As a new parent, many things can aid you in your newly found parenthood. Some of these things are crucial, like diapers and baby food. Some of the objects that you will need can aid you in an entirely different way, and they may be a little less obvious.
If you are hoping to be the best parent you can be, you may end up needing a little bit of help, and it is not shameful to admit this. Today, we are going to take a look at something that can help you immensely as the parent of a new baby or a young toddler.
You may be wondering what could be so helpful as to aid you through the difficult days of newfound parenthood. Well, let us introduce you to the diaper bag. Bear with us; while a diaper bag may not sound as attractive as some of us would wish, you will find that it is quite helpful.
A diaper bag, contrary to what you may expect from the name, is not a bag which is only meant to house diapers for your young child. In fact, a better name for a diaper bag would be a toddler bag. These bags are intended for parents of younger children, ranging from older babies all the way up to toddlers.
These bags make it far easier for you to bring everything you may end up needing in most situations as the parent of a younger child. While diapers are the most common object that you will need in a pinch, there are many other things that you can bring in a diaper bag which make them ideal even for older children.
If your child ends up having an unfortunate accident, you will be happy that you brought a diaper bag with you, but there are other situations in which you may end up using it. For example, if you need to bring food and snacks with you for your child, a diaper bag will help immensely.
This is the main aspect that you have to search for in a diaper bag: versatility. If your diaper bag can’t be used to carry all sorts of different objects, it will be outclassed by the next best competitor. Keeping that in mind, let’s move on to how diaper bags are made.
You may be wondering how exactly these bags are made. Most of the time, they are designed to contain multiple compartments that can be used for all sorts of different goods and supplies. Having a baby or a small child to look after can be hard work, and you may end up needing a decent number of things to care for them, after all.
You will find that these bags tend to be made of either natural or synthetic materials, and each of these choices has its own variety of pros and cons. We will look at the materials that go into these bags later on, but the decision you make when it comes to the construction of your bag will have a significant bearing on its effectiveness.
Diaper Bag Types
Diaper bags come in various styles from backpacks and tote bags to satchels and crossbodies.
Diaper bags that are shaped like tote bags have a few advantages over the competition, and this makes them one of the most popular options around for those who are looking for diaper bags. For those of our readers who are unacquainted with tote bags, they tend to resemble an oversized purse.
A tote bag has the advantage of a form that many mothers will be familiar with since they mostly resemble purses and shopping bags, which most parents have used before. These bags also tend to be a little bit larger than the competition so they will end up having more storage room for your items.
A messenger diaper bag is in the shape of a messenger bag, which is a rectangular bag that features a single strap that is supposed to go over the wearer's shoulder. Messenger bags are a little more compact than some of the other options you will find, but they don't sacrifice storage space to achieve this.
You may wish to opt for a messenger diaper bag if you do not feel like you have enough storage space to accommodate a larger bag, or if you envision yourself packing quite a lot of things into the bag. While these bags are usually a little more pricey, they are one of the best options.
Backpacks are another type of diaper bag that is much more portable than some of the other options. Since a backpack will have two straps that go over your shoulders and it will be situated on your back, you will have the advantage of arms which are free.
Few diaper bags will leave both your hands and arms free to do whatever you desire, but backpack diaper bags do have a few disadvantages as well. You will find that these diaper bags can get a little uncomfortable after they are carried around for an extended period of time, which can end up being a dealbreaker.
Convertible bags are unique in that they combine all of the positive aspects of the other bag types that we have seen so far into a single design. They do this, of course, at the expense of specialization, so you can’t expect a convertible bag to perform as well as any other single bag type.
You may be wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to convertible diaper bags. These bags are designed to be converted into one of three general configurations. The first is a tote-like configuration that features dual handles, another setup is similar to the sling of a messenger bag, and the last option is a pair of straps to turn the bag into a backpack.
This variety of diaper bag is designed to be used with a baby stroller, so it comes equipped with several features that will make your life easier in this application. Since these bags are designed for children who are still young enough to be walked around in strollers, you will find that they don’t have as much storage room as other options.
This lack of storage room is made up for when it comes to the ability to tether the bag to your stroller. With these diaper bags, you no longer have to carry the bag around anywhere you go. You can simply attach your diaper bag to your baby stroller, and you won't have to worry about any issues regarding mobility.
The next type of diaper bag that we will be looking at is the small diaper bag. These bags have the advantage over other options when it comes to portability. If you are hoping to ensure that you can bring your diaper bag with you anywhere, there are few better options than a small diaper bag.
This type of diaper bag is not without its disadvantages, however. The small size of these bags makes it, so they feature less storage space than most of the other available options. If you want to bring everything your child will need, from toys to food, you may wish to opt for a different style of bag.
It is quite easy to confuse a clutch diaper bag with a small diaper bag, but there are a few fundamental differences to keep in mind between these two options. The first difference is that a clutch diaper bag will typically lack straps, as it is meant to be held in your hand, much like a typical clutch purse.
Small diaper bags can overlap with other diaper bag types, so a clutch diaper bag can be a small diaper bag, but the opposite is not always true. A clutch diaper bag is also usually meant to be a little more stylish than other options, so you will not have to worry about it ruining your aesthetic.
This is a more rare type of diaper bag, but there are a few isolated examples of the fanny diaper bag. These are meant to be worn in the same way as a fanny pack, as you may have guessed from the name. There are both pros and cons to these diaper bags, as they are small and compact.
This compactness makes a fanny bag much more portable, and the positioning around your waist means that they will keep your hands and arms free. On the other hand, fanny bags are often too small to bring everything you may need, such as toys, food, and other objects aside from diapers.
The last type of diaper bag that we will be looking at is the designer diaper bag. As you may have guessed from the name, these diaper bags feature superior looks and quality when compared to other diaper bag options. These are an excellent choice for mothers who are looking for a trendy alternative.
The downside to these diaper bags is that they tend to be less common than other options and they also tend to be a little more expensive, which means that you will need a larger budget. If you must look your best while caring for your child, there are few better choices than a designed diaper bag, however.
Having a fully stocked bag ready to go can certainly make it easier to get out the door and change your kid on the go. Take a look on what you need to pay attention on when buying a new diaper bag:
One of the most important things to consider when you are deciding on a new diaper bag is the quality of its construction. As with any other product, you will want your diaper bag to last you a good deal of time, and this will simply not be possible if it doesn’t feature good enough build quality.
Keep in mind that a diaper bag which features better quality does not always have to be more expensive, as some are prone to believe. Using that logic, you may end up spending far more money than you would otherwise need to.
This reason is why reviews and buying guides can help you decide on the best model without you having to invest in a product which you are not yet sure of.
Each type of material has its pros and cons, and will ultimately determine the price you pay for the bag.
As with any other product that will end up being used by a new mother, you can expect your diaper bag to end up getting dirty for any number of reasons. If your bag gets dirty, you will want one which is easy enough to clean. This often depends on what the bag is made out of.
Another thing to look for in the construction of your new diaper bag is weather resistance. By far the most important aspect of weather resistance is sufficient waterproofing. Depending on how waterproof your diaper bag is, it will be able to protect its contents in anything from a light drizzle to a torrential downpour.
A diaper bag which features ample breathability will ensure that the contents do not get damaged by a lack of proper air circulation. While breathability is an aspect which is usually considered when it comes to clothes, you will find that it can also be necessary for bags, especially diaper bags.
Aside from the technical aspects, you should also consider the looks of your bag. Since you will often be carrying your diaper bag in a wide range of situations, it always helps to have a bag that looks good enough to be worn in any of those situations mentioned above. Appearance isn't everything, but it can count sometimes.
A diaper bag that offers a range of innovative features and “extras” can make your life on the go, as a busy mom, much less stressful; simpler for both you, and baby.
Arguably the most straightforward method of closure for your bag, a zipper is a tried and tested option that can work in almost any situation. One of the only disadvantages to zipper closures is that they can be difficult to replace if they end up breaking. Other than that, zippers have the advantage in terms of simplicity and ease of use.
While the strap and clip method of closure may seem a little outdated when it is compared to the other options you have, you will find that it is much more reliable than some of those choices. A strap and clip system is precisely what it sounds like: it consists of a strap that goes through a retaining clip.
Another option that rivals a zipper in terms of simplicity is a simple velcro fastening system. Two or more patches of velcro will be more than able to hold your diaper bag closed. This method has the advantage of being easy to use with one hand, but it has the downside of potentially opening unexpectedly, so it is often used with another closure system.
Magnetic straps or clasps are very likely the best option you have when it comes to a method of closure for your diaper bag. If you are looking for the easiest way to open and close your bag, you will find few better options than magnetic straps, as they will almost close on their own. They are also one of the most reliable closure methods.
You also have many different options when it comes to closing your diaper bag, such as buttons and other types of straps. Most of these latches have been discontinued due to the simplicity of the other options that we have mentioned and the inconvenience of using them, but they may still be present on designer bags.
You should also consider the number of pockets which come included with a diaper bag before you decide to make a purchase, as this will determine how many things you can carry. Some diaper bags will come included with sections that are separate for the child and for the mother, which we will be looking at in the subsequent section.
The more specialized diaper bags that you will come across will feature areas that are meant for use with specific items. For example, some bags will include pockets for baby bottles, where they can be easily accessed for use by your child if they suddenly start crying.
A more specialized baby bottle pocket is the insulated variety, to keep your child’s drink warm. There can also be pockets for baby wipes, which can be easily cleaned once you are done using them.
One of the unique pocket types that you will come across is a pocket which is designed for use by the parent instead of the child. These can be pockets which are designed for your cell phone or your makeup. Any object that you can envision carrying with you while you are with your child can often be kept in these pockets.
A toy hook will give you a spot where you can attach your child's toys without they getting lost in the jumble of items that the bag will contain. This is an excellent option if your child has more than one favorite toy that you will want to bring along.
This feature is present on most diaper bags, and it is what distinguishes them from most other baby bags. A diaper pad is essentially a lightweight, foldable changing pad on which you can position your baby when it needs changing.
Another important consideration is whether or not your diaper bag features feet. Feet will allow you to stand your baby bag up without having to prop it against a wall. This is an essential feature as it will let you change your baby without having to worry about the bag falling over.
This is usually a feature which is reserved for stroller baby bags. If you have a younger child who is still used to being carted around on a stroller, you will find few better options than a baby bag which is compatible with your favorite stroller.
You may be wondering what you should bring in your diaper bag, and we have gone over them in one way or another over the course of this guide, but let’s get them all down in one convenient spot. Diapers, baby food, toys, and almost anything that you would carry in your purse can be carried in your diaper bag.
Here are some of the top manufacturers on the market:
Skip Hop is one of America’s favorite makers of diaper bags. Unlike some of the other makers that we will be going over, Skip Hop focuses on the making and sale of diaper bags. Since they are more specialized than some of the competition, you can expect more thought to have been put into their products.
Ju-Ju-Be is an American company that was founded in California in 2005. They specialize in the sale of different types of bags, including diaper bags. Their products tend to feature superior build quality, but you can also expect their prices to be moderately higher due to this excellent quality.
Unlike some of the other diaper bag makers, Kate Spade is a fashion house. This means that they are best known for their designer diaper bags that feature superior fashion and quality than the competition at a higher cost.
Storksak is another company that specializes in the making of diaper bags. Since their products are optimized to be easier to use than other options, you will find that they are the best choice for new parents.
As with any other product, you will want your diaper bag to be well maintained. To ensure that this is the case, you will have to wash your bag regularly and check for any signs of wear and tear. If possible, you can always sew and patch any split seams yourself to improve your bag’s longevity.
You will want to ensure that your diaper bag is made out of the best materials possible, as PVC’s and other subpar materials can end up hurting your child. Take care when making your diaper bag purchase.
As you can see, diaper bags are highly essential products that can make your job as a new parent much more manageable. Even if you are a grizzled veteran of parenting, you will get excellent use out of one of these bags. Feel free to move on to our buying guide, in which we will examine the best choices for diaper bags.