1. The first rule: the diaper bag does not go with the baby; it goes with the person doing the carrying. Each parent should select his/her own signature diaper bag - carrying around an ugly diaper bag is not allowed.
2. Dad will feel comfortable carrying a messenger- or a backpack-style diaper bag that doubles as a personal carrier for wallet, cell phone, and iPod. Guy-friendly diaper bags are designed in rugged fabrics for men, but many women are infringing on male territory and carrying these all-but-feminine diaper bags on casual days.
3. DadGear makes a wearable diaper bag in a vest design that keeps hands free to care for the baby. Features like quick-access pockets for wipes and baby bottles, spacious compartments for diapers and extra clothing, and personal pockets are featured in an innovative garment that allows easy access from inside or outside of the vest.
4. A diaper bag with multiple compartments allows you to carry all the items baby will need and doubles as a carrier for Mom or Dad's personal items. If your diaper bag does not have compartments, divide items in plastic baggies so they are easily located, and use the large zipper compartment on the outside of the bag for important items like keys, wallet, and an emergency bottle and diaper.
5. Hobo bags like those designed by Hoohobbers are great weekend and extended-travel diaper bags. Avoid using large diaper bags for short trips; not only are big diaper bags awkward in crowds, but if the bag is too roomy, items will be lost inside and you might inadvertently over-pack.
6. When packing the diaper bag, plan on one diaper for every 2 hours; instead of preparing formula at home, carry a water bottle and dry formula. On longer trips where baby powder, oil, lotion, and shampoo are needed, pack travel sizes, and always have an emergency outfit ready in case of accidents.
7. Diaper bags designed by Eddie Bauer and Tommy Hilfiger offer wide, comfortable, balanced straps on practical diaper bags that are classy enough to take to the office. When selecting a diaper bag, evaluate your needs: if you are repeatedly reaching into the diaper bag, a snap closure offers more accessibility; if security is an issue, then a zipper closure should be your choice.
8. For women who are as adamant about carrying a stylish diaper bag as they are about a stylish designer purse, OiOi diaper bags are vibrant, spectacular designs inspired by a fashion and accessory expert and new mom. In 10 years, the line has expanded to over 40 designer styles.
9. Fleurville offers designer diaper bags that are all about color, pattern, and texture. Stylish bag features include exterior vinyl coating, non-slip shoulder straps, a plethora of pockets inside and out, changing pad, and a rigid framework option that keeps the diaper bag standing upright for easy instant access, packing, and unpacking.
10. Diaper bags by Timi and Leslie are vintage creations that are chic, sophisticated, and whimsical, featuring Asian-inspired prints, rich shades, embossed leather, adjustable custom-fitting straps, easy-care vinyl coating, and basketball leather. Unfortunately, the hard part about finding the perfect diaper bag is giving it up once baby outgrows it.