I didn’t research diaper bags at all before I registered for one. I just read reviews of the ones I liked the look of that were gender neutral for baby and not too girly for my husband. I’m glad I didn’t spend more money on a guy’s diaper bag because I think it’s a total waste of money. You only need one good baby bag – who wants the hassle of taking things in and out of multiple bags? It’s like switching handbags it takes time and you are always forgetting something hidden in a pocket. Let’s face it you’re going to be the one who has to transfer everything for your partner, so you’re just creating more work for you. On top of all the hassle of having two bags there is also the additional cost because even cheap ones aren’t that cheap.
I ended up getting the bag I registered for from my friend Jenn and have now used it for six months – it’s a Skip Hop Duo Signature in Denim. This bag completely satisfied my criteria of gender neutral for baby and okay for husband. However, I keep wishing I had bought a different bag in retrospect. I never really looked at them in person because I live in the UK and my baby shower was in the US. I just looked online and read reviews so I wasn’t able to touch the material or actually see in person how big any of them actually are. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice bag, it does the job but I’m finding it frustrating as the months go by. As your baby gets older you cart around more stuff – things like a change of clothes, diapers, diaper cream, wipes, hand sanitizer, bib, toys, binky, muslin etc. This doesn’t sound like a lot of stuff but somehow it becomes a lot when the interior pocket is small and made smaller because of items in the exterior pockets taking up space.
My bag frustrates me and I want to buy not only a bigger one, but a nicer one – if I am going to spend money on another it also has to be more adaptable to my style and lifestyle. Therefore I am looking for a bigger main pocket but in a bag that looks more like a handbag and not like a baby bag at all. If I was only on maternity leave for a short amount of time say three months or less it wouldn’t be as big of a deal because I would only use the bag on the weekends, but I have a year off so my bag gets daily use which now means daily frustration.
How It Compares
I can just fit basics – there’s not enough room for a spare change of clothes for her or me. You can see below everything I have in my baby bag and she is six months. I keep my diapers, wipes, diaper cream, hand sanitizer and disposable diaper bags in a diaper clutch that I got on Etsy. The diaper clutch is handy because it keeps everything I need in one small clutch that I can pull out and put under my arm to take to the bathroom. The clutch easily fits onto the bathroom changing table – whereas a diaper bag would have to be sitting on the floor in the bathroom which isn’t convenient to have to sift through it bent over while you have a screaming, wriggling, small baby on a changing table. Because my interior pocket is too small width wise the diaper clutch just fits and doesn’t leave much space on the side for anything else. Unlike other big totes I don’t have the ability to grab it on my lap and pull it apart to ‘dig’ in it because there is literally no space to do this – you have to take everything out to find things. Now that we have started solids we need to carry around even more gear with food, bib, spoon, bottles, toys, muslin, sippy cup etc so mine is exploding with stuff. If I had twins this bag would definitely not be big enough or if I had a baby and a toddler.
As you see below I have my wallet in the front pocket which is handy and easily accessible, my iPhone in the small zip pocket above my wallet with lip gloss, teething gel, pen, and toys etc in the front big bucket pockets. It’s really the pocket that my wallet is in, my iPhone pocket and the removable changing mat in the back pocket that compresses the main compartment. I would also like to be able to fit other things of mine like a sunglass case in the summer, hand lotion etc.
I have searched for other diaper bags and compared measurements of the Skip Hop Duo – dimensions: 13″L x 4.25″W x 13.75″H – the bag is only 4.25″ wide whereas the majority of the bags I saw online were 6 or 7″ wide which is almost double so it is more narrow than the average.
Besides the frustration, I wish I had bought a bag that I really loved from the outset because I didn’t realize it replaces your handbag – while I like it, I don’t love it. Carrying a handbag and baby bag just isn’t an option – you don’t want to have one on each shoulder or carry one while pushing a pram. It’s also a lot easier to have everything in one bag for convenience – and getting out the door quickly and effectively. (I had a friend who lost her handbag because she was too busy doing all the baby stuff, put it down and forgot – so yet another reason to put your nice handbag in storage for a while.)
Overall the Skip Hop Duo is nicely constructed, durable, nice design, easy to carry, great exterior bottle pockets (a must for me because they are easy to get out without having to stand up, bend over and search in your bag for a bottle which becomes a big deal when you’re holding a hungry crying baby!), great small zipper pocket for a cell phone, easy to access exterior pockets for toys, and separate pocket for the changing mat. If this bag was wider I still think it would need to be slightly longer as well to truly be able to fit everything that a mom wants to fit, especially if you are now using your diaper bag as your handbag.
My next bag will be something that I love, can use after the baby, is wider and longer with exterior bottle pockets, a separate pocket for my iPhone, and enough room for my stuff that fits neatly without being cramped.
I bought my dream Tory Burch baby bag during her twice a year sale so I got 30% off. So far I love it – yes all bags have their flaws and this one does have a cross-body strap that doesn’t adjust so it hits me right on and below the butt which isn’t ideal but was still useful when I had to use it getting on the airplane carrying a baby and another bag on my shoulder.
The built-in stroller clips are great and the space is so much better. I am able to easily fit everything I need and have the room for the extra toys and snacks that you need once they start becoming more active and eating solids – entertaining and food is what it seems like you do all day!
What bag do you think you want or already have?
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