THE CHANGING BACKPACK | Practical Parenting The Stylish Way
When you become a parent, things change. Your sleep, your priorities, your whole life. But nothing hits you quite like the sudden need to carry ‘stuff’ – and a lot of it. All of the time.
[This post contains PR gifted product. All thoughts are my own, not of the brands mentioned.]
I love bags, I have a thing for them, and I’ll buy several a year depending on my mood and the season. It’s the fresh newness I’m addicted to, and the ritual of putting my essentials into their new tidy places that makes me feel all organised and on top of life. But since becoming a mum, the list of essentials have changed somewhat. I still carry the usual must haves; the keys, the purse and the lipbalm – it’s just I need a heck of a lot more on top of it.
When Reuben was a baby we carried a changing bag around with us that contained everything that kept him running; his bottles, the flasks of water, nappies and a change of clothes. And we took it everywhere. Always tucked away beneath the pram or behind the passenger seat of the car, always ready. And because we needed so much for baby Reuben it made sense to have such a big bag to hand, and it worked.
Nowadays Reuben doesn’t need so much on the go. His bottles have become a single drinking cup, and a handful of nappies are more than enough for a day. So I started popping Reuben’s bits and pieces into my bag and before I knew it, my bag became our bag, and we don’t bother with the big changing bag anymore.
Now a backpack is my go-to style of bag and my number one parenting essential. Backpacks are mum chic and I’m buying it!
Babycchinos have an amazing range of changing bags that come in all manner of styles and colours. Their Colorland backpacks are my favourite; the right kind of design and so fashion forward. When they asked me for my thoughts in exchange for a bag, I knew exactly which one I needed to try since I’d been looking for one everywhere – a faux leather bag that would see me through the bad winter weather and look pretty come spring.
The Black Blossom Colorland backpack is a smart bag that’s both pretty and rugged. In a black textured faux leather with a delicate floral and butterfly print, it’s a backpack that boasts many features as a functional changing bag.
Its contemporary style has a luxury feel thanks to its supple fabric and polished silver metal hardware. Its padded shoulder straps are adjustable with metal sliders and there’s a top loop for easy grabbing and hanging.
This backpack is a dream for lovers of organisation – there are pockets here, there and everywhere to help keep your bag orderly. Ease of use is well considered too; both the main compartment and the outer front pocket are secured by chunky gauge metal zips that are super efficient at opening and closing quickly and without snagging.
To the outer, there’s a roomy front pocket ideal for items you want at hand (this is where I put Reuben’s harness reins and maybe a dummy) and there’s two narrow pockets on either side of the bag.
Inside the bag is an assortment of pockets for ample choice where to store those necessary bits and pieces. There are two slots on the immediate inner side, one slightly more generous than the other, capable of holding a large mobile phone. To the back there’s an internal zipped pocket and immediately before this are two deep pockets with elasticated ruching to help keep items in place. I keep a long box of halved breadsticks in one pocket, while the other, which has insulated lining, makes it perfect for a bottle of milk, a toddler cup or a bottle of water I’d like to keep chilled and away from the rest of the bag contents.
Included with the bag are a few bonus items that are absolutely handy for any parent: a padded travel changing mat which is big enough to actually use out and about, and a clear pocket, ideal for carrying soiled clothing or keeping small items such as creams and nappy sacks in one place.
The Colorland backpack is a substantial bag that ultimately I feel I can rely on. It’s brilliant to use when the weather’s not so great as it repels water, keeping everything inside dry. And I can carry so much of what I need and want in it without things getting lost at the bottom. I just have a couple of qualms: it’s quite a heavy bag and I’m finding I’m getting shoulder pain using it. Frustratingly I’m sure this is mostly down to the shoulder straps which don’t adjust nearly enough for me, making it hang too far down my back. All I want to do is hoick it up!
For a bag I really do love using and wearing (you can’t deny it’s gorgeous as well as practical) it pains me how something so arbitrary can blight such a beautiful bag. So I’ll carry on using it despite the aches in the hope of finding a way to rectify the issue. Suggestions on a postcard, please!