Sunday, June 28, 2009

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Mary Poppins...A peek into my diaper bag

As cloth diapering mommies, we all know how important having the right diaper bag can be. But, when I purchased my first bag (before my daughter was even born) all I knew about diaper bags was that I wanted it to match my travel system. Looking for functionality never even occurred to me. Once I started taking trips out of the house with my daughter, I quickly began to realize how un-functional was the diaper bag that I chose.

While there were indeed allot of pockets in the bag, the changing pad took up most of the interior room and of course, being a first time mommy I felt the need to carry MANY "just in case I need it" items....actually, I still do....I like to be prepared. And I'm not into carrying multiple bags around so, I also put my wallet and some personal belongings into the bag. So it was a tight squeeze and trying to quickly fish a diaper, wipes and ointment out of a tightly packed bag with one hand and holding a wriggling, crying baby with the other proved to be difficult and stressful. (We were not even using cloth yet). Often times the bag was so full I could not even pull the zipper closed, causing contents to fall out on a regular basis. Then, (due to unfortunate medical reasons) I had to quit nursing my daughter and so bottles and formula dispensers were added to my list of things to toss in my bag. At that point I HAD to get a new bag and fast!

Before setting out to get a new bag I sat down and made a list of the must-have features that I wanted in my bag:

*Outside pocket for changing pad
*Roomy Interior w/ lots of pockets...and I mean ROOMY
*Exterior side bottle pockets
*Strap long enough to hang bag over the stroller handles.
*Something chic & trendy...NOT babyish.
*Metal feet to help protect the bottom from excessive wear and tear.

Amazingly, when I arrived at the store, the first bag I saw had all of my must-haves and a huge bonus...it was pink and brown...like my stroller/travel system. It was the Carter's All the Works Diaper Bag. I still perused over the other bags they had to offer just to make sure I was not making an impulsive decision. Then I removed all of the contents from my diaper bag and put them into the carters bag to test it out. Oh my goodness!!!! I managed to get 2 bottles, 5 diapers, 1 formula dispenser, a large wallet, a wipes case, rash ointment, teething tablets, hand sanitizer, infant Motrin, infant Tylenol, infant gas medicine, lip gloss, Neosporin spray, sunblock, extra bottle liners (Playtex drop-ins) a burp cloth AND a change of clothes all into the bag...ALL easily accessible w/ out having to take something out to get to an item. AND there was still some room. It also came w/ a matching wet bag for dirty duds & an insulated bag (which I never really used). I was sold....it was the perfect bag!

When I first purchased the bag I took it to the mall and had my daughters initials embroidered onto the front of the bag so it looks very "Pottery Barn Baby chic" without the Pottery Barn Baby price. And when she is older this bag will make a great little overnighter bag for her if she ever stays over at Grandmas, a cousins or a friends house for the night. So, I figure that I will get more than my moneys worth out of this bag.

Several months later I became a cloth diapering Mama and the bag still remains more perfect than ever. I can fit everything mentioned above in addition to 5-6 cloth diapers & a cleansing spray (which I use after poopies to freshen her little bum). And now that my daughter is older, sippy cups have taken the place of bottles and snacks have taken the place of the formula dispenser.
It's like Mary Poppins bag...I could just keep pulling items out of my bag because it holds SO much. As you can see in the picture, there is still room at the top of the bag....no problems zippering this bag.
Now that I have been learning how to sew, when we have the next baby, I will be making my own diaper bag with all of the great features I love. In fact, I just hosted a baby shower for my cousin and my gift to her was a diaper bag which I made....with a matching wipes case and changing pad. I loved it so much I was tempted to keep it. But....it doesn't match my stroller...LOL ;) Here is what her bag looked like....


- By Amanda G

34 comments:

Christina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina said...

Oh wow! That makes me giggle that you have to have a diaper bag that matches your travel system- I never would have thought of that but its cool! I love the thought of making your own diaper bag because you can make it exactly how you want it! Was it hard?

the monkey's mama said...

I'm just impressed that you are planning on making your own diaper bag! And, I'm also impressed by how many diapers you can fit in there! well done!

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

I have a diaper bag addiction (in addition to the cloth diapering addiction). I have always had or wanted multiple diaper bags. I think maybe it's because I have never found one that I truly love! Love both bags and how talented to make your own!

EFalls said...

Great idea for a post! I was not impressed with my first diaper bag at all, but my friend made me an Amy Butler Nappie Bag and I LOVE IT!!!!! I love how you can tailor the fabric to match the individuals personality and it looks like a large purse. I will be learning how to make one of these for my next child! Does anyone know of any good patterns for a diaper changing pad?

dannyscotland said...

I like my bag now, but it could be bigger. I love that you are making your own bag. I actually got started on one, but have not finished it yet. (I might even start over--I don't think I'm in love with it). I can fit what I need in my current bag, but nothing extra (like toys).

Tina said...

Have you ever seen/tried JuJuBe bags? I love, love, love them!!! So organized, practical, and you can through them in wash mashine!!!

Tiffany said...

I have the same Carters diaper bag, and I love it! I never thought of getting my son's initials embroidered on it, what a great idea!

Kelly said...

You did a really nice job on the one you made! It is super cute. I am one of those moms that also never travels light. My diaper bag was totally stuffed, and then when we switched to cloth, it became even tighter. I had to re-evaluate all that I took everywhere.

Kristin said...

It's so funny how much stuff we moms carry around with us! Who would have thought I would "need" to bring a plastic easter egg and 2 pairs of nail clippers, along with Tylenol and 2 sets of keys (baby likes his own and I have to drive!).

Shaking said...

Wow, I just said to my husband that I think I may need a new diaper bag since I started cloth diapering. There is just not enough space. Of course he thinks I am nuts, but he doesn't tote it around every day either.

WiseChixMama said...

You are so funny!! What a GREAT bag!! I am STILL searching for a bag that is big enough for the essentials, occasional extras (camera, etc.), yet doesn't break my back!! LOL I will have to look for the one you have & check it out. As of right now, I have a laptop sling backpack (I LOVE the sling style & find it much easier to carry than traditional 2 handle bags), but it is still not big enough & I don't have a lot in it. LOL

Curiously Sour said...

I have that same travel system and diaper bag. I love love loooove that diaper bag!

Kristin said...

I have three diaper bags of different sizes that I use depending on the outing. Two are from Lands End - they are fabulous - and one I made. I like the larger diaper bag for traveling with two kids, but when I just had one it was nice to have a bag that I wasn't constantly bumping into things.

hammergirl5 said...

Awesome bag! Where can you find it and how expensive is it?

hammergirl5@aol.com

hosiewosie said...

awesome! I'm trying to learn to sew too! Can't believe you made that bag, my sewing has a LONG way to go.

Jackie said...

I love the bag! What a great idea to have your daughter's initials embroidered!

Julie said...

Roomy diaper bags are DEFINETLY a must!! That is such a CUTE bag, makes me want another girl, LOL!

Instant Family of 4 said...

I definitely know how hard it can be to find a good diaper back. Cloth diapering twins and carrying everything for 2 (I had a very spitty kiddo)is insane. I got really lucky and it turns out the diaper bag I registered for happens to work for us but I always envy those that can walk out of the house with a tiny bag.

MaryAnne said...

I need a big diaper bag like this - I'm always running out of space in the one I have!

Kandy said...

Love the hot pink!!

A Psych Mommy said...

Great idea to get your bag monogrammed :) Your bag is so organized! I would be too embarrased to post pics of my bag right now

Ashley said...

Once we switched to cloth, I had a major problem with our diaper-bag-that-had-to-be-so-cute-because-when-i-was-pregnant-i-didn't-know-i'd-want-functionality. hahahah.But the plus side of cloth? Diapers can last longer if need be, AND, less blow-outs leaks, so no extra clothes needed! Half the time I don't even bring my diaper bag on quick trips anymore. :)

Day to Day Tripper said...

I've always just used a back pack...I'm a diaper bag minimalist I guess. It's always nice to have someone like you in the group to pull out all of the things I've forgotten!

Amanda said...

Thank you for all of the sweet comments!

@ Cristina: No, overall it was not hard to make. The only part I found difficult was pulling the elastic through the casings on the side pockets because suede cloth had ZERO stretch to it.

@EFalls: Changing pads are reall simple....I did not even use a pattern. Just cut your fabrics to the desired size as well as a piece of vinyl (or use PUL and ommit one of the sides of fabric) & some fusible fleece (for cushion). Lay all of the pieces in the order/direction you want them and stitch double fold bias tape along edges...being careful to keep all layers of fabric held together evenly. And WA-LA...a changing pad!

@Hammergirl5: You can find the Carter's Bag at Major retailers like BRU or Online and it runs about $40. (Less if you get a coupon to BRU).

Amanda G.

Lauren said...

That looks like a great diaper bag!

Slee said...

i love the idea of making one's own diaper bag, but wow, your diaper bags already whomp on mine!lol

EFalls said...

Thanks Amanda! Sounds easy, but I think you're much more of a sewing pro than I! : ) I can't believe that you made that bag in the pics. It really looks like a store bought one.

Amanda said...

Thank you so much! :)

Amanda G.

Thrifty Mama B said...

You have some sewing skills, I am so lacking lol! Your bag is really cute :) Cute and spacious, def. a mom made product, nice job mama!

creativoice said...

Diaper bags are tricky things. You get used to fitting everything in one bag, and then the baby grows some more and you've got to add something else to your gear. I've always been a huge purse carrier and now I just walk around with two giant bags. But you've inspired me..I just might have to make my own.

Anne said...

the bag you made was so cute! I'm a first time Mama and tried to observe my friend's diaper bags in action to help me figure out what will be best.. I have two Fleurville bags... hopefully they do the trick! :)

Kelly said...

Wow Amada, you are so talented. Are you sure you just started sewing. I love the diaper bag and accessories you made. Way to go!

Amanda said...

Wow, thank you some more! :) And yes Kelly, I have been sewing for less than 1 year. (The very first thing I ever sewed was on my Birthday @ the end of November '08). So I guess it's been about 7 Months.

The most important thing I have learned is not to fear making mistakes. Mistakes can set you back in time but, instead of getting discouraged I use it as a learning lesson...I'm not afraid to rip seams and/or re-cut fabric and start over if needed.

Amanda G.