When you’re a new mom, you might go days without showering or a full night’s sleep.  You might even find yourself going shopping in slippers and yoga pants.  No matter what you do without, though, one thing that every mother of a new baby will never forget is her diaper bag.  We’ll help you find the best diaper bag for your needs.

 

For a new mom, the diaper bag is as important as a first aid kit is to a paramedic, or our cell phones for many of the rest of us.  It is always well stocked with diapers and wipes, a change of clothes, a couple of baby’s favorite toys, a blanket, and anything else baby could possibly need while away from home.

Some moms want to maintain some of their pre-baby sense of style and fashion, a diaper bag may replace the purse, holding all of her necessities as well as baby’s.  The bag will be carefully chosen to reflect mom’s personality.

Other moms see the diaper bag as just for baby and will choose a bag with pink or blue accents, perhaps with baby’s name embroidered on the bag.

One of the most popular models is a neutral black and tan, equally comfortable for dad to carry.  A bag like this can be used for years, becoming a gym bag for an older child.

The choice can be overwhelming, there are many types of diaper bags, how do you decide?  Look at it like this: diaper bags are a lot like cars.  You might be looking for a diaper bags for girls.  Every car has four tires, seats, steering wheel, etc.  Likewise, every model has a wide strap for comfortable carrying, plenty of room for diapers and toys, a place to put at least one bottle, pockets inside and outside for snacks, wipes, change of clothes, your wallet, whatever you may need.  It doesn’t matter if you grab one up at a yard sale for $5, or shell out hundreds for a custom, handcrafted bag, they are all basically the same.

Some features that aren’t standard include cell phone pockets, insulated sections, or waterproof bags with zippers for wet or soiled clothing.  Many are machine washable.  These are the kinds of things you’ll want to consider when picking out the bag you’ll be carrying with you every time you leave the house for at least the next couple of years.

 

Basic features

Diaper bags are generally designed for new moms.  Life with a new baby is never simple or easy, especially when leaving the house, but the top diaper bags will be packed with features to help make things a little easier.  Here are a few of the most popular features to think about when shopping for a diaper bag.

Pockets  

Pockets inside

You probably need a variety of supplies available when you leave home with your baby.  Without pockets to keep it all organized, you might as well just throw everything in a bag together.  They can have pockets inside and/or outside.  They may be basic cloth, open at the top, or heavy duty pockets with zippers or snaps.  Fasteners on the pockets can be a double edged sword, keeping your belongings secure, but requiring precious extra seconds when you need something now.  Look for a model with a variety of different sized pockets so you can organize supplies.

Mom’s Section

Unless you want to find yourself carrying your purse along with the bag, you want a model with enough space for your necessities as well.  If dad or grandma will be regularly taking baby, it may be easier to keep your things in a separate purse, but if baby will primarily be with you, it just makes sense to put your keys, wallet, phone, and other basics in the bag.

Generally, your belongings will be higher value items than baby’s (well, except maybe baby’s favorite pacifier), so you want to make sure there is a space for these items with a zipper or some other way to close it securely.

Changing pad

Changing Pad

Most options have a matching changing pad so you have a clean place to lay baby wherever you may be.  A good changing pad needs to be waterproof and easy to clean.  Look for one that isn’t bulky, but is plenty big enough to protect baby from potentially unsanitary surfaces.  If you tend to frequent the same places that you know have good places to change baby, you may prefer not to take up space with a changing pad.  Still, in an unexpected situation, you may be glad to have one on hand.  Disposable pads are less bulky, if that is a concern.

Straps

Pretty much every model comes with an adjustable strap that may be detachable, to maximize comfort for each individual.  Some diaper bags come with stroller clips, for added versatility.  Stroller clips are great for kids who are content to ride, while older children who are always on the go, or babies that refuse to ride make the shoulder strap a necessity.

Insulated cooler section

An insulated area is useful for storing bottles for bottle-fed babies, or drinks and snacks for mom and older children.  Some models have a bottle cooler as well as a section for snacks.  Look for a removable cooler section, as it will take up space and may not be needed for many outings.  Having that feature available will prove valuable on long summer days outdoors.

Cleaning

Caring for a baby or small child is nearly a guarantee that things (including your bag) will get dirty.  A bag that scuffs easily or doesn’t resist stains will look really bad really fast.  Look for a bag made from material that can be easily wiped clean and machine washed when needed.  A bag with little feet on the bottom can help prevent scuffs and dirt when putting the bag on the floor.  If you find a bag that you just love that isn’t stain resistant, you can purchase a fabric spray that can help repel moisture and prevent stains.

There are many options to choose from, but no one bag is going to be perfect for all parents.  You might find a bag with tons of pockets for organizing, but if you need space for bulky items, it’s not going to be much good for you.  Dad might be more likely to carry a neutral canvas backpack than a frilly diaper bag, but you might prefer to express yourself with something cuter.  Before shopping, think about what you want out of it, then shop for a bag that matches.

 

 

Diaper Bag Reviews

Skip Hop Duo Essential Diaper Bag, Chevron

Skip Hop Duo Essential, Chevron

This bag is has it all, style, convenience, and packed with all the features you could want, and some you might not have even thought of.  The Skip Hop Duo Gray Chevron bag is a lifesaver.

The bag has plenty of pockets to keep all of your and your baby’s items organized, safe, and dry.  Pockets have magnetic closures to keep your belongings safe and secure, while enabling you to access items without having to fumble with zippers or snaps.  The duo comes with unique shuttle clips, so it can be quickly and easily converted to a stroller bag.  Full Review.

Skip Hop Forma Pack & Go Diaper Tote 

Skip Hop Forma Pack & Go Diaper Tote

This bag is made from quilted polyester in a variety of muted colors, so stains are not a problem.  The Skip Hop Forma Pack & Go has 11 pockets, many of them zippered and on the outside of the bag, so you always have everything you need right at your fingertips.

The bag also has a matching changing pad, removable insulated bag for bottles, and a second mesh bag with a zipper to keep small items from getting lost in the bottom of the bag.  Full Review.

JJ Cole Mode Diaper Tote

JJ Cole Mode Diaper Tote

If you’re looking for a stunning bag that stands out from the crowd, the JJ Cole Mode Diaper Tote comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns to reflect your personal style.

The bag has a plenty of organization, with a total of twelve pockets.  It has a pair of tote straps, as well as an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap and nonslip stroller grips, giving you plenty of options for carrying.

The matching changing pad is large enough to give you plenty of space for diaper changes, but folds so flat that it takes up virtually no space in the bag.  Full Review.

Ju-Ju-Be’s Super Be Zippered Tote in “The Duchess”

Ju-Ju-Be’s Super Be Zippered Tote in “The Duchess”

This regal sounding  bag comes in a fashionable black and white polka dot design and is made of polyester treated with Teflon, so it resists not just spills and stains, but mold, mildew and bacteria as well.  You’ll especially appreciate this if you’re a typical new mom who tends to be a bit of a germaphobe!

This bag is super lightweight and has a total of nine pockets to help you stay organized.  It’s large enough to hold your necessities along with everything you need for baby, so you can store your purse for a while.  Full review.