible stroller with a basket or other storage area for putting everything inside.
This can be a great alternative to using a regular stroller along with a stroller handlebar bag — remember, safety should always come first! If not, a backpack diaper bag or any of the other types can easily be used while pushing a stroller.