You might find it handy to have more than one diaper bag, perhaps a big, feature-laden one for long trips and a small one for quick jaunts—whatever is going to work for you and your family. More at http://bestrateddiaperbags.com/.

Consider how you’ll use your diaper bag. The diaper bag should be your “nursery on the go,” says Mary Carlomagno, a mother of two, professional organizer, and author of “The Secrets of Simplicity.” So it’s worth giving some thought to how it is going to fit with your family’s lifestyle. “Will you keep the bag on your stroller most of the time, or are you a driving mom who takes your kid to day care? Where will your bag live? Will you carry it on a stroller, will it spend a lot of time on your shoulder, or will you most often be tossing it into the car?”

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Try it on. You’ll be carrying your bag for a year or more—perhaps even after your child is potty trained, since it’s useful for any gear. So it’s a good idea to try on some bags for size, look, and feel, even if you ultimately decide to shop online. Bring some of baby’s stuff from home, plus some of the necessities from your own bag, and load up the bags you like at the store. The diaper bag should be easy to use, but comfort is vital, too. Check out how much the bag weighs when empty—the supplies you’ll be carrying weigh plenty so there’s no point in adding to the load with a heavy bag.

Bigger is not necessarily better. You’ll want a good-sized diaper bag. As your baby grows, her bigger diapers and bottles will take up space. But you don’t want one so cavernous that you’re constantly losing things in it, or bumping it into people. A deep hobo-style diaper bag, for example, might be too big for everyday use with one kid (though possibly perfect if you have twins). And even if you don’t really need much stuff, there’s a tendency to fill the void. Try not to wind up with a diaper bag that weighs more than your baby and ruins your posture. More at http://bestrateddiaperbags.com/best-large-diaper-bags/.

Look for (some) extra compartments. Efficiency is the key here. When you need to clean spit-up from your shoulder and find a clean diaper, all at the same time, being able to easily put your hands on those items is a lifesaver. Loops inside or out to clip your keys or your baby’s toys on are handy, too. You want to grab and keep going, without having to break stride every 5 minutes to find what you need.

“If you have the changing pad in the pocket, and you keep a wipe and a diaper there, you can just grab and go,” Carlomagno says. “Too many pockets can give you too many choices. Keep the bag packed the way it is easiest for you to grab, because half the time you are grabbing it with a kid in your hand.”

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