I’m expecting my baby in a few weeks and am looking for the perfect baby bag. Help!
Elizabeth sent me this email a few days ago. She’s totally into fun bags (like, ahem, no one else I know) and was all about shopping for a new bag for summer when she admitted that she should probably get a fabulous new diaper bag and then get a new summer bag next summer, when the baby’s outgrown the diaper bag stage. Makes sense, right? And you know how much I love shopping for my friends, so I couldn’t resist shopping for Elizabeth.
5 things to look for when shopping for a diaper bag
When I was a mom of almost one, I was disorganized. Who needed something like pockets in a bag? I mean, what did I really need to carry besides my wallet, keys and, occasionally, women-stuff? A lipstick. And that was it. So who needed pockets. Now, a mom of 3, I know the value of pockets. There is nothing worse than having a baby with poop continuing to squirt out as you rummage through the bottom of your bag for an extra diaper. Let me tell you, new moms: with pockets, everything has a place and every place has a thing. Ideally, your bag will have at the minimum 6 pockets to hold: diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths, sippy cup/bottle, snacks, crayons and a tiny notebook, a few little toys like cars or teething toys, and a pocket for your things–you know, the women-stuff pocket.
A key holder
This took me 2 kids to figure out. Bags with a key ring are a savior. I’ll never forget being stranded in a parking lot with a crying toddler strapped into the stroller while I had a-near exploding bladder, spreading all my stuff out on the ground trying to find my darn keys (which, of course, were at the bottom of the bag because I missed putting them directly into a pocket.) Since that time, all of my bags have had a key fob attachment. In fact, I now frequent stores like REI to buy Carabiner Band Clipsso that I can add them to all of my bags that don’t come with attachments.
Shoulder or stroller straps
I know the stroller gods are going to storm on me for this but you will want to be able to attach your bag to the back of your stroller. You shouldn’t, because the stroller will, inevitably, tip over, but for the sheer necessity of getting to what you need easily, you’ll do it anyway. Many bags come with stroller attachments, but if the bag your coveting doesn’t, make sure that you have an adjustable shoulder strap. It’ll work.
The ladies who are pregnant and have newborns now are lucky. Way back when, bright interior lining was unheard of. Bag makers finally heard our cries and now many bags come with bright or patterned interiors. Why? Have you ever heard of the “black hole effect?” It’s about a million fold when you have all the baby stuff inside a bag. Imagine your baby has a pacifier that he loves and needs immediately and it somehow missed the pocket where it’s supposed to go when you shoved it in your bag… if you have a black interior, you just won’t find it when he’s shrieking at the mall. I promise.
I know. I love the looks of that chic leather bag, too. But you won’t love it when baby dribbles spit-up on the side, or pees and sprays across the handles. Trust me. I have three kids. It will happen.
5 Diaper Bags to consider
Aren’t you drooling over the color and chic-ness of this bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs? It’s nylon, so it’s super-easy to clean with the busy interior black/white pattern there’s less chance of loosing your stuff from the “black hole effect.” It has several pockets inside and out. The only thing that’s missing is the key holder that I so love, but as long as she keeps the shoulder straps attached, she can clip her keys on the ring there. The fact that it’s called the Eliz-A-Baby bag is like a meant-to-be bonus.
I’ve always been a fan of Skip Hop for their durability and organization. I’ve certainly owned more Skip-Hop diaper bags than I have children. And now that they have Jonathan Adler on board designing their prints, you have a great selection, too.
When Stork Saks first started coming to the US I was so excited to get my hands on one. The wipe-clean, antibacterial interior, the hidden exterior pockets–oh! another perfect diaper bag find. I’ve always looked to Stork Sak as an authority on style when it comes to diaper bags, and every time I search for a new bag, I find myself wowed. The only caveat about the Olivia bag by Stork Sak is that the bottom is wider than the top, so it’s a little harder to dig around. I always found that using containers and make-up bags with my Stork Sak was a necessity. I’m also intrigued by the Tania and the Jools bags by Stork Sak, but without seeing the interior, I can’t recommend them.
Can we all just breathe a bit of gorgeous for this bag? Timi & Leslie are another favorite bag and I really do think they’ve improved their bags year after year. You get so much bang for your buck when you go with Timi & Leslie–just look at everything included in this purchase! Organization, key fobs, pockets, stroller straps… and it’s made of wipe-able-faux leather, you really won’t go wrong with the Timi & Leslie Charlie bag.
Ness is a newer brand that I, sadly, very sadly, haven’t heard of or tried, but I’m tempted even without a baby (what?! I could use it for work!) I kid you not, when I found the interior picture of the Mamie diaper bag I said, out loud, “Oh. My. G-d. Wow.” Even the middle of this bag is organized. I’m drooling. (Bonus! For a limited time, get 20% off, free shipping, and a satisfaction gurantee when you use coupon code NESS20OFF at check out.)
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