Diaper Bags on the Go!

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One of the things I was the most apprehensive about when I first had Bean Man was the diaper bag situation. I just didn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t figure out what to carry in it, or if I should even carry one at all. When I went to the grocery store, was I supposed to take my diaper bag in, too? If we were going out to dinner, should I change out what was in the diaper bag that Bean took to daycare? And how the heck was I supposed to balance a baby, a baby carrier, and a diaper bag all without falling over? While I have learned a few things in my two and a half years as a mom, I still haven’t conquered the balance issue when carrying baby things. I fall or drop things quite often, I must admit.

The other questions, however, I have managed to figure out answers to. Diaper bags have different functions for different families, but here are a few tips we’ve discovered over the years.

Where do I take my diaper bag?† When both the kids were fresh out of the baby oven, I carried my diaper bag everywhere. Both Bean and Gracie had acid reflux, so spitting up happened often and was quite a production. My diaper bag was mostly a burp cloth carrier, really. We couldn’t go far without burp cloths, and so we couldn’t go far without our diaper bag. Also, with newborns or infants who spit up frequently, you need to have several changes of clothes handy, and a diaper bag helped with this. Once the babies were not spitting up so often, I found I could leave the diaper bag in the car sometimes if we were running in quick somewhere. The emergency phase was over, and should I need anything in the bag, I could get out to it quicker now that my babies were older.

Should I change out my diaper bag for different purposes? I tried this at first with Bean. When he started daycare, I had a big daycare diaper bag for him that he took every day and then I had a smaller weekend bag when we were running errands. I know some families who use this two-bag approach flawlessly, but for me it was a little messy. Things wound up in the wrong bag, leaving me at crucial times without something I really needed. It was more of a hassle to juggle two bags for me. What I ended up doing was using Ziploc bags to compartmentalize my diaper bag. I have one Ziploc with Gracie’s toys, one with Bean’s toys, one with a change of clothes for each kiddo, one with eating-out supplies (bibs, spoons, disposable placemats, etc.), and one with diaper changing materials (a diaper, a small pack of wipes, and a small tube of diaper cream). Now, depending on what we are doing or where we are going, I just pick and choose which Ziplocs need to go in or come out. It also makes it really easy to find things when you’re digging them out in public somewhere.

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What kind of diaper bag should I buy? The first diaper bag I had was my absolute favorite. It was so functional, and totally by accident. I didn’t know what I was looking for when I bought my first bag, but I ended up discovering that my favorite kind of diaper bag is wide open with hardly any compartments. I loved the first because it was huge, easy to reach into, and had very few pockets for things to hide in. When that one was taken during our home invasion a couple years ago (we guess that they must have used it to carry things in?), I bought another one that was the same style. It is so convenient to be able to throw everything into the diaper bag and not have to worry about if I’m putting the bottle in the pacifier spot, or if the sippy cup is in the diaper compartment. Everything goes into the center and I used my Ziploc bags to compartmentalize myself according to my needs. To me, it’s just a lot easier to get into and out of if the central pocket is large with a wide open top. Just be sure to find one with a zipper. The diaper bag I have now is beautiful and very functional, but I do miss having a zipper at the top so that things don’t spill all over the place when your diaper bag tips over or when you bend down to pick up your baby with your bag on your shoulder.

I’ll do a few more Huggies posts this month about dealing with diaper bags. I’ll talk about what we pack in ours, what we’ve taken out of ours, and what we used the diaper bag for at different ages. Feel free to leave comments below giving your own advice about diaper bags. As a new mom, I think the black hole of a diaper bag is one of life’s greatest mysteries…

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9 thoughts on “Diaper Bags on the Go!

  1. Leslie

    Hi, I just wanted to stop in and say how much I enjoy reading your blog. I think you are funny, and your quips on marriage and kids are spot on. But seriously, what is going on with all the crosses in this post? I can see them in my reader, on explorer, and chrome. There seems to be one before and after every sentence while you are answering the questions. They look like this † . Anyways, thanks for blogging and I like your baggie tip.

  2. Sarah

    As a brand new mom i totally appreciate this post! I have yet to master the diaper bag. I definitely like the ziplock idea and will be giving that a try for sure!

  3. Liz Muller

    I love using a backpack as a diaper bag. I think it really helps with the balancing issue – because then the diaper bag is closed and isn’t falling off a shoulder when you need to bend over, push a stroller, adjust a baby, etc.

    I use a Deuter bag with two mesh pockets on the sides that either carry little garbage or sippy cups for quick access.

    I do like some compartments – I have one small pocket that holds my cell phone, my wallet, and my keys, which transition from my purse to the bag when I’m out with the kids (I can’t fathom carrying a purse AND a diaper bag!) – I have doubles of things like chapstick, etc… in both places so I don’t have to transition much from my purse to my diaper bag. Then on the inside – I have a diaper change pocket that holds wipes, dipes, changing pad, and then another smaller inside pocket that holds first aid supplies and toilet paper (for China – where bathrooms are without the stuff) :). And then there’s a big empty backpack space that can be filled with whatever else is required – burp clothes, food, balls, toys, books, whatever!

    I too use ziploc bags religiously in my diaper bags to organize stuff. It’s so helpful! I always carrry an empty bag or two for dirty clothes or the occasional explosive diaper :).

  4. Ariane

    I love the Ziplock bag idea for each different use/purpose. I think I will be implementing that when I create my bag in a few weeks.
    I also like the previous poster’s suggestion of using a backpack for the diaper bag. I already have several of those and hubby could easily carry it!

  5. The ziplock bag idea is genius. I have been trying to find a good bag for me to use with my daughter and can’t seem to find one that is just right.. Might have to try the ziplock bag idea.

  6. Also Tupperware containers are great. Also judge if you must but I totally carry a wine opener in mine. And TSA has never tried to take my”weapon” away! My bag is waterproof which has been genius.

  7. I have our bigger diaper bag for days when I know we’re going to be out all day but for quick trips to Target or wherever, like the other poster, I just use a small backpack with some essentials and my stuff so I don’t have to carry a purse. I also make sure I have an emergency supply of diapers and wipes in the car just in case. Those have come in handy sooo many times.

  8. I use a vera bradley baby bag and love it! it’s got six small slots on the inside and it zips at the top and has a zippered side and a buckle side for easy storing and access. We are still at the stage of horrible reflux so we always have three changes of clothes, six diapers, pack of wipes, butt paste, tylenol, benadryl, a bulb syringe, extra bottle, extra formula powder, a few toys….it sounds like a ton but it’s really not! I use this bag no matter if I am going grocery shopping to church or to daycare. Works pretty well for us!

  9. We have a mini diaper bag now that our gal is older. It has a diaper, a onesie, a bib, a nursing cover and a pacifier. I just keep it in my car at all times so it is one less thing I need to lug around. I second the idea of a wide open bag. Our big bag has all kinds of compartments because I wanted to be organized, but I hate it. It is so hard to shove everything in the little tiny spots! Blech!

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