Selecting the Diaper Bag


One of the things I was most excited about when I found out I was pregnant with Hudson was getting to pick out a diaper bag. For some, it’s just a diaper bag. But for me, it was another excuse to buy an accessory. And I knew that this particular accessory and I would be spending a lot of time together over the years. I had a solid list of the things I wanted in my diaper bag.

I wanted it to be stylish. And I wanted it to match my style. I didn’t want a baby bag. I wanted a bag that I would enjoy carrying. After all, it wasn’t going to be my baby’s accessory, it was my accessory. It needed to be neutral enough to match my ever-changing wardrobe. I didn’t want a pink or blue bag that screamed “baby.”

While I wanted my bag to be stylish, I wanted it to be practical. I wanted to buy an actual diaper bag. It was important to me that I could empty the bag and wipe it out with a wet wipe to clean it all out. If a bottle or sippy cup spilled in the bag, I didn’t want to be crying because my bag was ruined! I wanted it to be designed to handle any messes that come from baby and toddler gear.

It needed to be slightly man-friendly. There would be the chance that Todd would have to carry it on occasion, so I wanted him to feel comfortable carrying it. But I still wanted it to be stylish for me. The bag needed to be comfortable. It was really important to me to go to the store and try the bag on. It needed to feel comfortable on my shoulder and needed to have easy access. So I pretended to hold a baby with my right arm while the bag sat on my left shoulder. I attempted to access the inside of the bag while just using my left hand and not using my right hand. Some of my favorite bags were a tote style, and I couldn’t get inside the bag without taking it off my arm.

The final thing I was looking for was lots of pockets. I need to be able to put my keys and cell phone in an outside pocket so I can easily access them. I also wanted to have two outside pockets for bottles or sippy cups. Inside the bag, I wanted at least one zipper pocket and then two or three more pockets/compartments to help organize and divide up the necessities.

I ultimately decided that a stylish, nylon-lined, messenger-style bag was the perfect one for me. It was a little bit man-friendly. The black and white pattern was neutral enough to go with lots of different outfits. The inside is nylon, so it could be easily wiped out when messes occur. The flap closure and long shoulder strap make it extremely easy to access while I hold one of my kids with the other arm. There are plenty of pockets for keys, cell phones, bottles on the outside and lots of great pockets on the inside. I’ve carried this bag every single day for the last three years. I still love it!

What kind of diaper bag did you look for? What was most important to you when choosing a bag?

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  1. says

    LOVE yours. We’ve recently switched to a diaper backpack because it’s just so much easier when pushing a stroller or going for a long walk or being out for extended amount of time.

  2. says

    I’ve chosen one very similar to that. It is the solid black one, and it will definitely be an item purchased before the baby arrives. I have an aversion to cutesy baby bags. 🙂

  3. says

    I am an advocate of an actual baby bag, too. My first one was just an LL Bean tote and it didn’t have enough pockets. I opted to spend some big bucks for a stylish Timi & Leslie bag and am in love. Plus, I never knew how important a cross-body strap would be (whether permanent or detached) until I started lugging a second kid around. That’s a MUST for me now!

  4. says

    I had the same aversion to a baby bag that looks like a baby bag. I opted for a black, nylon bag that even though it’s an actual “diaper bag,” it doesn’t necessarily look like one. I figured that this was a bag that I’m probably going to be carrying in lieu of a purse for much of the foreseeable future, so it might as well be what I want!

  5. says

    For each of my kids, I bought regular diaper bags to hold all the necessities and hated it! They were both from Carter’s and worked great to haul ALL the stuff around but I’ve found it’s easier for me to just have a small little bag big enough to fit 2 diapers, a little case of wipes and a bottle or sippy. It’s actually a little bag that I used as a purse years ago. I try to go back to the big bags, but return to my little courderoy bag every time. It has two little pockets on the inside for my chapstick and phone and it’s also big enough for me to put my wallet in. Everything I need fits in there and I have a lot less on me to chase after the two kiddos! Even if we are going on big day trips or gone for the weekend, the supplies I need I keep in in the car and just refill the little bag. Oh and I always have a few diapers and a mini case of wipes stored in the pocket behind the seats. That way I’m never caught without.

    Oh, this is officially my first comment on your blog!

  6. Tracey says

    Ooooh! Great bag!! What kind is it? I’m going to be shopping for my diaper bag in the next couple of weeks so I love this post!

  7. Sara says

    I’ll be shopping for a diaper bag soon, so this is really helpful! If you don’t mind me asking, where is the bag from? I’d love something similar to this.

  8. Erin says

    I love your Kate Spade bag! I don’t have children yet, but have found all my mommy friends have the best bags. I now own two skip hop bags and a kate spade tote like bag. Apparently all are diaper bags, but I use them for travel or my nursing bag for work. Who knew nurses needed so many pockets??

  9. says

    If we had been expecting a girl, I would have gone with something cute and sassy. When we found out we were having a boy, something inside of me said to go with function over fun, practicality over pretty. We went with a baby backpack diaper bag by Columbia and love it! Love your classic KS bag, by the way!

  10. says

    Anything I could wear and have both hands free! I had a Skip Hop that had short straps to hang on the back of the stroller and I liked that a lot, too.

  11. says

    I have a JJ Cole diaper bag now that I got for a steal at Marshall’s but I really want something less diaper bag looking- pretty much every thing you have specified you wanted from yours! it’s ok, but I sort of wish I had a Petunia Pickle Bottom instead or a Kate Spade or something.

    I have yet to find a diaper bag I LOVE.

  12. says

    I love this post. My baby is two months old and I don’t have a proper diaper bag. I am using the one which came with her travel system. I don’t have one just because I couldn’t find one I liked. I am still searching ; )

  13. says

    I spent so much time worrying about this with my first child. Hours and Hours! I ended up with a OiOi and I liked the looks of it but it has not held up at all! I got a new bag when Henry was born but do not carrry it much. It mostly stays in the car and I just throw my stuff in the stroller. Your bag is super cute!

  14. says

    I love your diaper bag! When we were pregnant with Chloe, I let the Hubs pick out ours….I thought that since he’d be carrying it most of the time when we were together, that it should be something he liked. And I knew that it shouldn’t be pink just to make him feel a bit more manly. LOL! So, ours was black wit green circles. Until I was introduced to ThirtyOne bags…..I bought one, and got Chloe’s name stitched in it, and that’s what we carry now. It’s perfect!!

  15. step moMster says

    gosh! i never thought of the man carryability factor. my husband draws the line at holding my purse when we are out shopping – and i want to try something on without going to the fitting room (i do this all the time!). if we are blessed with children, i’ll be sure to consider him when making this purchase.

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