I have been wanting a new diaper bag for a while. Because I have had 7 babies, I knew exactly what I wanted in a diaper bag. I’ve had enough experience and enough bags to know exactly what I wanted, what worked, what was annoying, etc! So this time around I decided to sew my own. These are the things that I wanted in a perfect diaper bag:
- Washable fabric on the outside. Most diaper bags have the smooth, wipeable fabric on the inside thinking any messes can be easily wiped up that way. But I’ve had 7 babies, so, being the expert that I am, I wanted the washable fabric on the OUTSIDE. You see, I’ve learned that the outside of the bag gets so dirty from being dragged around everywhere, used as an impromptu picnic basket, or a seat cushion while sitting for hours on metal bleachers, and the laminated cotton on the OUTside makes it so easy to clean when (not if!) it gets dirty, and resists stains too! I had extra fabric left from making Annie a rain jacket, and it was perfect for this use.
- Pockets on the inside, but not too many! I was gifted some (more) fabric a while back and in it I found the beginning of an apron the giver started to sew from some really cute fabric and then quit. They had just finished attaching to pockets to the front piece when they stopped! Well, that’s exactly the size of pockets I wanted. Big enough for a change of clothes for 2 children. The baby and the next one up…they are the ones most likely to need them!
- A ring on the inside to clip things to. There’s nothing like searching around in the bottom of a deep bag among the crumbs, empty wrappers and unidentifiable things for those elusive keys while juggling a baby, a toddler, a few bags of groceries, all the while your cell phone is tinkling your husband’s special ring! I also keep my bag in a bag. This is where I put dirty diapers and soiled clothing until I can get home and wash them.
- BIG pocket for everything else. I keep the diaper clutch, a swaddling blanket, and a small pouch with all my first aid needs. Yes, with seven offspring, I do carry an entire first aid kit in my diaper bag! Creams, gels, pills, a small toy, extra pacifier, bandages, snacks, etc. all go in this little zipper pouch.
- One zipper pocket on the back for MY stuff! It needed to be big enough to hold a tablet and wallet, but not so cavernous that every extra thing gets thrown in there and it’s no longer MY pocket, but my-and-everything-including-the-spare-parts-for-the-kitchen-sink-pocket.
- Two side pockets of different heights. One short enough for a cell phone one tall enough for a water (or baby) bottle. This way a leaky bottle doesn’t get put on top of my cell phone because the rice-in-a-bag trick doesn’t work!
- A short strap. Most diaper bag tutorials have instructions for an adjustable handle, but I really don’t need it banging around my knees while I’m already trying not to trip over my toddler, or 6 year old, or 8 year old, or the odd teenager or two! I don’t need it to be long enough to be cross body either as I’m already probably balancing a baby on one hip and a toddler on the other!
- A flap over the top long/large enough to cover and protect the contents, but not tied/latched/snapped/connected as I need to be able to open it one handed while using the other hand to keep the baby on the flimsy changing table, and one leg to block the toddler from crawling out from under the stall wall while yelling, “Mom, what’s that lady doing? I heard somebody toot!”
- A grab and go diaper clutch. Why I waited for the seventh child to make myself one of these is a mystery. Chalk it up to too many recurrences of pregnancy induced baby brain! But this little thing is a sweet! Most often, the whole diaper bag stays in the vehicle and I grab the clutch and go. It holds only a few diapers and a slim container of wipes. It also is a changing mat that folds up and buttons together. This is so handy for when I run into somewhere for just an hour or so and don’t need the whole perfect diaper bag.
For specifics, I loosely used this tutorial, but changed the dimensions to be shorter and wider as well as all the perfections I made above!
Take it from me, a Mom of many, this is the perfect diaper bag!