I am often amazed at the Moms I see at shopping centres and supermarkets lugging massive baby bags about. Many look like they are headed for the international departure terminal rather than a straightforward shopping trip. I am not sure what these Moms are carting about but it sure looks uncomfortable, not to mention fascinating!
There's no need to take Junior's everything, everywhere. Unless of course you have more than one Junior. Even then, you can narrow down the list to the basics and save your back in the process.
So where to begin? The best place to start is with the bag itself. And I really love shopping for bags!
Choosing a nappy bag.
This is the fun part! So many styles. Some fun, some practical, some stylish and many fit the complete package. There's a huge price difference too. You will know your budget but you are bound to blow it here! Remember the bag you choose will effectively replace your handbag for the next 3 or so years. Don't skimp on quality. Chances are after the heavy workout it will receive, it will die a quick death if it wasn't too top-notch to begin with. You want a bag you will love for a very long time.
I have had many nappy bags over the years. In fact, you will most likely find, (just like the handbags many of us tend to covet and collect), you will buy and road-test several to begin with. A favourite will eventually rise above the others and you can foster out the others to the auction websites. Expect this as normal. It happens to many of us!
What to Look for:
Quality: Choose a well known brand. These are well known because many others before you have tried, tested and loved them. Trust the power here first and foremost.
Size: Take your build and health into consideration when choosing. If you are petite, your bag needs to be too. Do you have a bad back or ailment? Will it be aggravated by a heavy bag? Look for comfort suited to you and not because it is the most popular or current style.
Colour / pattern: Do you have a favourite colour? Look for a bag that will complement your wardrobe. Choose fabrics and patterns which will slip right along with your favourite clothing. Consider materials too. If the bag has plastic handles, these will die quickly. Look for strong nylons, canvas, leather or woven / seatbelt style straps which are strong and reinforced. Maybe you want a colour to reflect the sex of your baby? Personally, I avoid styles with popular children's icons emblazoned on them. If you happen to be out without your baby and just your bag, they can be a little embarrassing!
Style: Think about your current favourite handbag. Is it a favourite because it is a backpack? It is a messenger? It is a clutch? Your nappy bag is effectively your new handbag and whatever you are currently loving will be equally loved in the nappy bag style and pretty much for the same reasons.
Practicality: Once you have chosen the style you love as outlined above, find the best offered in that option. If it is a backpack you love most, does it have a short handle for easy carrying? A longer strap which can hang over a pram? Easy opening pockets which are also secure? (Life with your bag will mostly be one-handed when baby is born so keep ease of access in mind). Does it have essential inclusions such as a bottle holder, change mat and wipes container? A key clip is a very useful addition to a bag too.
Price: Plan to have a price you are happy to part with and be prepared to double it! We're women after all! If you spend too little and your choice falls apart in 6 months, you will spend many more dollars searching for a replacement several times. In the long run this could work out to be more than you had planned to part with in the first place.
Hunting down your ideal bag is a lot of fun. You can save yourself a lot of time searching online. Bags for Moms are available everywhere from budget department stores like Target and K Mart right through to Myer and beyond. Auction sites are brilliant for grabbing pre-loved bags. Many Moms are gifted several baby bags and part with their excesses here. Often they are brand new and never used but much cheaper than the stores. If you have a brand in mind, you can visit their website directly and browse their range and source it from there. Finally, visit a craft website such as Made It or Etsy and choose a beautiful style from the many talented craftspeople there. Happy shopping!
You've already found your ideal bag? What to pack? Save your back and keep it simple!
For the record, my ideal bag is the Sashay Satchel by Petunia Pickle Bottom. I have several different Petunia bags. I love them. They are beautiful to look at, exceptionally well made and tick all my boxes for practicality. (I am in no way affiliated with this brand, I simply adore their products). You can see the full range here. You can purchase their bags online in Australia here.
Miss Celeste's got style! She loves my Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel in Marigold Medallions. The bright colours make her think it's a toy!
Lots of pockets including outside ones to keep your things separate from baby's.
The handbag that converts to a backpack! Just pull the straps from their own pocket and clip them on when you need to rush.
Bright, roomy interior. No losing things in this bag. Heaps of useful pockets and secure places.
1) The bag with attached key clip. (Make it a feature to look for).
2) Matching change mat and
(3) included wipes case.
4) Petunia Pickle Bottom breastfeeding cover-up. Small, soft and very portable in its own case.
5) A hand towel. Absolutely essential and can double as so many things. My baby has severe reflux so this is a must have!
6) Nappies. I carry 3 always. The perfect number for out and about.
7) A waterproof carry sack. Useful for carrying old dirty clothing, utensils, wet things etc. This one is washable and has a zipper and handle. I am so grateful for it with Missy Puke!
8) A bib supply. Again I carry in 3's.
9) One complete outfit. Always carry a long sleeved onesie. They are perfect for whatever the weather.
10) Booties, Bandaids, breast pads and baby toy!
My stuff. Besides my wallet and phone:
1) A hair comb for whoever needs cleaning up!
2) Diary and pen.
3) Hand cream. I don't go anywhere without it! I am prone to dry skin and babies make it worse with all that hand washing.
4) My Lanolips coloured lip balm. Absolutely the best on the market and superior to lipstick in so many ways.
All packed in and ready to go. Surprisingly roomy and lightweight.
Plenty of room remaining for bottles, feeding equipment etc.
My secret to a lightweight nappy bag...this extra nappy bag tucked away in my car!
Petunia Pickle Bottom in Tea On The Thames.
This one's loaded with spare nappies, bibs and hand towels!