Finding the proper diaper bag for your wants will considerably scale back the strain you'll expertise once on associate outing with baby. Diaper changes off from home aren't continuously a chunk of cake and a good bag can build things easier by reassuring that you just have everything you would like and keeping it well organized for easy-access. A tote that's improbably trendy however lacking in perform can send your sleep underprivileged brain into a tailspin. but we tend to found in our testing that you just do not have to sacrifice vogue for perform.
Storage is Key
When searching for the perfect diaper bag, your first consideration is storage. By "storage" we mean not just the capacity to carry all you need but also the organization of it as well. If you are a first-time mom, you may be surprised at the amount of stuff you're going to be hauling around to support both baby and you're needs. Here's our list of what you will typically find in a well-stocked bag:
Items for baby:
- bottle(s) or sippy cup(s)
Items for mom:
A great bag will be able to fit all or at least most these things in a way that makes them easily accessible (and easy to see when you need to restock essentials like diapers and wipes). We found that bags with exterior storage like insulated pockets for bottles and snacks as well as additional compartments for cell phone, changing pad, diapers, and wipes to be particularly functional. The is a SKIP HOP FORMA good example of such a bag.
Keep in mind that you're mileage may vary when it comes to storage needs. For example, you will need a larger bag if you have more than one in diapers, or for overnight and multi-day trips.
Ease of Use
This brings us to our next key consideration which is ease of use. There will be times when you will have your baby up on a public changing table primed for a diaper change only to realize in the middle of it that you have forgotten to grab, let's say, the diaper cream. If you are able to have one hand on the baby while using the other to retrieve the cream without breaking a sweat, that is the holy grail. You also want to have a bag that has a lightly colored interior and opens widely so that you can see and access the contents inside easily. We found bags that have deep interiors with narrow openings and dark lining to be like trying to find something in a black hole. In this situation it doesn't matter how many organizational pockets there are inside. If you can't easily see anything or grab what you need quickly, we guarantee you will be frustrated.
Closures also play into ease of use. Compartments and pockets can have several types of closures, typically zippered, magnetic, or velcro. Zippered closures are our favorite. In fact, it is very important that a it has an internal compartment that zips closed. When a compartment or pocket is open you will lose items when the bag tips over or turns upside down, we assure you. Magnetic closures tend to not close or stay closed when fully loaded. Nonetheless, one of our biggest pet peeves in this category are velcro closures, which we (thankfully) encountered infrequently this go round.
Why You Should Fear the Velcro
In our opinion, bags without velcro are a big plus, and here are the 3 reasons why:
- Velcro is noisy which can be an issue as it can be loud enough to wake your sleeping baby
- Velcro sticks to fabrics which can and will ruin any soft material it attaches itself to
- Velcro wears out which is an issue when you consider that you are going to be using an item like this for a long time.
Once the velcro has been sticking to everything and anything, it's covered with little balls of material which means that with heavy use, pockets may not close correctly. Unfortunately, many changing pad covers include small velcro closures, but as we found in our testing, even these are significantly loud.
Consider Your Needs Too
Also, when considering ease of use, we recommend picking a bag that has space for personal items. Not only is it cumbersome to carry a purse and a diaper bag simultaneously, but with a great diaper bag, it won't be necessary. All of our Award Winners included separate pockets for cell phones & wallets, key clips for keys, and accessory bags for makeup.
Quality & Cost
On closer inspection we discovered that the fabric had ripped in one of the side pockets. While thick and easy to clean, the micro fiber fabric seemed like it would be prone to such tears.
Quality in a bag is more important that you may think. After all, this bag needs to get you through the long haul in sometimes not so pretty of situations. This is an investment in a tool you'll be using for years. A broken handle, strap, or zipper could cause a very bad day if you are far from home with baby.
Fit & Style
The soft, feather-weight Forma combines both style and function.
Yes, style is important. But if your diaper bag isn't comfortable to carry, you will not be psyched to use it. Your eyes may cross when encountered with the many types and styles of bags from which to choose. However, when it comes down to actually carrying the bag, there really are 4 main options: tote, messenger, backpack, and stroller handlebar. A convertible bag combines two or more of these carrying options.
The tote is similar to a large handbag which you can carry from a top handle or two. Many come with a detachable messenger style strap. A messenger bag has a long strap that you can carry over the shoulder or across the body. A backpack is, well, a backpack. Many bags come equipped with or are compatible with separately sold stroller strap attachments which allow the bag to hang by the back of the stroller's handlebar.
Features & Accessories
A diaper bag's features and additional accessories like an awesomely large, cushy, wipeable changing pad can really make or break your overall satisfaction with the bag. Features like insulated bottle holders, comfy padding on shoulder straps, key clips, and luggage feet can make your day-to-day routine so much easier. Accessories that are often included are a changing pad, an insulated storage for a bottle or snacks, a wipes case, and an accessory pouch or compartment for make-up or soiled clothes. Although you can always substitute out subpar accessories and replace them with ones you love, a diaper bag that gets it right off the bat can make a big difference.
Try it before you buy it
Our last piece of advice when purchasing a this type of item is to try it before you buy it. Or, if you buy online, buy from a retailer with a liberal return policy. Have all of your essentials handy, pack it up, and see how it feels. See if you can get to things easily with just one hand. See if often used items are easily accessible. Also, check to make sure that the bag is comfortable completely packed. At the end of the day, a diaper bag that is functional, comfortable, and durable will make a big difference. Remember that your diaper bag will need to go the distance with you.