For new moms who are overwhelmed with all the things you need to buy for your baby, a diaper bag might be last on your list even though it is actually one of the most important items you’ll need. Which begs the next question: how long do you use a diaper bag? For quite a long time, actually. Most moms find out that their diaper bags are absolutely essential not only during the infant years but even years after.
Your tiny infant will grow up to be a precocious toddler who will love to get messy, dirty, and sweaty. From diapers, changing mats, and baby bottles, your diaper bags will now contain a change of clothes, wipes, toiletries, and a snack or two. Since diaper bags are indispensable items during your child’s growing up years, it is vital to buy only quality ones that will last you a long time.
Things to Consider When Buying a Diaper Bag
Now that you’re ready to buy one, it’s important to note that it’s not just the style you need to consider although that is a fairly important detail too. You don’t want to be stuck with a kiddie bag that you’d be embarrassed to bring to a smarter setting. Think long-term and think about getting a design that would be easy to pair with most of your clothes. Other factors you need to consider are as follows:
1. Who Will Carry the Bag?
If it’s the dad who usually carries the bag, a more manly design, i.e., backpack, might be best. If it’s the mom who does, buy one that’s more suited to her choice of color and style. If both parents plan to alternate in carrying it, a neutral color and design would be ideal.
2. How Spacious Do You Need it to be?
For how many kids are you planning to carry stuff? A bag should be roomy and spacious enough to carry all the items each kid needs. Several diaper bags on the market feature a lot of compartments which would make it easy for you to store and organize all your things.
Some parents like to carry only one bag because carrying one for the baby and another one for yourself is just inconvenient. Consider getting one that can store all your personal items as well such as keys, cellphone, and wallet.
3. What is Your Regular Routine Like?
For families or parents who travel frequently, or for extended periods, a bigger diaper bag is necessary to store all of your child’s essentials which should include food, milk, and a few changes of clothes. If the most travel you do is a quick trip to the store or mall, a smaller one should suffice.
4. Breast or Bottle Feeding and Disposable or Cloth Diapering?
Your diaper bag should have compartments for your baby bottles and milk powder dispenser if you bottle feed. If you breastfeed, a smaller bag with enough space for a nursing cover will do. Also, keep in mind that if you use cloth diapers, you will need far more space than when you use disposable ones. Cloth diapers are bulky, and you’d need to consider buying a separate wet bag too for your used cloth diapers.
5. Backpack, Tote Bag, or Messenger Bag?
Each diaper bag style has its advantages. For example, backpacks allow you to keep your hands free to care for your baby. The weight is also distributed evenly on your shoulders which make it more comfortable to carry. Some backpacks have a lot of external storages that allow you easy access to their contents without having to rummage inside the bag. Most dads favor this style over the others because it looks more “manly.”
Tote bags are like big purses or handbags with equally large straps. They’re feminine, come in lots of colors and designs, and are usually favored by moms.
Messenger bags are usually made of cloth but there are leather builds as well. They are worn with one strap going across the chest and over one shoulder. Like backpacks, messenger bags ensure comfort for the wearer even while carrying heavy items but unlike the former, their contents can be easily accessed just by shifting the bag a bit to the front.
The fourth option is convertible bags which are highly versatile since they can switch from one type of bag to another. There are convertibles being sold with detachable/adjustable straps, allowing a backpack to turn into a tote and vice versa.
6. What Material Should the Bag be Made of?
Diaper bags are made of all types of materials, from cotton to leather. Be sure to look for a material that can easily be wiped down in case of spills. If it’s water-resistant or waterproof, then all the better to prevent the contents inside from getting wet or the fabric from getting stained.
7. Does it Include Additional Features?
Some bags have several compartments to store all of your things in an organized manner. Clear pockets allow you to see the content quickly without having to open them. A few diaper bags also have insulated compartments to keep your drinks and food cool and fresh.
Most diaper bags come with additional items such as changing pads which can be entirely removed from the bag to give the baby a clean surface to be changed in. If the diaper bag you like does not come with this feature, there are changing pads that can be bought separately. The same goes for wet bags to store all used diapers in.
How Long Do You Use a Diaper Bag For?
According to many parents, when asked, “how long do you use a diaper bag,” their bags usually last from infanthood well into the child’s 5th year, so it’s best to consider buying one as an investment. What used to carry bottles can be used to hold toys, your child’s favorite stuffed toy, blanket, or spare underwear during your child’s preschool years.