When I was pregnant with my first child, I spent hours researching baby products, talking to friends, and making sure I was prepared with everything I needed as a new mom. One of my big must-haves that some sweet friends gifted to me was the perfect diaper bag. I wanted a stylish and versatile bag that would compliment my style and ensure my baby boy had everything he needed. I loved my fancy diaper bag, and I was practically Mary Poppins! I had EVERYTHING packed in my bag, most of which he never needed, but I always wanted to ensure I was prepared.
Now that I have two young boys, ages 4 and 2, I’m thankful I no longer have to carry my diaper bag around. Although stylish, it was still big and heavy, and it was just too many things to have to lug with me everywhere. I even tried downsizing it after my second son was born and only sticking to what I needed, but between diapers for a newborn, and my then toddlers needs, the bag was still pretty full.
We recently potty trained my youngest, and I was excited to no longer have to buy diapers and not have to lug the diaper bag around. What I quickly realized is regardless of carrying diapers, as a mom with young children, you still have a pretty essential need for a “mom bag,” a bag that can hold all the things you may need for your toddler or young child while still moving on from “diaper bag” status.
I began taking a mental note of all of the things I needed when I was out with my boys. The things that I would either be stuck holding in my hand, putting in my pockets or loosely carrying in my car. I made a solid list to gauge the size of bag I would need to hold their necessities and my own.
The search for the perfect bag
For me, this seemed like finding a needle in the haystack. I didn’t want another diaper bag and preferred something a bit more stylish than a traditional “backpack” however, here was my criteria:
Needs to fit on my back – This has always been a huge must for me. It has several significant benefits for both your well-being as well as your children.
- Being hands-free – Having two children, I need both of my hands to either hold both of theirs while walking or carrying one while holding the other’s hand. Traditional shoulder bags and even purses can make this challenging.
- Protecting your back and shoulders – The few times I’ve carried a heavy bag on my shoulder, I immediately felt both back and shoulder pain. My husband, who is a Chiropractor, sees this all the time. He says it’s one of the most common pain issues of moms with small children. Carrying a heavy shoulder bag on one arm places too much strain on your body and results in short-term pain as well as long-term effects on the overall function of your body. Wearing a bag on your back allows you to use stronger back muscles to carry the load and not place unwanted strain on one side or the other.
- Easier mobility – Having a bag on my back allows me the chance to efficiently and expeditiously get my boys into their car seats and strap them in when we are leaving any given place. I don’t have to worry about my bag getting in the way of putting it down or in the passenger seat before strapping them in. I’m able to get directly to the car, strap them into their seats, and then get into my seat and unload my bag. This makes for a safer transition/departure for all of us.
It needs to fit all the necessities – I needed something big enough to carry everything on my must-have list. (see my list and video below)
It must be sleek and not cumbersome-I didn’t want to look like I had a turtle shell on my back. I have a small frame and didn’t want something that was so overpowering that I looked like I was on my way to boot camp.
Finding the perfect bag in an unlikely place:
I found the perfect bag for me in an unlikely place. Fossil isn’t a brand I usually wear, and I often associate it with watches and accessories like wallets and belts. However, I came across the Camilla Convertible Backpack Pinterest, and from the photos, it looked like just the bag I needed.
I ordered it and immediately fell in love. Here are all the reasons this became the perfect mom bag for me:
- Versatility – I’m able to wear it on my back, messenger style, or even a quick over the shoulder if need be. I can also use the handles more like a clutch if my husband and I are going out with the kids and I didn’t get a chance to change bags.
- Size and depth– The bag fits everything on my list of necessities for my boys and me.
- Sleekness – While the bag fits everything, it’s not overpowering on my body. It’s wide but narrow, so it compliments my frame.
Check out my video to get details on all of my mom must-haves and why I carry them:
- Moms Small Personal Bag
- Water Bottles
- Baby Wipes
- Disposable Placemats
- One Done portable potty OR Portable Toilet Seat
- Antibacterial Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Children’s sized face masks
- *extra pair of underwear/bottoms for accidents
I’ve been pleased to find the perfect balance of function and style and feel better equipped (and less flustered) when I’m out and about with my boys. While this particular bag may not be your style or the type of bag that will work for you, I encourage you to use the same steps I did of making a list of your must-haves and requirements to find the perfect bag that will make life easier for you and your kiddos!