At our first baby get-together, my mum and I fell instantly in love with my friend Maggie‘s diaper bag. I had already bought the practical but a little boring and slightly bulky Teutonia diaper bag to match our stroller, but the moment I saw Maggie’s bag, I knew I had to have it. My husband’s comment that evening as I browsed colors and placed the order: “these play dates are going to be expensive”.
I now have two Kate bags, one in bedford black and one in latte – you have to have something for summer and something for winter, right? And despite heavy – and often quite heavy-handed – use, they both look like they are brand new. These things have made three transatlantic trips and several trans-continental ones. They have been under seats on multiple airplanes, tossed in and out of our car several times a day in Atlanta, and snapped onto the handle bars of our stroller for hours and hours at a time in Stockholm. It doesn’t get a rest once we are home either – Alec’s favourite activity is rifling through it several times a day and un-packing and packing it over and over again. It is water resistant and has always kept dry and clean despite dust, rain, snow and muck.
This thing has 10 pockets – most of which you probably won’t use. The big outer pocket that runs along one side houses our entire changing kit. Several diapers, the changing pad that comes with the bag, a couple of disposable changing pads for extra messy changes, full-size diaper rash creams, and a regular-sized pack of wet wipes. In the two smaller pockets on the other side, I keep my mobile, some quick-access coffee money and sometimes a pacifier. In the larger pocket on that side, we have a snack-pack. Granola bars and nuts for me, mum-mums, puffs, raisins and other little snacks for Alec. We can even fit a few squeezies in here if we need to. Maggie actually put the little ice pack that comes with the Medela breast pump right in that pocket for storing breast milk! There are side pockets with elastics on each end – one for my water bottle, one for Alec’s bottle. On the inside there is a key chain, a removable change purse, several other pockets for organizing odds and ends, and a good zippered pocket for essentials like your day planner or other things you don’t want baby getting into, as well as a good mobile pocket.
So, basically everything I need to have with me on an everyday basic fits in these pockets, leaving the main part of the bag completely free for other things. Needless to say, I have no trouble fitting a change of clothes (for Alec and/or me), a blanket, hats and gloves and other pieces of extra clothes, a lunchbox (I use the little cooler box that came with the Medela breast pump since you can fit everything a little one needs for a meal or two in here – it’s the perfect size), a laptop (albeit a small one) and/or an iPad when you’re traveling, a shawl or other cover for the stroller or yourself, a high chair cover, toys, pacifiers, board books. No, you probably couldn’t fit all those things in there at once, but when do you ever need all those things at the same time anyway?
I snap the bag onto the handle bar of our stroller using JJ Cole stroller attachment snaps or just hang it over the handles using the shoulder strap (which is a real essential for when I am carting the bag, a heavy 14-month old, and whatever else we have with us up to our flat in the smallest elevator in the universe after dropping the stroller in the stroller room in the foyer). I thought the brassy hardware on the bag would get ruined by the snaps, but it still looks great.
All in all a super practical, super durable bag. But the best part is the way it makes you feel. Not just like a frumpy mom. On the rare occasions when I am out by myself without Alec, I don’t bother switching over to another bag. I’ve used the Kate diaper bag for work meetings, rare nights out or after-work get-togethers with my friends. Nobody would know it’s a diaper bag (except when I open it up and Alec’s monkey wubbanub jumps out). This bag does not look like a diaper bag, and out of your whole get-up when you are out and about with baby, this might be the most stylish thing on you. Enough said.
If you are trying to make the case for this slightly extravagant bag, I urge you to stress CPU (cost per use) in your argumentation. For the last year, I have used my Kate bags every single day, and often, we will be out all day. Pre-baby, I used to switch handbags several times a week, so no bag really got used that much (I have quite a few handbags). This bag gets used a lot and I plan to get a lot of use out of it every single day for at least a couple of years to come. That makes it a bargain.
So, if you are about to have your first little one, if you already have one or two and still need to carry a few baby care items from time to time, if you are a dad looking for a different kind of push present to celebrate a new mom, or if you are a friend looking for a fabulous shower gift. Look no further.