Diaper Bags, Decisions, and Dollar Signs

Thanks so much for all your input earlier this week in regards to my diaper bag quandary. Quite a few of you chimed in to tell me what issues you’d faced with your own diaper bags, what qualities mattered the most, and what you liked to carry around with you in your own bag. (You can see all the comments and feed back here.)

Whew. There’s a lot to learn and wade through when it comes to shopping for baby, so I appreciate you all opening up in hopes that it will ease and guide my decision-making.

It’s not really that picking a diaper bag is a huge ordeal or life-threatening or any of that. It’s just that there’s so much to take into account with a new baby and I want to make sure that when we make purchases, that we’re making them wisely rather than on something that we’ll end up discarding or disliking soon after.

A few years ago, I learned about that firsthand when I went shopping for hair straighteners. I remember going to Target and picking out a $30 or $40 hair straightener. With daily use, it ended up dying after a year. So I went back to target and purchased another straightener, this time $40 or $50. It still ended up dying about a year later. Finally, I polled my friends, read reviews and bought a $100 straightener. It’s lasted me for more than 4 years now, effectively costing me only $25 a year.

Sometimes spending more up-front can end up costing less over the long-run. That’s kind of the same mentality I try to sort through when it comes to almost any spending decision: How can I make the most of this purchase?

Anyway, so that’s the approach I’ll be taking as we start making our way down this newfound buying-for-baby road, which is why I really appreciate you all taking the time to chime in on share your own experiences with me. It helps all the decision-making that goes into it a ton easier to have the firsthand accounts!

In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from the diaper-bag suggestions post you offered up, in summary:
  • Yes, you definitely need a diaper bag. And you'll probably be better off buying a bag that's intended as a diaper bag, versus a random bag you have in your closet.
  • It doesn’t have to be huge but it will probably need to be bigger than you expect.
  • Pick one with lots of pockets and organization options, so that you can find things quickly without too much digging around.
  • Some people preferred backpack style vs. messenger-bag style. Which makes me interested in getting a convertible one that can do both.
  • Make sure it’s waterproof. There will be spills!
  • Plus, you can read all the other comments everyone shared here.
If you have any other insights (whether it’s to add more to the diaper-bag discussion or just about other best-buy baby purchases), I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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Diaper Bags: Necessary or Not? 
My Fourth Month of Pregnancy


  1. Holy Smokes. I've got 2 words for you. Petunia Picklebottom.

    I purchased the Boxy Backpack to actually take to school with me because I liked the fact that it is a backpack (and it's huge)!

    This, my dear- was a game changer. I will definitely be looking for a P.P. bag when we do have a baby.

    Here's why:
    It has a backpack OR messenger option
    The outside fabric is water/stain resistant and wipes off easily
    tons and tons of nooks and pockets
    The front pocket unzips and gives you the option of using it as a changing pad
    It comes with its own travel-case for wipes
    The straps are really sturdy (Tim and I both said it reminds us of seatbelt material-THAT STRONG!)
    It fits easily under an airplane seat

    The list goes on....tons of cute patterns. The price is a little steep, but you can check craigslist or ebay! :)

    Just my two cents. No baby in this house. I asked the dogs what they thought of the bag, but I don't think they cared. ;)

  2. I'm glad the advice were helpful, I am not a mother yet but I thoroughly enjoy these series.

  3. I just discovered your blog & LOVE IT!! thank you. I just had my first baby & thus I too was faced wiht the diaper bag quandry. however, I was a nanny for 10 years for sure I would know what I wanted. well I kinda knew what I wanted... 1)A backpack. messengers will screw up my back, backpacks are just convenient and grow with baby. 2) durable & washable 3) POCKETS!!!! 4) CHEAP!!! welll, 3 weeks post partum and digging through a tote I was using I was over it. So I went on a quest. I knew that I was purchasing an Ergo Carrier & just happened to discover their backpack. One of them connects to the carrier and is convertable to a messenger bag. I LOVE IT, it is Canvas/cotton so it's washable, durable and new it was under $50- score. Plus it attaches to the carrier that I love...

  4. I recently bought one of those healthy back bags (you know, the ones shaped like a teardrop?) I go to church with a family with 10 kids and the mom said by the time she got to the last few kids, she realized what she needed and just got one of those bags to throw everything in. Now I don't have kids (so take this advice with a grain of salt) but as an artist and athlete and etc...Sometime the best bags aren't the fancy schmancy diaper bags (or athletic bags...or art boxes) but just a good quality, comfortable bag that gets the job done.

  5. Another thing I forgot...kids get heavy. A messenger style diaper bag + kid will be heavier. I mean, I get it because I seem to pack the kitchen sink when travelling but at some point, one needs to be realistic. Be careful on your shoulders and back; maybe some sort of medium sized bag? You can always keep an extra change of clothes or that 15th snack/toy/etc... in the car. If you don't use it very often, it can probably stay in the car most times. As an art kid, I tend to be a slight hoarder and having a smaller bag FORCES me to carry less. It may be nice to have my 10th pen or another notebook or that X "just in case", but realistically, if i really need it, I can get it from the car wherever I am. As far as pockets go...ther are some bags made with pockets. Also, you could always add smaller bags inside for specific jobs (food in pink bag, clothes in green bag...) to help control the chaos if need be.

    (That said, I really would recommend those teardrop shaped healthy back bags...IDK about it as a diaper bag but it has reduced my shoulder problems tremendously just by the way it's made. Oh, and tons of pockets. TONS. Trust me, some backpacks are made with plenty of pockets. And the inside is the water resistant ripstop nylon, with a space for two separate water bottles. Completely worth all $70 I spent.)

  6. Diaper bags can save lots of money which would be spent on hand bags. Unlike normal bags, diaper bags are stronger and bigger. I'm a mother of two children and I know how useful such bags are for a mother like me.

    Patria Jase


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