(Note: I know you’ll probably go straight to the pics/ prouducts and I know I have wittered on a bit but do read my ramblings so you can see why I’ve chosen the bags I have!)
I have seen many changing bag monstrosities. For some reason perfectly stylish people can fall at this hurdle. Yes, I do accept that once you have a baby who needs a zillion changes of clothes a day and sicky muslins, wet wipes and breadsticks become a permanent fixture in your bag, you do need to make some changes. But I don’t see the need to make it so glaringly obvious that that’s what you’re lugging around and instantly ruin your whole look with a giant duffle bag saying “yummy mummy” on it. No offence to anyone who thought being a mum meant they had to give up their stylish accessories and cart one of those ridiculously expensive and quite hideous things around. Really no offence. I know too well that until very recently there weren’t any choices out there. The changing bag market was sparse and frighteningly ‘mumsy’.
I spent most of my third trimester with my first baby searching for a nice (non) changing bag. I watched countless youtube reviews and ended up shipping one over from America. (Totally OTT of course but you wouldn’t expect anything less). I have learnt a lot since then (mainly that you don’t need an actual changing bag) and thankfully times have changed and there are some really nice ones around!
I found the problem with most changing bags on the market is that they’re heavy. The last thing you need when you’re carrying a toddler around or lugging one of those hefty car seats everywhere is a heavy bag. They might look pretty and leather with nice hardware etc but the second you start to fill them up they weigh a tonne! I also think the more space you have the more space you use, so it’s best not to have too big a bag.
I went through a phase of carrying my old bags that I felt guilty and sad about and just taking a cute little backpack (like the Kanken mini below) with all the baby stuff in it. I was working at the time and it helped to be able to keep all the kid stuff separate so I could hand it to whoever was caring for her without having to sciphon out my personal bits and bats. I had left house keys and vital eye-bag-concealing-make-up in there a few times which wasn’t ideal.
A grown up rucksack though is essential for a mummy of more than one littlie as it allows you to be hands free. Hands free means you can carry a kid and push a pram: Or carry a kid and drag the other if need be: or carry a kid and wipe a pooey bottom- doing this with a dangly shoulder bag is NOT a good idea. I have knocked out said pooey bottomed child with my dangling shoulder bag too many times. If I’m going on a big day out with all three kids and no husband I always take my backpack. I have the Fjallraven Kanken. It’s brilliant because unlike most backpacks you can unzip it all the way around so you can see and access everything that’s in it. It also has a nice little handle at the top so you can dangle it from your pram easily. (A pram hook is another essential.)
I really want a Tiba & Marl black leather Elwood. I think it’s the perfect balance between functional backpack and stylish normal cool person bag. It’s the perfect size too. I’ve been coveting it for a while and my sister who is expecting her second has just bought one and I have been walking around her house with it. Really jealous. Really want it.
At the moment, I am using my normal tote bag. I have my eye on this Liberty one (below) and I use the M&S clear plastic bags inside. I’ve talked about these before but they’re just great. You can see everything and you can wipe everything . I use one for nappies, wipes, teething granules, calpol etc. One for snacks and one for my phone, wallet, hair bobbles, sunglasses. I also used to carry a little bag for spare clothes (I’m out of that stage for now..until potty training begins again!). A few friends have used bag organisers like the Tote Savvy (below) and love them. They do look good although I’ve never gone for one as all the pockets just spell bad news to me. I’m not super-organised and could picture old raisin boxes (at best) lurking in the pockets. At least with my see-through bags I can’t hide or ignore the yucky stuff and it guilts me into having a sort out! The funniest thing about all of this is, I just don’t have a clue what I ever carried in my handbag before I had kids! The entire contents of “me stuff” fit into the smallest of the m&s pouches and yet I used to walk around with a large LV neverfull bag!! 😂
So, here are all the things I’ve just rambled on about! Let me know if you go for one!
- Tiba and Marl Etta changing clutch £35 – this is so so handy. keeps everything together
- Tiba and Marl leather Elwood backpack £120
- Liberty Marlborough Tote bag
- Tote savvy $72 plus shipping This is the one mentioned above. It’s only available from the US at the moment. They ship it over to you. The stork sak one looks very similar to me and is a fraction of the price
- Longchamp Le Pliage large tote bag in gun or teracotta (which is a greeny colour weirdly) £70 – you can also have these personalised with your initials and a stripe which look nice. Its also a very good general bag for airports, beach etc
- M&S set of three travel bags £6.50
- Storksak mini organiser £20