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Getting Out of the House Without the Hassle: A Tale of Two Diaper Bags
When I was looking for the perfect diaper bag to suit my needs as a mom on the go, I quickly found that no single bag would do for every situation. Because I already had one bag, purchased when we were adopting Zinashi, I felt a little guilty looking for something different, but I knew it wouldn’t suit a lot of situations. I finally decided on a bag, which fit the criteria of “could carry it even when I don’t have the baby along,” and my parents gave it to me as an early birthday gift. I didn’t expect the bag to solve all my diaper bag problems, but in a way, it did. Because with two bags, which were very different from one another, I could choose which one suited the situation best and take it. When I am just going out for a bit with the kids, I can take the more stylish bag, which is also lighter. When I’ll be out for the bulk of the day, I can take the hold-all bag. It didn’t take long to develop a little system for keeping the bags ready to go, so that no matter which bag I choose, I can have it packed and be out the door in just a few minutes. Here’s how I make it all work.
Are Two Diaper Bags Better Than One?
In my case, yes. Read on to find out how I juggle cloth diapers, bottles, formula, and anything else I might need in each bag.
My Two Bags
The bag in the front, to the left, is what I call the conventional diaper bag. It’s got pockets for everything, inside and out. This is the bag I take along when we’ll be out for longer periods of time, and it is always packed.
The bag in the back, on the right, is my tote. Because it’s technically a diaper bag, it’s got two bottle pockets on the inside, but the other pockets are similar to what would be in any bag I’d choose to carry. This is what I grab when we’re heading out for a short time. I also carry it as my handbag when I’m out and about, running errands on my own.
The Items That Are Always With Me
No matter which bag I carry, whether I am out with the kids or on my own, these five things must be in the bag I’m carrying. Wallet, keys, phone, lip balm, and sunglasses are all basic items that are easy to transfer. There’s a dedicated pocket in each bag to hold these mama-specific items.
The Big Outing Diaper Bag
If I’ll be out for longer than three hours with Elvie, this is the bag I take. While it’s not bigger than the other one, it has lots more pockets to keep everything organized, and I never have to dig to find what I need, even when it’s packed full of various baby items. It also includes a diaper changing mat, which is stowed in a dedicated pocket.
What Goes In the Big Outing Bag
For long stretches of time away from home, I take the following: one bottle of formula, already made; two bottles with the correct amount of water measured and poured in; a three compartment formula container, with formula pre-measured for each fresh bottle; a generous supply of wipes; two wet bags with one fresh diaper inside each one so I can swap out clean for dirty; one bib that doubles as a burp cloth; one burp cloth; an extra blanket; and a few books and toys.
The Stylish Tote
I love carrying this bag when I’m out on my own, but it works really well for shorter outings with Elvie as well. There is plenty of room to toss in what we need, and there are two bottle pockets inside for keeping bottles upright. Because I’m not taking as much when I use this bag, things don’t get lost easily inside. There’s not too much to dig through to grab just the right thing.
Baby Items to Go Inside the Stylish Tote
If I’m taking the tote instead of the big outing bag, all I have to do is grab a few things from the big outing bag, throw in the diaper changing mat I keep stowed with the bags, and I’m off. In this bag, I put one bottle ready made, one bottle with the correct amount of water, the three-compartment formula container, the bib that doubles as a burp cloth, my changing mat that has wipes already inside, and one diaper in its wet bag. Quick, easy, and off we go.