April 2018 Moms

Can we talk about diaper bags?

ferndefernde member
edited January 2018 in April 2018 Moms
FTM here, I have been chugging along with building my registry, stalking reviews and annoying friends and family with questions. Alas I am stumped when it comes to diaper bags. I know that this is extremely subjective based off of desired look and lifestyle, but I would love some input.

So please talk to me like I am five and tell me what I should be looking for,  or what you are going to purchase/have already purchased. 

Thank you!!!

eta: sorry I totally didn't see you guys already discussing this in the questions thread. Please feel free to add on, but I am definitely taking that discussion in as well!


Re: Can we talk about diaper bags?

  • I had a tough time figuring this out to, also a FTM. I think the best decision for me is the backpack style. I’ve always been one to carry a large purse with lots of nonsense in it. I was thinking about needing to lug so much extra stuff around and a baby that it may be easier on me if I do the backpack. This is the one I put on my registry. I am not sure if anyone else has tried this brand before but it had some good reviews 
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  • Like you said, it's subjective and you'll get varying options here. Some ladies sport a fab tote from Kate spade and others will use a standard diaper bag from bru. They key is to think of what you want from it. Will you be annoyed if there aren't enough compartments (peeve of mine)? Or do you need something that your SO won't cringe carrying? 

    For our first my bff's mom made me an adorable one. I loved it at first but then realized the boho style-giant sack was slipping off my shoulder too often. We switched to a plain black back pack and used it for dd1 and dd2.

    This time around i really wanted a cute diaper bag that i wouldn't mind dropping on someone's dirty floor if we visit. I found that i tend to drop things in a corner so it's out of the way and i can't be worried about it getting dirty or stained. So i opted for a Mickey mouse diaper bag w lots of pockets and storage. My girls love it and i got it for $20 at Burlington. 

    One thing that has stood the test of time and i highly recommend is a changing station clutch. You can get them anywhere: target, Walmart, bru and they keep your changing supplies in one mini tote which you can slide in and out of the bag. Plus you may not feel so bad putting your baby on those dirty changing stations in public rest rooms if s/he is on the pad that is included:


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  • Backpack all the way! My diaper bag was a shoulder strap the first time and it was so heavy and awkward. 
  • Dumbgurl04Dumbgurl04 member
    edited January 2018
    Agree it's all your own preference when it comes to a diaper bag.  My mom and I love Coach (only buy at the outlets) and I joked with her that I would have a coach diaper bag when I became a mom.  Well when I was pregnant with DD my mom actually got me a coach diaper bag.  I love it cause it has two different straps one of them is adjustable, so I can carry it different ways and drab it over the stroller.  MH doesn't even mind it that much cause it's black.  Which that's another thing to keep in mind get one that your husband or SO won't mind carrying they may say they don't mind but they do.  


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  • I agree with @peppersmith22.  We got a Skip Hop cross body for our first.  Although the straps were padded, I still found them to be uncomfortable on my shoulder.  It was bulky carrying the diaper bag across my body with the weight on one side and my DS on my other hip.  I felt like my shoulders and back always hurt after using the cross body.  Additionally, I felt like the bag didn't open up wide enough for me to get to the stuff that fell to the bottom.  So, most of the time, I didn't know I had valuable and useful things at the bottom of the bag.

    This time around, I asked my DH to get me a Lassig Glam Goldie Backpack Diaper Bag for Christmas.  It has a ton more room and storage and can also be converted to a cross body if I want it to be.  Backpacks seem to not hurt my shoulders or back as much.  My husband is taking the old Skip Hop diaper bag and filling it with baby and toddler essentials to keep in his car.
  • I decided on the Freshly Picked diaper bag and SO got it for me for Xmas.  Its a backpack but can be used as an over the shoulder too (comes with an extra strap).  I would say it will be good for 1 baby so far and have used it some with my "toddler" just to see how I like it.  Fortunately DD doesn't really need anything when we're out but will be plenty for us.  I had a big crossbody type diaper bag from pottery barn for my first which was good too.  I loved it for travel (airports) but thought it was alot for errands etc.
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  • I like these two. From my first baby, I know I want a large backpack with plenty of pockets. I prefer black and able to be cleaned. I also really like a tote style with large straps. I like the idea of a backpack but I would prefer something that is convertible to a backpack, I just haven’t found one i like. 

    Me (33). DH (37). DD (2.2012). MCs x4. After 4 years & 7 months, due 4.2018!

  • I’m a slacker when it comes to diaper bag. We got two with DS. One for me (a nice PBK) and my DH got a Columbia backpack that felt more manly for him. Well the PBK one have been living in the downstairs closet for a really long time and the backpack lives in the car ;) 
    i didn’t like having to carry a bag on top of my purse, the baby bucket or baby carrier, the stroller etc. So I usually just back the essential under the stroller like 2 diapers, a pack of wipes. And I keep some snacks/Paci/whatever in my purse. If we got for the day and need more stuff we would use the backpack because it’s more convenient with the insulated pocket etc. I realized I’m way more minimalist that I thought I would be. The first few weeks I could have survive a zombie apocalypse with all the stuff I had in the diaper bag but it was NOT convenient to carry! 
  • The DB I got may turn out to be a total FTM purchase that I roll my eyes at later down the line BUT I am a purse/bag person and I really wanted something that wouldn't cramp my style. ;)  After searching far and wide at all the designer stores (Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Henri Bendel, ect) I just wasn't finding anything that really wowed me. Then I came across the brand Lilly Jade on Pinterest and it was love at first sight! lol Almost all of the bags are completely leather and a majority of them can be worn as a shoulder bag and as a backpack which I thought was a great option! The bags also come with a removable washable organizer and a changing pad. Considering all the bells and whistles you get with this bag and the fact it's real leather I thought the price was well worth it, especially if it lasts me two kids.

  • icalynnicalynn member
    edited January 2018
    I second the Columbia backpack. The backpack style seemed more convenient when considering carrying a purse and baby also. Plus SO and I both feel comfortable carrying it around. I also couldn't justify spending a ton of money on a diaper bag. It's just not one of my top priorities.
  • @JJMNO1616 those bags are gorgeous!!
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  • With DD I was gifted 2 different Kate Spade bags and tried to use them for so long. Eventually I moved to my backpack from college and have been using it ever since. Over the holidays my brother got me a new backpack for this baby. And I totally second the changing station packs. I took one out of the Kate Spade bag and put it in my back pack.
  • For backpack wearers—do you ever feel weird bringing them into stores? I’m really considering switching to a backpack but I’m weirdly worried about wearing it in a store. Like will people assume you’re shoplifting?
  • @rmmorris I never had that feeling. TBH I’m way more worried about the stuff I stack on the stroller/afraid of forgetting something when I go to the register than the backpack! I feel like nobody would really suspect a mom with a baby! 
  • @rmmorris I have never felt weird about the backpack but totally agree about the stroller. In Austin you have to bring you own grocery bags or buy some, I always forget. I would end up using the stroller as a cart and then after checkout as a bag. I'm sure I always looked like I was shop lifting, oh well.
  • danjoly said:
    @rmmorris I never had that feeling. TBH I’m way more worried about the stuff I stack on the stroller/afraid of forgetting something when I go to the register than the backpack! I feel like nobody would really suspect a mom with a baby! 
    So the funny thing is... I used to work in loss prevention as Macy's when I was in college and people with strollers are the first people we watch in stores. I know this is going to be hard to believe because well, morals and all... but using children as a distraction to steal and having a stroller to hide merchandise in is an ideal tactic for a thief. I stopped and apprehended MANY women who were shoplifting while with their children. I even stopped a mom once who had a very small infant (maybe a few weeks old?) and the stroller was stuffed with stuff. It's sad but people do it ALL the time. So yes, you probably are being watched! 
  • danjoly said:
    I’m a slacker when it comes to diaper bag. We got two with DS. One for me (a nice PBK) and my DH got a Columbia backpack that felt more manly for him. Well the PBK one have been living in the downstairs closet for a really long time and the backpack lives in the car ;) 
    i didn’t like having to carry a bag on top of my purse, the baby bucket or baby carrier, the stroller etc. 
    @danjoly I am the same way which is why I settled on a diaper bag that looked like a purse. For two though, I’m wondering if I’ll need a hands free option. Anyone who’s already gone through it  have specific thoughts on what worked for one but did not for two?
  • I had the traditional shoulder bag with my first, and it was ok.  Then I bought a new one that is backpack style, and I can't believe how much better it is to use.  SO much easier, and doesn't make my arm hurt.
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  • kmalls said:
    I kinda feel like we’re over-thinking the diaper bag situation and the amount of stuff that’s required to go anywhere. What’s worked for me is sticking to a cross-shoulder purse, because that’s an item I always have and it’s essential for that item to be hands-free. If I’m out on a bigger excursion that requires a stroller, the diaper bag goes into the basket below the stroller and it’s no big deal — doesn’t matter if it’s hands-free or not. If I’m at the supermarket or running errands, I check each kid’s diaper before we leave the car and then the diaper bag stays there — no need to bring everything plus the kitchen sink to go food shopping. I firmly subscribe to the less-is-more mentality! 
    Definitely less is more here!  Diaper bag held extra clothes for daycare and the bottles. If I was going out with the kids I tossed dipes wipes and a change of clothes in my purse. (Dh took the diaper bag if he was with kids alone). 
  • I have one that I got for my baby shower 4 years ago that I like for 1 kid, but I also just have a Vera Bradley bag that is huge and has a ton of pockets that will be able to house my stuff, babys stuff, and my 3.5 year olds stuff way more comfortably then the diaper bag. So im just sticking with that. 
  • @kmalls I think I rarely brought my diaper bag into stores as well.  
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  • I said on the questions thread that we have a skip hop backpack that I love because it holds so much that is easy to access-- for a whole day out of the house, I am a heavy packer. I'll go with @kmalls and @ekendall09 though, that it isn't necessary to lug the diaper bag everywhere (and I don't). It often stays in the car, depending on where we are going. If we are going out to eat or to the ped's office or something, I'll bring it. For a food or target run, or other shopping, it stays in the car. I even get ballsy sometimes and leave it at home all together for a quick errand and it's NBD. I do love a changing clutch to keep in the car (I have a skip hop one of those too). For hands free in stores, I wear my wallet (which holds my phone) and keys on a lanyard around my neck, so I don't really need a purse or other bag.
  • ladythriceladythrice member
    edited January 2018
    So, a few things to consider for diaper bags:
    1. Like @kmalls said, you will likely ditch carrying it around 24/7. The diaper bag's utility lasts for the early months when the babe is a newb and could basically explode at any minute.... Once they get older, it will literally live in your car.
    2. Are you a working mom? Remember that any diaper bag you decide to carry will end up in addition to your purse/laptop/lunch/crap you already carry.
    3. Are you a working mom that plans on pumping? Or an exclusive pumper? Then you'll likely need a bag designed to hold your pump and all your gear. As a working pumping mom, it was worth it to me to bite the bullet and drop a pretty penny on a nice quality leather pumping bag that doubles as my purse, can hold a laptop/files/notebooks, and even my lunch if I can squish it in. I ditched the diaper bag, and would toss diapers into my purse/pump bag instead if we needed them... I've had diapers fall out of my purse at conferences... /sigh.

    Those are my lessons learned after two kids and three diaper bags.

    I still think a diaper bag is needed. We still have one, it sits in the car. We NEVER use it. Ever. But we will once baby #3 gets here. My favorite bag, because of space, compartments, functionality (stroller hang), is this one, a Skip Hop "Take it All" bag. It's MASSIVE so it'll carry the extra change of clothes you need for the infant, the diapers, the formula, the bottles, the wipes, the books for the older ones, the snacks for the older ones, your wallet, your phone, a tablet for the kids, and anything else you could possibly want to stick in there... And you won't cry when it gets covered in vomit, poop, formula, or breastmilk :D... cuz you can stick it in the washing machine.

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  • jkatkinsjkatkins member
    edited January 2018
    Backpack style for sure. I had the traditional ones for my girls but I found it super annoying and uncomfortable to carry around. I like to be hands free if I can. Backpack diaper bag on the back and baby on the front in a carrier. lol. This is the one I'm getting. My breast pump is pretty compact so it will fit in there along with all my other baby essentials. 

     HaloVa Diaper Bag Multi-Function Waterproof Travel Backpack Nappy Bags for Baby Care, Large Capacity, Stylish and Durable, Linen https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073XZRV9Z/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_soGyAb8SZJPM8

  • Chiming in for whatever it’s worth as a SAHM of 3: after the first three months, I stop carrying any sort of diaper bag. I just put whatever baby stuff I need - at least one diaper and some wipes, and usually snacks for older kids - in my (large) normal purse. I also always leave a stash of diapers and wipes in the car for in case of emergency. If we’re going on a plane or something, I pack a full, regular backpack for baby/kid stuff, but I usually don’t need to pack that much stuff for our day to day outings. 
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  • @jkatkins That is the one we registered for too! I love the all the color options they have, but we just went with linen.

    I'm a FTM so I really have no idea what to look for (besides looking at Amazon reviews). I originally went with a backpack because I thought it'd be more comfortable for my DH and I.. glad others have reconfirmed they like backpacks, too! I registered for a small bottle cooler too, as I wasn't sure how well insulated this backpack was. Could be useless in the end but it was only $12. 

  • @dan0081 I like your style. ;-) I went with the linen as well. Goes with everything and I'm having a boy. I have 2 girls so I've been there and done that with the crazy prints and pink.  The cooler I'm sure will come in handy for other things if you don't use it. I swear you can never have enough insulated things. Especially with having kids. 
  • Also, I don't like backpack diaper bags because I like to be able to reach in and get what I need without taking it off. Hands-free is nice, I'm sure, but to me the inconvenience of having to take off a backpack (especially while babywearing) outweighs the benefit.
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  • @kaymaroo i was just going to say the same thing! DD2 is semi potty trained (diapers for naps and bedtime) so i don't carry lots of diapers anymore but i do still carry a diaper bag that has wipes and a change of clothing for her and a spare set of panties for DD1. I take it everywhere i go bc it also holds my wallet, sunglasses, etc. One day I'll move back to using my fabulous purses but it's not today. My A-type personality requires that i feel prepared for accidents so i don't get overly flustered.  :)
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  • @dan0081 great idea on the cooler I’ll have to look into that as well.

    @frenchiekinplusone thank you! As soon as I saw it I knew it was what I wanted 
  • I've been looking at different styles for a while (I have 3 on my registry atm because I haven't decided which yet lol),...I'm so indecisive.  I keep going back to this one because of print, size, and carrying options.  I was looking at backpack ones, but I'm like @kaymaroo in that it's a pain to take off to get something out.  If I'm paying for something, I want to just be able to swing it to the side and pull out my wallet or whatever and throw it back in.  
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  • With DD1 I had a regular old diaper bag, like this one (link) but we're highly considering a backpack, because we found the other cumbersome and it didn't fit in the bottom of our City Mini GT when it was packed full.

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  • @psuxray07 just a warning, I had a large one similar I. Style to that and hated it. I would up adopting my H’s dude diaper bag and loved it.

    A bag bag is totally built on your preference, but I agree with a lot of the other comments that You don’t need as much as you would think To make it through outings. 
    I am going to order another one of these
    Diaper Dude Messenger Diaper Bag for Dads, Gray with Orange Zippers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000G2B2QS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_SkqzAbFB12J9Y
  • I bought a relatively expensive diaper bag (went with storksak) which we still use for major outings, travel, etc. But in the end we use a variety of bags depending on the situation. I have a backpack I use now and then, but it doesn't hang on the stroller as well as other bags. I will probably use it more when I have a new baby in a carrier.  For short outings we just grab the diaper clutch. I usually like to at least have a snack and maybe a toy, which I can just throw in my regular purse. DH lives on the edge and will often just take a single diaper, hah. I guess my point is, like strollers, there is no ideal for every occasion, and I wouldn't have stressed about finding the "perfect" bag if I could do it again. 
  • Literally as I made the post H walked in and I said I would just reorder the diaper bag (ours was waaay to loved) and H said, I want a backpack this time around. I hated how the other one would slide off my shoulder. I just got us a backpack version that isn’t “girly”. Lol 
  • We decided on a backpack style although I wanted to get one from fawn design that was more feminine. We decided to get one for both of us so it’s pretty unisex. I think it’ll fit our needs although it takes up a good portion of our stroller bin.

    This is what we put on our registry and got. The padding seems sturdy; we liked the skip hop one posted earlier but the stitching of the handles seemed less sturdy. I like that this one has two insulated side pockets and lots of inside compartments.

  • I just added this one to my registry:


    Fingers crossed that it works out--it looks like it will hold the ten million things I insist on bringing everywhere I go.
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