The weekender by Avent
We like the stylish quilted design and chic champagne colour scheme of this Avent bag. It is large though, and you wouldn’t necessarily use it for everyday trips to the mall unless you’re a mum of multiples. But as a chic hold-all for a weekend away or a flight, it’s the perfect solution. The insulated bottle bag holds two 300ml bottles. There’s a wipe clean baby changing mat, and there’s another stylish removable bag inside the main compartment where all your essentials (purse, phone, keys, make-up and the like) can be safely stored, plus lots of interior pockets for essential items. There are two additional inside compartments to house spare clothes and nappies and it’s constructed out of wipe-clean micro-fibres, so any milky (or worse) spills, can be easily cleaned up. Another bonus is that dad can carry it without feeling too silly because it’s fashionable, but not overtly feminine – so he won’t feel like a wuss. We like!
Dhs600, available at Mothercare, Toys R Us and Babyshop
Best for style
Rock-a-bye-ruffles by Isoki
If you’ve got budget at your disposal, and you’re keen to get long term use out of your bag, the Australian designed Rock-a-bye-ruffles is the ultimate choice. You’d never know that it houses a handy portable changing mat, insulated bottle bag (fits one 300ml) and dummy pockets galore from its uber-cool (I’m off to a rock concert) exterior. Made of top quality leather, it couldn’t be less ‘mumsy’ if it tried. Not only did we love the look, but we found it really practical too. We especially liked the sturdy, comfortable straps and multiple inside pockets, where you can store your phone, safe in the knowledge that it won’t be leaked on by a loose bottle teat. It’s also roomy enough to carry a spare set of clothes, snacks, a light blanket, some toys, and it’s wipe-clean too. One mum even commented; ‘That’s a changing bag?!’ in disbelief. Enough said. We love it!
Dhs995, available at JustKidding
The manufacturers of the BEABA have literally thought of everything. While it looks very stylish (in a large ‘it-bag’ sort of way), the inside reveals multiple pockets and additional bags galore. There’s the super-soft changing mat (the nicest we tested), an insulated bag that fits four 300ml bottles or snack cartons for older kids, a waterproof bag, and plenty of spacious pockets for nappies and creams. But just so that you remain super organized, there are plenty of outside pockets too, and two individually zipped up anti-bacterial dummy totes to ensure you always know where the spare one is. It also has two extra straps for looping on buggy handles. Once the baby days are over, you can remove the additional straps and dummy pouches so that it scrubs up as a super-trendy stand-alone handbag. While it’s pricey, it’s something you’ll use for years to come.
Dhs799, available at JustKidding
Best for budget
If you like a bit of bling with your baby, this Gucci-esque gold and white changing bag could be the one for you. And at Dhs79, it’s the ultimate bargain option. It comes with a matching gold changing mat – and there are three handy outside pockets. One is insulated and will carry one 300ml bottle while the other two your bits and pieces. Inside, there are two compartments, but no dummy pockets. The style of the bag is quite flat, so anything oddly shaped, such as toys, spoils the line of it, and getting everything in is a squeeze if you’re going to be out for the long-haul. Personally, we weren’t so fond of the bag’s cardboard base of the bag – one major milk spill would likely result in a soggy mess. Still, it’s great value for money, and isn’t in the slightest bit mumsy – but perhaps don’t expect it to last beyond the first year.
Dhs79, available at BabyShop
Best for size
Madison Diaper Bag by DWELL
We were taken with the casual look and feel of this bag, which seems very durable and hard wearing, as well as looking feminine and stylish. The shoulder straps are quite thin, but they are still comfortable to wear over your shoulder even if the bag itself is crammed to the max with bottles, nappies and the like. There are also two additional straps that fit over the stroller handles for when you’re walking the mall, and we found these super convenient. There are two compartments on either side of the bag which are great for storing dummies, creams, medicine or snacks for your child. There is a compartment which comfortably houses all your personal stuff and another larger pocket next to it for hats, bibs and the like. The zip compartment on the other side is also great for keeping your wallet in. The bag comes with a changing mat, but the matching bottle bag has to be bought separately (which lets it down a bit). There are also no thermal pockets or a compartment for wet or dirty clothes. All in all, it’s a lovely bag, but at that price could do with the additional perks being thrown in too.
Dhs570, available at JustKidding