Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DYRN: Diaper Bags

Do you really need a diaper bag?  Well, yes and no.  Most women love handbags and hardly need an excuse to buy a new one.  There are a million different diaper bags on the market but I have yet to find one that is life changing.  In Orion’s first year, I used 3 different diaper bags.  Each had its ups and downs and I plan to keep them all to use in the event of future babies. 

Please pay no mind to the bad cell phone pictures or crappy couch.
The first diaper bag we bought at Ikea.  I thought it was perfect for me and my husband to use because of the gender neutral black and white print.  This bag is mostly a changing pad with a few pockets with room for diapers, wipes, camera, cell phone,a few other sundries and it came with an attachable insulated bottle bag.  It was perfect for the early days because we weren't spending too much time out of the house.  It is also great for when my husband and I leave the house together and I want to carry a real purse.  He can carry the minimalist diaper bag.  It is light and can't really be filled to be too heavy so the messenger style does not cause any back issues.
Orion wants to use the changing pad!
Then when we were heading out to Michigan I began thinking it might be good to have a diaper bag which will hold a bunch of stuff so I could walk out of the house with just one day for the day.  Orion was 6 months at this point.  I bought this JJ Cole 180 diaper bag.  The print was a bit more feminine but it didn't bother my husband.  It came with a removable changing pad, which I love and a pacifier pod which I never used.  It is also full of pockets including a section for diapers and wipes and then a section for everything else.  I do believe that the bigger the bag, the more stuff you will stuff into the bag.  This bag filled up pretty quickly and felt suddenly small.  Also, the messenger style really isn't good for your back.  Carrying this bag leaden with stuff can wreak havoc on your back and posture.  It did come with hanging tabs so you can hang it from your stroller with the weight evenly distributed.

Since this bag came with a changing pad that can hold a few diapers and wipes I got to thinking that any bag could be a diaper bag.  We also started using cloth diapers when we were out and about and not just at home.  Going out with cloth diapers requires a different kind of diaper bag.  You need to have a wet bag to hold the dirty diapers and a dry bag to hold the clean diapers.  I got one of these bags
Open to largest size
Cloth diapers can be pretty bulky so I wanted this bag to fit inside a bigger bag.  I wanted the biggest bag I could find.  I found this Betsy Johnson bag for a great price and couldn’t pass it up.  My husband liked it more than the plain black option I brought home.  He has never minded being left holding the bag and I do love seeing him holding my purse.  I have stuffed this bag with an emergency change of clothes, burp cloth, bid, nursing cover, diaper bag, and a million other things.  Having such a big bag can get heavy and unruly but this bag is adjustable so I can make it smaller if I decide to travel light.  
Closed to smallest size
With the availability of diaper changing pads which can hold wipes and a few diapers, any bag can be a diaper bag.  Same goes with the wet/dry bags for cloth diapers.  They will hold diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, and even a pack of plastic bags for those crazy messy diapers. But let’s face it, I am a handbag whore and I just bought a new bag yesterday.  It is a giant jute tote perfect for the beach, farmer’s market, or using as a diaper bag!  I love pink and orange together and I love goldfish so this bag was made for me!

You really don’t need to spend a lot of money on a diaper bag.  I know that Petuina Picklebottom bag is so very cute but I have never been comfortable spending over a $100 on a bag.  I was even uncomfortable spending the $50 on the JJ Cole bag.  Remember I am cheap and doubt that will ever change.  But maybe if I spent the $100 some odd bucks on a PPB diaper bag I wouldn't have had any interest in any other diaper bag.  I don't know, maybe it really is the be all end all of diaper bags?  Or maybe the answer is a $999 Gucci diaper bag, I will never discover the answer.  

Bottom line, you really do not need a dedicated diaper bag because you can spend as little as $12 on a changing pad station and turn any bag into a diaper bag.  If you want to save some money, you can find used diaper bags for sale on craigslist or at thrift stores.  You can also feel free to buy yourself a nice diaper bag to congratulate yourself on carrying a baby for 9 months and giving birth.  Either way, happy shopping!     

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