Diaper Bag Buying Guide
Considerations Before Buying
The right diaper bag will be able to carry all of the gear that you want to carry whenever you go on an outing with your baby. Finding the right bag can reduce the stress parents may experience when taking the baby out. Diaper changes, clothing changes and even feedings are not always easy when you are away from home.
It is important to make sure that whenever you leave the house, you are prepared for any number of situations that can arise. Being prepared can make any outing stress-free and enjoyable. The right bag will have plenty of room for all of the things you want to bring with you whenever you are away from home.
The idea in choosing a diaper bag is not to just look at how “cute” it is and whether it matches the theme of your nursery. The main goal is function. Style can play a part in your choice, but the most important question is does it have the room you need to carry all of the supplies you want to carry?
What Do You Need to Carry?
There are many things that you will need a diaper bag to carry. One of the common mistakes a parent makes it to underestimate what they need and not bring the things that can truly turn an outing into a relaxed, enjoyable event rather than a game of beat the clock in the event unforeseen delays or circumstances occur.
Below we have compiled a list of the most common and important items that you will want to have room for when it comes to leaving the house with your baby.
- Extra diapers – bring at least 5 extra diapers with you on an outing. This allows for unexpected diaper changes as well as ensuring the baby can be changed if you decide to stay out longer than you first anticipated.
- Plenty of wipes – a travel pack of wipes should be sufficient. Make sure it is full when you leave the house.
- Diaper rash cream – you never know when your baby may show signs of a diaper rash. Having that cream at the ready can prevent an unexpected rash from progressing any further than it has to.
- 2 changes of clothes – babies have accidents, so having at least one, two if possible, changes of clothing allow for the unforeseeable diaper accidents or clothing malfunctions.
- Formula or breast milk – Making sure you have plenty to feed your baby while you’re out is very important. Even if you think you will be home by feeding time, delays can happen and plans can change that could prevent you from getting home by feeding time. If your baby is bottle fed, or you are not comfortable breastfeeding away from home, you will need to ensure that you have bottles, formula and/or breast milk on hand. If you are carrying made up breast milk or formula in bottles you will need a way to keep those bottles cool so an icepack or cooler bag is a must.
- Toys – Having things on hand to distract and entertain the baby is a must, especially if the baby is 10 months and older. Plush toys, toy keys, board books, rattles and teethers are all excellent toys to have on hand.
- Baby pain reliever – In the event that your baby gets an unexpected fever, it is very good to have baby pain reliever on hand; either acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Teething ointment – If your baby is teething age, be sure to carry teething pain reliever along with you when you leave the house. It’s always better to have it and NOT need it, than need it and not have it.
- Snacks – If your baby is old enough, you will want to have snacks on hand if they get hungry. Baby cookies, crackers, and safe little snacks that they can eat while you are out are the best. Remember to be careful feeding your baby food while you are driving. In the event they choke, you are not able to get to them quickly.
Types of Diaper Bags
There are many different styles, sizes and types of diaper bags on the market. Each one has its own particular style. Most diaper bags have the same basic framework of what they offer: multiple pockets, including bottle pockets, shoulder straps, large interior area, great design and more. Depending on the type of bag it is, these elements may present themselves in different ways.
We have outlined the different types of diaper bags below. This information will provide you with the differences in the different bags so you can see which one best suits your needs and preferences.
- Duffel – Duffel style diaper bags typically have a large interior area, short handles and a long shoulder strap, and some have outside zipper or slip in pockets. The large interior area is usually closed with a zipper to keep the contents inside safely.
- Totes – A tote is similar to a large handbag. It can usually be carried with one or two handles and some even have a longer, messenger bag style strap that you can wear over the shoulder, or across the body.
- Backpack – Backpack diaper bags are a design that appeals to the outdoor lover. If you are the type that likes unique and different things, then you will like the backpack diaper bag. It typically will have a main zippered compartment and other smaller pockets. You carry it over your shoulders the same way you do a regular backpack.
- Traditional Style – The traditional diaper is probably the most commonly purchased. It has an adjustable shoulder strap and several pockets inside and out for all of the baby’s gear. The design of these traditional diaper bags tends to be designs that have matching bed sets and other items that decorate a nursery. They also come in solid colors and even different materials as well.
What to Look For in a Diaper Bag
There are many different things you will want to consider before you choose a diaper bag. Taking the time to consider these factors will prevent you from purchasing a diaper bag that is inconvenient, too small or too impractical. These factors are listed below so you will know what to start looking for when you are sorting through all of the diaper bag choices available.
- Lots of Interior Room – The main compartment of the diaper bag needs to be large enough to carry everything that you may need for a long day trip. It is always better to have a little more with you than you need, rather than run the risk of running out of something.
- Comfortable Straps – A diaper bag should be easy to carry and comfortable as well. Many diaper bags have a longer shoulder strap and you want it to be comfortable to carry and not painful or inconvenient. Some bags may have shorter, carry handles or be designed to be attached to the stroller.
- Lots of Pockets – Diaper bags that have a lot of pockets and compartments for organization is preferable to those that just lump everything into one big pocket to sort through. Look for diaper bags that have great organizational features and pockets that make organizing the diaper bag so grabbing the supplies you need is simple and efficient.
- Secure Zippers and other Closures – Zippers are probably the sturdiest closure a bag can have although some bags may have snaps or Velcro closures as well. The types of closures don’t matter as much as how easy they are to open and close, especially if you have one hand tied up with the baby.
- Changing Pad – The majority of diaper bags have a matching changing pad that is in the bag as well. This changing pad almost always color coordinates with the design of the diaper bag. This changing pad is very useful for keeping the baby off of surfaces that you don’t want to lay them on.
A good quality diaper bag is a necessity for every parent who plans on taking their baby on any outings or trips. The basic activities that a baby does on a daily basis: eating, sleeping and diaper changes require multiple supplies that you need. Having a good diaper bag prevents you from scrambling to find these supplies or being put in a situation of having a very unhappy baby while you are out.
The information we have provided here will help you choose the right diaper bag for your needs including the style, size and features. Being prepared when you have a baby prevents stress and unhappy outings for both you and your baby.