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…
My 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.