Diaper bag options

May 17, 2006
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1,153
I am due with my first baby in April, and I would love some help deciding on a diaper bag!

Just some info, in case it is helpful - totes are probably my favorite style of bag. I'm not a fan of bag organizers in my day-to-day life - I tend to carry my things in various pouches and just put all the pouches in my bag. Similarly, I usually prefer one bit space rather than lots of pockets or dividers in my regular bags. However, I imagine I will want organization options for a baby bag.

My big thing is that I very much would like a convertible tote-backpack style bag. This has been super hard to find! I have found a ton of crossbody/messenger to backpack styles or top handle to backpack styles. However, I really cannot see myself wanting to carry a diaper bag top handle style as it's not my go-to carry style to begin with, and I very much dislike messenger/crossbody/long shoulder carry. Short shoulder/tote carry is my preferred style, but I would like the option of backpack carry as I imagine that will come in handy with a baby.

I think I've narrowed it down to the following two options:

First option is the Lily Jade Rosie:
Pros:
- Made of full-grain leather - I imagine this is bag that will last
- I like the sleek style doesn't scream diaper bag
- Tote/shoulder carry and backpack option
- Comes with removable, washable organizer with change pad - I like the idea that I could just remove the organizer and stick it into one of my regular bags, especially as baby gets older.
- Currently part of a great pre-Black Friday deal - 50% off and comes with free packing cases

Cons:
- Still costs $169 even as part of the great deal. While I have no problem spending far far more than that for bags, I don't know if it's worth spending nearly $200 for a diaper bag that I only plan to use for a couple of years? On the other hand, if I am going to be using this nearly every day for a few years, maybe it is in fact worth it?
- The full-grain leather is a draw, but also possibly a con - is it silly to have a full grain leather diaper bag in terms of weight and just general baby mess?
- The removable organizer is a pro to me, but also, could it be a con? Is there a plus or just a general preference to having all the pockets in the diaper bag itself, rather than as a removable organizer?
- No outside bottle pockets - to be fair, the organizer does have bottle pockets, and I have NO idea if I would actually like and use outside bottle pockets if I had them. It just seems like a good number of diaper bags on the market do have outside bottle pockets, so in my mind, it seems like something that would be nice to have?
- I am having a really hard time determining if it will be big enough. The dimensions are 13"(H) x 4.5"(W) x 17" (L). Since this will be my first child, I don't really know what I will be carrying in it. However, I tend to veer more towards the over-packing end for myself, so I imagine I would veer towards the over-packing end for the baby as well. And, while I plan to very drastically cut down my personal carry items, I do plan to be a one-bag mom (rather than a baby bag and separate bag for myself). Essentially, I plan to par down my stuff enough to fit into something like a LV Pochette Accessories so that I can easily grab my stuff out of the baby bag as needed, but still, will this bag be big enough for me and baby?

And a photo of the bag:
1606063923248.png

My second option is the Miss Fong Diaper Bag Tote.
Pros:
- Much less in price than Lily Jade at only $57
- Tote/shoulder carry and backpack carry options
- It has insulated, outside bottle pockets (though again, I have no idea if I will actually like/use them)
- It has plenty of inside pockets (8 inner pockets total, and two of them are insulated)
- It looks more like a typical diaper bag than the Lily Jade, but I still feel like I like the style enough to not feel frumpy
- Made of PU so it's probably super easy to wipe clean

Cons:
- I have no idea what the quality of this is. It's made of PU so will it last as long as I need it to? I have no plans or need for my diaper bag to be a forever bag, but I do want it to last as long as I need it to and look good while doing so.
- It has plenty of pockets, but no removable organizer so I'm basically limited to only using this bag as my baby bag. (Yes, I realize I could always buy an organizer to use in other bags if it matters that much to me, but still, I like that Lily Jade just comes with one.)
- While I like the style enough for a diaper bag, it does *look* like a diaper bag to me. I don't feel like I could get away with using this as anything else OTHER than a diaper bag even if I wanted to.
- Like the Lily Jade, I am having a really hard time determining if it will be big enough. The dimensions are 15*4.5*14 Inches (L x W x H). Everything here applies like it did for Lily Jade - not really sure what I will be packing, likely will be an over-packer, and looking for this to carry baby's still and my very parred down things. Will this bag be big enough for me and baby?

And a photo of the Miss Fong:
1606065148831.png

I feel like the ONLY thing I know I want from a diaper bag is a shoulder/tote carry to backpack convertible option, and since there's so few of those, it really does narrow down my options. But after that, I feel like I'm going into this diaper bag selection completely blind!So, after all that, any thoughts on which on I should go for? Or, should I keep searching?
 

l.ch.

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Mar 24, 2011
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Hi there! First of all I wish you all the best for you and your baby!
From my experience with a baby, now growing into a toddler, a few things to consider:

How do you plan to carry your baby? Stroller or baby carrier, like babybjörn? Or maybe both? With a stroller everything is ok, you can always hang the bag on the stroller or put it underneath in the basket. A backpack is not very handy, when using a baby carrier.
If using a stroller, are you going to use a full sized one or a compact one (like babyzen yoyo)? You can’t hang a bag on a small stroller...
What worked for me:
In the first months I was using the full sized stroller with a Marc Jacobs diaper bag, either hung on the handle or in the basket and a small crossbody for me, because I still wanted to use my designer bags. Later on, I bought a very compact stroller for traveling. With this I’m using a backpack with baby stuff, like diapers,water cup, sometimes a snack and a small crossbody with my essentials. Lately, I often take only a backpack with me for both of us.
A tote or shoulder bag was not practical for me for two reasons: one, a shoulder bag always slipped off my shoulder when pushing the stroller and two a handheld bag, like a tote was impossible to use, as I needed both my hands to push the stroller.
I’m describing my own experience, of course other moms will have other experiences to share.
 
May 17, 2006
685
1,153
Hi there! First of all I wish you all the best for you and your baby!
From my experience with a baby, now growing into a toddler, a few things to consider:

How do you plan to carry your baby? Stroller or baby carrier, like babybjörn? Or maybe both? With a stroller everything is ok, you can always hang the bag on the stroller or put it underneath in the basket. A backpack is not very handy, when using a baby carrier.
If using a stroller, are you going to use a full sized one or a compact one (like babyzen yoyo)? You can’t hang a bag on a small stroller...
What worked for me:
In the first months I was using the full sized stroller with a Marc Jacobs diaper bag, either hung on the handle or in the basket and a small crossbody for me, because I still wanted to use my designer bags. Later on, I bought a very compact stroller for traveling. With this I’m using a backpack with baby stuff, like diapers,water cup, sometimes a snack and a small crossbody with my essentials. Lately, I often take only a backpack with me for both of us.
A tote or shoulder bag was not practical for me for two reasons: one, a shoulder bag always slipped off my shoulder when pushing the stroller and two a handheld bag, like a tote was impossible to use, as I needed both my hands to push the stroller.
I’m describing my own experience, of course other moms will have other experiences to share.

Thank you for sharing your experience and for bringing up some great points! I have no idea how I plan to carry my baby, lol, but I will likely do both stroller and baby carrier. I definitely can see what you mean about a backpack being more useful than a tote/shoulder bag in the situations you describe. It makes a lot of sense, and even though I'm not much of a backpack person now, it is why I want something does have the option for backpack carry. At the same time, I feel like there will be times that I was to go to my preferred shoulder carry option, which is why I don't necessarily want something that is only a backpack style. It's how I've narrowed it down to these two, at least for now, since they both are both convertible bags that allow for both backpack carry and tote/shoulder carry.
 

earthygirl

Member
Apr 20, 2018
739
1,364
Congrats! This is an exciting time for you! I remember all the shopping and research that I did when I was pregnant with my first. As far as the diaper bag...Ill share my experience with my first and then with my second baby. I ordered a beautiful diaper bag with adjustable straps that could also be worn as a backpack from pottery barn. I even had it monogrammed with my baby’s initial. I used this for about nine months. I would clip it on to the stroller and only shoulder carry it. I’m not sure why I never used it as a backpack. For my 2nd baby, I used a nylon Rebecca minkoff tote for my baby’s stuff during that first year and then carried a woc for myself. I clipped this on to the stroller as well. I got tired of that and started using a lightweight Patagonia backpack because it was easier to just throw all my stuff into that. I still use this backpack but my youngest is almost 2yrs old and I don’t need to carry much with me anymore. I love the lightweight backpack because I can take it to the park...my husband doesn’t mind using it, etc. Anyway, I think having a diaper bag with some organization is nice during that first year, but after that a lightweight backpack is a great option for most situations.
 
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May 17, 2006
685
1,153
Congrats! This is an exciting time for you! I remember all the shopping and research that I did when I was pregnant with my first. As far as the diaper bag...Ill share my experience with my first and then with my second baby. I ordered a beautiful diaper bag with adjustable straps that could also be worn as a backpack from pottery barn. I even had it monogrammed with my baby’s initial. I used this for about nine months. I would clip it on to the stroller and only shoulder carry it. I’m not sure why I never used it as a backpack. For my 2nd baby, I used a nylon Rebecca minkoff tote for my baby’s stuff during that first year and then carried a woc for myself. I clipped this on to the stroller as well. I got tired of that and started using a lightweight Patagonia backpack because it was easier to just throw all my stuff into that. I still use this backpack but my youngest is almost 2yrs old and I don’t need to carry much with me anymore. I love the lightweight backpack because I can take it to the park...my husband doesn’t mind using it, etc. Anyway, I think having a diaper bag with some organization is nice during that first year, but after that a lightweight backpack is a great option for most situations.
Thank you for sharing! It definitely seems like backpacks are quite useful for mom life, and the more I read, the more I am sure that I definitely want something with a backpack carry option. It also seems though that baby bag needs and presences may shift and change sooner than I originally thought, so maybe going for the cheer of my options would make more sense. I've got some thinking to do!
 

jayohwhy

O.G.
Jul 31, 2009
1,186
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Mom of 2 here. With my first I tried or thought of trying every "designer" diaper bag under the sun but I really missed using my actual designer bags and never really got to a resolution. By the time I was done testing things, my daughter had grown up to the point where I needed to carry less for her and could just fit all of our needs into my evelyn gm or my jumbo + le pliage for overflow. This time, I bought two bags (Chanel large shopping and LV Palms Springs MM) to try and since I am exclusively pumping and need to bring my elvie pumps with us, the Palms Springs MM has been a winner.

The straps are super comfortable, the bag is really luxe and I have enough space for everything for the two kiddos plus my pumps and my stuff. I do have a clip on bottle bag from petunia pickle bottom that I can clip on with my daughters larger water bottle and snacks for the car. I still will use my le pliage for overflow when we visit my parents, but i'm pretty happy. I also bought one of the neverfull pouches to use as a grab and go wristlet when I'm running errands by myself.

Every mom has their style but for me, I like to keep it simple and save my shoulders. I highly recommend the personalized wet bags from petunias- they help keep you organized and I love having kid's names on each of theirs and those go into my backpack.
 
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elation

O.G.
Jan 25, 2011
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Congratulations! New mom here of one 3mo old and I went through similar deliberations that have been mentioned. I was worried I would miss using my beloved purses SO much, but I found that during this pandemic season I’m not going on long outings and so still carry around my designer purse for my things and also a typical messenger diaper bag that will ride along in the car with me. In total, I have a Skip Hop Chelsea downtown backpack, a Vogshow waterproof nylon backpack from Amazon, a hand-me-down Skip Hop messenger style bag, and a Kate Spade Blake Avenue Kaylie. If I have my stroller with me on a walk, the Skip Hop messenger style hanging from the bars is easy to get in and out of. I would then have a crossbody purse with me. If I’m just out for a quick trip to pick up groceries, I don’t even need to bring the diaper bag with me. It’s just a purse and I push the stroller to grab what I need. If you end up breastfeeding, you take less bottles and containers with you. And if your baby doesn’t take pacifiers, even less! The Kate Spade tote is beautiful and has yet to be used. ‍*facepalm*

I know it’s hard to predict what our world will look like come next year, but just thought I’d add my experience as food for thought. I imagine when the baby grows and travel is an option again, I’ll gravitate towards the backpacks. Good luck!
 

Amazona

Crazy bird lady
Mar 31, 2013
3,098
3,532
Finland
Congratulations! :love:

Points I have learnt from friends, my own experiences of nanny duties through years and from the other diaper bag threads here:
- buy something you like, both from the inside and outside
- if the baby's father will be carrying the bag, get something that he won't mind carrying or, if you want to get a very feminine bag, maybe buy a separate diaper bag for him to use. Some guys do rock those pink diaper bags with no problem!
- make sure there are outside pockets for easy access to paci, wipes, etc you might need in a hurry
- an insulated bottle pocket or 2 is always handy
- favor antibacterial materials
- a bag you can carry 2 ways is good, f.e. a backpack with a shoulder strap or a tote with a crossbody strap
- make sure the fabrics used in the bag are something you can wipe or wash, and preferably resistant to stains.

I think Mamalicious and Lässig both have nice looking diaper bags that you don't immediately identify as such. JuJuBe has some very nice designs and also vegan leather totes etc, worth checking into. I have their backpack and I love the thought and quality put into it.

A medium size bag is great for a diaper bag. It's just for those on-the-go situations, so you can handle food and poop issues for a few hours.
If you're going to be away for longer, pack a separate tote for the baby in addition to the diaper bag.
Packing clothes and diapers into pouches makes it easier to handle the chaos or avoid it completely. I like JuJu-Be pouches, f.e. Be Set.
 

Emma1420

Member
Dec 2, 2020
40
62
I would encourage you to perhaps consider other diaper bag brands, especially indie ones. Kerikit, Jem & Bea, and Mina Baie have been my favorite. They have excellent functionality (plus things like insulated bottle pockets), and they don't look like diaper bags. I know Kerikit uses full grain leather, and I believe Jem & Bea does well. Mina Baie uses top grain for their leather options. None of them are horribly expensive. I think all of them have great options under $500.

I just think that it's important to have good functionality when it comes to a diaper bag. I did try a Lily Jade bag, but I wasn't hugely impressed with the quality of their leather, and the lack of internal organization was challenging. I've also tried the Miss Fong tote, and at least the one I tried (which I sent back) smelled terrible.

Congratulations!
 

Plijy

New Member
Nov 24, 2020
1
1
Hi! Congratulations on the baby!
I don't have kids, but recently became an aunt and my sis in law bought a Josefina bag. It's on the pricier side, but so worth it, the leather is amazing, it fits so much and it has special straps to hang it on the stroller. They exist in two sizes and I believe they also have backpacks. I'm nowhere neaf having kids but I'm even considering getting one for work
 

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zayna

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Dec 4, 2010
92
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Congratulations!
I liked using that Petunia Pickle Bottom bags.
IMO, bags can get messy and gross— I wouldn’t spend to much on them.
my husband just ended using an old backpack when he had to carry the diaper bag.
 

quackedup

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Jan 5, 2010
515
104
Sydney! AU
Baby is just a few months old and ive already forgone the Peter Rabbit baby bag for a Gucci duffle (that can be carried multiple ways and fits oh so perfectly under the pram - its like it was made for it).

Get a bag you wont mind putting on random surfaces - so something that is washable or wipe-able.
Go for a light bag (unless its going underneath a pram - i dont know about hanging off the handles - i have a lightweight city pram so the weight will likely tip the pram backwards) as all those "just-in-case" items do end up adding alot of weight and im a super light packer!
i have found im not so into the diaper bags with all the organisation - the zips and pockets everywhere. You end up with stuff in different pockets and its more work to collect them all when you need to use them.
I found pouch packing much more convenient even though i originally thought all those pouches are just adding extra weight.
Pack all the items for each category and just pull out that one for the situation (eg. diapering all goes into one pouch (other than the change pad/mat unless its thin enough to fit), spare clothes in another, etc etc.)
 
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Emma1420

Member
Dec 2, 2020
40
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I’m going to disagree about pouch packing, as I found that to be far more difficult, however, I also think that is highly dependent on the person. So I tend to like a bag with good internal organization. But, it took me several months to figure that out. What I might suggest is finding a bag that can be carried backpack style, and is comfortable that way. Especially, once your little one is on the move it becomes a needed feature. At least my kiddo is almost one, and while I love the look of a tote, I don’t find it particular easy to carry.

However, I also have different bags for different purposes. What I take to the park is different than a quick target run.
 
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purse_doc

Member
Aug 6, 2011
201
0
Europe
I‘m going against the grain here by suggesting you forgo the typical diaper bag for something you might enjoy carrying afterwards, too.
Currently pregnant with kiddo #2 I have some takeaways from the first time around (my older daughter will be five in March):
– as your experience as a mom grows, your need to lug around stuff will probably decrease. I found that I could fit everything for an usual outing in a large–ish wetbag and just popped that into my Fjällräven Kånken. Hubby could just take out the stocked bag and take it with him for changes or plop it into his own backpack.
– things I pack in the wetbag: a washable small mattress cover (just big enough for baby to fit onto) or a single use mat (not preferred), a small package of wet wipes, diapers, small diaper cream, a couple of diaper waste bags (double as waste bags or for carrying home soiled clothes). Hand sanitizer goes into the bag itself anyways. Change of clothes for the baby, a onesie usually works out.
– consider if you‘ll need to carry around bottle equipment. Mine refused everything but the boob, so all I needed was a muslin cloth and some spare breast pads (for possible leakage in the beginning).
– we got a special diapering folding bag that would expand into a mat with pockets on the side... which we probably used once and ended up selling. The separate mat just worked so much better.
– the bag should be light weight and easy to get into. I really liked my Kånken since I can fit a lot into it, it opens up wide and has side compartments for my water bottle and umbrella.
– consider if you’re using a baby carrier or mostly a stroller. With a carrier I find a backpack so much easier to lug around!
– This time I‘m willing to give my used, reasonably priced Tod‘s D.D. Bag in medium a shot for those times when I’m using the stroller and want something a bit more chic. I just got it yesterday and we‘ll see how that goes. Diapering never got any of my bags dirty (put stuff in a plastic bag inside a wetbag and you’re good to go) so material isn’t too big of a concern for me.

So overall, you might conclude my diaper bag of choice is the Fjällräven Kånken, which I actually kept using even after my daughter has long grown out of diapers since it’s just so versatile!