Why I’m Anti-Diaper Bag


There are lots of things to be for and against these days, especially during a presidential election year. For the most part, I keep my opinions–political and otherwise–to myself. But now I’m going public: I’m anti-diaper bag. There! I said it! I didn’t start out in this camp, but now I’m a true (non)believer.

My journey started just over two years ago in a very expensive store with a very expensive diaper bag…

Why I'mMy dear friend treated me with a day of shopping in Nashville to celebrate the upcoming birth of my daughter Madeline. I wanted to treat myself, too. I’ve always been a bit of a fashion-phile and a bargain hunter. So when I decided to buy a Kate Spade diaper bag it was a big deal. Of course, the store worker was absolutely lovely. (She works on commission after all.) She helped me pick out a striped diaper bag with lots of handy pockets and compartments for baby gear. (Actually, I was sold before I even walked in the door.) She packaged it like the present it was to me. A few short days later that same store worker sent a handwritten note (also lovely) congratulating me again on our sweet baby-to-be. One friend said that was the least the clerk could do since I paid so much for the bag and even insisted the lady should have taken me to lunch instead!

Months later, after Madeline was born, I asked for suggestions about the kinds of things I should have in my designer Kate Spade diaper bag. A co-worker said she just threw one diaper and some wipes in her regular purse and headed out the door. I was speechless. I am a planner and an over-packer. My hospital bag for Madeline’s delivery was a full-size suitcase. I’m not ashamed to admit that! I couldn’t begin to fathom only bringing one diaper and wipes. I stocked that bag with pacifiers, diaper cream, wipes, a change of clothes, a cloth diaper, Pampers, pacifier wipes and more. It’s probably no surprise that when Madeline was about nine or ten months old the strap on my designer diaper bag gave way. It broke with such force even a shoe repair man said he wouldn’t be able to patch it back together.

Thus my thoughts on diaper bags began to change…

It was nearly spring so I wanted something to embrace the new season. By then I realized any large purse or tote would do. I got a Marc Jacobs bag for a steal (and a matching makeup bag that would eventually hold snacks for tiny fingers). My organizational method for my so-called diaper bag revolved around zip lock bags. The Kate Spade changing pad which doubled as a diaper holder made the cut, too. That Marc tote made it through spring and summer before it gave way. It became clear during my next “diaper” bag hunt I needed to place more emphasis on finding a good, sturdy bag for cheap. Real cheap. Enter Gabriel Brothers. For $30 I found a gorgeous all-leather bag (by a designer sold at Nordstrom) with gobs of compartments. It was really designed for working women who commute and sported a handy padded tech compartment (which would eventually hold snacks for tiny fingers.) Score! It lasted far longer than my other diaper bags combined, but, sadly, it developed a seriously strange smell and was covered in stains. So long, sayonara.

Now, I’m carrying a large tote from Target organized with my zip lock bag method. It makes cleaning up a spill much easier! Plus, you have zip lock bags in case you need them to transport dirty toddler clothes home. The Kate Spade changing pad which doubled as a diaper holder made the cut again. My new tote can also double as a beach and pool bag (it’s that big). It will probably barely survive summer, but that’s all I need it to do. And considering what I paid, that’s about right.

My attitude on the perfect diaper bag for mom has obviously changed. Do you need to spend a lot of money on a fancy diaper bag? No. Not Kate Spade. Not Petunia Picklebottom. Not Lily Jade. I know some of you are ardent believers. I certainly respect your opinion, but I’m anti-diaper bag through and through. But I believe we can co-exist peacefully. When this season of babies and toddlers passes, don’t be surprised (and don’t judge) when you see me carrying an expensive designer purse. It will be my little present to my fashion-phile mommy self. (And I probably got a serious deal!)

What are your thoughts on diaper bags? What do you put in your diaper bag?


  1. Yes I always start out with a diaper bag but they never last to long ONLY for the fact that I get tired of carrying around a large bag. I usually end up throwing wipes and a diaper in purse and go. I also just purchased a kate spade with my third child and I did t last a month with it before I went and bought a kavu bag and that is how we are rolling now.

  2. Sad you had the same experience with your Kate Spade diaper bag! I’ve heard any kind of hands-free bag is the way to go with multiple kiddos…

  3. There is a diaperbag/backpack in the baby section at Target that I got for a relative. It has sturdy straps, an insulated pocket, spill resistant lining, and a pocket that opens to the outside to pop out wipes hands free! For around $24, I couldn’t pass it up.

  4. I’m about to break free of my own diaper bag. I did love it, but my baby’s almost one and doesn’t need ALL the things I would pack in there (I’m an over-packer too).

    I’m glad you posted this. I think I’ll just get a big purse as well, although I love that your diaper changing pad is Kate Spade (cause it’ s nice to have a little fancy). I tried to find if they sell just that but after a quick search I’m not seeing it.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this! I’m encouraged to leave my diaper bag at home 🙂

    • Yeah Elizabeth! I’m so glad you enjoyed my post and that you’re going to join me in the anti-diaper bag movement:) I’ve seen similar diaper changing pads with storage pockets at Babies ‘R Us and Buy Buy Baby…but they’re not Kate Spade:( Hopefully, your search will turn up something and, if not, check those out!

  5. I hardly used any diaper bag. I breastfeed, so I just keep a few diapers, wipes, and an extra outfit in the car. If I know we’ll be gone all day, I’ll also bring a small cooler with drinks and snacks.

  6. When my girlfriend passed along her Coach diaper bag to me, she called it “a small luxury in a sea of poo and vomit.” I agree, it is lovely, but it is too compact to fit my cloth diapers for an entire day at the sitter, or all the other things we take back and forth.Prior to this I used an insulated grocery bag. I ended up settling on a less fancy, easily washable 31 diaper bag/tote thing with 4 bottle holders and some mesh to hold all the quick grab stuff. It fits all our supplies. If I am going out for a quick trip though, I love totes with a long single shoulder strap. Cross body is the way to go, for sure! I use some ziplock bags on occasion, but prefer some simple wet bags, reusable snack bags, or for my little one’s change of clothing a dry/wet bag. My friends with big kids still use these for swimsuits, gear and snacks so I am happy to have them. Anyhoo…thanks for fighting the good fight!

  7. I splurged on a Lily Jade Elizabeth, but I feel like I’m the only one overpacking (and these are essentials!) and getting a sore neck and back from wearing it as a backpack. i don’t know what I’m doing wrong. YouTube influencers make it look so easy and light, and they pack so much with room to spare. I really want to make it work, but I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. It’s a gorgeous bag. It’s just too heavy.


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