Diaper Bag Dilemma

So here we are at 38w3d pregnant and I am in full on baby prep mode. Yeah I know it’s a little late in the game but when you have a toddler, a commuting husband, two blogs to focus on, a house to (try) and keep in order and a handful of other things going on there just isn’t as much time to focus on prep for #2. I knew months ago that that this was going to happen and so it has.

OXOTotDiaperBagFullMeetUp (1 of 1)Anyways I thought it would be a great idea yesterday to get our diaper bag all set up for two since I don’t really use it much right now with just Edith but know that I will use it when #2 arrives. I tried to remember back to those newborn days and what I stocked in our diaper bag and while today I am have been able to weed out the needs from the extras it seems that with two our diaper bag just isn’t the right size.

The sad part of this whole situation is that we have had far two many diaper bags in the past two years. One thing I didn’t really consider the first time around was the fact that a diaper bag is essentially my purse as well and that being said I might want to consider picking one that doubles as both. I also didn’t pay as much attention to quality versus cost. So here we are two years later and we have/had five diaper bags. Yes FIVE. Insane right? Here is a run down of the diaper bags we have had:

  • timi & leslie Dual (similar to this): now this is the first diaper bag that I ever bought. I ended up choosing it because I knew a ton of people really loved timi & leslie diaper bags and I found it on sale for I think about $40. The bag was a good size and fit more then we ever really needed and would have worked for two size-wise had it not fallen apart. Come to find out all of the people who recommended timi & leslie bags had the faux leather style and not the canvas style so while theirs are still in great condition mine fell apart. Side note to that timi & leslie have great customer service and after explaining the flaws with the bag and sending photos they sent me a new bag to replace the one that had fallen apart. By that point I had already purchased a new diaper bag so I ended up selling the replacement bag.
  • JJ Cole Hobo Diaper Bag (this one): when my timi & leslie bag fell apart I just wasn’t up for really searching for a new diaper bag so one day when we were at Target I came across this JJ Cole bag and it had a cute print, could be worn cross body and looked like it would fit all of our things. The price was $45 which isn’t too bad for a diaper bag and so I made a snap decision to buy it. This bag worked out well for about 5 months until the zipper broke on it. It actually fit everything, functioned well and I really liked the style of the bag but alas it just didn’t work out for us.
  • Skip Hop Grand Central Bag (this one): Now this diaper bag was not purchased to replace the JJ Cole bag I had actually just resigned myself to use the bag broken zipper and all. I actually chose to purchase the Skip Hop Grand Central (cost $90) in preparation for our July 2013 cross country trip. We didn’t really own a bag that would function as a carry-on and a diaper bag so I really wanted something on the bigger side to do so. Also since it was summer and we were finding ourselves doing little day trips or packing up picnics I thought it would be a great bag because of the extra room. Now this bag has been great for traveling and it functions perfectly as a weekender style diaper bag (or even weekender bag for mom sans kids) but it’s just a little bulky for everyday. It actually would work in a pinch for two children but a few downsides to it are that it is bulky and it must be worn on the shoulder aka there is now backpack or cross body feature which are on my “must include” list for a diaper bag for a newborn/toddler.
  • Skip Hop Dash Messenger Bag (this one): So this is the bag that I currently have and it’s also the one that just didn’t fit everything we need for two children plus my things. I actually bought this one a few months ago and at the time I wasn’t really using a diaper bag at all because well toddlers don’t require as much. The decision to buy this bag was because two of my much loved purses (purchased 5+ years ago) bit the dust and I needed something to replace them. I know you’re thinking ummm why a diaper bag then? Well my thought was I need a new purse, we are going to need a new diaper bag soon and we wanted to get a camera bag so why not this diaper bag that’s on sale at Target for $30? So I really have nothing negative to say about this bag on a whole EXCEPT that it’s just far, far, far too small to fit items for a newborn, a toddler, a DSLR and my personal items. This bag will function perfectly however for those outings that Neil or I take with only one child in tow.
  • Diaper Dude (similar to this one): This is actually Neil’s daddy diaper bag (a baby shower gift) and well neither of us love it. It’s far too masculine for my taste and we came to find that when we are out it was just easier for Neil to carry the already filled diaper bag rather then have his own and have to swap items out. Neil also isn’t a big fan of the style. Now the diaper bag has functioned fine, held up (I guess partially from lack of use) and it has some great features like the big back pocket and the zipper pockets on the front but overall it just hasn’t been the bag for either of us. For the first 15 or so months of Edith’s life it was our back up back that we actually just kept in the car filled with extra diapers, wipes, clothes, blanket and toys. In recent times however we have swapped the extra bag out for a stocked tote box of items (I’ll show you this some day when I get around to photographing it). We are planning to consign this once we move into our new place because we simply don’t need it or use it.

What I’ve learned:

  • Neil doesn’t need his own diaper bag.
  • Just because it’s cheap/on sale and cute doesn’t mean it’s a quality diaper bag.
  • Quality diaper bags cost a little bit more.
  • Diaper bags should be an investment because they end up also being your purse and camera bag as well and need to last at least 18 months per child.
  • Size matters. Style matters.

What we/I am looking for this time around:

  • Preferably a style that also has a backpack feature or at least a cross-body feature. Now a backpack style option would be ideal because with two I know that I am going to need hands and shoulders free. Most likely I/we will be wearing #2 and holding E’s hand so a backpack would be ideal for this scenario. A cross-body style would work as well however I don’t love that it would have to go across #2 when wearing.  The problem is however that I am really having a challenging time finding a stylish backpack style diaper bag that is also the right size. If you have any leads please leave them in the comments!
  • Cost: $100-150 err maybe more but would rather not. I want a good quality bag that is going to last us a few years but we also have to stay on budget and while I wish I could just buy any bag that tickles my fancy that just isn’t the case.
  • Size: Must be big enough for items for two children, my personal items, our DSLR and still have a little bit of extra space.
  • Color/style: Must be Neil approved since he will be carrying it as well. Nothing to girly (I’m not a girly girl anyways).

Alright so I think that is it. Now I am on a mission to find a diaper bag. Any suggestions? What has worked for you?


  1. Candace CB

    Here’s the bag we went with. So far we really like it, though sometimes the straps get in the way of other straps when you’re trying to put it on. It is a nice quality (only been using it about a month, though…) and has lots of pockets, plus is washable (and has crumb holes so you can get the crud out of it!). I would say it will not be big enough for 2 babies plus camera and your stuff, but it has extra room for us with my wallet, sunglasses, phone, ipod plus all of the baby stuff and umbrella. They do make other styles that are bigger, but not sure they come in backpack/shoulder/handbag style.

  2. Check out the Charlie Bag by SoYoung. It’s amazing. I bought it with Elena and it’s the only diaper bag I own. And I literally have used it every day since she was born and it looks as good as new. It also can hold A TON which makes it perfect for two babies and also airplane rides!! My husband also likes it because it’s not too feminine. I got the navy blue color and my SIL got it in the green. Both are super cute! It’s expensive but worth it. I also plan to keep using it as a travel bag after kids if needed. http://www.soyoung.ca/diaper-bags-and-clutches.html

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