Both babies and toddlers come with a lot of stuff - Whether you need to head out with a baby, a toddler or both, you need somewhere for all those essentials to go. Using your old trusty change bag you’ve had since your eldest was a newborn might seem like the most economical and sensible option, but as your family has grown, so has the contents of your changing bag. The original might sadly no longer be fit for purpose. Many parents at this stage might choose to change to a standard backpack, but these often lack the storage for all the baby and toddler paraphernalia you need to have on you at all times. So, what should you look for in a changing bag for growing families with two or more children?
In this article, we will look at some of the key features we believe are essential when choosing a new changing bag to deal with the demands of any growing family.
What do I need to consider when choosing a changing bag?
Changing bags come in all shapes and sizes but choosing one that is practical and comfortable is important. A changing bag will most likely go everywhere with you, so it’s important to choose wisely to avoid ending up with multiple bags, none of which tick all your boxes. Instead, you’ll want something that can carry all your daily essentials, nappies, wipes, snacks, clothes, creams, that stinky comforter and maybe even have space for your keys and phone if you would rather not carry a handbag separately.
Changing bags typically come in one of three styles: A backpack, a shoulder bag or a holdall. A holdall bag is likely to look stylish but tends not to be as practical as the other types making it unsuitable for longer trips out. The backpack and over-shoulder style bags leave you hands-free when out and about - which, with two or more kids, is a must.
Watch out for bags with one big compartment and very little in the way of separate sections. Whilst the extra space might seem appealing, imagine trying to find your child’s comforter or keys at the bottom of a huge bag when you are in a hurry. Likewise, bags with one section will end up with everything jumbled up and result in you having to empty the contents of your entire change bag when you can’t find what you are looking for.
Below we highlight some of the best change bag features that appeal to every parent.
Pockets - and more pockets
In my opinion, pockets in bags and clothes are essential when you have kids. Pockets in a bag mean you can organise everything to avoid getting in a muddle at the worst possible moment. For example, imagine if your baby has a poo explosion. You don’t want to spend five minutes unpacking your bag to find the wipes, the clean baby grow, and fresh nappies whilst your baby is busy smearing their poop covered behind all over the changing mat. If you have everything organised in pockets, you’ll know exactly where these items are to deal with the problem much quicker than rummaging through a big one-section bag. Plus, you’ll have another pocket to store the soiled outfit in to deal with later without the risk of contaminating the contents of your bag.
In addition, if you are out with two or more children with different needs (one in nappies and one who uses the potty), a bag like the Pottiagogo Changing Back Pack that has a separate section for your travel potty will also make life easier. The separate zipped compartment means you can access the potty and accessories quickly without touching the rest of your bag.
Fits a detachable, good-quality changing mat
Ok, most change bags come with a bog standard changing mat with minimal padding and no insulation to keep little bottoms dry and warm. Of course, this will do in an emergency and in many changing bags, they are the only option if you want everything in one bag.
However, we would like to highlight the difference between this and a higher-quality changing mat that gives your baby a more comfortable place to lay down. Whether for a nappy change or just when out and about and you want to pop them down somewhere a little more comfortable than the floor.
Our teddy bear change mat has a padded headrest, is lightly padded for baby’s comfort, and is fully insulated to keep little ones warm on cooler days and comfortable when it’s hot. It also has anti-wriggle cuddling arms to hold your baby safely and comfortably. Finally, of course, it folds neatly and slips comfortably into our change bag.
Insulated pockets and bottle warmers
All good change bags should have somewhere to store both hot and cold feeds that you need for your baby and toddler. Dedicated bottle holders mean your bottles are securely held in the change bag (reducing the chances of spillage). Insulated compartments will keep meals at the temperature required during your outing for longer to keep little tummies happy come lunchtime.
Durable, waterproof and wipe clean
Being out with babies and toddlers can be messy work, and you’ll also want something that can withstand the demands of daily use for at least a couple of years. Inevitably, a small person is going to spill something over your changing bag at some point. Hopefully, it will be one of your children and not someone else's, but anything is possible.
For those times, it can pay to have a wipe-clean bag that doesn’t require a trip to the laundrette to return to its former glory. Additionally, you will want something that is water resistant, as being caught out in the rain at some point is likely, and there is nothing worse than soggy nappies or snacks.
You are the one who will have to carry a change bag everywhere for the foreseeable future. Because of this, we recommend choosing one that is comfortable to hold and lightweight. Our changing bag features both padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel offering the wearer comfort for long and short outings with your baby and toddler. In addition, if you are out with the stroller, the D-ring attachments make it easy to attach to the frame - leaving you completely hands-free.
Choosing a changing bag is a big decision. It’s an item you will use almost daily whilst your little ones grow. That‘s why Pottiagogo designed a unique change bag that supports the needs of a growing family. Whatever stage your children are at, our bag is a solution that is both comfortable and practical that can adapt as your family’s needs change through the baby and toddler years. Check out the products in our growing family range here.