What are some of things you like and don't like about your diaper bag and/or baby carriers?
I liked the LLBean diaper bag. It was more expensive up front, but it was well made and I could wash it. It didn't scream 'diaper bag'.
I used the Graco Baby carriers and wished I hadn't bought them. The babies heads always seemed to flop because of the angle of the carrier. Some of the other brands appear to be deeper and more comfortable.
I found carrying the baby in the carrier was too heavy and very awkward. I ended up carrying the baby in my arms and putting my purse, etc. in the carrier. Once inside (a restaurant, for instance), I would then put the carrier down and put the baby in it. Therefore, I will be using the same carrier for this baby that I used when my 11 year old was born, LOL!
Those carriers that are also used as car seats really scare me. I saw a news segment in which the carrier popped out of its base as a result of a crash. It showed the carrier in the middle of the street, AAGH! So I purchased what I think is called a "convertible" car seat.
I would wait until close to your due date to buy anything so that if it doesn't work for you, you will still have time to return it
As for diaper bag, I always used a backpack or an oversized purse. I didn't use bottles so I didn't need a special spot for those.
I made a tote bag out of pants that didn't fit me anymore when I got pregnant. That's what I use for a diaper bag... and everyone always comments on how cute it is. I always thought the typical diaper bag thing was so tacky.. I also never bought a baby carrier car seat.. I bought a convertable seat so I wouldn't have to buy another one when he turned 6 mos.. No one knows how I survived without one, of course because almost everyone buys a separate infant carrier. I didn't have a problem though.. I guess it depends on your lifestyle and prefrences. I like to keep things simple.
I have a Vera Bradley Miller bag that I use as a diaper bag and I LOVE IT! It is big enought to throw a few of my things and the baby's big sisters things inside it without getting bulky. And it's cute, very un-diaper bag like.
There are some great diaper bags out there now that don't look a thing like diaper bags. I used a plain black one but I've seen some great print bags, waterproof inside with many compartments. We used cloth diapers, but even if you don't, babies get stuff wet so I liked having a couple separate waterproof bags I could throw in the wash. When the diapers were history, my husband stole my wonderful black bag for a gym bag, it was that non-diapery.
As for carriers, nothing beats a sling. Over the Shoulder Baby Carrier makes a great padded sling, and Maya Wrap makes unpadded slings & pouches in great "Guatamalan" stripes. Both make solids, organics, etc. OTSBH has handmade batiks. Maya has knits. I think those 2 companies make the best products.
Slings get my vote because you can use them premie/newborn thru around 4 years, you can nurse in them when the first few months, you can machine wash them, & they hug your baby close to your body just as though you were using 2 arms (support behind neck & under bottom). When your toddler starts running you can tuck a sling in your stylin' diaper/baby bag, pull it out to sling that small person on your hip as needed. I see moms killing their backs with toddlers on the hip or holding a car seat out awkwardly & I think sling! sling! A properly tightened sling straightens your back & frees your hands.
There are even silk slings, and various DIY patterns for sewing or crochet.
But back to diaper bags...
I like lots of compartments, including small zipper spaces. My diaper bag became my purse and I like to find things quickly. Little stashaway compartments help you find small things pronto. If the diaper bag of your dreams doesn't come with a washable changing pad, be sure to plan for this as you often have to change a baby in a less than pristine place. Plus, diapering itself isn't all that pristine & you don't want to leave your mark!
We didn't use baby bottles but I carried water for me. If you do, make sure your water thing fits. Don't assume your favorite water bottle fits a baby bottle holder. I had a mesh outside pocket that was perfect, with elastic at the top.
Younger babies might need a change of clothes or sweater, toddlers need toys & a place to stash that sling in-between. If you can, practice packing the bag with real stuff before you purchase.
Diapers & a great bag are pretty much all the equipment you need so it's worth fussing about this!
I agree, I am all about the sling as well. Mine is so much more comfortable than my koala baby carrier, I almost always use the sling. The baby loves it too as when they are super little they are nice and cozy, when they get a little bigger, you can face them out and they can see everything.
Yes, a sling is the way to go. They are so easy to use. If you want one that's really unique and funky, check out African Violet Slings. They make some really nice ones.
I'm pretty new to gardenweb and I was browsing through all of the various topics and stumbled upon this one.
I got one of the cutest diaper bags from a lady on Ebay. She uses designer fabrics and they are quite fashionable. It doesn't give you too much room to overpack, but does have room for the essentials. I'm a BF mommy though, so I never had to make room for bottles. My first bag was from Land's End. It had a lot of room, but it was so flimsy that I would get so frustrated when I couldn't keep the thing open. It would always end up disorganized despite all of the neat pockets. I could never get the wipes back in the right pocket when one hand was on the baby while I fumbled with the flimsy bag with the other hand. I would also fight getting the changing pad back in the right spot. The reinforced totes are definitely my favorite. I just keep a gallon size ziploc for the wet stuff, so when it contains something ooky I can throw the item in the wash and the bag in the trash. If nothing else when searching for a good bag, make sure you can take things out and put them back one handed!! :)
One of the best things I ever purchased was a ring sling. I didn't like it at first because it felt awkward and uncomfortable, but I finally learned I wasn't wearing it tight enough. Once I figured out that little trick, the baby bucket (aka infant car seat) stayed in the car. The sling was something I could fold and tuck neatly into the diaper bag. At first, I seriously thought I wasted money on my sling. I really hated it in the beginning, but I was determined to figure it out and once I did, it was great! No more straining to see over the carrier sitting on the grocery cart, no more aching back, and the best thing was I could use it handsfree!!! With a colicky little one - this thing was a lifesaver when nothing would do but to be in mommy's arms! Never mastered the discreet nursing thing that so many moms can do with the sling though. Maybe I can with the next one!
I bought my sling from the website at the link below (FYI - no affiliation, just a happy customer). The lady that makes them has some really gorgeous ones as well as some nice affordable ones. I found her when I searched through thebabywearer.com website (which is also a really great source).
You will definitely figure out pretty quickly what works and what doesn't (and then you will shake your head at all the wasted money on the stuff that didn't work)! Good luck!
Here is a link that might be useful: Ring Sling link
I too have really enjoyed the prevalence of nice looking diaper bags. I had no idea how many choices there were. I saw Fleurville, OiOi, Dante Beatrix, and Petunia Picklebottom bags at our local store. I eventually priced one I liked and got it online.
The fact that most have waterproof materials proves crucial. I quickly found that out ;)
Here is a link that might be useful: where I got my OiOi diaper bag
A friend just picked up that Ring Sling carrier and loves it.