There's no denying it, babies require a lot of stuff. A well-stocked diaper bag is a necessity, but the bag should also be comfortable to carry and suit your style. When selecting a bag, keep in mind that you'll be toting more than just diapers. Your diaper bag should be durable and roomy enough for all the necessities. Here is a list of some of the items that should be in your diaper bags:
* '''Diapers and diaper wipes''': This should be no surprise. Make sure you have more than enough to last the day (at minimum, four).
* '''Changing pad'''
* '''Ditty bag (or plastic garbage bag)''': a small waterproof bag to place all wet garments in after a change.
* '''A burp cloth'''
* '''A change of clothes''': children are messy and unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to have a change of clothes for those random spit-ups and spills.
* '''Bottles and food''': you never know when your baby will get hungry (or thirsty) so be prepared!
* '''First-aid kit''': it is so important to have this handy for times of emergencies. You should also be ready with important numbers such as your pediatrician's.
* Try an eco-bag and help make the world a cleaner place for your baby.
What to Consider
* '''Price''' -- Unlike many products, price does not directly correlate to quality.
** You can spend $20-$500 on a bag. More money is usually needed for a designer label and/or a fancy fabric (like weatherproofed leather).
* '''Size''' -- Are you a pack rat or a minimalist? Make sure your bag will hold all of your gear and ask yourself...
** Should the bag double as a purse?
** Will you have a car to store extra gear or will you be on foot for long periods of time?
* '''Material''' -- A diaper bag must be easy to clean! Baby vomit is stinky and leaves a yellow mark. If stains don't wipe off quickly, your bag could be ruined.
** You can get bags in rip-stop vinyl, polyester, leather, faux-leather, plastic-coated cotton fabric.
* '''Print''' -- Can be, as expected, anything. Just remember that the style should endure across years and users. You may want to opt for two less-expensive bags and alternate them with the seasons.
* '''Closures''' -- These affect the accessibility of your bag and can prevent items from spilling out of the bag and getting lost.
** Large zippers offer easy one-handed access (test out the zipper before you purchase a bag).
** Velcro is great for speedy retrieval of items, but can snag delicate fabrics and fibers.
** Snaps are nice and fast but won't keep in spills. Magnetic snaps are more effective than traditional metal snaps.
** Drawstrings are hip and fairly secure but can get tangled. They could also be a potential choking hazard for a curious baby.
* '''Pockets''' -- Do you want lots of internal pockets for organization, external pockets for easy grabbing, or no pockets for space and flexibility? Some pockets are helpful as small items tend to gravitate towards the bottom of the diaper bag making them tricky to retrieve.
* '''Extras''' -- Some bags come with all the bells and whistles. Here are a few options.
** Changing pads come with most bags and should be easily washable.
** Dirty diaper holding bins should be well-sealed and waterproof.
** Insulated internal or external pouches can keep bottles cold.
** Removable straps make any bag more versatile.
** Zip-off pockets allow you to change the size of your storage.
** Key, pacifier, and toy hooks let you access your gear quickly.