There's no denying having a baby comes with a hell of a lot of marketing traps.
If you've ever been brave enough to go deep into the trenches of the minefield that is Baby Bunting (aka the Bunnings equivalent for baby paraphernalia) and come out the other end unscathed, I salute you.
Sadly for my partner and I, a trip to Baby Bunting means having to pre-game with a carb-heavy lunch and packing emergency snacks to prevent another tiff in aisle three next to the dummies.
For most parents, working your way through the never-ending checklist of what baby stuff you need to buy can be overwhelming to say the least.
Do I need a single or a double breast pump? Is a white noise machine a worthy investment? Are blackout blinds a good idea? What the hell are burp cloths, can't I just use a rag?
Welcome to the internal dialogue of almost all parents-to-be as they haemorrhage their hard-earned dosh on stuff, stuff and more stuff - not knowing if you'll even use a small fraction of it, or get your money's worth.
But one of the biggest questions that plagued my mind was: Are nappy bags A Thing? And where can I get one that isn't daggy and looks like a cooler bag?
Well, in short: Yes, they are indeed a thing, especially if you're a small handbag gal like myself. Leaving the house with bub in tow requires a lot of forward planning and things - nappies, a change of clothes in case there's an explosion (be it from the top or bottom ends), wipes, bottles, layers to keep bub warm... you get the gist. Sadly your pre-baby clutch just isn't going to cut it.
And it turns out, there's a whole range of stylish nappy bag options you'll actually want to throw over your shoulder.
Here, we round up our all-time favourite nappy bags after searching high and low...
Why we love it: Any brand that is witty enough to write "BABY SH-T" on the front of their product is going to be clever and innovative, and FELIX + STONE'S lush TOBY bag is like the Gold Logie winner of nappy bags.
Made in a butter-soft vegan leather that feels like the real thing, the generously-sized TOBY is not only pretty to look at but packed with ingenious features that make leaving the house a breeze including an insulated bottle holder, a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap for your pram, a dummy fob and an elasticised water bottle strap.
Plus, it comes with a vegan leather change mat and a wet purse.
Perfect for: A trip down to your local cafe, packing bub's stuff for a weekend away, a fancy event like a wedding, or a nice lunch. The TOBY is your secret weapon for feeling like the stylish mama that you are and the ultimate fashionable and functional accessory.
As the brand's director Natalie Ballard explains of the inspiration behind the label, keeping a sense of self and style was paramount to her innovative designs.
"After emerging from the fog of the first few months, I decided it was time to leave the land of mum buns and stretchy pants. I realised how important it was to maintain a sense of self and part of that is personal style, it's what makes me feel like 'me', so when it came to the bag I was taking everywhere, I wanted it to reflect that," Natalie says.
"As someone who has always loved fashion and accessories, I started searching for a baby bag that looked like a handbag, but when I couldn't find anything with quite the right combination of style and functionality, especially in New Zealand, I decided to design my own and FELIX + STONE was born."
Where you can get it: At $349, the TOBY is no doubt an investment but the piece is so timeless and chic, you can most definitely continue to use it as a handbag for years to come. You can buy it here from New Zealand label, FELIX + STONE and while you're there, check out the full collection of their trendy baby bags.
Why we love it: Because it's not actually a nappy bag but with one quick insert, it's transformed into one!
The Prene Bag Organiser has 14 compartments for all your baby junk and handles which make it easy to move between bags.
The durable neoprene fabric of the X Bag Neoprene Tote Bag is light-weight and you can throw both the bag and organiser straight into the washing machine when they inevitably need a wash.
If it's good enough for Snezana Wood it's good enough for us! The Bachelor beauty and soon-to-be mum of three has previously raved of Prene's bags.
"I've spent weeks looking for a non-baby baby bag if you know what I mean. And I finally found it thanks to @prenebags. Nappies, laptop and gym gear all fit into this beauty," Snez has said.
Perfect for: The Prene bag is your everyday go-to, whether you're heading to mother's group, swimming lessons or catching up with a friend, this bag will see you through.
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