Diaper Bags, Selecting the Ultimate Style for Your Lifestyle

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 Photo Cred: Anna Kooiman, Bondi Beach, Australia,  Kath McLean, Bright Photography  

Photo Cred: Anna Kooiman, Bondi Beach, Australia, Kath McLean, Bright Photography 

http://brightphotography.com.au

Like most ladies, I LOVE handbags. So how on Earth am I supposed to choose just one diaper bag? Well, I didn't! LOL I chose two. But for very different occasions of course. :-) Both bags have several compartments and are backpack style so I can go hands free when need be.

Since moving to Australia I have learned a lot of Aussie slang and Aussie synonyms. Throughout this post you will notice Aussies call these functional accessories, 'nappy bags'.... while Americans refer to them as 'diaper bags.' I love all the cultural nuances!!

 Photo Cred: Anna Kooiman, Venice, Italy,  Michele Agostinis

Photo Cred: Anna Kooiman, Venice, Italy, Michele Agostinis

 Photo Cred: Anna Kooiman, Bondi Beach, Australia, J.J. Chain

Photo Cred: Anna Kooiman, Bondi Beach, Australia, J.J. Chain

IMG_4048.JPGAnna Kooiman annakooiman.com how to pick the best diaper bag pregnant pregnancy maternity

I knew I wanted a casual bag and a dressier bag. I also knew I didn't want an old school diaper bag that looks like a baby quilt. As a southern girl from the USA, I've had my fair share of Vera Bradley bags in my day, so I'm not doggin on that style, I just knew it wasn't for me, for this purpose. I also knew there was no way in hell my husband would carry a bag like that if it came down to it!

The casual bag I selected is by Uashmama, an Italian brand that has a gorgeous store in my neighborhood at Bondi Beach. I joke that I have seen a few 'yummy mummies' strolling around Bondi with this bag and it looks so chic and well suited for the area. The straps come off and on - and are easily attached to the pram/stroller. I actually have the bag in gold and have used it as a travel bag all over Asia, Italy, and Switzerland recently. But again, I thought a more gender neutral carbon color would be more suited for days my husband is on diaper duty. Here is the Uashmama link.

Anna Kooiman annakooiman.com how to pick the best diaper bag pregnant pregnancy maternity
Anna Kooiman annakooiman.com how to pick the best diaper bag pregnant pregnancy maternity

The dressier bag I selected is by Il Tutto, an Aussie brand designed in Melbourne. I love the black leather and gold detailing. This nappy/diaper bag is seriously, the ultimate! I can't wait to use the included accessories.  Here is the Il Tutto link

Before making my final decisions, I asked the Il Tutto owner and designer, Leanne Boyd, several questions about how to select the ultimate nappy/diaper bag for individualized needs. New mamas... I hope the information serves you well!

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ANNA: I’ve chosen to get a backpack style because of my active lifestyle... What are the other popular styles and who are they good for? 

LEANNE: Our Layla is a very popular one – it’s designed to be super lightweight as well as stylish so it’s perfect for flicking between the gym and Mum duties. Another one that’s done really well this year is the Ellyse – this one has a more classic, sophisticated style that is perfect for the mums that like a handbag look in their nappy bag! It’s available in 3 colours too so take your pick! 

ANNA: Is bigger always better? 

LEANNE: Ha-ha, the age-old question…! But no, being organized within your nappy bag is the most important. That’s why our nappy bags are big enough for everything but not so big you’re carting around your kitchen cupboards! 

ANNA: How important are compartments?

LEANNE: Well as you’ve probably worked out by now we think they are super important! Everything in its place means you and baby can be happy whilst out and about. 


ANNA: What accessories should we look out for? Can we go overboard? 

LEANNE: Well as a lover of accessories I would say no, you can’t!I always packed a great size muslin wrap in my nappy bag when heading out. Our stroller clips are great too as you can attach your nappy bag to your stroller handle securely so you don't have to think twice when running around after your bub. 

 Photo Cred: J.J. Chain

Photo Cred: J.J. Chain


ANNA: What are the most practical and fashionable fabrics for diaper/nappy bags? 

LEANNE: We use a range of leather, Faux leather and Nylon twill in our bags. Leather is always beautiful and lasts and lasts, although it needs a little TLC. While faux leather or nylon twill is easy to clean with a handy nappy wipe!

ANNA: I have heard anything with Velcro is a bad idea on diaper/nappy bags. Along with a harsh noise, why is this a good thing to keep in mind?  

LEANNE: I guess Velcro can wear out over time, so I wouldn’t go for a bag that has its main opening and closure as Velcro. Although a little bit of Velcro on smaller pockets is ok, as it is easy to open and close one handed. 

ANNA: How do we know if a bag is going to be comfortable

LEANNE: It's best to look out for a wide cross body strap, that will be comfortable. 

ANNA: If shopping in a brick and mortar store and not online, what are some tips for finding the perfect bag? 

LEANNE: Check that nappy change accessories are included. Best to also have a cross-body strap if you need to go hands free. We have a range of stores that carry the il Tutto range so you can try them out to see what you like. If you are unsure though, look for lots of pockets, internal pockets as well as some handy external pockets, did I mention we like pockets?!

ANNA: I am planning to use two separate diaper bags. One that is more casual for day to day activities (and for my husband to use) - another that is a bit more chic, your beautiful, black, Il Tutto bag. Any tips for how to manage two separate bags? 

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LEANNE: Sure, this is quite common. It’s best to keep both bags packed and ready with the essentials. I like to do this each night so the nappy bag is ready to go for the next day (one less thing to worry about when trying to get out the house!).

ANNA: What are your most popular Il Tutto bags and why? 

LEANNE: We have a few favourites, Mia is a most popular leather nappy bag, while Nico shines as the No.1 seller for the non-leather bags. Most mums choose our bags on a style or fashion look they like, as we design all our bags to have the same internal functionality and work well as a nappy bag, but look like a handbag on the outside. 

ANNA: Why did you get into this business and why is it fulfilling? 

 Photo Cred: Il Tutto, Leanne Boyd

Photo Cred: Il Tutto, Leanne Boyd

LEANNE: My husband and I purchased the Il Tutto brand in 2015 after selling our infant distribution business. I love the creativity of designing, not only the perfect looking bag that is also a functional nappy bag but also having the freedom to branch out into other areas of the nursery, like our new nursery chairs. I love doing my bit to empower new Mums! 

ANNA: Anything else you would like to add?

LEANNE: I think it’s important for new mums to not feel that they have to carry a boring nappy bag just because its only for baby stuff. I have always loved beautiful handbags (and shoes) and I love even more designing them specially to ensure that they are also now functional as a nappy bag. It’s important to me to make sure that our bags make a difference in a mum’s day with helping her feel organised and still enjoy being fashionable – it’s an extension of your style after all! Who’s says mums have to be mummsy!