The rise of the changing bag
Is it me or have changing bags become the new handbags. Back in the day, when I had my first baby erm quite a few years ago now, I just had a changing bag that came free from somewhere. Second time round, I had one that; wait for it, matched my travel system. I know, really exciting eh? These days though, changing bags are in a whole new league. Gone are the days when the humble free changing bag are an acceptable solution, now everyone gets really excited about them, discussing the design, layout and brand name. I have even witnessed conversations where people are discussing the purchase of a new changing bag for a new season or to match a coat.
When I fell pregnant with A nearly three years ago, one of my friends first questions when I announced my good news was what changing bag was I going to buy. I was somewhat mystified by the question, I have to admit. Don’t get me wrong, apart from the overwhelming joy of a new little person being on the way, a new baby is a good excuse for a shopping fest, but a changing bag was quite low down on my list of priorities.
A few months later, I started to look at the possibilities and was totally overwhelmed by the choices. Bags of all styles, colours, with pockets in different locations and for every conceivable thing. I did get quite excited and after looking around at the options available, I ended up buying a changing bag that cost nearly seventy pounds (fifty if you ask my husband and that nearly made him cry). It was a great changing bag, but after about a year and a half, I switched to a little rucksack with stuff in for A and kept a packet of wipes and a nappy in my bag for emergencies as I was finding more often than not that I was forgetting to pick the changing bag up when I left the house.
My friend who is the authority on changing bags informed me that I hadn’t embraced the bag and that was the problem. Apparently you switch totally to the changing bag and ditch your handbag, which actually, looking back makes perfect sense. If you do invest in a really good changing bag, why would you need anything else? My friend still has a toddler in tow, but swears that her changing bag will remain firmly at her side until it has breathed it’s last. She argues that even with young children who might not necessarily need nappies, she would have to buy such a big handbag to accommodate the essentials of ‘daily life with children’.
Again, wise words. Even though my youngest is two, she is still in nappies most of the time and even the six and eight year old have to be taken into consideration. I did recently buy a large bag as apart from the essentials such as purse, keys and my bits and bobs, I have to carry wipes, tissues, a spare nappy, Top Trumps, pad and pencils, various bits of paper and emergency snacks. It’s a bit of a mish mash of junk really and I can never find anything when I need it. If I had a lovely changing bag with lots of lovely pockets and even a nice little pocket for my precious mobile phone, life would be so much easier.
I recently spent a few weeks looking after another friend’s baby son who was just under a year. The changing bag that came with it always made me chuckle. It wasn’t particularly trendy as mum is someone who goes for the more practical option, but what made me chuckle was its contents. There were all of the necessities and clothes that were the right size (I always ended up having clothes that were about three sizes too small in mine) but lurking at the bottom was such an array of things that I never knew what to expect. Breadsticks, fruit, hair clips, glue sticks, pens, paracetemol and toothpaste and once even a potato. Yes a potato. I did have to ask her why there was a potato in her changing bag and her reply was that you never know when you might need an emergency potato.
Whilst thinking about writing this post, I did start to do a bit of changing bag window shopping. I have to admit that there are some very lovely, very practical and very coveted bags available and yes, even without a real need for one, I could definitely be persuaded to buy one. Maybe I need to go and talk my husband into baby number five, although that might be a little excessive just to be able to justify buying a changing bag.