A Minimalist Becomes a Diaper Bag Convert

IMG_2213 (1)When I had my first baby, I didn’t really understand diaper bags. “How could one need so much space?” I wondered.

Though I had a bag for diapers when Liam was a baby, it just didn’t have enough structure to work as a diaper bag, and I could never remember whether I had everything I needed. Plus it was hard to dig down into the bottom to find things. I wrote about my super simple purse situation once Liam was potty trained. I am a minimalist when it comes to going out, and I also prefer to be hands free. Adding another baby (and diapers!) to the mix again was a little daunting because I remember always feeling so scattered when we went out during the baby phase.

Last winter when I was pregnant, Liam and I did a lot of fun outings. Every time, I wished that I had a backpack. I needed a place to put his coat when we were indoors, and I also really wanted to be even more hands free.  Plus, while I loved my small cross body Fossil bag, I knew it wouldn’t work for a new baby.

I finally bought the Lily Jade Shaylee bag after Christmas. It was by far the most I’ve spent on a bag and yet totally worth every penny.

I hesitate to say something changed my life, but this bag totally has. When I go out, I’m not scattered. Before, I was constantly losing stuff. Were my keys in my jacket pocket or in my purse? Did I leave my phone in the car? I sometimes wished I had room for a change of clothes for Liam. And the car contained a plethora of extra stuff that wouldn’t fit in my purse—clothes, snacks, etc. I spent a lot of mental energy trying to decide what to take with me and what to leave in the car.

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A dedicated diaper bag has been the solution to the frustration I felt anytime we left the house.

Before we go further, let me say that this post is in no way sponsored. I hate blog posts that make people want to go buy stuff. My heart is already so covetous that I eventually have to stop following such blogs.  So rather than saying you need this exact bag, this post is an encouragement to have quality tools that work for you, whether it's a diaper bag, a laptop, or a notebook.

Having a dedicated diaper bag has changed my mothering.  I now stay organized, have what I need, and actually feel excited about going out. I didn’t realize that not having the proper bag (tools) was one reason I was so overwhelmed by outings. I am far more organized and far less stressed with two kids than I ever was with one, and a huge part of that is this diaper bag.

When it comes to purses and shoes, I want one that works nearly all the time. I hate switching. I know some people love having tons, but I like to be able to keep one bag clean and organized and know that it’s there for me. The Lily Jade bags are marketed to be a go-to, all-the-time bag.

One of the most genius parts of Lily Jade bags is the diaper organizer. You could get it to use with any bag, but it snaps right in my bag and keeps it so much more organized.

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I also love the look of the Shaylee without the organizer. I chose this bag because I loved the look of it as a bag I could use in my everyday life even after I don’t need a diaper bag. The Shaylee is one of the smaller Lily Jade bags (although it still seems huge to me!).

So here’s my updated system.

The little Fossil pouch (which unintentionally matches my bag perfectly!) holds keys, phone, chaptstick, money, and a pen. I’ve even keep my chapstick in it when I’Processed with VSCO with f2 presetm at home so I always know where it is.

In my bag, I keep cloth diapers, covers, wipes, a spray bottle, a regular diaper or two, toys, and a change of clothes for the kids. I try to keep it as light as possible (sometimes I’ll even leave extra cloth diapers in the car) so I can add my rolled up Ergo on top (or kids’ coats in the winter). For grocery shopping, I keep my Fossil pouch on my wrist and keep the bag on my back. 

I can fit my water bottle in the diaper bag (and if it leaks, the inside will be fine!). I love knowing I have everything but not having to have the “everything” take up precious space on my hips or front (where I’m often carrying kids).

I love how quickly it transitions from my back to my arm. I love that it’s something that will last. I love that it zips and closes all the way (stuff was always falling out of my other bag in the car).

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For me, the peace of mind I feel when we go on trips—whether to the beach or just the grocery store—has been wonderful. I’m such a better mother when I’m not having to think about whether we have everything we need and which bag has which.

As much as I love tiny bags (or no bag!), I needed a bag that was big enough that I could add stuff. Sometimes we go on longer outings, and it’s nice to just be able to add to the bag. My bags were always crammed full on ordinary days because they were so small. I still don't carry a ton of stuff, but I love knowing my bag has plenty of room (and you just always need enough diapers!).

Plus I just love how it looks. I’m happy to carry it, care for it (just a little leather conditioner every few months), and use it constantly. As I try to spend money carefully, I like to buy products that I love and that will last (you can think of it as cost-per-wear if you want).

If you see me happily using this bag fifteen years from now, don’t be surprised. My (at that point) twenty-five-year old Chacos will probably be on my feet too.

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P.S. For more about baby products and registering, check out the most recent Coffee + Crumbs podcast. I loved the discussion!