Let me tell you about my collection of nappy bags. My husband says it qualifies as a ‘collection’ even though I only have four because I have three more nappy bags than I have children. I tried to explain to him that finding the right nappy bag is a process, but he doesn’t get it. Do you know who does get it, though? Moms. Because we’ve all had to go through a fair bit of trial and error to find our trusty take-it-everywhere nappy bag/handbag hybrid.
Starting my nappy bag collection
I’ve got the nappy bag the hospital gave me. It’s functional and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but everyone has it and at more than one girl’s lunch I’ve reached for the wrong bag only to find myself up to my elbows in someone else’s bum cream and backup vests. Not ideal.
Then there’s the pricy leather one I bought as an ‘investment’, because I felt that just because I had to use a nappy bag, didn’t mean it has to look like a nappy bag. It offers all the style cred of a regular handbag with all the convenience and practicality of a nappy bag. And I loved it. Until my daughter’s bottle leaked all over the lining – and, honestly, you don’t want to know what other smears are in there. It’s not washable, and there’s only so much wet wipes can do, so my nice-to-look-at leather tote has been shoved to the back of a cupboard.
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Then there’s the nappy bag I got from my medical aid provider. It’s cute. Very cute. But I’m not really a ‘hot air balloons and clouds’ print type of gal.
My last buy – and yes, I really did think this was The One when I bought it – is a sturdy grey canvas backpack-style nappy bag. I thought it would be easier to carry (note: it is but there is nothing glamorous about looking like you’re headed to a weekend of camping – plus, my husband said he wouldn’t mind carrying it. Does it work? Yes. Do I love it? No.
How to choose the right nappy bag for you (& your baby!)
So why exactly is it so difficult to find The One? I think it’s because nappy bags have a lot of boxes to check: spacious, lightweight, easy to carry and nice to look at. To be fair, it’s a pretty tall order for any accessory.
I’d given up the search for The One, convinced it wasn’t out there when I came across the Lily Rose Collection, a brand of locally-made luxury bags. Crossing my fingers, I placed my order online. It arrived beautifully packaged the next day – with a personalised, hand-written note (yes, really)!
This style is called the Bag of Plenty for reasons that are immediately obvious – it’s huge, in a GOOD way, and weighs next to nothing. Why? The bags are made of neoprene so they are ultra-lightweight and stretchy enough to fit everything your little one (and you!) might need for a day out.
Introducing: The Lily Rose Collection
The main compartment of my Lily Rose Collection bag is huge and the zip opens up all the way to make packing (and unpacking!) a breeze. When you’re carrying a baby on your hip, or running around after a toddler, you’ll appreciate that there are versatile carrying choices with sturdy hand and shoulder straps. There’s a built-in base so your bag will keep its shape even if there’s nothing in it, there are protective feet on the bottom, plus the interior pockets are insulated to keep baby bottles (or your water) warm or cool.. It’s clear this bag has been designed with convenience and practicality top of mind. The best bit? When there are the inevitable smears and leaks, you can just throw it in the washing machine – easy! Because what’s the point of a gorgeous bag if it’s not functional, right?
It’s clear that it would easily fit all the necessary baby bits and pieces without feeling bulky but exactly how much can you put in there? I needed to know if it could double up as a weekender bag for moms so I set myself a challenge. Here’s what I packed: a toiletry bag, make-up bag, pair of jeans and a jersey, a dress, hairbrush, set of pyjamas, heels and a blazer – enough to see me through two nights away.
And guess what? It all went in, and I could still do up the zip (photographic proof below)! Admittedly, there was no space left for my child’s stuff – but, let’s be honest, this bag is clearly more for me than my little one.
And the bag gets bonus points because I could comfortably squeeze in a bottle of bubbly too (note: I also packed a bag of biltong because drinking on an empty stomach is just irresponsible).
So, have I finally found The One?
Yes, it’s a functional nappy bag but my Lily Rose Collection bag is so much more than that – it’s a gorgeous handbag that I’ll be carrying long after my daughter outgrows the nappy stage. At the moment the Tenderness bag is my everyday go-to – whether I’m out with baby or not – but there are five different floral prints in the range, each gorgeous in its own way. Next on my Lily Rose Collection wishlist? The Tranquility bag – its neutral white and green colour palette is gorgeous and will go with everything. And after that, I’ve got my eye on the Passion bag… or maybe Stability… or all of them, if I’m being honest.