Is a Diaper Bag Really Necessary?

According to my baby bump app, I have 84 days until my due date. Is it just me or does 84 days sound like a short amount of time? And that’s if I go all the way to 40 weeks but we all know that babies are unpredictable so who knows when her birthday will be? I feel like there is still a lot of preparation to do before she arrives. We have a crib, a mattress and crib sheets (all eco-friendly might I add!) so at least she has somewhere to sleep. We still need to pick up a few more items to finish off the nursery but we are getting there. Andino has asked me to make a list of what we still need. Andino loves lists. He gets a lot of satisfaction from crossing items off. Almost as much satisfaction as he gets from paying bills. (Who enjoys paying bills? really…)

So this morning I consulted my favourite baby websites to get an idea of what we really need in order to make my list. I’m not a minimalist (and if you ask Andino he’d tell you I’m far from it) but I don’t want to fall into the trap of buying all the baby products on the market. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Stroller – We have a jogging/all-terrain stroller, but this morning I found a maxi cosi foray stroller exactly like the one pictured below for an awesome deal second hand. I’m wondering if it would be worthwhile to have a compact little stroller that I can pop the car seat into. Also, we are planning to travel with baby back home to the Maritimes and also to Mexico (woo-hoo!) so a compact little stroller might come in handy for travel too.

  • Car Seat – We don’t have one yet. I’ve been reminded by various people that we aren’t allowed to leave the hospital without one so I suppose this should be our next purchase. If I decide to go with the maxi cosi stroller (if it hasn’t already sold!) I’ll need a maxi cosi car seat to fit it.
  • Baby Carriers – If you know me in real life or have been reading here for a while, you’ll know that I have been daydreaming of babywearing for years. It’s probably the thing that I am most excited to do once baby arrives and I want every single hippie-style baby carrier on the market. I haven’t purchased any yet (but Andino got a snuggli with a skull & cross bones on it – he’s so awesome!) Since I can’t afford to buy 5 or 6 baby carriers, I signed up for a babywearing class on March 19th to help make my decision as to which one to buy. As for now, these are my two favourites (in my favourite designs):
  • Maya Wrap
  • Bali Breeze Wrap
  • Diapers – It probably won’t come as a big surprise that we are going to use cloth diapers. We have some already but still need to purchase more. We have 10 applecheeks diapers (5 in each size) and 5 bumgenius one-size. I love applecheeks because they are made in Canada and I like their envelope style pocket that allows the liner to agitate out in the wash. Plus, their 2 size system (as opposed to the bumgenius one-size that grows with the baby) will fit newborns better. More applecheeks are definitely on my list!
  • Feeding – I plan to breast feed baby. Do I still need to buy bottles and/or a breast pump? I was planning to see how it goes before investing in any supplies. For those of you who have been there, what’s your take on this?
  • Clothing –  I think we are covered in the clothing department. My sister in law is sending me a ton of clothes, plus I have already been given lots by friends and family.
  • Bathing – My mother-in-law gave us a baby bath. You know the mesh kind that goes inside your tub? It’s a pain to set up and take down though. What I really want is the Boon Bathtub. My friend has one and it seems really convenient. You only have to fill the baby tub with water (instead of your entire tub if I were to use the mesh one) and the best part is that it collapses and can be hung inside your shower. Major convenience factor right there…
  • This and That – Do I really need a diaper bag? I have a million purses in all different sizes, how is a diaper bag that much different than a purse? What items am I missing that are must-haves and what can I do without?
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37 thoughts on “Is a Diaper Bag Really Necessary?

  1. First of all, your husband and my husband should hang out together, they sound so much alike! H starts itching and twitching if he can’t keep a handle on lists and planning…which let’s be honest, is not infrequent being married to me. Ha.

    I’ll be watching replies with interest; we don’t really have much of anything other than some cute clothes we’ve picked up here and there, and although I’m generally pretty minimalist with these things, I’m not yet sure how realistic I’m being as to baby’s needs…

    At this point though, I am really kind of wishing things would *slow down*. We’re exactly a week behind you, and suddenly nearly in the third tri…I am kind of loving being pregnant right now, and I just want to be able to enjoy all this completely. Time is flying! Or is it just me?

  2. We’re cloth diapering too!

    As for bottles and a pump, we’re planning on getting both because I will eventually be going back to work. My boss is being awesome and allowing me to bring Baby to work until about 6 months (most daycares/preschools won’t take babies before 6 months in my town,) so I will be able to breastfeed up until 6 months, but after that, I will have to provide Baby’s caregiver with bottles and milk. My current plan is to pump once or twice a day during those first 6 months so that I can have a freezer stash built up for later on.

    It might also be helpful to have bottles for when you and Andino want to have a date night so you don’t have to rush home in time for her feeding. You can get a simple manual pump for fairly cheap so you can just pump enough to have for the few times you’ll be away. It might also be helpful to have a manual pump or plans to rent one from your hospital just in case breastfeeding doesn’t work out and you want to still give Baby breast milk. Just a thought.

    Let me know how you like those two carriers, we currently have a Baby Bjorn, but I want a wrap style one as well.

    We’re not doing a traditional diaper bag, we’re going to try and find a backpack with a lot of room so that when Keegan and I are both out, we can switch who carries the baby and who carries the bag. He refuses to carry one that’s all “girly,” so a backpack will work best for us. I might get a more traditional one to take to work during those first 6 months, but we’ll see.

    I can’t believe you only have 84(ish) more days left! I can’t wait to “meet” her!

  3. I would definitely get a second stroller- one that you can pop a car seat into when they are a newborn. Lots of babies (including mine!) fall asleep as soon as they get in the car and it would be a pain to wake them up when you get in and out of the car.

    We have hand-me-down Bjorn and Moby. I haven’t used the Moby yet but have heard that it is better once the babies get to be heavier. I don’t know anything about the wraps that you are looking at though.

    YES to getting bottles and a pump. A pump can help if you have supply issues. A pump and bottles for baby means that you can run to the store, go for a run, etc. while your husband watches the baby and you don’t have to worry about rushing back because there is a bottle in the fridge if your baby gets hungry! Now that I am back at work I’m pumping three times a day (at least!). As much as nursing is awesome, having someone else be able to feed the baby every once in a while is really nice as well. And what if there are latching issues? You never know so I would recommend a good pump.

    You don’t need a diaper bag if you have a purse big enough for baby stuff. Currently in our diaper bag we have extra cloth diapers, wipes, a wet bag (for dirty cloth diapers), an extra onesie, an extra diaper cover, a diaper mat, a burp cloth, an insulated bottle holder, a breastfeeding cover, and usually a toy or two. It tends to add up!

    I can’t recommend a vibrating chair enough. I bought mine at a consignment shop for $5 so there is no need to get anything fancy- but something like this (http://www.amazon.com/Bright-Starts-Bouncer-Playful-Pals/dp/B00B7TESWY/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1394047118&sr=8-8&keywords=vibrating+baby+chair) is awesomely helpful for when you want to shower, pump, fold clothes, etc.

    Are you planning on having the baby sleep in the crib from day one? If not, you may want to buy a bassinet or pack n play. We went the pack n play route because we knew that we would use it for trips as well. It just sat in our room and Izzy slept in the bassinet for the first two months of her life at night.

    • Thanks so much for all the tips!! I think a pump is a good idea. Now to decide on which one…

      And you are so right about the vibrating chair – I forgot about that! I’ve heard they are lifesavers…

  4. Haven’t read the other comments, so this may be a duplicate. But here goes:

    Yes to the collapsible stroller. I really recommend a Snap n go, as they fit almost all types of car seats. This style of stroller has been a lifesaver and the one we used the most during the first months (will be breaking out the jogging stroller soon, but that’s almost 8 months after giving birth).

    For car seats, we ended up goin with the Chicco keyfit. It’s very well rated for safety, ease of use and the Keyfit Magic has an extended canopy.

    For baby wear, I’ve used both the Moby Wrap (which I love) and the Becco (backpack style, which Grey prefers). Big thing is to find one that works for you. Ergos and Kitans (sp?) are very well rate too.

    Can’t comment on diapers.

    For bottles and pumps, the big thing to consider is whether you want your child to be feed by someone else. For some, the answer is usually no, but there’s always that moment of emergency where you can’t feed the baby and that can be problematic. Anyway, if you do decide to go the bottle route, Dr. Brown’s are very good (they are the ones out NICU used for teaching premies to feed), but I would also try some other brands (Comotomo makes one that simulates the breast). For pumping, the question is whether you are considering supplimenting with formula. I know women who could not breastfeed who pump to feed their baby breastmilk, I know moms who breastfeed who forgo pumping and suppliment with formula, I know moms who solely breastfeed and pump to have a reserve and I know moms who solely do formula. None of this needs to be answered now.

    Bathing: whatever works. We have a tub for our twins, but I know parents that simply bathe with their babies.

    Diaper bag: honestly, if you have the creative energy, I would convert a purse. There are ao many options out there and most of them really are no different from any other bag. Do what works for you.

    • Thanks so much for all the tips!! It seems like a pump is going to be a good idea… I’ve heard that Dr. Brown’s bottles are good I will definitely look for those.

  5. I LOVE the Ergo carrier!! It puts all the weight at your hips and saves your shoulders! There is an insert for an infant. The wraps are all cute but ultimately a pain in the ass when you are trying to get into the grocery store in the pouring rain and you have 12 feet of fabric to deal with while your standing in a puddle!!! Traditional diaper bag, not necessary…some sort of bag for diapers and change of clothes, very necessary!!! 84 days? !!!!!!!

    • Ergo was on my list too! It seems really convenient. It seems like a lot of people are saying a traditional diaper bag is not necessary. I think I’ll hold off on that for now…

      and I know, 84 days is not much, right?!

  6. get the Boon -it’s awesome. yes to a pump – saved me the 1st two weeks after birth. I say no to another stroller – once you use the Bob, it will be hard to use anything other. Especially when strolling through the sand. the airline has to accept your stroller regardless and it won’t be that much bigger. plus if you love wearing baby, you can opt to do that when need be

    • You make an excellent point! Why spend more on a stroller when what I really want is another carrier?!

      And everyone has said yes to the pump so I’m thinking that’s an investment that I am going to make.

  7. Yes to a pump and bottles. We liked born free and dr browns glass bottles. We are using avent natural glass now because we needed bigger ones but they leak sometimes so I’m not sure I like them as much.
    I love being able to snap the car seat onto the stroller. The last thing you want to do is wake a peaceful baby to change seats.
    I have the moby and becco carrier. I like the becco because it feels more secure to me and there wasn’t a that fabric to deal with. Plus, the becco worked for newborns without an insert.
    You could probably do without a proper diaper bag. I can’t get away with it since I’m hauling around enough for two. Plus, if breast feeding goes well you don’t really need to take much with you.
    I probably just repeated what others said, but that’s my two cents.

    • It seems Dr. Brown’s are quite popular. Are they glass you say? Even better! I bought a friend glass bottles for her baby shower and she told me she loved them.

      Also, I didn’t know the beco worked for newborns without an insert!! So glad you mentioned that!

  8. From what I hear from other moms a pump is a must. It may be your only options if your nipples are extremely chapped or bleeding at any point to give baby breast milk…actually pretty common. One good thing I just learned is that since the Affordable Care Act passed, it’s now mandated that your insurance covers the cost of the pump and also services from a lactation consultant. Supposedly, if you contact your insurance provider, they will provide you a list/website to choose from to order the pump. It can take a while for shipping, so better sooner than later! I was recommended to have one ready before birth just in case, and that it can’t hurt to take to the hospital with you when delivering just to make sure you know what you’re doing once leaving.

    • Yeah, I’ve heard that chapped and bleeding nipples are common… oh my… hahaha I’m sure I’ll be glad to have a pump then!

      I’m a Canadian, but that’s so great that pumps are covered for you guys! I haven’t even looked into whether they are covered for us or not… I will definitely get on that! Thanks so much for the info!

      • It completely slipped my mind you are in Canada. Doh! You are getting lots of great advice here though. I will have to come read your comments section more often!

  9. No need for a diaper bag 🙂 I’ve had purses that were easier to navigate than my current diaper bag – storksak olivia.

    A must? Rock n play sleeper! Babies love them, they’re ultra light and you can bring them anywhere while baby naps and you get things done!

    http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Newborn-Rock-Sleeper-Yellow/dp/B002M77N22

    Moby wrap is a monstrosity. Baby k’tan is pretty sweet-can get some good deals on eBay.

    Sleepers sleepers sleepers! They are easy.

    Get a pump-will increase your supply, and you can pump a bottle or two so someone else can give baby a bottle while you get out for a few hours, OR your husband can give a bottle to baby in the middle of the might so you can sleep a little longer 🙂 it feels fantastic! Pump after each feeding when they are newborn-will get your supply going nicely.

    • Ohhh I’ve heard of the Baby K’Tan, I need to look more into it!

      The rock n plays seem quite popular, I’ll need to look into those too.

      So far everyone has said yes to the pump so I better go ahead and get one. Thanks so much for all the tips!

  10. I think everyone has covered it about the bottles/pump. Basically, you have no idea what will happen… So yes! Not to mention, you want to be able to separate sometimes from the baby…don’t make the mistake I did which is get so into breast feeding that you forget to make sure your baby can take a bottle. Now Owen prefers only mommy and refuses a bottle!

    About baby wearing, I am obsessed with baby carriers too! So far I have the Moby (good for newborns), the Beco Gemini (I like it better than the Ergo for a structured carrier…which sometimes you just need!), and the Maya Ring Sling (this is my favorite right now but isn’t good for long walks because it will kill you back. I use it around the house and on errands). My next purchase will be some kind of woven wrap…like the Moby but better material and can do more (back carries, etc). Also, I’m dreaming about the Emei Baby. Check it out…it’s a combo of a wrap and a structured carrier…awesome!

    • I read somewhere (I think it was Lucie’s List) that it’s good to give your baby a bottle from time to time so that they won’t reject it later on. Good to know…

      The Beco is sounding good, and I googled the Emei Baby and now I want one!! How did you hear of this one?

  11. I agree with everyone who says yes to pump and bottles, but it sounds like you’re leaning that way anyway. I just think it’s best to be prepared. The early days of breastfeeding are really really hard, and having a way to take a little break can be good. You shouldn’t need many bottles though. Even with our triplets, I think we’d be fine with 6!

    Cloth diapering is great! We love it! And certainly any bag can become a diaper bag!

    We’ve enjoyed trying different carriers with our trio, and like the Mei tai and ergo carriers a lot so far!

    Good luck with baby prep! It’s hard to navigate the “stuff”. One thing we really appreciated in the early days was the rock n play (not so aptly named as we used it for sleeping). It kept them more upright for times when they were refluxy and served as a nice bedside rocking bassinet. I will say though that second hand is probably best because at 5 months, we’re not using it at all anymore.

    • Wow, it’s good to know I won’t need a ton of bottles then! I think I am going to go with glass which are a bit more expensive…

      I will definitely look into the rock n play, I’ve heard of those before!

      Thanks so much for the tips 🙂

  12. Another vote for the Dr. Brown’s bottles. My older son was fine with the Avent bottles, but our little guy (born last October) definitely loved the DB’s bottles. And believe me, we tried them all!!! DB’s weren’t around when my older son was born, but I wish they had been. The multiple parts are a bit of a pain to clean. May I suggest keeping a smaller Rubbermaid tub next to your sink? You can toss all the parts in there to soak in hot sudsy water and then just rinse them. Easy peasy.

    As for the pump… do you have the option to rent one? You may want to give that a consideration. That way if pumping does not end up working, you won’t feel bad about spending all the money on one. Or perhaps find a used one and buy a fresh set of parts for it. I had very good luck with the Medela brand. I can’t remember the model of Medela I had for my first son (bought is used from a friend, so super cheap), but it was a double electric one. For my second son I rented the Medela Symphony from a local baby store that specialized in lactation products. That thing was the gold standard (hospital grade). It costs a couple thousand dollars to purchase one. But it was SO comfortable to use, and was powerful enough to pump colostrum (it was also a double electric one). Loved it. Only used it for two months, but it was wonderful. Well worth the rental.

    And as for the diaper bag, just use whatever you want. I found a Skip Hop diaper bag that both my husband and I like a lot. And it’s not girly so he doesn’t mind carrying it. LOL! You just need some sort of giant bag to drag lots of stuff around if you need to.

  13. I am definitely the wrong person to ask because I’ve talked myself into an uber-expensive diaper bag… but some women are shoe freaks, I am a bag freak. They are my weakness!

    Glad you asked all these questions because I’ve learned a lot reading the answers! We had such a hard time picking things while registering. I thought it would be easier. Oh well! I’m sure we will just figure it out as we go along.

    And I can TOTALLY see you rocking that Maya wrap. Looks like it was made for you!

  14. I almost bought that dragonfly Bali Breeze Wrap I was stuck between that and the ”Morgaine” style. I decided finally not to buy one since I had a Moby Wrap already. I ended making a sling and a woven wrap which I liked for when Sofia got heavier. The sling I feel is fast to grab and easier to use, but when the baby gets heavier you have to switch shoulders more. I found a wrap great for travelling everywhere, especially on public transportation, and easier for when the baby gets heavy or for extended wearing. I like http://www.wrapyourbaby.com for information on types of carriers and ways to wrap them.

    I ended up buying a fancy Medela pump which I used several times and it was great to increase supply, or relive pressure when you are over engorged, when you’re really sore, or need a break and Daddy can feed the baby. However for the most part I found it took too much time, I was too impatient to use it that much, I just popped Sofia on most of the time.

    I loved the diaper bag you gave us when Sofia was younger and had more bowl movements, and needed more diapers but when she got older I just used my giant Mom purse! 😉

    • How funny that we both liked the exact same wrap! I’ll check out the morgaine one then… You didn’t use a structured carrier at all, eh?

      I was thinking I’ll get a fancy pump on kijiji just in case…

      And I was thinking about the diaper bag I got you when I wrote this! Haha

      • I guess did have semi structured carrier a Mei Tai, it made back carries easier to do during fusy times, and got the dishes done! I didn’t want a Snugli or Baby Bjorn because I read about babies having hip issues with them, although I think that had more to do with forward facing carries. Good luck & happy shopping!

  15. Our daughter is just over 4 months. Her (and our) needs have changed over time. We started with a bassinet, then we started co-sleeping, which is wonderful, because it makes dream feeding super easy. We use a back sack instead of diaper bag and that continues to be fine. Friends and family gave us tons of blankets, we only used square receiving blankets at the beginning and now she sleeps in a fleece sleeper. We takes baths with her and rarely use the bathing chair we bought. I have 5 types of baby wearing choices using Bjorn and sling most frequently.

    What we discovered is at beginning we needed less than we thought. We could just gotten away with diapers, wipes, change pad, diaper cream, used the receiving blankets from the hospital, sleepers, and the Bjorn plus baby hygiene stuff. Babies are pretty simple with simple needs of love, feeding, changing, and sleep.

    Love your blog! Our baby is an IVF miracle and I am happy you are this far along.

    • Thanks for the comment!

      I’m sure even though I am trying to buy the least amount possible I’ll still have too much.

      Congratulations on your miracle and thanks for the compliment 🙂

  16. Oh I am so sorry that I am SO late commenting to your posts always. I have to steal the moments in which I can read and write.

    We love walking around cities, so I guess it is not surprising that the first baby item we researched thoroughly and bought (second hand,clean, in mint state, at a very good price (a 4th of the retail price) was a baby stroller.
    We have exactly the one you have there (well it looks like it, it is a Maxi Cosi Mura 4). And we love it, we chose it because of the huge wheels (the fact that if you need to change them, they are not expensive, you can replace a wheel for 10 EUR), how easy it is to fold and how sturdy it is. We have just recently started using it (only March 3 was little Yu allowed out of the house) and we love it so much. I strongly recommend it, we love it.

    Like you say, here you are not allowed out of the hospital without the car seat. We have a Maxi Cosi Citi SPS that came with the stroller (the people we bought it from sold it with the babycot, carseat and the seat for older kids together with the rain cover, sun cover and mosquito cover).

    In the end we decided to use prefold cloth diapers for the first 3 months before turning to the Bumgenius. I wanted to tell you, as you were looking for locally made products… we have simple cotton squares (for now we are folding them with the origami fold and it works grate) and 4 PUL covers by Mother Ease (which is a Canadian company). I guess this info comes late, but we are loving them, the patterns are really cute (ok this is not important, but in a way it is), and they are working fine.

    We received a baby carrier wrap / sling from my sister, who is a pediatric nurse. She says that the ones you wrap are really good for the baby’s position particularly when they are very young because they lie very close to your skin, hear your heartbeat, and can go in that “frog” position that is good for hip development (and oh so cute). The one she gave us is made by a Mexican company called “nudos y trapitos”, but it is actually a really really long rectangle of stretchy cotton (t-shirt material). You can see them here:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fulares-Nudos-y-Trapitos/165852973470970

    We also bought a Maxi Cosi Easia kangaroo, because as much as I like the wraps, we also like the backpack style carriers. We love it because it is anatomically designed, has a little seat for the baby, and comes with back support. I see myself walking with it back and forth inside an airplane and all over the world while travelling.

    I am breastfeeding, and a priori, they recommend not to buy any supplies. You can always buy the pump if you need it (and if there is a medical requirement, sometimes insurances will pay for it… sadly this was not our case). I did research thoroughly and after talking to friends who’d been there before, and reading extensive reviews if you do end up needing one, our choice was the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. It is a really good pump. Of course because of the circumstances of Yu’s birth I ended up needing to pump for a full month before she was fully in the breast. At the beginning I pumped at the hospital, where they lend you the hospital-grade Medela Symphony, then we rented the same one from a local shop who has that service (you can not buy the hospital-grade pumps, which are much better, but I can imagine a lot pricier) for a week and then we got my own pump because I was going to need it for a while (at this moment I am not pumping anymore because Yu is breastfeeding by herself the whole time, but I might need to do so again in the future, as any mom, to relieve tension, or to increase the supply according to her needs).

    I have a diaper bag (a super cute one) but only because my mom made it for me, and another small one that I received as a present. I think it is handy to have the baby’s things separately, but if you have bags with lots of compartments it could do. You also have to consider if the interior of the bag is waterproof, which can be handy, I think particularly when they get older.

  17. Looks like everyone’s got your covered so I will just ditto a few things. I know you are in canada, but I would still recommend looking into your insurance possibly covering a breast pump, just in case. YES to needing a pump, even if you are exclusively breast feeding. It may not be as important while your baby is just newborn, but as she gets older, you will want to be able to leave for more than an hour or two at a time.

    I like the rock n’ play sleeper. The babies love it and it’s easy to move from room to room and travel short distances with.

    I personally would recommend a stroller that will work with a car seat. My understanding is that the babies can’t use the jogging strollers until they are bigger and strong enough to hold their heads upright. Besides that, you learn quickly that when your baby is sleeping you don’t want to do much to disturb that peace.

    Good luck with everything! The count down is on!!

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