Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mama's Month - the Essential Diaper Bag

To diaper bag or not to diaper bag... that is the question.  When I was pregnant with Jake, I can remember being really excited about the idea of a new diaper bag.  I have always loved purses and handbags and have a pretty decent collection, and to me this just sounded like an excuse to add to the stockpile.  Knowing that I would be carrying it everyday, I wanted something that looked more like a purse and less like a baby bag, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that many of them do!  But while my indecisive self searched and searched, my sweet husband surprised me with this that Christmas:

He has great taste, doesn't he?  It is a great bag, very deep, and those two side pockets ended up being perfect to hold bottles.  Plus, it is big enough to hold anything and everything, including a swaddle blanket, which is what I use as a nursing cover-up.  My pump even fits in here, too!  But because all of this stuff fit, I will say that things often got lost in the abyss.  As much as I love this bad, it's like a big, black hole when you're trying to find your wallet, key, etc.  And the inside is also black, which doesn't help.  So before Lilly came along I went on the hunt again... two kids equals more stuff, which also means more to dig through.

As my search continued, I got yet another bag as a gift!  Yes, I have great friends.  Or perhaps my friends and family just know all to well that I can't make a decision.  So before Lil came along, this came in the mail for me (although it says "Lilly" on it):

Much like the first, this one is nice and roomy, too, and fits everything and anything.  It's thick, sturdy canvas, white on the inside (a plus!), and has multiple pockets on the inside.  Somehow, however, I still managed to lose everything in this bag.  Plus, I still wanted something that looked a little more like a purse; something I could carry to church, to the park, to the mall, or on a date.  So after months and months of having this on my bookmark list, I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a present:

Behold, the Timi & Leslie Dawn tote.  Ain't she a beaut?  I debated for a long time about this bag because of it's price tag, but let me tell you, buying an actual baby bag as opposed to making a regular bag into a baby bag is worth every penny.  A woman definitely designed this thing.  It has light-colored water-resistant interior, multiple pockets inside and out, and it comes with accessories: a small matching clutch for your wallet and phone, an insulted bottle holder, a changing pad, a messenger (cross-body) strap, and stroller straps.  Plus, the whole top zips shut and keeps Jake's tiny hands out of there.  I never knew how much I would love having a cross-body strap until I used one, and now I will never go back.  I've heard of people liking backpacks for the same reason as it is so much easier to juggle kids without a bag falling off your arm.  And the stroller straps?  Well, I finally got around to using them last week and, well, they are amazing.  My one complaint is that I've had a quality issue with one of the pieces of hardware, but that could be due to the heavy load I put in this thing.  But like I said, worth every penny.  If you're searching for a diaper bag, here are my suggestions (and this one has them all):
  • Looks like a purse and not a diaper bag - check
  • Lots of pockets - check - PLUS a key clip and additional accessories
  • Light-colored interior - check
  • Big enough for 2 kids' stuff but not huge and bulky - check
  • Zip closure to keep everything in - check
I rarely spend money on myself any more, but I felt like this one was deserved.  If I'm going to carry around everyone's stuff, I might as well look good while doing it, right?  And I get a ton of compliments.  People are always surprised when I tell them it's a diaper bag!  Mommy-gear has come a long way!

So do share... what's your diaper bag of choice?

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