How to Choose the best Diaper Bag Backpack in 2017-2018
There are numerous factors to consider when deciding how to choose the best diaper bag backpack. If you are a first time mother then you are probably wondering if you could make due with a large purse or on the other end of the spectrum deciding upon a matching luggage set. Rest assured, you will not need to haul your baby gear around on wheels but you will need to decide upon a convenient size that can be carried over your shoulder with baby in the other arm.
Mothers don’t always need to forego their unique taste in style for a mom bag as there are many companies producing diaper bags for mothers with some taste. After doing some comparison shopping and narrowing down a list of choosing the best diaper bags to try out we took notes on what to consider when buying diaper bags and then tested which bags were stylish, functional, and will you’re your baby safe.
Breast or Bottle Feeding baby
While it’s always recommended to breastfeed your baby sometimes this is not always an option. However, the way you feed your baby is going to be a factor when you decide upon the perfect diaper bag. This is always something new mothers forget about when deciding upon a diaper bag as well. If you are breastfeeding baby then you need to decide if you are going to use a breast pump in public, pump at home, or breast feed naturally in public.
Many women are too modest to breastfeed their baby in public and get embarrassed even by the thought of it. With this in mind the only other options would be to make a few bottles or to bring a breast pump and hide somewhere while out. Either way you will need extra bottles, nipples, closure rings, and bottled water. The big problem is finding space in a diaper bag for the breast pump. Deciding on how to choose the best diaper bag you should be prepared for the possibility of needing your breast pump and go with a larger diaper bag especially if you plan to return to work while breastfeeding.
If you are feeding baby formula then the biggest question is if you should make a few bottles or if you should bring a couple empty bottles and prepare the formula while out and about. If you don’t think you will be somewhere that you can actually make a bottle and heat it then the bottles should be made and the formula can be left at home. Also, consider how you will heat the baby bottle because it is never a good idea to use a microwave. when deciding how to choose the best diaper bag you could also look into accessories like portable bottle warmers.
Size does Matter
Many new mothers make the common mistake of trying to use their purse as a diaper bag. When you make a plan on how to choose the best diaper bags then forgetting this is a huge mistake to make as many of the items that baby will use need to be sterile. Let’s face it, your purse isn’t exactly sanitary no matter how much of a clean freak you are. A large purse will seem like a great idea before having a new baby but once you put it to use as a diaper bag you are going to notice that it was a horrible idea.
If you are deciding how to choose the best diaper bags backpack then don’t put your baby bottles where you put your money, car keys, or other items that are known to be infested with germs. Now that a large purse being used as a diaper bag has been eliminated out of the decision process it’s a great idea to make an inventory of items you will need to leave the home with. Always be prepared for anything because you might think a checkup with baby’s doctor will take an hour and it could turn into a 6 hour outing. Make sure you leave the house with everything you will need for at least 8 hours out of the house. The following items should be noted when you are figuring out how to choose the best diaper bag backpack for your family.
Items to put in the diaper bag
- Bottles and/or Breast pump
- Formula in can or powder packets
- 6 (just in case of accidents
- Extra sleeper/outfit (in case of accidents)
- Extra onesie
- Extra burp cloth
- Cream for rashes
- Disposable changing pad
- Sippy cup (if baby is ready)
- Snacks (even if you plan to stop and eat)
- Gas relief
- Any necessary medications
- Band aides
It’s always a great idea to buy travel sizes of products so there isn’t a need to keep taking everything in and out of the diaper bag. Buying portable portions of items needed for baby care will also reduce the amount of space these products could take up which is a huge bonus.
When deciding how to choose the best diaper bag keep in mind that you will require some space as well as the baby. While it’s not recommended to store your personal care items in the same compartment as the items for baby it is recommended to find a diaper bag that has separate space that could be used in place of a purse. Carrying around a diaper bag, purse, and a screaming baby is a living nightmare so save yourself a headache and just don’t do it. If style is a huge concern for you then spend what you might have used on a Prada bag to purchase a high end diaper bag
How to Choose the best Diaper bags for Mom and baby
- Cell phone
- Organizer or Planner
- Extra Change (for any toll roads or vending machines)
- Chewing gum or breath mints
- Comb or hair brush
Deciding how to choose the best diaper bag gets complicated when you try to anticipate any extras that you might need to bring with. If you decide to bring anything perishable it will be a splendid idea to invest in an insulated pouch or bag for any drinks or food like sliced apples, peeled oranges, or anything else that goes bad with exposure. A better suggestion is finding a diaper bag that comes with built in insulation. Now that you know what you will need for the baby and yourself when leaving the house you will want to decide upon diaper bags that you can quickly grab any of these items out of.
The last thing you want to happen is try to find something in a messy diaper bag with a screaming baby who only gets louder with every passing second. If you are going to choose the best diaper bag then you need to Picture yourself standing in a line or some other crowded area in a panic as you one arm your way around all these things while looking for a binkie. Surely there will be people rolling their eyes and staring you down for being the lady who brought her screaming baby out to give them a headache.
A great diaper bag that is not only functional but better for your back than a one shoulder bag is the Bag Nation Diaper Bag Backpack¹ with Stroller Straps for convenience. What makes this bag magnificent is that it comes with a washable changing pad and a Sundry bag. This highly efficient diaper bag is great for new moms because it practically organizes itself down to the smallest detail of giving the baby wipes a special area so you can pull a wipe and go.
This caught our attention because out of all the diaper bags we’ve tried around here none of them had this function. This truly is a bag that had to be built by a mom. Moreover, there are built in things that you would otherwise need to bring as extra such as an insulated pouch for perishable snacks and premade formula.
How to choose a diaper bag backpack that is Functional
- Workable with one hand
- Enough storage
- Easy open closures
- Organized compartments
One hand functionality
As mentioned above, a diaper bag needs to be usable with one arm and one hand. Picture yourself in a situation where you are in public with a baby and you catch a smell that alerts you to a diaper changing. Public spaces are filled with germs and everything else you don’t want touching your child. You will need to be able to pull most of this diaper change with one arm.
Once you get into the restroom and locate the changing table you don’t want to set baby down on a dirty surface so you will need to be able to maneuver the bag to rest on your knee while you locate the items you will need for the change. With the diaper bag above you can easily pull out a wipe in order to clean the changing table before you get to the changing pad. You don’t want to stand there wrestling zippers and objects while locating wipes and then need to tear the sticky top off of the wipes with your teeth.
Once the table is wiped clean pull out the changing pad and then buckle baby down on the changing table so she or he doesn’t roll off. Remember that this could be a messy diaper change and you don’t want to risk the chance of needing to pick baby up for anything until they have been cleaned off. Don’t set your bag too far away and make sure there is enough space to find everything you need without too much effort.
Researching which type of diaper bag is the best will pay off in the end. Some of the diaper bags we tested were impossible. If the lining inside is too dark then smaller items can be very hard to find without pulling everything out. If there are too many compartments then you could spend 15 minutes searching each space only to find the object you’re looking for in the first place you looked. Remember to choose your battles so don’t neglect researching a functional diaper bag. Think about how frustrating it is to try to find something in a tiny purse with only your belongings and then multiply that frustration by 1000 because it’s possible that while you are searching for needed items the baby will be crying.
Other considerations to make with a diaper bag is if the compartments close and open with a zipper, Velcro, or if the closure is magnetic. Consider what you can do with one hand and then buy a bag that has a closure that you can live with. Diaper bags don’t have to be a nightmare but they certainly can end up that way if you just wander into a store and buy the cutest one and no consideration into its usefulness.
With this being said one of the diaper bags we tested was the Skip Hop (#3) Baby Forma Pack and Go Diaper Bag Backpack with Insulated Changing Pad and Bottle Packing Cubes, with 11 Pockets. This is an extremely durable carrying bag with enough room to store all the necessary baby items, your items, and it’s durable. There is even room to organize up to 11 bottles. It would be almost impossible to lose something in this bag because there is a space for everything.
You might be scratching your head and wondering why on earth you would need a diaper bag with enough space for 11 bottles. We can think of a few reasons for all that needed space which include long outings that could take all day, road trips, and last but not least twins or more! If you have twins then this would be a perfect day bag because there is so much organized storage space.
This is also considered a “hands-free” bag and we love anything that requires less than two hands around here. This bag is light weight, water resistant, and is being sold at a very reasonable rate. The only down side to this diaper bag is the only color available is black but color of a bag when you are a mom is the least of your worries.
It should be noted that the type of material the diaper bag is made out of should also be considered. You will want something that is going to be durable and machine washable. You don’t want something with delicate material such as silk or anything that will shrink during a wash or dry. You also don’t want to buy a diaper bag that is toxic to your baby.
3 best diaper bag materials
- Heavy duty canvas
Heavy Duty Canvas Diaper Bags
The best diaper bags are going to be made from materials that resist wear and tear. Further, it is always a good idea to find one made with a water resistant material. Think about all of the possible liquids that could spill in and outside of that bag and then go from there. We have found that the most durable diaper bags on the market were made from twill polyester. Twill polyester is stronger than cloth so it will hold up for the duration.
If you purchase a diaper bag that also has zippers instead of Velcro then it will most likely hold up long enough for baby to grow out of it. If you have multiple children who are born a few years apart then it’s possible you might need to replace the diaper bag once or twice depending on the number of children you have.
Polyester Diaper Bags
Heavy duty canvas falls along the same line as polyester because both materials can take a beating and a washing. These materials will also last for a long time which will alleviate any stress to your budge. Wear and tear are great qualities to look for in a diaper bag.
Leather Diaper Bags
The leather bag isn’t recommended to throw in a washing machine but it is easily wiped clean. The leather diaper bag will probably last through a few babies so this is always a great route if you would like to reduce unnecessary spending.
Find a bag made out of a material that is easy to take care of or as we like to call it around here “washable”. Think about all of the places your diaper bag will be and everything that will end up inside of it. Diaper bags are get set down in some pretty undesirable places like floors, bathrooms, and sometimes on the ground outside of the car.
If you take baby to a doctor appointment for a checkup you might not think twice about laying the bag down on the floor. However, your child isn’t the only one going to the doctor so are other kids who might be sick. You don’t want to carry bacteria and viruses around with you and possibly get baby sick. The same is true for the restroom. There might not be space for a diaper bag on the counter in a public restroom and so it could get set on the floor. Again, you don’t know who or what has been in that exact spot so always keep germs in mind when you are out and about.
2 materials not to buy
- PVC and Phthalates
Check for PVC and Phthalates in Diaper Bags
Believe it or not some manufacturers are still making products that are toxic. Always check the label but even if the label doesn’t say toxic it still could be so make sure you do your research. PVC might seem like the last material you would find in a diaper bag as its use is typically associated with plumbing but it’s there none the less. PVC is found in Vinyl which is a soft plastic. In order to get the flexibility found in the PVC used for diaper bags the manufacturer will use a chemical called phthalate. This specific chemical was actually banned from use in children’s toys over a decade ago however it is still used today in the making of diaper bags.
Lead is found in some diaper bags
Again, lead being banned almost a life time ago it is also being used in diaper bags. We aren’t really sure how this is even possible but it is because of the level restriction placed by the government. Instead of just banning lead altogether it’s use is allowable in household products as long as it falls within government guidelines of less than 600 parts per million for children under the age of 12.
It is also important to take mold growth into consideration. The inside of a diaper bag is a breeding grounds for mold growth simply because of a moisture issue. Liquid could get spilt inside of the bag from bottles with formula or even the snacks in the insulated compartments. Keep the bag clean and always wash it after a spill. For these reasons alone we recommend a durable polyester instead of a cloth or leather bag. It could also be beneficial to keep some Clorox sanitation wipes in the car for good measure.
Most new parents are typically on a tight budget so the cost of the diaper bag needs to be considered. While all parents want the best for their babies the best doesn’t always equate into the most expensive. Don’t overspend on a diaper bag if you are already struggling. Just because your friends think you need a coach diaper bag doesn’t mean your baby will need one.
There are many diaper bags out that are within a reasonable budge and highly functional. Don’t blow your whole budget just for name brand sake. The extra money you spend for a brand name could be better spent on things your baby will actually need, like diapers!
Diaper Bags for Dads
One topic that isn’t very often discussed and it should be is who is the main care taker for the baby? Stay at home fathers are highly disregarded as most baby gear is biased toward the female style with patterns and colors most fathers don’t want to be seen near. Keep this in mind when shopping. If mom is the breadwinner and will be going back to work then it would be rather cruel to get a super female diaper bag. Your husband is probably already feeling a little threatened by his role in the family despite the progress of mankind.
For this reason alone we only researched diaper bags that would be fit for either parent to walk around with. Like with a purse, dad shouldn’t be using a non- baby designated bag. The last thing anyone wants is to have dad carry around bottles in his gym bag. We were surprised to find all of the gender neutral diaper bags that we came across such as the CoolBell Baby Diaper Backpack with Insulated Pockets (#6). Whether dad is sporty or rugged this bag will do justice to his image and yours! The bag comes with accessories such as an insulated wrap for a travel coffee mug and an insulated inside pouch with a zipper.
The only downside to this bag would be the size as it seems to be more of a day bag for short trips out. It probably wouldn’t work well for multiple babies. The bag has two shoulder straps so it can be carried as a backpack and it also has stroller straps which come in handy for trips to the store or to a trip to the park.
Finding the right diaper bag for your family will depend upon many factors. Many of the points mentioned are probably the last things to cross the minds of expecting parents but they are important focal points when choosing products for your new family. Whether mom or dad is the one carrying the bag always make sure that it is functional and safe for your new family. The last thing we expect when we are expecting is a diaper bag purchasing dilemma but the research should be done to protect your baby and your bank account.