New parents quickly realize that having a baby means carrying around a lot of stuff. Even a short trip to the shops requires a checklist of essential items to ensure everyone arrives clean and happy. Obviously, your designer clutch isn’t going to cut it once your new arrival enters the household, and that's where diaper bags come in. A good diaper bag can hold everything you need to have a successful outing with your little one and make your life easier as you start to take your baby out exploring the world.
Diaper bags generally come in one of three styles. The first is a tote diaper bag. Often these are designed to look like a stylish purse and can help you feel like you’re still fashionable, even if you have baby spit on your shirt and can’t remember when you last washed your hair. The drawback to this style is that they often have short handles which can fall off your shoulder easily, making them more difficult to carry. If you have a stroller with storage space, this may not bother you as much.
Baby diaper duffle bags are a popular style of diaper bags. Long shoulder straps allow you to carry the bag across your body, leaving your hands free for pushing a stroller or carrying your baby. They also come with front and side pockets, so you can organize the bag and easily find exactly what you need when you need it.
The last type of bag is the backpack diaper bag. A backpack carries weight over both shoulders, which can make this a more comfortable option, especially if you’re carrying a lot. They also come with multiple pockets and compartments, meaning you can easily separate dirty clothes from clean and diapers from bottles. Backpack diaper bags also allow hands free carrying, but can be inconvenient as you have to take it off your back to be able to access your baby's essentials.
The first thing to consider is size. Your diaper bag needs to carry everything your baby needs. Keep in mind that if you have a bigger bag then you need, you’ll probably find a way to fill it. Small items are also often misplaced in a larger bag, leaving you digging around the bottom looking for the pacifier that you know is in there. If you like everything to be in its place, think about a bag with plenty of organization pockets. Also consider how well the bag fits into your stroller.
Next, look at the features. A bag with a strong base and structured sides can stand up on its own, making it easier to search for a bottle while also holding a crying baby. A solid closure is a must, as you don’t want to leave a trail of baby clothes behind you. A lot of bags come with a changing mat and insulated bottle pocket, so check what you’re getting for your money. Also remember that the bag is going to carry soiled clothes and food containers, so it’s best to get something that's easy to clean.
You’ll be carrying this bag around with you every time you’re out with your little one for years, so it’s important to pick something you like. If you expect to share the bag with your partner or other regular carers, you may want to choose something they’re also comfortable carrying.
The final step is to fill the bag up. Obviously diaper bags carry diapers, but you also want to remember everything else for changing your baby, including wipes and a changing pad. Spare clothes for baby are a must, and you may also want to consider a spare shirt for yourself in case your child spits up. Remember bottles for the little ones and snacks as they get older. Lastly, leave room for your own essentials. If you can fit in your wallet and cell phone, it means you only have to carry one bag.
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