Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Nappy Bag

There are days I flip between being a consumer and a minimalist. Usually the longer I've been using something the more streamlined it becomes. For example, it used to take me about 3 days and the limit of the baggage allowance to pack for a week long trip but now I can put together everything needed for a family of 3 in a single suitcase,in an hour before we have to leave for the airport. Not skill just practice.

This has been the case for our nappy bag as well. Back when we were newbie parents, the consumer giants (i.e. Baby shops and TV) convinced us that we absolutely needed a nappy bag. Hubby was adamant that if he was ever expected to carry the nappy bag that it was not going to be some flowery pink monstrosity. So together we went out and selected the Ryco messenger bag, in a manly black colour.

It was great, there were pockets for everything. even a built in change mat, a pacifier holder and a thermal lined bottle holder. We brought it everywhere including on board during the trip to the US when The Little Man was 8 weeks old. 

But we realized that the bag mostly went out and came home with us without being opened. Sure if we were out for more than a couple of hours we'd open it to get a nappy and some wipes but those were in the front pocket. The Little Man was breastfed so the bottle holder wasn't being used. And he absolutely refused to use a pacifier so that nifty little feature was neglected. 

Moreover, the messenger bag design flap is not the easiest thing to get stuff in and out of while holding a baby in one arm because you can't really see what you're trying to get at. So verdict.. great bag but just too much for what we needed. 

I was running late one day so instead of taking the bag and making sure it was packed I just grabbed a nappy and a dwindling pack of wipes and stuffed it into my purse which worked so well that it was all I started carrying around. But soon The Little Man was getting onto teething rusks and biscuits at the time so I needed those as well and all these bits and bops were making it difficult to find things in my purse (I absolutely hate having to dig around in a bag... it's a bit of a problem *twitch twitch*)

Suddenly the "IT" thing in fashion accessories that I see being advertised all over the place are purse organizers. For people who have to juggle lip gloss, eye-shadow, phones, mp3player, keys etc. Or have different handbags to match each outfit and don't want to spend the time to empty out each item whenever they change bags (#firstworldproblem). I was seeing them at stores for about $25-$45 bucks which wasn't going to break the budget but seemed a bit steep for essentially a canvas pouch with lots of pockets (This is exactly what Hubby thinks about my one single designer purse... we don't tell him how much I paid for it)

Decision time... make one myself or hit up eBay. Seeings as a 1 year old and a sewing machine should never be in the same room I took the consumer option. There were many options but I settled on this little beauty available in 6 colours. 

My Mum was visiting at the time and had been asking me about handbag organizers as well so I ordered 3. One for her, One for me and One because it was so incredibly affordable when you combined the shipping and I couldn't resist. 

I was a little worried that it wouldn't fit in my shoulder purse, especially after I was planning on putting in a couple of spare diapers, some wipes, a bottle of antibacterial hand sanitizer, a couple of rusks and a packet of rice crackers. But they all fit in there before and now still fits in perfectly.

The bag I use is divided into 2 sections and the organizer fits into one side and my keys, phone and work passes still go in the main.

I have to add that another of my pet peeves  is an overstuffed bag. (See Travelling with baby Tip 2: Packing) this is especially the case when the bag is going to nestle under my arm. But this is what it looks like all packed up. I still had so many unused pockets so I added a box of mints because you never know when you need mints. They are in the picture as a size comparison.

This has worked great so far. On the last couple of trips I've actually just taken this out and popped it into the carry on so I didn't have to carry a purse as well. And when The Little Man I and go to the shops on the bicycle, I pop this bag into my bike's pannier bags. Taking the first nappy bag on a bike ride with us would have been difficult if not a little dangerous. Like check out the size difference in the picture below.

So now my only problem is that I have all these extra pockets and I'm resisting the urge to put more stuff in the organizer. 

I mentioned before that I have one extra Organizer, still in the pack it came in. When I bought it I thought I'd need more than one because I had more than one bag (bicycle, purse, travelling) but turns out I've just been using the one. So stand by because just as soon as I think up a good contest I'll be putting that purse organiser up as a prize. Odds of winning are pretty good I should think since my mum isn't allowed to win one due to me already buying one for her :-D (sorry Mum).


  1. Great idea! We have two nappy bags. A messenger and a backpack - the messenger we use with the pram because it hangs nicely over the handle; the backpack we use when E is wrapped or in the carrier. And then when I'm popping out for just a short trip, I stuff her wetbag (containing spare nappy and wipes) into my purse.

    I didn't know it at the time, but you're right, the smaller the baby, the easier it is to pack for them. Now she's older she needs a few extra things carried, like teething gel, rusks, her Sophie etc.

  2. I really want one of those handbag organizers now! Our nappy bag (or 'Daddy bag' as it's called due to its manly black colour) is also filled with things that never see the light of day, but that I take with me because "you never know". But like you, there have been occasions, like a quick trip to the supermarket, where I've just grabbed my handbag and stuffed a nappy and wipes in it.
    Plus, like you say, the nappy bag is a pain to open and close one handed whilst carrying baby.

    Love the blog by the way. Well written and informative! My favourite kind :-)

  3. Stay tuned Emma, In the next couple of days I'm going to be giving my spare organiser away. And since I have about 5 actual readers odds are good. :-D