Return of the Big Bag

Once Drake turned two, I needed a diaper bag less and less. I enjoyed my return to a normal purse with one or two kid essentials tucked inside. With a new baby, though, came the need for a diaper bag once again. The chaos factor for babies is less about behavior, and more about physical realities. Babies need diapers, wipes, burp cloths, changes of clothes and distracting toys. Toddlers still need these things on an occasional basis, but not nearly as often or as immediately as do babies.

With Drake, G. Grod and I used a Timbuk2 messenger bag. After two years of diaper duty, it was the worse for wear. I debated what type of bag to get as a replacement. Another messenger? An actual diaper bag? A purse that was roomy enough to hold diaper-like essentials?

I came to similar conclusions as I did years ago. Actual diaper bags charged a premium for things like usefulness and fashion. They were very expensive because they were very specialized, with things like a built-in changing pad and insulated sections for bottles. See an example here. I found the special sections not very helpful. Either I could buy them cheaper and include them in any bag I wanted (the changing pad) or I never needed it (insulated section.) Plus, once you were done with babyhood, you’d be done with the bag.

I found opposite issues with subsituting a conventional purse for a diaper bag. See example here. Most bags were just not sturdy enough to stand up to the abuse that a diaper bag has to endure, and the fashionable ones were expensive enough to warrant more careful treatment.

So I returned to my middle ground of a messenger bag, though this time I opted for the more ergonomically correct backpack, since it distributes weight across both shoulders. It’s sturdy, it’s not ugly, it’s reasonably priced, and it will be useful once Guppy moves into toddlerhood when we can once again, and finally, give up the big bag. And I can always opt for using one of my existing purses in those rare instances in which I need a bag that’s fashionable and fabulous, rather than utilitarian.

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