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Diaper-ish Bag Evolution

Posted by Cheryl Yul-Behrenwaldt on
Notebooks and Honey tote bags make a great diaper bag
            I've been writing blog posts (well, inconsistently sure) for a few years now and I can't believe that I have never specifically written about the heart and soul of Notebooks & Honey, the reason why this product even exists ... that this is a great "non-diaper bag looking diaper bag". Did you catch that? The concept of the Notebooks & Honey tote bag started as a diaper bag. I've written several posts that insinuate that it can be diaper bag and I have it on my website that it is a cool diaper bag, but alas, finally a post solely dedicated to the "Honey" side of Notebooks & Honey. Even writing about babies and diapers brings back fond and tiring memories of those infant years. Kids grow up so fast (sniff). As my own kiddos get older, my ultimate modern tote bag has evolved away from being a diaper bag to more of a carryall bag/ laptop bag. However, in my heart of hearts, I have a soft spot for the tote bag being used as a diaper bag because therein is the origin story of Notebooks & Honey.  
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             Let's back up and I'll try to make it quick, as to how the Notebooks & Honey bag came to be and why. This is the backstory to Notebooks & Honey but to sum it up in a few of sentences, back in my baby days (I have three kids now, ranging from ages 6 to 10 years old ), I was searching high and low for a diaper bag that did not look like a diaper bag. Also, from an economical and environmental perspective, ideally I wanted a bag that I can use for longer than the typical one year shelf-life that traditional diaper bags tend to have.   After searching forever and not finding something, I decided to create/produce my own diaper bag so I and many women like myself could have this bag of my dream. Now that you are quickly caught up on the backstory, you can see why this tote bag being a diaper bag is so important to me, without the babies and needing a diaper bag, Notebooks & Honey wouldn't exist. I always said that I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel, it's just a bag after all. But I knew that I could design a product that would reach people aligned with my design sense, lifestyle and need for a diaper bag that is modern yet timeless and super versatile. Also, I didn't really want to carry more than one bag/purse around, so I wanted to make sure the tote bag was spacious enough so you can carry around your personal non-baby items without feeling like you are compromising, well, yourself, by using a more traditional diaper bag as your purse.
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Modern tote bag diaper bag by Notebooks and Honey
          In my functional diaper bag part of this blog, rather than providing you with a diaper bag check list, there are so many out there, I wanted to go over the evolution of what goes into a diaper bag as your baby's needs change. This is almost more of a reflective exercise in how I've used the tote bag throughout the years, because even though I would say I'm solidly in the carryall bag (rather than diaper bag) years of my life, my kids still use my bag as their bag and even though they have their own backpacks and little bags for their stuff, well as a mom, you are always looking out for their needs. And your sanity.
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Here we go ... the Diaper Bag Evolution:
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NEWBORN - 3 MONTHS:
            Oh the sweet infant days, when the babies sleep most of the time, but not necessarily when you want them to sleep thus leaving you oh so tired throughout the day. As for the Notebooks & Honey bag, use the large interior pocket for diapers, wipes, changing pad and/ or swaddle blanket. Or be a maverick and go reverse, put all of the baby stuff in the main bag and use the large interior pocket for your own person items (e.g. make up bag, wallet, etc.). There are two interior bottle pockets for milk bottles and don't forget the "emergency" pacifier pocket in the back (hidden exterior pocket). Good news is, although you are tired, your baby is sleepy, especially during the day, so make sure you have a book/magazine or headphones with you for when your honey-bun slumbers away as you go on walks or are enjoying the fresh air at the park. As cute as they are when babies are sleeping and your inclination is to stare at them and listen to their little snores, you'll want to catch up on podcasts or reading while they sleep. 
Diaper bag must haves for this age (other than diapers & wipes): pacifier, spare clothes, burp cloths
Hidden pocket on the exterior of the tote bag
 The small pocket is the perfect place to stash a pacifier, easy to find and quick to grab. 
3-6 MONTHS:
          Your little one is starting to play with gentle baby toys and is putting everything in his/her mouth. You can use the large front zipper pocket as a clean place to hold their teething toys and extra pacifiers. As they get bigger, the poops do too so feel free to use the large interior pocket as a place to hold extra or dirty clothes (in baggies of course). These babies are not mobile yet, but they are more attentive so perhaps start throwing in little cuddle toys or little board books in the bag, something they can play with while in their stroller or car seat.
Diaper bag must haves for this age (other than diapers & wipes): teethers , burp cloth/bib, small baby toys
Teethers and swaddling blankets
Retro cassette tape teethers and swaddles from the Curated Collection
6 - 12 MONTHS:
           Little personalities are starting to show as the babies are starting to be more alert, "chatty" and eventually, mobile. We are getting into the sippy and snack phase, so the bottle pockets are used for not only milk bottles, but sippy cups of water and juice. As the little ones are expending their energy trying to crawl, pull up, walk and get into things, their little fingers and tummies are constantly going for those snacks, so make sure you load up and are prepared. Hopefully the babes are on a more regular sleep schedule, which means that they will be more awake at restaurants and during meal times, so in addition to more food, make sure you are prepared with toys and entertainment to help them sit through a meal.
Diaper bag must haves for this age (other than diapers & wipes): sippy cups, snacks, bibs , sensory or tactile toys for restaurants
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12 MONTHS - 2 YEARS:
         As the kiddo gets bigger, you get busier. You have a mobile toddler now and not only does that mean he/she is constantly on the go but they are also constantly getting into things. This means, dear parent, that you are at the "throwing things in the bag" phase of diaper bag packing. Your diaper bag may seem less organized, but that's okay.  I'm pretty sure I used wipes as much during these years as I did at the beginning because, in addition to dirty bottoms, these kiddos are constantly presenting you with sticky hands that you have to get clean. Furthermore, they may be teetering on the potty training phase, so you will need space for extra clothes, training diapers, more snacks and drinks. Also, when you are at a restaurant, the kiddos are a flight risk, so make sure you have plenty of things to keep them occupied at the table; the good thing is, they can start drawing and coloring at this point, so instead of bringing tons of toys, they may be good with a pad of paper and washable markers (my preference over crayons and color pencils, easy grip and easy cleaning).
Diaper bag must haves for this age (other than diapers & wipes): Extra underwear and pants, coloring material for restaurants, sippy cups/ water bottles
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3 YEARS - WHATEVER AGE:
              Well, this is where I'm going to drop you off. As I mentioned, my kids are slightly older now, so I'm long past the actual "diaper bag" phase and have been happily using my Notebooks & Honey as a carryall and laptop bag. I promise you though, as a mom of three, in my tote bag, I always have a first aid kit (and it's not for me), at least two small toys for an emergency "I'm bored" situation and a water bottle. These items are my constants and does not include the "random" things the kids get me to carry for them/that I find in my bag ... A marble, half eaten cookie, one GI joe, old linty candy, a stone (but it's so pretty), etc. As long as my kids see my tote bag as their bag where they know they can freely put their stuff in AND I continue to be well stocked as I go for my annual Mother of the Year award, a piece of me will always think of my tote bag as still my diaper bag. Forever and always.
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Best of luck with your diaper bag adventures, enjoy this moment, it does fly by so quickly. ~ Cheryl 

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