In the last three weeks, I've perma-lost my keys, misplaced my phone about fifteen times, and lost my wallet for a day or two. My husband is irritated with this forgetfulness, understandably so. At the moment, our family and all of our stuff is strewn between two houses that are over an hour apart. In the mad rush to get out the door, my essentials get tossed into whatever bag is handy. Of course, deciding which bag is going to make the most sense is an effort in logistics. Don't be surprised if you see me walking out the door with three bags: one for me with two diapers and a few wipes and all my stuff, one for Grandma with all the kids' stuff, and one with the object of the errand at hand.
Before Shep was born, I had no concept of what would be useful or helpful in a diaper bag. More experienced moms told me to get a backpack, so we got a Skip Hop backpack in solid black. It's served us well but is fairly basic and I'm craving an upgrade. My thinking is: a fancier bag will keep track of my stuff for me, right? Or, like new workout clothes, it will give me the motivation to commit to a habit by formalizing the process.
Where am I? Ah. Lost in my thoughts. Maybe I need a nifty new bag to collect myself! Here are the features I'm eyeballing in my next diaper bag.
The latest diaper bags (and luggage!) include a built-in battery for charging devices on the go! My phone is always dying, so this is a must for me. I guess now I'll have to remember to charge the diaper bag overnight!
When your kid is projectile vomiting and you need to grab a burp rag RIGHT NOW, a complicated latch is the last thing you want to be fiddling with. Not only should the right diaper bag open and close with one hand, it should also contain a few pockets that are easy to access from the outside. One for your phone and keys, another for a bottle, and maybe a third for an Epipen or pacifiers. Having to dig through a whole diaper bag just to find your keys is a pain in the rumpus. Trust me, I do it every day.
Wipes On Board
I love me a wipes-specific pocket! You'll often see them on the front of side of a diaper bag, with a top opening so wipes are always at your fingertips. If I only used wipes for diaper changes this might not be so helpful, but I use them for *everything*. My Skip Hop changing pad has a plastic wipes case, but it doesn't dispense. If I use a Huggies reusable wristlet-style wipes case, I can add my own cloth wipes!
Every parent is going to have a different preference on diaper bag style - backpack or messenger or designer. I like being hands-free, so a backpack has its advantages. However, it's impossible to wear a backpack with a ring sling - the shoulder straps overlap. No matter how it straps on, make sure the straps are soft and adjustable. You're going to be wearing this thing on some mighty long days, so every little bit of creature comfort counts. I personally love the stroller-carry clips on my Skip Hop backpack - they're really handy when you're in the grocery store, too!
One of the biggest factors for me is washability. If I could waterproof literally everything my kid wears or touches, I would. Just yesterday he spilled melted green popsicle all over the floor! Diaper bags are no exception - spilled milk or formula, spit up food, poo-splosions - parenting isn't pretty. Since little kids make such big messes, the bag that contains all their crap (literally?) better be able to handle a hearty scrubbing.
Change It Up
My Skip Hop came with a basic changing pad included, but I opted to buy the changing pad combo anyway. In my next bag, I'm hoping that it comes with a coordinating changing pad that stores easily within the bag. Have you seen the bags that unzip on the side and fold out to become a whole changing station? Those are amazing! Pair that with an easy-access wipes pocket and I'm sold!
Which of these features do you like best in your own diaper bag? Is there one I should check out? Tell me your favorites on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3.