A well stocked bag can make or break your day. I’m a guy that likes photography, so carrying around a “man bag” is no foreign term to me. Diaper bags, like camera bags, are rather varied when it comes to size, shape, and weight. Diaper bags, for multiples, are almost always on the larger side than those for solo parents.
Having the cycling background that I do, when the kids were younger, I really liked using my messenger bags. The laptop compartment, (paired with a plastic shopping bag), makes for an amazing place to store soiled clothing. Now that the kids are older, I “size up” my camera bag and use that extra space for clothes and snacks. A third popular option is the backpack, great for leaving both hands and sides free to keep track of not one, but two children.
For the Photog, momtog, or myself (the male version of a mom-tog, without the catchy phrase), a camera bag will always consist of a camera, lense, and accessories (flash, filters, a tripod, lens wipes, etc). A diaper bag really isn’t that much different.
What to Look For When Choosing a Diaper Bag
Multiple compartments are great, and can help keep your items organized and easy to find, rather than at the bottom of an abyss.
A waterproof lining is a plus, and will make life easier
if when spills occur.
The straps MUST be adjustable. There’s nothing worse than getting a bag, and finding that it just sits wrong. that leads me to my next point…
Make sure you’re actually trying diaper bags on. No one bag is comfortable and convenient for everyone.
Consider buying two diaper bags – a small one for quick trips and a larger one for all-day outings.
As I mentioned above, sometimes the best diaper bags aren’t diaper bags at all! If you don’t find something that works for you, broaden your search to include backpacks, messenger bags, and camera totes.
So, what goes in a diaper bag? This is a basic breakdown of what to bring, and what you may not actually need, toting around all of those child-associated-accessories. be sure to grab our handy checklist at the end!
Whether it’s an actual cooler for milk, bottles for formula, a box of those banana crackers, or a Ziploc bag full of gold fish, no diaper/toddler/dad bag is complete without some form of calorie delivery system. The last thing anyone wants, is to get caught out in the wild with a hangry monster.
Every child is different, when it comes to food, so make sure the calorie delivery system mirrors that child’s needs. Picky eaters, spit-up prone eaters, and bottomless pit eaters all have their quirks. So pack according to the eating-machine you happen to be toting with you. Bibs, napkins, and neatly cut/stored food are all things that should be able to fit handily, readily, and easily in that bag of yours.
WHAT COMES AFTER FOOD
Well, I can actually think of something worse than getting caught in the wild with a hangry monster. Getting caught in the wild unprepared for the unspeakable disasters that follow a feeding.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, have some parent-friends over for drinks. After the second or third round of drinks, bring up the term “baby blow out” and try to keep a straight face. Potty training our kids, we teach them that “everybody poops.” What they don’t tell parents, parents to be, or people considering becoming parents, however, is that everyone gets pooped on.
Make sure to have a change of clothes for the kids, diapers, and wipes. You’ll also probably want to keep a spare t-shirt for yourself in that bag, as well. For the parents of little dudes, especially in the colder season, make sure you have something to protect against the impromptu open-air fountain that inevitably occurs while changing a diaper. (Or learn how to change them really fast!)
Lastly, every parent needs something to keep the kids occupied in that magic bag of goodies that accompanies offspring. Whether you are sitting down at church or the mechanic shop, something that grabs the kids’ attention is paramount. Attention is the currency of happy parents. Make sure to rotate the entertainment pieces in that bag, in order to avoid boredom (and airborne prone attention tools).
Here’s a great list of some possible diaper bag essentials for your bag!
Want to check out some diaper bags that were made with Dad in mind? Check out the ones over at DiaperDude.com. Use promo code DBD25 for 25% off!
What things make up your list of essential diaper bag items? Let us know in the comments!
A few months after hearing the phrase “baby A,” we embarked on a corporate roller coaster with the wife at the helm and myself making the transition from aspiring amateur cycling domestique to professional domestic do-gooder.