I recall how truly relieved I was when Laz graduated from diaper bags. He was about 3 then, and all we needed was a small slingbag with an extra shirt, a drink, a bottle of milk, and wet wipes. Then a few years after I had Alo, so it was back to bringing around a big bulky bag with everything an infant, and eventually a 1-year old, needed.
Now Alo, who is 2.5, is about to graduate from big diaper bags himself (but I have Baby No. 3 on the way, so ha! The cycle continues). I’ve always maintained 2 diaper bags (like most mothers, I think) – one big bag with the works, and a smaller one for quick mall runs or trips where I know we’ll only be out for an hour or two.
Factors I considered for this small diaper bag: my yaya is tiny (slightly over 4 feet tall) so the straps have to be adjustable (but sturdy at the same time), the bottles have to be able to stand upright, it should be compact but roomy, it can’t be too expensive because yayas can be hard on bags, and outer pockets for organization would be a big help. I also did not want anything printed, so that yaya will just look like she’s carrying a man purse (boy si yaya ko eh, and a good egg at that).
Then after finding a bag, it was also a matter of finding everything narrow and/or compact that will go in it, so this was quite a happy project if you tend to get obsessed about these little things like me, haha.
#1 – Small diaper bag: Halo ipad mini bag
I checked diaper bags in the malls and online but couldn’t find anything that suited my needs, so I went to Halo. You know that shop that sells tablet and phone cases? I’ve purchased a small bag there for my tiny laptop before (but which I unfortunately do not use dahil bourgeois si lola mo and gusto mas branded na laptop bag, yak! #ashamedbuthonest). Anyhoo, Halo‘s stuff are pretty sturdy, and these gadget bags, being padded, ensured that Alo’s drinks were upright and somehow insulated. Lots of pockets, too, it came in navy blue, and it was only Php 695 – so I was happy as a clam.
The Halo bag has two outer zip pockets in front, and a flap pocket in the back (where we put the “bimpo” or pamunas for easy access). Perfect talaga for what we needed.
#2 – Dr. Brown’s hard spout insulated cup
We always always carry around water or juice for the kids when we head out, even for short trips. (They complain if we forget!). My kids also nibble on straws, so I’ve always needed tumblers or cups where you can buy replacements. (Not easy, FYI; my options then were just Playtex and Avent). Luckily, the sales clerk in SM suggested a hard spout. Oo nga naman, why didn’t I think of that? This spill-proof version from Dr. Brown’s features a t-rex on a surfboard, so it was the obvious choice for my dinosaur-obsessed Diko.
#3 – Chicco milk bottles (pack of three 9-ounce wide-neck feeding bottles)
I needed narrower baby bottles to fit in our little bag, and preferred using a different brand from the bottles we use at home so yaya won’t get them mixed up. (And I noticed that all my yayas have, at one point or another, left or forgotten a bottle somewhere when we’re out, so my inventory of bottles at home gets messed up). We used Avent with Laz before, but I got sick of their bottles being so chunky, so we switched to Dr. Brown’s when Alo was born – taller but slimmer than Avent, and it helped because Alo was slightly colicky when he was born.
The Chicco bottles retail at around Php 995 for a pack of 3, cheaper than either Avent or Dr. Brown, so it won’t be too much of a heartbreak if yaya loses one. They’re also a bit more slender than the Dr. Brown’s bottles we use at home and are shorter. Plus, though I’ve never really used them regularly, I’ve always liked Chicco’s designs, and am always looking for excuses to get them, hee.
#4 – Precious Moments 3-layer food storage
You don’t know how hard it is to find a slender or compact formula caddy! We used to have those blue Dr. Brown’s caddies (one of the rare slim containers I could find), but the loop kept breaking off for each caddy we got, and the yayas preferred those containers with individual openings? Narrow bottles = narrow milk containers. (And that caddy from Precious Moments is only Php 99.75!).
#5 to 7 – small wet wipes, cloth diaper, extra t-shirt
We normally have 2 large wet wipes for yaya – 1 for the big diaper bag and 1 for the dresser at home. Yaya tends to move the one in the diaper bag around, and we’ve often headed out without a pack because she misplaced the wipes or left it somewhere! So I got a small one pack of wipes for this bag – with strict instructions to yaya to please, please leave it there.
Alo also refuses to wear bibs now, but we always bring around a cloth diaper which we use to wipe smudgy mouths, or put on his back when he’s sweaty (not after the other, of course). And lastly, an extra t-shirt. I have designated extra tees just for the diaper bags, and all of them are white (so that they will go with any bottoms my boys are wearing, regardless of print and color).
We just need to put a tiny plastic bag or maybe a wet bag in one of the outer zip pockets, have waterproof stickers printed at Robee, and get a bag tag, and we’re set with yaya’s small diaper bag! YAY!
Dr. Brown’s, Precious Moments, and Chicco are available in SM Department Store.
There are also Halo branches in most SM malls.