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Size Matters: How Big Is Your Bag?

Mothers, particularly mothers with young children, are faced with a dilemma nearly every day: Which bag should I use? The cute, compact handbag or the more practical tote bag? On the one hand, the handbag is small, easy to carry around, and stylish. On the other hand, the tote bag is spacious and ideal for, well, toting around items you or the children may need.

Those of you unfamiliar with the bag dilemma might ask, what could a mother or her children possibly need that might justify carrying a large tote bag around? To give you an idea, here are some examples: sunblock; a small first aid kit or package of band-aids; snacks; a spare change of underwear (this is a must for a child new to potty training, or undergoing potty training); if you have an infant add several diapers, wipes, a spare outfit (in case something erupts from one of the baby's orifices), and a pacifier; hand sanitizer; an iPod, for those times when you would sell a kidney to have a piece of glass installed in your car, limosine-style; a book. A mother must also have room in her bag for at least a couple of toys that her children insist on bringing with them and then hand off to her when they're tired of holding them.

New mothers might try carrying both a handbag and a diaper bag, in an attempt to have the best of both worlds, but they will quickly learn that unless she has a third arm hidden somewhere on her torso, it's impossible to carry a baby, a diaper bag, and a purse; it isn't worth the trouble. So they might try putting their personal items, wallet, lipstick, gum, what have you, in the diaper bag. But, believe it or not, often times there isn't enough room. Or she might ditch the diaper bag in favor of her handbag for a girls' night out, only to discover she's left her personal items behind.

Two summers ago, a friend of mine bought a tote bag. She was excited about it because it was large and had multiple pockets, both inside and out, and it was also "cute." In it she carried everything given for examples above, plus a few extras. It held it all beautifully. Unfortunately, the bag weighed about ten pounds.

After a day lugging it around the zoo with her friend and their combined children, my friend's back was aching and her arm felt like an overstretched rubber band. She realized that a tote bag is only practical if one uses it sensibly. Pack what you know for certain you will need, and forget the "what ifs."


What to Get a New Baby

Having a baby is an amazing experience for the new parents, but at the same time it can be hard to cope with. You can help make life a little bit easier for the happy parents by giving them a baby gift that assists the transition from couple to family. It's easy to buy something cute for a baby, but there are also many helpful and practical gifts that will really make a difference. You'll also know that your gift will get used plenty of times, rather than admired and then shoved in a cupboard.

One great gift you can give is a baby monitor. These clever devices monitor the sounds made by baby while sleeping, so that mom or dad can get on with other things that need to be done and can immediately hear when baby wakes up. They're also useful at night, because you'll know very quickly when baby is awake and wanting to be fed.

New parents tend to worry a lot about their baby's health, so why not give them something to assist them? Digital baby thermometers are simple to use and much less intrusive than the old fashioned thermometers. You can buy thermometers that take the temperature orally, from the skin, or in the ear. Great for reassuring a nervous parent that baby is fine, but also for indicating when a visit to the doctor might be required.

If you'd still like to buy something cute and fun, then check out the range of crib items. There are heaps of great ideas available, including toys that attach to the inside of the crib and use music and lights to help lull baby to sleep. Perhaps you could choose a mechanical mobile with cute decorations for amusing baby. Look at the Lamaze range of baby toys, designed to be fun and interesting for baby, while stimulating various senses at the same time. Great for development.

You can also choose baby blankets, sheets, towels, washcloths and a whole lot more, all available in a wide variety of styles and colors. Look for cute but practical clothing, including sleepwear, onesies, socks, jackets and t-shirts. Always test out the clothes to make sure they're easy to put on and take off again, and that it's easy to access the diaper for a quick change, without having to completely undress the baby.

If the new parents need some more expensive baby items, why not join together with some other friends to buy a bigger baby gift. This is a great way to give parents items like strollers, cribs, car seats, or playpens. You can either organize to purchase the item yourself, or give the new parents a gift certificate to cover the cost and let them choose their own. Another useful gift is diapers. Either buy plenty to keep the parents going for a while, or if they like cloth diapers, organize a diaper service. They'll take away the dirty diapers once a week, wash them, and then bring them back again. Any new parents will love you for that gift!

Baby gifts are a wonderful way to get the new family started in their life together, and you can do a lot to help that process. Don't waste your money and something cute that will never even get taken out of the box. Try to combine practical and fun, and the new parents will thank you for it - over and over again.


Tips for Buying Designer Diaper Bags

If you are getting ready to greet a new little bundle into the family, you will need the perfect designer diaper bag to get that little one out on the town in style. Diaper bags are essential with an infant in tow, because those tiny tots are not made to travel light.

With so many supplies that need to go with you, the right designer diaper bag will be one of the best purchases you can make. But before you head out on your shopping spree, check out these tips to ensure you find the best designer diaper bag for your needs.


Keep in mind that your bag will be going everywhere with you and taking plenty of abuse to boot. Easy cleanup will be essential in a designer diaper bag if you want it to look as good two years from now as it does right now.

Forgo the fashionable in favor of the vinyl, or look for a plastic covering over funky fabric for easier cleanup. The inside of your designer diaper bag must be easy to clean as well, so look for vinyl interiors or a bag that is machine washable.


This designer diaper bag is going to become your most popular accessory very quickly, so make sure it is comfortable to lug around with you. Moms prone to back pain may want to look at backpacks and messenger bags that will put less strain on those muscles rather than the traditional shoulder strap.

It is a good idea to try the designer diaper bag on in the store to ensure that the straps do not cut or bind and that the bag hangs at a comfortable level. You will appreciate the time spent to find a comfortable bag when that designer diaper bag becomes a permanent fixture for the next year or two!


When considering the accessories you want to include on your designer diaper bag, it is important to think about what the bag will be used for. A vinyl changing pad is always a welcome addition, since diaper changes can happen anywhere and anytime.

If you will be carrying the designer diaper bag in lieu of a purse, you may also want separate pockets for items like your sunglasses and cell phone. If you will be taking your designer diaper bag on frequent day trips, stroller straps will make it easy to attach the bag to the stroller for outings.

The best designer diaper bag will be the one that is comfortable, practical and meets your needs best. By taking the time to choose the right bag for you and your baby, your time away from home will go much smoother.


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