HOW TO CHOOSE A DIAPER BAG
DIAPER BAG REALITY
In choosing a diaper bag there are a number of things that you need to think about. You don’t really realise what you need until you realise you don’t have it. It’s so hard to choose with there being so many on the market but I’m here to help you choose the best diaper bags.
The essential features of a Diaper Bag
- Big but not too big. Sounds complicated but its simple. You want the ideal Diaper Bag to carry your essentials so it needs to be big, especially in those first few months or when you have two kids. It should however, be small enough to carry comfortably otherwise you may break your back. The Joint Chiropractic cites heavy diaper bags as a major cause of back pain in moms.
- Different compartments. It takes one awful diaper which goes all over your baby’s clothes to make you realise that you need different compartments. This will prevent the dirty things mixing with the clean items.
- Bottle carrier pouch. Maybe even two. You need a separate space to keep your bottle in so that you can access it quickly and when needed. Having to stop and rummage through a bag to find a bottle is unbelievably stressful when you have a crying baby counting down the seconds until his or her feed.
- An accompanying detachable change mat that fits in the bag. Most change areas that I’ve stumbled across don’t have a soft mat for your little one. When your little one is very little you don’t want them lying on the bare surface. Aside from the hygienic reasons it’s also for comfort reasons. Most good diaper bags have an accompanying change mat that fits into the diaper bag. Some companies sell these separately but in the same fabric or material as the diaper bag.
- A washable interior. When it comes to kids they come with a whole lot of mess which spills into your life and everything that accompanies them. This is true for diaper bags. Whether its a bottle that wasn’t fastened properly or a pouch of food exploding, a packet of wipes that is left open and makes every wet (there is SO much moisture in wipes).
- Pram compatible. Given how much you are trying to manage when you are out with your baby make sure that your pram can carry your diaper bag. Your pram may have a compartment underneath or behind make sure the diaper bag fits there. If your pram doesn’t have any such compartments look for somewhere you can clip the diaper bag onto and then make sure you get a bag that you can attach clips to.
- Suited to your body. Don’t buy a bag without looking at it in real life. If you don’t get to try it out, make sure you buy it from a place you can return it. You need to make sure its comfortable when you carry it.
- Durable. Check out the reviews on the diaper bag of your choice to see whether any moms have had complaints about the quality or durability. Your diaper bag will go through the wars. It will be exposed to the elements, water, milk, toys, food and maybe even get ridden over by the pram or sat on a few times.
- Nice Looking. Not everyone has to like it – just you! and maybe your partner. You are going to carry it around everywhere you go, make sure its not an eyesore 🙂
Helpful but non-essential features
dummy / pacifier holder
see through sections so you can find things easily
an adjustable shoulder strap
Great, now that you know what to look for in a Diaper Bag let’s look into what you need in that Diaper Bag.
What to carry in your Diaper Bag*
- Diapers. You wont believe how many times we have to search for a diaper. You need to make sure you have plenty in the bag, I’m talking 3 or 4 at least. New Kids Centre estimates that parents change at least 10 diapers a day in the first month.
- Wipes. The wipes you choose are to use is up to you. I’ve made suggestions on what to look for in What to Buy when you’re Expecting .
- Bum Cream. Don’t take a huge tube or tub because this just adds to the weight that you are carrying.
- Refuse bags for those dirty diapers you accrue.
- Change mat. In addition to our change mat that came with the diaper bag, I also use disposable change mats so that I can chuck them out when they get gross, they are usually good for a few changes before needing to be tossed.
- Spare clothes. In the first few months you want to carry 2 sets of clean clothes in case you have two bad diapers in one day. Just remember to take the soiled clothes out the bag and get them washed asap. Keep all the clothes together so you know where to find them easily.
- Dummies / pacifiers. If your child has taken to a dummy or a pacifier try have spares on hand in the diaper bag because they will inevitably drop one while you’re out and in the dirtiest place you visit. Or you will drop it and feel awful if you don’t have another on hand.
- Hand sanitiser If you’re stuck changing your baby somewhere outside of a designated change area you are going to want to clean up your hands and sanitise them before carrying on with your activity. I always carry a travel size hand sanitiser. I keep this in a separate compartment at the very front of my bag so that it doesn’t contaminate anything else and I always know where to find it.
- Spare blanket. This is especially true when your little one is still little or you are breastfeeding as it allows you to a) cover your baby b) cover your pram c) cover yourself while breastfeeding d) lay down on a surface before changing your baby
- Provisions. Spare bottle or sippy cup and snacks for your growing baby. With a four year old and a baby I am forever carrying a bottle of formula, a water bottle and some snacks because they are always hungry and thirsty.
In addition to the above, I also carry the following in my diaper bag
Sun tan lotion for the kids (travel size or small roll on).
Medication for fevers in case they start up and you’re in the middle of nowhere.
Plasters (for my son though :))
Wipes for hands.
A small pack of tissues.
*this excludes what you may need to carry for yourself in your handbag