How To Avoid Buying A “Diaper Bag”

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
9:00 am
06/21/16

Photographed by Maria Del Rio

If there’s one thing modern mamas can agree on it, it’s not stocking up on unnecessary baby stuff. On the top of that list is the so-called “diaper bag”—a contraption that promises water-resistant interiors and lots of pockets (which sometimes make the bag a bit heavy), dreamt up by marketers to sell to new mothers. Personally, we’ve never used one and we’re convinced you don’t need to either. One person who agrees with us is new mama and Baggu founder Emily Sugihara. Here, she explains how a regular bag can easily transition into a “diaper bag” without sacrificing money or style.

Pre-Pack A Mainstay Pouch. Instead of buying a brand-new bag, buy some zippered pouches instead. Keep your diaper stuff (diapers and wipes) and leaving-the-house necessities (pacifier, burp cloth, toys) in a single zippered pouch. Keep this pouch pre-packed so you can throw it into whatever bag you are already carrying. This makes it easy for you to change bags depending on your outing/outfit, and the pouch can fit inside dad’s bag, too.

Pack A Second Pouch, Depending On Your Trip. According to your outing (are you taking a short trip to the park? a longer trip for a playdate?), you can stuff everything else into a second pouch (or two). Think: Bottles, a tiny sweatshirt, maybe a special toy. Something larger, like a blanket, can easily be placed beside the pouches in your bag.

Ditch The Changing Pad. Changing pads can be great (and this one is pretty good-looking), but they aren’t a total “must” if you’re trying to be minimal. If your baby isn’t too blow-out prone, a blanket that you don’t mind washing from time to time is an easy alternative for on-the-go changing.

Choose Your Bag, Based On Your Mode Of Transport.
Baby Wearing: Backpacks are ideal for baby wearing, since they help balance out the weight of the baby in the front. They’re also great for those days when you’re chasing after a toddler at the park and want to keep your belongings close (but your hands free). When you are on foot, you’ll want to pack especially light and carry a bag the doesn’t weigh much on its own. Something like this is ideal (and affordable!).

Strolling: If you’re heading out with the stroller, you can still wear your regular purse and throw your baby pouches within it or toss them all in the net beneath the stroller. You basically just need a container to get your stuff from the house to the garage. We love these options.

By Car: When you’re heading out in your car, you’re likely going to be gone a bit longer, so in addition to the usuals, perhaps you’ll you want a change of clothes, a carrier, more bottles, etc. to throw into your bag. Adding a carrier is the real game changer, bag wise. Juggling the baby and multiple items is no fun. We suggest throwing everything into an extra-roomy carryall (your purse, included). Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you can pick and choose which pouches and items you want to add to your purse and leave the rest in your vehicle.

Make Sure Your Bag Can Handle Spills. Bottles break, babies barf, kids are dirty…your baby bag should be machine-washable.

Still Not Sold? If you simply must have a real “diaper bag,” chic maternity brands like Storq and Hatch have launched their own modern versions.

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