Baby Bags: Best Features

Filed under: Babies, Baby Essentials, Gear Guides: Pregnancy, Gear Guides: Babies

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Convertible Glazed Diaper Bag is stylish enough to carry after your baby outgrows diapers. Credit: Nordstrom.com

Shopping for baby bags can be overwhelming, with all sorts of diaper bags out there from which to choose. To help you narrow down your choices for the best baby bag, consider the following features that are essential for the perfect baby changing bag.

Fabric. You want to choose a baby bag with a durable, easy-to-clean exterior fabric because this baby changing bag will go everywhere with you -- play dates, the park, the supermarket and more. You should expect the diaper bag to get dirty and sticky, and the easier the baby bag is to clean, the better. A heavy-duty moisture-resistant nylon or microfiber fabric is the most practical, especially if you want this baby bag to last through more than one child. Look for a diaper bag that's washable inside, as well, since you're likely to have milk and juice spills and other accidents inside the bag.

Secure closure. To ensure your baby bag will stay closed to keep baby bottles, diapers and toys from falling out, look for a secure and functional closure, such as a durable magnetic snap front closure. Another thing to keep in mind when you're looking at the closures on baby bags is how easy it will be to open. You want a closure you can easily open with one hand so you can grab what you need and go. The best baby bags will have a good magnetic snap closure that will securely hold all of its contents, yet still be easily opened with a firm one-handed tug.

Handles vs. hands-free. If you prefer a baby bag with handles, keep in mind that wide and well-padded straps will be the most comfortable. Make sure the straps are securely attached to the bag. You'll also want to look for a strap that is long enough to be slung over your shoulder or worn diagonally across your body. Then there's the option of selecting a baby bag that will keep your hands and arms free, such as a backpack. If this is the type of baby bag you want, check to see that its straps are adjustable and look for a sternum strap connecting the shoulder straps at the upper chest to help redistribute the weight, making it easier and more comfortable to carry.

Storage. The best baby bags are loaded with pockets to keep everything organized in its proper place. Easy-to-access pockets for the things you'll constantly be needing, such as baby wipes, pacifiers and your cell phone, are essential for your peace of mind. Make sure the zippers are durable and heavy-duty. Be sure there are separate compartments to keep dirty diapers away from food, drink and clean clothes. And, if you'll be doing a lot of traveling, look for a baby bag with an insulated cooler section.

Style. This is completely up to you. Some moms love baby bags with pastel colors that actually look like diaper bags, while other moms want something a bit more stylish and functional that can be used after your baby is out of diapers. With so many different styles and colors of baby changing bags available, you're sure to find something that fits your aesthetic sense.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.