What are changing bags?
At a very basic level, they’re bags to carry nappies, changing mat and all the ‘stuff’ that comes with babies. But the funky styles and designs have come a long, long way since the plain black nylon messenger-style bags our mothers used.
Which changing bag is right for you?
There are some features that virtually every changing bag will have (or should have!):
- A folding, wipeable changing mat
- Plenty of pockets rather than one big compartment
- Smaller pockets for keys, purse, phone etc
- Washable/wipe clean fabric and lining
- Insulated bottle holder.
- The style and size you opt for will depend on how you intend to use it. Try asking yourself these questions:
- Will it hang on the buggy mainly, or will you be carrying it?
- Do you expect your partner to carry it too?
- Do you want it to be big enough to carry a change of clothes for your baby?
- Do you intend to use it as a handbag or will you carry your handbag separately?
- Do you suffer from back pain?
What style of changing bag is best?
Some changing bags are designed to look as close to proper handbags as possible to avoid looking ‘mumsy’ – and so you can use them as a handbag after you no longer need a changing bag. That’s obviously fine, but do just check it’s big enough to carry the essentials: it’s incredible just how many ‘essentials’ babies need! (Mat, nappies, cream, wipes, dirty nappy bags, spare clothes for accidents, bottle, dummy, toys...) And if it’s your second baby you’ll end up carrying your toddler’s things in it too.
Many bags are over-the-shoulder style, which is great for hanging on the pushchair handles, but can be very awkward to carry when full, especially if you are already prone to backache.
If you think you’ll mainly be carrying your baby in a sling, or are running after a toddler big brother or sister, then a rucksack style might suit your needs better.
Mums who have bought lots of changing bags over the years often say – don’t make the mistake of buying a really huge one. It’s more important for it to have plenty of compartments, and both inside and outside pockets.
Check out the extras to see what you’re getting for your money. Some useful accessories include: dirty stuff bags, key fob, mirror and zipped wet bag. Some even have wet wipe holders and buggy harnesses. But too many accessories will make it big and heavy to carry before you’ve even put anything inside – so it’s all a balance.
How much will a changing bag cost?
Changing bags aren’t cheap, but it all depends on the style and accessories. The most basic, old-school black nylon one (yes, you can still buy them) is around £15. Most stylish, modern options are from £40 to £70. But we’ve seen one for £275...
Top tips for buying a changing bag
- If you go for one with a pale lining, it will be easier to find things -rather than rummaging around in a black hole for your keys!
- When choosing between a rucksack or shoulder style, think about how you’re going to be carrying it: shoulder bags look great but they can be back-breakers if they’re full.
- Some of the very girly ones are undeniably pretty – but how will your partner feel about carrying a bag with cupcakes on it? If you’d like help with carrying the bag, it might be worth opting for a unisex model (it doesn’t have to be boring).
- If you think the bag you’ve bought doesn’t have enough pockets you can buy an organiser for a few pounds to insert into it – job done!
Ready to buy?
Take a look at some of the popoular baby changing bags and maternity bags below.
Babymoov City bag
RRP: £79.99 - Buy now
If you are looking for a feminine and handy bag, the City bag is the one for you. Chic and convenient it comes with all the essential accessories.
- Trendy leather look
- 2 carrying options: over the shoulder or hand
- Accessories included: changing mat, insulated lining, laundry pocket, soother pocket, universal stroller harness, shoulder strap
- Available in 3 colours: Savannah, Zinc and Black
- Provides plenty of pockets and storage area
Size: 34cm x 42cm x 16cm
Material: 100% Polyester
Why we love the Babymoov City bag ....
- Great value for money - this bag is packed full of useful accessories, perfect for when on the move.
- Trendy and practical! There are plenty of compartments, openings inside and out and storage to fit all your baby essentials and more.
- Its stylish leather look makes it look like a real handbag than a changing bag.
Hauck City Changing Bag
RRP: £21.75 - Buy now
Finished in a classic black or navy colour, the Hauck City changing bag is the perfect companion for you and your little one.
- Comes with a changing mat, utensil bag and an insulated bag for baby food or bottles
- Long handles for optimum carrying comfort
- Made of easy-care material
Size: 19cm x 35cm x 30cm
Why we love the Hauck City Changing Bag ....
- This is a really good value bag – one of the cheaper ones on the market, yet it’s very practical and still quite stylish. Lots of mums like that it doesn’t particularly look like a changing bag, and could easily pass for a big handbag.
- The long handles mean it’s great for carrying on your shoulder even with a big padded coat underneath, although some mums comment that the handles won’t fit over the handles of their buggy.
- This is a properly spacious bag with plenty of inside and outside compartments, some of them zipped. Best of all, the lining is pale-coloured so you won’t be scrabbling around in the dark looking for nappies, wipes etc.
- Despite the low price, it comes with a changing mat, insulated bag and stuff-bag – all the essentials.
- Dads, especially, love these colour options: classic and unassuming black or navy – absolutely no cupcakes, hearts or flashes of neon pink. Not every mum likes mumsy prints and colours, either!
- Lots of changing bags rely on a flap to close them, but this one has the security of a zip fastening across the top; there’s also a zipped pocket on the outside.
Pink Lining - Yummy Mummy Changing Bag - Sam The Dalmatian
RRP: £79 - Buy now
A feature-packed changing bag that will easily and stylishly accommodate both mum's and baby's day-to-day essentials.
- Fits over any pram or buggy handlebars thanks to the generous adjustable strap
- Has two internal insulated bottle holders
- Comes with a padded changing mat
- Has a zip-close 'wet bag' for used muslins and nappies
- Has two nappy pockets and a zipped pocket inside
- For mum there is a handy key fob, mobile phone pocket and mirror
Size: 38cm x 19cm x 26cm
Why we love the Pink Lining - Yummy Mummy Changing Bag - Sam The Dalmatian....
- We adore the fun and funky dalmatian background print which makes it look more fashion bag than nappy bag!
- It is mega roomy while still being compact and easy to carry around – and it fits easily on any pram or buggy without weighing it down
- It has room for all mum's essentials, not just baby's so you don't need to take a separate handbag out with you for your phone, purse and make up
- There are really handy external pockets as well as internal compartments, so you can quickly grab those all important wipes and snacks on the go without rummaging
- It's cool enough to use as a regular bag, not just a changing bag and it's not so overtly girly that dad will not want to carry it!
Caboodle Fun & Funky Changing Bag
RRP: £39.95 - Buy now
A chic and stylish changing bag in an easy clean leather-look finish, with oodles of space and functionability
- Five internal pockets and a mobile phone pocket for all of mum and baby's every day essentials
- Two external pockets for easy on-the-go storage
- 'Grubby stuff' bag for dirty clothes or used muslins
- Insulated bottle holder
- Changing matt included
- Adjustable shoulder strap for comfort and versatility
- Makes an excellent hospital bag for mums-to-be or an overnight travel bag
Size: 42cm x 33.5cm x 16.5cm
Why we love the Caboodle Fun & Funky Changing Bag ....
- It's a gorgeous bag that screams sophistication rather than 'nappies'
- As well as being a practical changing bag, it is also the perfect size for an overnight trip, or to pack up as your hospital bag
- It has been designed for mums-on-the-go with loads of useful pockets and sections – the grubby stuff bag is just genius!
- It is totally gender neutral and has utilitarian, work bag styling so anyone can use it!
- It can be wiped clean – no worries about spilt milk or sticky fingers coming into contact with it!