Fashion vs. Function
Once you're decided what type of diaper bag fits your needs, the last step is choosing a look. The options are endless: Visit the playground on any given day and you'll spy totes covered with pink and green polka dots, Asian embroidery, Winnie the Pooh cartoons, and Louis Vuitton signature prints.
If you're a designer label kind of lady, consider one of the hot kimono inspired Petunia Pickle Bottom eggroll bags or a snazzy pattern by designers Bumkins or Reese Li. They're eye-catching and gorgeous, but beware that some upscale carryalls are dry clean only.
Coach and Kate Spade make classy, understated leather diaper bags if you want to go upscale without a bold pattern. Nine West and others offer mid-price bags in sleek black or tan microfiber. They wipe off easily, go with everything, and double as overnight bags in later years.
Plenty of women feel just fine with their own purse, thank you, and prefer to keep the baby supplies in a baby-inspired tote. That's where Disney prints or Beatrix Potter patterns can help coordinate a newborn's luggage to his nursery. Monogramming the baby's name on the outside not only personalizes your little one's gear but also helps parents and childcare staff quickly spot the right bag.
When a mom isn't looking to make a statement at all, she'll go for a functional bag like a Lands' End tote or the bestselling Eddie Bauer Weekender. These have all the features you'll ever need without the fussiness you don't. Single color or two-tone bags are available at baby supply stores, Target, and online for as little as $15. These simple carryalls are perfect for sporty moms on the go, dads at the park, and anyone who realizes that people only have eyes for the baby!
Speaking of Dads on Diaper Duty, a few savvy companies have discovered that guys like to look cool with their babies, too. Manly diaper bags are here! Companies such as Skip Hop and Diaper Dude sell camouflage messenger-style bags or basic black ones with a kung-fu dragon or multi-colored guitars stitched on the side. Nothing says Proud Papa like a diaper bag made just for him.