Forget bears and bunnies. Today's diaper bags are all about
mom and her needs: The need to be organized. The need to
feel stylish. The need to have daddy lug the thing around
once in awhile.
First, some general guidelines from veteran moms:
1. Always, always, always try it on first.
And if possible, stuff it with as much junk as you plan to
carry on a regular basis. This is the only way to tell if
it's everything fits, if it's too heavy, and if it will be
easy for you to carry.
2. When in doubt, make it black.
Yes, the new Kalencom Retro Tall Diaper Tote in pink poodles
is awfully cute ($39.90 at Oh BabyGift.com), but choose
this, and you don't have a prayer of getting your hubby to
carry it for you. Ever.
3. First functional, then fashionable.
It is wonderful that there are so many new designer diaper
bags out there. But cool doesn't cut it when you're in the
mall with a screaming baby, and you can't find the pacifier
because your diaper bag has no pockets or compartments.
What's New, What's Cool, What's Right For You
For the super-organized, highly-functional mom, check out:
1. The Lands End Do-It-All Diaper Bag ($29.50)
This bag is practical, well-designed and won't break the
bank. It has an extra long changing pad, an adjustable
strap and a "parent pocket" to hold your sunglasses, cell
phone and other grown-up stuff. (http://www.landsend.com)
2. The L.L. Bean Diaper bag ($36)
Roomy enough to carry everything you'll need, but not so big
that you'll feel like you're carrying a suitcase, the L.L.
Bean diaper bag is designed with function in mind. For
example, it has a large zippered front section with the key
clip, so you can easily find your keys. Even more neat: The
lining is in a contrasting fabric color to make it easy to
spot whatever you're looking for inside.
3.The Functionally Arranged Diaper Bag ($119.99)
This has to be one of the most innovative diaper bags I've
ever seen. It has a removable lightweight organizer insert
with compartments designed to carry diapers, bottles, etc.
It also has a place for keys, cell phone, wallet, etc., and
a strap that converts the bag from a shoulder bag to a
backpack. Plus, you can buy slipcovers in different
fabrics, so you can change the look of the bag without
having to buy a new one. (http://www.babyuniverse.com).
For the Cool Daddy
4. The Skip*Hop Duo Diaper Bag ($50)
What makes this messenger-style diaper bag cool is that it
can attach to the handlebars of a stroller, leaving you
precious storage space in the stroller basket. It has two
interior organizer pockets, a cell phone holder, pen holders
and two zippered pockets. It's a great diaper bag for dads,
because the style doesn't scream, "I'm a pocketbook!"
5. The Diaper Dude Bag ($49.95)
Another sporty, messenger-style bag, the Diaper Dude bag
comes in several manly colors, including black, gray and
camouflage. It's designed to wear across your chest, so it
doesn't look like a purse. It has handy clips for keys, a
padded changing pad, three exterior pockets, and a removable
cell phone pouch. (http://www.babystyle.com).
For the Ultra Hip and Super Stylish
6. Carter's Diaper Bag tote ($9.98)
Stylish and affordable, the Carter's Diaper Bag tote has
plenty of room, but no special compartments. What's nice
about it is the sleek, microfiber styling, which makes it
look like a stylish tote, rather than a diaper bag.
Currently on sale for 50% off at Babycenter
7. Amy Michelle diaper bags ($195-$225)
Amy Michelle makes two diaper bags: The Camellia and the
Jasmine. You'd never know these were diaper bags. They
just look like elegant black purses, yet they have many nice
features for moms, including internal and external bottle
pockets, a quick-release pacifier holder, an easy-to-find
key ring, cell phone holder, compartments for diapers,
wipes, etc., a removable wet bag and a large side pocket.
8. The Pursonality Messenger Bag ($120)
Fun and sporty, the Pursonality Diaper Bag in Sugar and
Spice comes in a cotton candy color that will make you feel
like a star. And it's practical too. The fabric is stain-
resistant and easily wipes clean. You can convert it from a
shoulder bag to a backpack, and it's designed so you can
access all the pockets with one hand.
Stephanie Gallagher is Author of "The Gallagher Guide to the
Baby Years" (http://www.gallagherguide.com). Get a free
cookbook when you subscribe to her ezine, The Shopping Mom's
Weekly Tip. Send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org.