I have to admit when I got pregnant the first thing I thought of was – what baby bag am I going to buy? I am very fashion conscious, and the thought of carrying around an ugly bag frightened me.
There are so many options out there these days because there is a big market for baby products. So rest assured, there is no need to settle for that hideous bag with bear prints on them unless that is your style of course.
Here’s a guide to help you choose one that is right for you:
If you are into appearances, you may want to ask whether it suits your style. Will it go with what you wear? For me, I picked a classic black bag as I knew it would go with everything I wear. Also, think about who will be carrying the bag around. If daddy will be taking your baby to the park, then a bright pink one might embarrass him (unless he is the flamboyant type).
Will it fit everything you need in there? You will need something that is large enough for nappies, wet wipes, nappy cream, possibly a bottle, a change of clothes and any other items. But hold on, you don't want something that is too big either. It will be like lugging a big travel bag around.
There are some gorgeous bags out there, but gosh some of them are so damn heavy when they are EMPTY. Imagine when they are FULL? Try to get something that is light. You don’t want to hurt your shoulders. Your body will be recovering from the birth, so the last thing you need is an unnecessary strain.
Budget is important. There is no point buying an expensive bag worth your month's pay check if your budget doesn't allow. You will have many other baby items to buy at the same time, so know what your priorities are. It is much more important to have all the essentials first, like a cot, sheets, clothing etc, before splurging on a bag which is out of your price range.
Is it practical, and does it fit everything you need? If you are planning to use it as your handbag as well, then will it have enough pockets to fit all your cards, mobile phone, makeup etc?
Personally, I keep a small shoulder bag on me at all times, with my wallet and phone directly on me. My nappy bag is usually kept at the bottom of my pram, and there is no way I would leave my valuables in there, as it would be in arms reach for thieves when shopping. Yes, I’ve seen lots of mum’s wallets get stolen like this when I used to work in retail.
Is the bag easy to clean? Your bag will be getting around, going to all sorts of public places full of all sorts of germs and nasties. There is also the possibility that milk might spill in your bag or it might get vomited on, pooped on, urinated on, well you get the drift. Motherhood is unpredictable. Is the material wipeable, or if not, can it be thrown in the washing machine?
Dark colours are better than light ones (don’t show markings and stains) and coarse fabrics are more durable. The bag I picked can be easily wiped clean which has been a godsend.
If you are planning on using your bag a lot, you may want to consider getting something that is good quality. You don’t want to end up buying numerous bags down the track because they’re all worn out or broken.
What kind of accessories does it come with? Does it come with a shoulder strap? This may be useful for you if you will be walking a lot. Does it come with a changing pad, or will you need to buy this? Be careful about getting too many accessories though because you probably won't end up using them all.
9. Long term
Do you expect to use this bag for multiple children, or will you be happy to throw it out and buy a new bag for the next baby? You may want a bag you can you use for many years when your baby is grown up and no longer wearing nappies. I choose a bag that doesn't look like a baby bag, so I can use it later on. Mine could be used as a travel bag for short trips or taken to swim classes well into toddlerhood.
Well there you go, I hope this has helped you decide on what bag suits your needs. But in all honesty, I know it may seem like a big deal choosing the "perfect" bag. But really it’s not that important.
I rarely used mine after my daughter turned 9 months. Often when I go out I have all the essentials in my car, and just throw in the bottom of the pram a nappy and a packet of wipes. I drive everywhere so if I ever need anything my car is only a short walk away.
Good luck and happy shopping!