Diaper-bag dilemma

Consumer Reports News: May 07, 2007 05:19 PM

Question: "Which diaper bag should I get  —  a stylish, trendy, dry-clean only one, or a  — yawn  — practical one?"

Answer: Unless you plan to get two diaper bags — one for dress-up and one for everyday — I'd definitely return this bag for one that's low maintenence. Diaper bags are mess magnets. The best, in our opinion, are made of a wipe-clean durable nylon microfiber shell and a plastic liner, since the gunk tends to go both ways. Backpack or sling diapers bags are good choices since they keep your hands free, and when you've got a baby to lug, you probably need more hands then you've got. You'll also want tons of velcro or zipper pockets; they can help you stay organized as long as you assign each compartment to a specific task, such one for baby wipes, one for toys and snacks, etc. I went through three diaper bags myself, before I settled on one — a durable, top-designer shoulder diaper bag a friend had given me as a gift. It was so expensive that I felt compelled to carry it. But looking back, I should have returned it. Although it was made of durable nylon, it was a shoulder bag and the straps always fell off my shoulder. It also had one main compartment and was stylishly black on the outside — and on the inside. So everything ended up in one spot: a black hole. I spent tons of time digging for things. That's how I learned that babies demand a certain amount of efficiency, such as when they want their pacifier NOW. Multiple pockets can help keep a pacifier search from turning into a crisis.

Get more tips on picking the right diaper bag at ConsumerReports.org.

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