Diaper Bag Woes

Abraham joined me right before I crossed the finish line

I recently ran my first half marathon barefoot. I know, I know…what in the world does that have to do with diaper bags? Even though I can pretty much relate anything to running, if you can ‘bare’ with me here, I promise there is an actual connection this time (such a cheesy pun, huh?).

I ran the race with a small purple backpack that held two different pairs of back-up shoes and two different kinds of socks just in case the course was not barefoot-friendly.  The bag also held other little random things I like to have with me when I run (chapstick, snacks, music, phone, etc). Throughout the race I would sling the bag from my back to my shoulder to grab various items from it. At one point during a super rocky section I stopped to put on my huaraches/running sandals. Unfortunately one of the straps broke almost immediately. So I stopped again and put on my second choice back-up running shoes. At this point a man passing me says “You are like Mary Poppins…I keep waiting to see what you are going to pull out of that little backpack of yours”. 🙂

Fast forward to a few days ago when a mama from the Mom’s Milk Boutique facebook community posted a picture of her new beautiful Mighty Be by Ju-Ju-Be diaper bag and all of the contents she was able to stuff inside of it (with room to spare!). The picture made me immediately think of the Mary Poppins comment from my race. This was one well packed mama for sure…Mary Poppins may even have a thing or two to learn from her! She had snacks, clothes, diapers, toys, baby carrier…you name it, she had it. I might be able to pack a bag well for a run/race, but when it comes to outings with my kids I am sadly inept.

I almost never have band-aids when we need them for a skinned knee at the park. I often have a poopy cloth diaper and no wet bag to stick it in while changing baby’s diaper at the store.  I have (more than once) left freshly filled water bottles on the counter at home only to kick myself later when the 5 of us try to share a $7 16oz disposable water bottles at the zoo. My three-year-old has spent the entire day wearing his 10-month-old brother’s pants because I forgot to pack extra clothes for him. I sheepishly bum food off friends more than I care to admit because I don’t pack enough (or any) snacks for my kids. I guess that’s the fate of a Girl Scout dropout…the “Be Prepared” motto was lost on me!

So in attempt to remedy my diaper bag woes, I decided the first step is to purchase a new bag. Right now I am using a 12 year old Jansport with a broken zipper. Before that I was using a very old, well-loved, hand-me-down ERGObaby backpack with a huge hole in it, stretched-out water bottle holder, and missing velcro (in other words my stuff always fell out of it). Before that I used any random bag I could find around the house. Five years and three kids later, I figure it’s time I invest in a good diaper bag. No I take that back…it’s time to invest in a GREAT diaper bag! Suggestions welcome! 🙂 Step two is to get organized and create a system, but since step one has to come first (and let’s face it, is waayyy more fun!) let’s get shopping!!

So what category do you fall into? Are you Mary Poppins or a Girl Scout drop-out? Would love to hear your diaper bag essentials and/or bloopers.


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10 Responses to “Diaper Bag Woes”

  1. JenT says:

    Unfortunately I don’t have a specific bag to recommend. Mine is handmade from an acquaintance. It’s roomy enough for several diapers and all the other paraphernalia needed for a newborn and toddler. Some snafoos I’ve made? I’ll have a well-packed diaper bag and spend a whole day out with no emergency of any kind. Next time I’ll forget one thing and absolutely need it. 🙂 Isn’t it weird the way that works? The most often forgotten thing is extra clothes and it’s most often on the days I end up needing some. Thankfully, I’ve managed to borrow from friends or find something super cheap at a store. Since I have several older children the snacks usually are in another bag in the van. So I only have to keep up with baby stuff.

    • Sarah says:

      Gotta love the irony of having what you need when you don’t need it and vise versa. 😉


  2. Shana says:

    I am honored to have inspired this blog post. You are pretty amazing to run a marathon barefoot. Our diaper bag essentials are ever changing as our children grow and we add to our family and I am always packed to the gills. I love that Mighty Be and I can definatly see me using it past the diaper bag stage.

  3. Alix Davis says:

    So this has nothing to do with your diaper bag question, I apologize. My mom made mine and I love it 🙂 I am just SO excited I found a nother barefoot ruuner who ran a half marathon!! I am training for my first and am super excited!! I just sick of all the people telling me I’m going to hurt myself, that I’m crazy, having people literally stop there cars to tell me that running barefoot is stupid. I’m so excited someone else has done it!! Thanks for your inspiration!! And I love my huaraches for the winters here in Denver, the salt they put on the sidewalks is torture on barefeet and my huaraches are the only thing I’ll wear!

    • Sarah says:

      It IS exciting to meet another barefoot runner and not through a forum or website that has to do anything with running! 🙂 When is your race? I will be cheering you on in spirit!

      I did get a lot of comments during this race (it was my first barefoot race) although for the most part people were positive and encouraging. Spectators were yelling “Go Barefoot!” and that definitely pumped me up!

      Happy running feet to you!

  4. Jazmin says:

    Oh, a blooper? Spending $180 on a really expensive camera bag… My reasoning was I could keep my DSLR(which I use for my business) safe, and have a nice bag to use as a purse/ diaper bag. Problems I ran into?

    1.) I found out I don’t want to carry my DSLR around.
    2.) it isn’t really big enough for a camra and kid things
    3.) snack and drinks do not mix well with a *very* expensive camera and lenses.

    • Sarah says:

      Ah, was wondering about that bag…#3 is especially funny to me. 🙂

      So what are you using for your diaper bag?


  5. Jazmin says:

    I’ve heard the petunia bags are great! I really want one of their cake bags(specifically the yellow one ;p) and one of their dad bags!

    • Sarah says:

      You and your yellow bags! 😉 It’s kind of like your trademark.

      I will check out the petunia bags. My SIL wants to take me diaper bag shopping this weekend so I may return home with a fancy new bag.