Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thoughts on Diaper Bags (See Jane Contemplate)

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Do you know what I'm not ready for with this new baby? Mom jeans.  Kidding, kidding.  I will wait at least a decade before slipping into a pair of mom jeans.  But really, I don't think I can buy a traditional diaper bag.  All the ones I've seen just seem so....nylon.  I'd rather find an oversized bag that I love (and ideally that I would carry without diapers in it) and has the functionality I need.  Above are a few bags I'm eyeing for myself.  Any advice from experienced moms out there?

44 comments

  1. I really love all of your choices. The easiest and most comfortable option would be a backpack (like the GAP one you posted). I carried a backpack as a diaper bag and then also a mini crossbody with my wallet, lipstick and stuff in it. It worked out well because if I was just running in somewhere and didn't need to haul the entire diaper bag, I would just grab my little crossbody. It worked for me. :) Good luck w/your decision.

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  2. Oops, I just realized the backpack you posted is by PROENZA SCHOULER (not GAP, like I wrote). Even better :~)

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  3. Anna,
    You have always been much more chic than me, so maybe you'll be able to retain that as a mom, but you might regret choosing one of these bags.

    A thousand dollar+ bag is no place for a dirty diaper (plenty of no-trashcan moments, and my every diaper will be sealed in an individual ziplock! plan was quickly forgotten...) or the half eaten banana your toddler hands you for safe keeping.

    You also need to remember that this needs to be lightweight so that you can carry it (filled with pounds and pounds of baby things) and the baby (who will inevitably reject the stroller at exactly the wrong moment) and whatever else you need to carry at the same time. Oh, and probably while you also manage to change a diaper in some precarious place because not nearly enough places have changing tables!

    You also probably want to look for something that is crossbody,for the same reason. You need to be able to get into it with one hand, so that the other hand is free to hold/clean/keep track of the little one. For that reason, I would avoid the backpack.

    Whatever you choose, make certain to buy a foldable changing pad that you can wipe down.

    Unfortunately, sometimes nylon just makes sense.

    I carry the Lesportsac Ryan Baby Bag. It's no secret I have a baby and carry around diapers, so why fight it. I think of it as my little girl's bag, not mine, although I probably wouldn't mind the zoo animals for myself, I'm kindof like that.

    Here are some options that might be more your speed: @ shoptimiandleslie dot com

    A final word of advice: Enjoy the time you have with yourself now. After the baby comes, you belong to him. It's life changing in a good way, but it's life changing.

    Kelly

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  4. I like the blue. And sending this along to a friend who's also in the throws of diaper bag decision-making right now.

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  5. So I had to chime in since I just had a baby 7 months ago and thought I would do the same thing! I originally used my LV Neverfull and didn't know why I would need a bag that was cotton or nylon and had a bunch of pockets- well I quickly learned my lesson! Basically with in just a 2 week span of using the LV it got spit up on it, a bottle leaked all over the inside, and I was constanly digging through the bag trying to find a pacifier to soothe a screaming baby in public. I quickly switched to Lands end tote with a bunch of interior pockets that is easy to clean.
    I now save all my special bags for when I'm going out without the baby and I do keep a small Longchamp folded up in my big diaper bag just in case I just need to pop in somewhere quick with the baby and don't need to lug the big bag. I say go for the best looking diaper bag you can because you will regret it if you can't get a baby stain out of something really pricey-trust me and baby's are very, very messy.

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  6. I carry the transport tote from Madewell. I love it! I carry a diapees & wipees with a few diapers/wipes/cream inside my tote. You can even throw in a clutch so you don't have to change bags from a large tote. I also don't see the need in hauling the fully loaded diaper bag. I keep a stocked bag in the car rather than lug everything around.

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  7. As a mom of two, I like #3 or the Madewell Transportation tote that someone else mentioned. When they are little I kept a packed diaper bag in the car/stroller and then used a "regular" tote with a few essentials in it-2 diapers, small pack of wipes, maybe a pacifier. If you're breastfeeding that's all you need for at least 6 months. And maybe a plastic bag/onesie for the inevitable blow out.

    You don't have to do a typical diaper bag!

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  8. You should give Lily Jade Co. a try! They have lovely, lovely bags that don't look anything like diaper bags (but they are)!

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  9. Rebecca Minkoff makes a baby bag. Same stylish bags but nylon inside! Amazing.

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  10. love the backpack

    http://fashmongers.wordpress.com

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  11. My son is 15 months and once he was eating food a large normal purse was fine but I started bringing an insulated lunch bag for some of his food. (This would also be helpful if you need to carry breast milk). When he was really little you need to carry a lot. And I agree that you want something you can wipe clean because there are a lot of messes. I personally have a nylon kate spade diaper bag. Inside I use some le sport sac pouches to keep things organized. One for diapers, another for bottles, another for my things. I also bring zip lock bags to keep a few changes of clothes. And it's convenient to put the dirty clothes in the bags to keep from getting the bag dirty. Most of the time I like not having a zippered bag, but we are about to travel and I will need a zippered bag... Something to consider.

    Needs with babies change often so you might consider getting a less expensive bag so that you won't feel bad changing it when your needs change.

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  12. My little guy is 5 months and I have a Kate Spade bag. It is beautiful but not very practical. I wish I had chosen a bag that zips close (mine is open) or better yet, a backpack. I, too, leave a stash of baby stuff in the car so I've really only needed the bag a handful of times. Usually I just stash a pacifier, toy, and bib n a ziploc bag in my purse.

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  13. I think a cross body strap is a must. When you are chasing after a little speed crawler or trying to prevent a dangerous situation, you will really want both hands free. Look for something with a nylon liner. I also moved all my stuff to a little clutch so that I didn't have to always use my bigger bag. You could also use something like this
    http://www.amazon.com/Skip-Hop-Pronto-Changer-Diaper/dp/B000F1SCJK
    so that you can change bags easily. I got so bored carrying one bag all the time!

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  14. Take a look at MZ Wallace. Very popular in NYC (not just for diaper bags) - despite the nylon, it's very sophisticated. And of course the larger sized bags work well as diaper bags.

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  15. I'm no experienced mom, but I have plenty of friends who are and they all say the same thing: get a bag that DOESN'T look like a purse so your husband doesn't feel foolish carrying it! Makes perfect sense. I don't know your husband, but I imagine he'd rather not carry a (super chic!) pink leather bag.

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  16. buy/use your favorite LARGE carryall bag and add an additional pouch inside where you can store diapers, wipes etc. and maybe an additional makeup pouch (with the plastic lining) that you can put liquids in. The first few months it seems you need to carry so much with a new baby (multiple changes of diapers and clothes, feedings, blankets) but then it thins out and a large purse works great. I always keep a small bag in my car with extra diapers and changes of clothes just in case too. good luck!
    ~Ellen
    www.everydayfancy.com

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  17. These are all such fashionable diaper bag options! Have you looked at Lo + Sons bags? They're my favorite for traveling and I could see them making great diaper bags!

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  18. I have a 10 month old daughter and am expecting baby girl number 2 in June (I know right? am I crazy or what??). I just ordered a Lily Jade leather crossbody diaper bag with a removable "baby bag" insert. It shipped yesterday, so I can't attest to the quality/functionality but I have high expectations. I was inspired by the blog post below to get one. Like you, I researched for a long while to find a chic, structured, roomy bag that fit my and my babies needs. Hope you find what you're looking for!

    http://www.camppatton.com/2014/02/27-weeks.html#.UvUDAn-9KK0

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  19. I had a Kate Spade nylon diaper bag… granted that was like 9 years ago. It was "cool" then… or so I thought. Whatever bag you choose you have to be prepared to have at least one bottle or juice box explode in it. It will happen. The nylon is good for that… but after I ditched the traditional diaper bag (after the bottle stage for both kids) a large purse worked great.

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  20. I'm also expecting a baby this summer and will also not use a "traditional" diaper bag. I will however use my Tory Burch nylon Ella tote. It is nylon but trust me, as a second time mom, nylon is great since it's lightweight and will not stain like leather. I mostly appreciate that it's lightweight because you will fill that bag with everything under the sun for the next few years. Good Luck!;)

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  21. It's worth having a bag that "Dad" can use as well. I've found that having one bag everyone can use is a lot more streamlined.

    Cross body is also nice because when you are running to the bathroom with a blow out diaper, you want to be able to have the bag at the ready.

    It also depends how you plan on transporting your baby. If you plan on using a stroller folks won't see your baby bag as much. If you plan on using a carrier most of the time then the bag will be more visible and you will also want something that is easy to carry.

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  22. I also keep a larger bag stocked in the car instead of carrying everything around with me…..and I have used the Madewell tote as well. You can keep little plastic bags in your purse to put the dirty/messy things…..everyone does it so different!

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  23. I love the black and white striped one that you picked!

    Paige
    http://www.thehappyflammily.com/

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  24. Loving that pink one!

    Shannon
    http://GBOfashion.com

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  25. I've been eyeing this one for myself: http://www.shoptimiandleslie.com/Charlie-cinnamon.aspx#.UvUhjEJdUZc

    Let us know which one you choose!

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  26. Definitely echo what people say above. Don't get anything you won't mind spilling a bottle of breastmilk in or shoving a dirty diaper into (trash cans are remarkably hard to find when you need them.)

    That being said, what actually do is use my fugly nylon diaper bag and leave it in the car/in the stroller unless I need it. I then carry around one of my small cute purses (chloe, proenza, celine) with just my wallet, cell and makeup.

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  27. I think a lot depends on preference, climate, and how convenient your garage is to your house. I tried a Kate spade diaper bag but it was horrible- no cross body strap, and trust me, it gets loaded full pretty fast and it's hard to manage a baby/car seat/other bag with a diaper bag you can only wear on your shoulders. Plus, trying to carry it over a winter coat and schlep it around was a headache.
    I ended up buying an Elizabeth quilted leather storksak diaper bag and I love it. It's leather but nylon lined and easy to wipe clean, has tons of pockets and pouches, a changing pad, and best of all a cross body strap. I too thought I would just use a large tote but without the organizers it turns into a nightmare (or did for me anyway). It comes in black, my hubby doesn't mind carrying it around, and it doesn't scream baby. Also, because if know it's a diaper bag, it doesn't bother me nearly as much if something spills or it gets dirty, while if it was my every day chanel or celine I might die a little inside.

    Now that my little one is a little older, I keep it stocked and ready to go so I can throw it in the car when I know we might need to change her or distract her with toys, but I'm back to using my regular big bag for toting my stuff around. I'm expecting our second this fall though, so I'm glad I have a sturdy diaper bag I know I'll use again. There are a lot of choices out there, but definitely a cross body bag with some organization. I know some moms who make it work with their own bags, but to me, I'd rather invest a little in something that works and save the rest of my money for a bag for me, not something to do double duty. Good luck!

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  28. Definitely get something that can get dirty and be easily cleaned both inside and out. You'll be setting it down in all sorts of places and, like everyone has said, you'll be carrying bottles, the occasional dirty diaper, half-eaten snacks, etc. I didn't want the typical-looking diaper bag either and I actually ended up with a black Vera Bradley bag (I know, I didn't know that brand made bags in anything other than super colorful prints!). My mom found it for me but it has worked really well because it's classic looking on the outside but has a completely water/spill-proof inside that can be easily wiped clean. The outside material is also a sturdier material than the typical quilted VB bag and can be easily wiped as well. The changing pad can also be washed easily in a washing machine and the inside of the bag has several pouches and zippered pockets for separating things like hand wipes, tissues, crayons, bottles, etc. I think keeping things organized in the bag is key because I hate wasting time sifting through everything to find the one thing you need at that exact moment. The exact bag that I have doesn't appear to be available any more but I can see on the VB site that they do have a few other versions available. Congratulations on the upcoming arrival of your little one. So many sweet and exciting times are ahead for you!

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  29. I agree wholeheartedly with most of the aforementioned thoughts. I might add: When it comes to diaper bags, I think function is more important than fashion, but that's not to say fashion can't play a role in your selection. I carried a Coach, my sister carried a Marc Jacobs. Both official diaper bags, both highly functional. Some things to consider:

    Pockets: The last thing you want to do is dig through a large tote looking for that one thing your screaming/crying kid needs five minutes ago. Find a bag with tons of pockets. Especially one that will keep a bottle upright.

    Spills/Stains: Your diaper bag will come into contact with mud, dirt, poop, puke, boogers, milk, diaper cream, baby food and toddler snacks. Whatever you choose, make sure you're OK with it getting dirty and or stained. This is why a majority of bags are nylon and/or otherwise wipeable material.

    Make sure it closes.
    Make sure your husband will carry it.
    Make sure it goes across the body.
    Make sure it can get smashed at the bottom of a stroller.

    As for carrying it when you're done...I carried nothing but my diaper bag (and a small clutch that fit inside) for an entire year. I couldn't wait to switch it up when I didn't need to carry as much stuff.

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  30. I definitely agree with those who have said you need a cross body! And I also agree that nylon is best, as much as I wanted to stay away from it too, it is way more practical. I use a Lo & Sons bag and really like it. A friend of mine uses a Lululemon bag and it also works well. Both are good options if you want to stay away from a traditional diaper bag.

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  31. I used a buttery soft, black leather backpack.
    It was all I ever needed.
    I really don't think pockets are important. In fact, I don't like pockets in my bags.
    Ziplock bags or clear zippered cosmetic bags work the best. Keeps things organized and visible.
    Crossbodies are the new backpack, look chic and will work much the same way.
    One thing I do want to say about the whole baby thing is this...less is more. Babies really don't need that much. You could definitely use just a regular purse and the bin on your stroller and be just fine.

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  32. Get something cute, something that you love. Truthfully, a diaper bag will only be as dirty/messy/gross as you want it/let it be. I use a cute black faux leather back pack I got from target and its sturdy but not bulky. I chose a backpack because the kiddo that I nanny (while Im not a mom, I have a lot of "professional" baby/child care experience) started walking and the shoulder bag I was using slipped down on my arm too much when I was trying to help him up or catch him from falling. Plus, when we are out at a museum or library, I always leave the bag in a stroller or locker and so truthfully its not on me as much. I wouldn't get anything too huge because you'll just put crap in it that you realistically don't need.

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  33. As much as I hate diaper bags (lets face it, there are some truly terrible ones out there) I have to agree with everyone that while using a traditional designer bag might seem like a good idea- it quickly becomes more of a hassle. I'd look into Rebecca Minkoff's line of diaper bags- they don't look like them but they come with everything that you need!

    xo
    Kara
    www.thebostonista.com

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  34. What is up with diaper bags being so huge??!! You really don't need all that stuff. I've had mannnny diaper bags over three pregnancies and four babies. And I think the Kate Spade Bon Shopper is the perfect baby bag. Just the right size. They don't have one that I love on line right now ... but maybe one will pop up with their spring stuff :)

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  35. I felt the same way. I owned one diaper bag and that was it! I quickly moved on to something much more practical (imagine that!) and that I really loved. A few things to consider: are you planning to cloth diaper or use disposables? If cloth, a larger bag is a must. If you're going with disposables, smaller is easier. In the first few months, if you plan to be out and about a lot and you're not breastfeeding, make sure your bag has inserts for bottles. If you're planning to breastfeed, you won't need bottle inserts, so a bag with one ro two additional compartments will be more than enough. My favorite bags have been the ones by bookhouathome you can find them on Etsy or here: www.bookhou.com I love that they have large inner compartments and zippers (an absolute must!) The zip tote is fantastic and if you want something a little smaller the carry all bag is a great size too. Truly one of the best quality bags I've owned to date. Oh and if you're planning to baby wear at all, sakura bloom slings are the best! I loved my essential sling and it wraps up small into a "diaper bag" too. :) xo
    Eleanor

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  36. Just be sure the inside is waterproof, you will spill something...or a lot of something. haha!

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  37. I'm a mom of two boys in Toronto - ages 4 and 7 months. I swear the absolute best diaper bag is a Longchamp tote. Lightweight and easily wipes down. I have never understood what people put in those monster nylon diaper bags! Really all you need is a couple diapers, small pack of wipes, thin blanket for a change mat and an extra change of clothes. Even when my first switched to bottles I still didn't need anything bigger. What do people have in those giant bags - you're running errands not traversing Everest lol! Best of luck!

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  38. I never once used a legitimate diaper bag as my diaper bag. I had (and still have) a bright, kinda 70's, flower motif Le Sportsac backpack that was perfect to not only be arms free when wearing it but I could hang it on the handles of my baby carriage and have everything that I needed right there in front of me. I also used a pink Ralph Lauren duffel bag, and the long shoulder strap fit perfect across the handlebar of the carriage also.Great picks btw!

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  39. I have a 2-year-old and am going to have my second this summer. Right now I use an ugly diaper bag that I hate. It's an Eddie Bauer canvas diaper bag from Buy Buy Baby. I chose it because it was neutral enough for both me and my husband to carry without him feeling dumb. I previously purchased a Timi & Leslie diaper bag for $160, and I liked it because it was somewhat stylish and still cleanable and had all the diaper bag accessories and pockets (though not nearly enough pockets in my opinion), but I ended up returning it because I just felt like it was too heavy for all the walking I do. I just barely (last week) purchased a cheap but cute, oversized, red faux-leather purse from Target to have as a second diaper bag for when I want to look cuter. That way we still have the ugly canvas bag for my husband to feel okay carrying, and I can have a smaller, lighter, more stylish bag to carry when it's just me. And if it gets spilled on that's okay because it was only $30. But I think you should do whatever you want to do. If you want a purse instead of a diaper bag then do it! Everyone is different and things work differently for everyone.

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  40. I agree that while traditional diaper bags are nowhere near as cute and fun, they get the job done. My husband has had to carry the bag before and I'm sure he appreciates that it doesn't look like a purse! Sometimes, if I'm just going on a shorter errand, I'll just throw a diaper and wipes and an extra pacifier in my handbag- you don't necessarily have to schlep the diaper bag around with you everywhere. A crossbody is a really good idea- When I'm holding the baby or carseat, nothing is more annoying than the strap of my purse of bag sliding down! And I don't know anyone who hasn't had a bottle or cup leak all over the bottom at some point. You have some beautiful choices, but I wouldn't want to ruin a super nice, leather, expensive handbag! Just my 2 cents!

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  41. I have a 3year old and a 10month old and much prefer throwing what a need in an oversized purse. While functionality and wipeability may be important, so is not loosing yourself and feeling pretty as a mom when you have less time/enegry for great hair, nails, and accessorizing. I only use a traditional diaper bag (Scouts Rocket Pocket - made of sail cloth) when we are gone for an all day event or I'm leaving my kids somewhere and taking my purse with me. Good Luck! and congrats!

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