Ah, the diaper bag. A new mum’s new best friend. An essential piece of equipment, true, but here’s a secret….there is no need to go out and buy a ‘diaper bag’.
What makes a diaper bag a ‘diaper bag’? Is it the teddy bear design? The hundreds of pockets? The ubiquitous included changing mat?
No, it’s simply a bag that you are using to carry baby stuff in. In fact, the only essentials are enough storage, easy clean, looks good and ideally allows you to be hands free. Here’s why…
Cutesy designs are fine if that’s your thing, but if not you’ll probably find yourself increasingly embarrassed to carry it. Hundreds of pockets might look super-useful in the store but they’ll be a source of gritted teeth when baby is crying and you just cannot find the diaper cream hidden in pocket number seven.
The included changing mat. It’s so cute that it matches. You have visions of baby happily cooing while you change him/her in a wood panelled powder room. In reality you’ll be stuck in a public changing room (if you’re lucky enough to find a changing table that is not actually in a toilet) frantically wondering whether you’ll ever be able to get all the germs from this changing-table-that-has-seen-a-thousand-bottoms off your matching changing mat. Save yourself the worry and get disposable ones.
Enough storage. Yes, you need space. But not too much space. Be realistic about where you are going. Chances are you will not be stuck in the middle of nowhere so there is no need to take three sets of clothes and five spare nappies. If you are worried about running out, take extra in the car and don’t lug them about with you.
Easy clean. This is a must. You will be carrying things that might leak. Or you’ll be putting it down on the grass / floor. Wipe down is great. Machine washable is fab. Suede is a big no-no.
But…..make it one that looks good. If you have money to spare, spend it on a decent-looking bag. Forgo the diaper bags in baby stores and buy a bag that you like from a store that you would have shopped in pre-baby. It will make you feel a million times better when you realized that have ditched your old wardrobe, your old shoes, and probably most of your old jewelry.
And….don’t underestimate what a killer a diaper bag can be if you are carrying it on one shoulder. Ideally, get a backpack-type one (don’t worry, even Prada makes such things!) so that the weight is evenly distributed and, as baby becomes toddler, you have two hands free to scoop up said child.
So there you go. Buy a nice, big bag that you like, and enjoy it!