A few months ago I was on the search for a new diaper bag. We had money on gift cards waiting to be spent and the diaper bag we were using from when Brylee was a baby had seen better days. So, I bought 3 of my favorites and took them home for a little test spin before deciding.
WHAT WENT IN THE BAGS
For this diaper bag comparison, I gathered more than is really necessary for the average shopping trip, but wanted to see how it would all fit.
- WATER BOTTLE - for me
- BOTTLE AND INSULATED BAG - I don't need a bottle and frozen milk when I'm with baby, but this would need to fit in the bag if baby was left with a baby sitter
- DIAPER RASH CREAM - of course, cloth friendly; I don't usually keep this in the bag, but again is handy for babysitter or if there's a current rash to be taken care of
- TWO CLOTH DIAPERS AND COVERS - the covers get reused at home, but on-the-go it's easier for me to throw everything in the wet bag and start fresh; now that Ian's 6 months I'm good with throwing 1 diaper and cover in the bag
- WET BAG - for dirty diapers but also comes in handy for wet clothes
- TWO OUTFITS - between spit-up and potential blow-outs, extra clothes was essential especially in the newborn stage; now I just keep a onesie in the bag
- TWO BURP CLOTHS - my babies spit up a lot; early on I needed more, now I just keep one at the ready in a side pocket (the newborn GMD prefolds work perfect for that)
- HAND SANITIZER - just plain handy to have
- A FEW CLOTH WIPES - these are baby wash cloths that I wet before use and get thrown in the wet bag after use; just like disposables, they also come in handy for cleaning up other messes
- NOSE PLUNGER - not sure what it's actually called, but that's what we call it; I only kept this in the bag in those first couple weeks or when baby was stuffy
- NURSING COVER - I have one at home for when company is over, and this one stays in the diaper bag
- WALLET - this can easily be taken out when I run to the store by myself or leave baby with a sitter; it's big enough to also hold my cell phone and chap stick and clip in my keys.
- 1-2 RECEIVING BLANKETS (not pictured) - I sometimes carry them especially when it's chillier, but they come in handy for blocking sun or filling in as a changing mat
- CHANGING MAT (not pictured) - I have a black folded changing pad that came from another diaper bag
This bag attracted me first because it's masculine enough for Daniel to carry. But once I got everything in, it just didn't fit right and the flap wouldn't lay flat which made it awkward to carry. Not to mention, things in the bag were a little difficult to get to.
Isn't this bag cute? Its obvious first strike is that Daniel wouldn't be comfortable carrying it. But, if I loved it, it wouldn't matter much because I'm the one running around with the baby anyway. Everything fit nicely, but a little snug for how big it is, and it felt big when I had it on my shoulder. Not exactly the kind of thing that's easy to carry around on quick trips to the store.
This bag has pockets big enough to carry everything with room to spare. It's deep enough that digging becomes necessary to get to the bottom, and again, just plain bulky to carry around.
WHAT I CHOSE
Basically, all of the diaper bags are just plain big and a little complicated for my liking. So, I opted for this $12 canvas bag I found at Target.
Its main compartment is big enough to hold the essentials (diapers, wipes, wet bag, change of clothes), it has pockets on each side perfect for my wallet in one and a burp cloth at the ready in the other, and it's a light bag so it only gets as big or heavy as the stuff that I put in it. It can hold a lot, but isn't overkill when I only want to carry a couple things. Plus, it's easily washable, so much cheaper, low fuss (too many pockets complicates things), and the one long strap fits perfectly over our jogger's handle. It's really easy to reach in for whatever I need and easily snaps closed with a magnetic snap. Its one strike is that Daniel's not excited about carrying it, but his outings with baby are short enough that he's fine leaving the bag in the car just in case and not taking it into the store with him.
When Brylee was in daycare, a diaper bag that we could stuff with a day's worth of supplies was handy. Now that I stay home with Ian, I only need 1-2 diapers and a change of clothes for each outing, and this smaller bag perfectly meets those needs.