The Top Diaper Bags for Stylish and Savvy Moms

Forget bears and bunnies. Today's diaper bags are all about mom and her needs: The need to be organized. The need to feel stylish. The need to have daddy lug the thing around once in awhile.

First, some general guidelines from veteran moms:

1. Always, always, always try it on first.

And if possible, stuff it with as much junk as you plan to carry on a regular basis. This is the only way to tell if it's everything fits, if it's too heavy, and if it will be easy for you to carry.

2. When in doubt, make it black.

Yes, the new Kalencom Retro Tall Diaper Tote in pink poodles is awfully cute ($39.90 at Oh BabyGift.com), but choose this, and you don't have a prayer of getting your hubby to carry it for you. Ever.

3. First functional, then fashionable.

It is wonderful that there are so many new designer diaper bags out there. But cool doesn't cut it when you're in the mall with a screaming baby, and you can't find the pacifier because your diaper bag has no pockets or compartments.

What's New, What's Cool, What's Right For You

For the super-organized, highly-functional mom, check out:

1. The Lands End Do-It-All Diaper Bag ($29.50)

This bag is practical, well-designed and won't break the bank. It has an extra long changing pad, an adjustable strap and a "parent pocket" to hold your sunglasses, cell phone and other grown-up stuff. (http://www.landsend.com)

2. The L.L. Bean Diaper bag ($36)

Roomy enough to carry everything you'll need, but not so big that you'll feel like you're carrying a suitcase, the L.L. Bean diaper bag is designed with function in mind. For example, it has a large zippered front section with the key clip, so you can easily find your keys. Even more neat: The lining is in a contrasting fabric color to make it easy to spot whatever you're looking for inside. (http://www.llbean.com).

3.The Functionally Arranged Diaper Bag ($119.99)

This has to be one of the most innovative diaper bags I've ever seen. It has a removable lightweight organizer insert with compartments designed to carry diapers, bottles, etc. It also has a place for keys, cell phone, wallet, etc., and a strap that converts the bag from a shoulder bag to a backpack. Plus, you can buy slipcovers in different fabrics, so you can change the look of the bag without having to buy a new one. (http://www.babyuniverse.com).

For the Cool Daddy

4. The Skip*Hop Duo Diaper Bag ($50)

What makes this messenger-style diaper bag cool is that it can attach to the handlebars of a stroller, leaving you precious storage space in the stroller basket. It has two interior organizer pockets, a cell phone holder, pen holders and two zippered pockets. It's a great diaper bag for dads, because the style doesn't scream, "I'm a pocketbook!" (http://www.babyuniverse.com).

5. The Diaper Dude Bag ($49.95)

Another sporty, messenger-style bag, the Diaper Dude bag comes in several manly colors, including black, gray and camouflage. It's designed to wear across your chest, so it doesn't look like a purse. It has handy clips for keys, a padded changing pad, three exterior pockets, and a removable cell phone pouch. (http://www.babystyle.com).

For the Ultra Hip and Super Stylish

6. Carter's Diaper Bag tote ($9.98)

Stylish and affordable, the Carter's Diaper Bag tote has plenty of room, but no special compartments. What's nice about it is the sleek, microfiber styling, which makes it look like a stylish tote, rather than a diaper bag. Currently on sale for 50% off at Babycenter (http://www.babycenter.com).

7. Amy Michelle diaper bags ($195-$225)

Amy Michelle makes two diaper bags: The Camellia and the Jasmine. You'd never know these were diaper bags. They just look like elegant black purses, yet they have many nice features for moms, including internal and external bottle pockets, a quick-release pacifier holder, an easy-to-find key ring, cell phone holder, compartments for diapers, wipes, etc., a removable wet bag and a large side pocket. (http://www.amymichellebags.com)

8. The Pursonality Messenger Bag ($120)

Fun and sporty, the Pursonality Diaper Bag in Sugar and Spice comes in a cotton candy color that will make you feel like a star. And it's practical too. The fabric is stain- resistant and easily wipes clean. You can convert it from a shoulder bag to a backpack, and it's designed so you can access all the pockets with one hand. (http://www.diaperbags.com).

Stephanie Gallagher is Author of "The Gallagher Guide to the Baby Years" (http://www.gallagherguide.com). Get a free cookbook when you subscribe to her ezine, The Shopping Mom's Weekly Tip. Send a blank email to [email protected].

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