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Bag Ladies

By Amalah

I desperately need to seek some advice from a fashionable mom/advice columnist.
Hubby and I are expecting our first (a girl, which may or may not be relevant to this question) in the beginning of June, and I have recently started the online search for a cool/hip/functional diaper bag. It’s been a little overwhelming especially since many of them are not cool or hip at all. I’m sure you know what I mean!
It would be great if I could make my husband carry it sometimes too, which means it probably shouldn’t be pink or fluffy. I have heard from others that I will actually be happier with several bags (one for just me, one for me/husband together, one for daycare, etc) but I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t have any objections to this situation since I love bags anyway. One more caveat is that I am not a very tall person, so I don’t want something huge and bulky that will dwarf me and tip me over.
Would love some advice on this burning issue so I can look like the cool mom instead of the one carrying around an extra piece of luggage.

Okay, first of all, yesssss. You will be happier with several bags. Get your husband his own bag and then get one for yourself. And then maybe another one. Later. As in: not now, when you really don’t know what is actually required to go in the bag. (I packed up my lovely diaper bag weeks before Noah was born and pretty much his ENTIRE NURSERY DISAPPEARED INTO THAT BAG.) Now I’ve finally learned to streamline, but also decided that I am a big fan of functional, multi-pocketed bags instead of the big black hole types that offer one bottle pocket and that’s it.
I once asked my readers for advice in finding the Perfect Bag, and oh my god, look at the response I got. So many cool and gorgeous bags. You might want to spend the rest of the day checking out those links — am pretty sure a lot of them still work and are still drool-worthy.
Personally, I went out and bought the first bag that struck my fancy at the store, and then bought another one a couple months later, and now we’re up to about four or five bags. None of which I’d call “perfect” but all of which get heavy regular use.
Anyway. Now for the links!
skiphop.jpgFor your husband, go small and utilitarian. We got this cool backpack from Columbia, and then later got the over-the-stroller bag by Skip Hop. (I actually carry the Skip Hop one most days too — it may not be super pretty or purse-like, by hot damn, it’s a well-designed little bag.) I also kind of dig the look of the Baby Bandolier. (Cool Mom Picks actually have reviewed a bunch of guy-friendly bags.) There is also the Diaper Dude line of just-for-him diaper bags.
Okay, now on to what’s really important. YOU.
I bought a Petunia Picklebottom bag, but can really only give it a half-hearted thumbs up. It’s gorgeous at first, but eventually kind of loses its shape and looks kind of squashy now. Plus it just doesn’t have enough freaking pockets. I have similar complaints about the Coach tote I got as well (I went to a factory store and found a nice plain black one for cheapish), because both bags just tend to turn into bottomless pits right when you REALLY REALLY REALLY need to find your keys or a pacifier or burp rag. But! They are so lovely, and the perfect choice for when we’re going out for dinner and I’d like to look nice and stylish.
(Hey! I just noticed that the Picklebottom bags now have FOUR bottle pockets. Argh! Not fair!)
Most other times? The Skip Hop wins. I really do love that bag.
SoySauce.jpgBut I’m still learning. Now that we’re past the age of bottles and 20 explosive poops a day, I got a Diaper Valet and keep that in the car (along with the changing pad from the Coach tote), which frees up valuable real estate in whatever bag I’m carrying. Honestly, remove the diapers and wipes and I can get away with using an actual for-real normal-sized purse! What a concept!
Other bags I’ve seen moms use and looooove: the 2 Red Hens totes, the Fleurville Mothership, and (if I could ever make up my mind for more than five minutes) I’d totally go for one of these custom-designed bags from 1154 Lill Studio.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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