All posts by The Baby News

About The Baby News

The Baby News reports on what's newsworthy in the world of parenting, developmental research and health. It's written by Mom365's editors - follow us for breaking stories from newspapers and journals in the US and around the world, and join the conversation about what matters to moms.

Happy boy with little puppy

Your Pet Dog Could Be An Asthma Deterrent

If you’ve been on the fence about getting a family dog, consider this: research suggests that the air in a house with a dog might help ward off asthma in children.

Researchers at the University of California exposed mice to dust from homes that have dogs, and then to the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is a common virus in infants and linked to a high chance of developing asthma in childhood. The exposed mice did not develop the symptoms of RSV, and researchers also discovered the mice had an altered gastrointestinal bacterial composition compared with mice not exposed to dog dust.

These findings led researchers to suggest the mice possibly had altered immune systems as a result of their exposure, which allowed them to build up immunity to RSV. The researchers will now explore which microbe species provided by the presence of a dog is responsible for the protection against RSV.

What’s your experience with this? Do you have a dog? Have any of your children been diagnosed with asthma, or are they breathing easy?

Mother and baby playing in the bed

Screening Tool Tests Babies for Autism within 12 Months

A questionnaire could help identify autism in children by age 12 months, which is months or even years earlier than previous testing methods.

The so-called “First Year Inventory” questionnaire, designed by researchers at the University of North Carolina, asks approximately 60 questions about a baby’s behavior. The questions explore things like how reactive the baby is, how repetitive the baby’s behavior is, and how expressive the baby’s communications are, all of which can indicate whether or not a child is likely to be autistic.

In a study using the questionnaire, 30% of the children who were identified as high risk at 12 months were eventually diagnosed with the disorder at 3 years old. The remaining 85% showed other developmental problems at age 3 that needed evaluation and treatment. The number of children who were identified as high risk at 12 months but tested as “normal” at 3 was very low.

And while researchers caution that First Year Inventory testing is merely intended to identify, not diagnose, infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorders, that’s still a good thing: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and others, earlier screening can enable earlier intervention and, ultimately, a healthier child. The questionnaire is undergoing more testing to evaluate its effectiveness before it’s approved for use.

A young mother is breastfeeding her baby in a forest

6 Questions About Breastfeeding Research

Mothering, as author Joan Wolfe well knows, is one of the most polarizing topics of our time. And yet we all seem to agree that, when it comes to feeding babies, breast is best. At least, until now.

is breast best book

In her new book, “Is Breast Best? Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood,” Joan B. Wolfe, a professor at Texas A&M, argues that the science behind this universal “truth” is flimsy. “The message that women are getting about this borders on hysterical,” she says. Wolfe points out that women have been told “this is the most significant decision you will ever make for your child, that breastfeeding is the greatest gift you can ever give your child, and if you don’t breast feed, there are serious repercussions.” By taking a fresh look at the data on breast and bottle feeding, Wolfe concludes that all-or-nothing statements like “best food” and “greatest bonding experience” are far-fetched. In her view, most mothers are committed to doing – and afraid of not doing – everything in their power to help their kids; but, she says, “It probably doesn’t really matter very much which method you choose.”

In your book you argue with the scientific evidence that breastfeeding provides a host of health benefits for both the baby and the mother. Is the research wrong?

We give women lots of unequivocal information about the merits of breastfeeding, and women take it very seriously. When you tell somebody that if you breastfeed, your child will be more intelligent and sick less often, will have fewer heart attacks and will not get leukemia, that’s pretty serious advice. But the truth is that the science grounding that advice is much more problematic than we are led to believe. Lots of women are making a decision about how to feed their baby based on incorrect information.

Breastfeeding is promoted as something that protects against Leukemia, ear infections and obesity, and protects mothers against breast cancer and ovarian cancer. These are outrageous claims. Breastfeeding does reduce gastro-intestinal. But it’s one thing to say your baby might get one fewer diarrheal infection this year and it’s another thing to say your baby might get leukemia if you don’t breastfeed – and the Surgeon General has said this. (The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, January 20, 2011).

What have you seen in the data that leads you to believe these claims are false? 

Breast fed babies do tend to have fewer ear infections, do grow less obese and by the measures we’ve come up with, are more closely bonded with their mothers. It’s hard to argue that there’s no association between these results and breastfeeding. But it’s not clear that breastfeeding actually causes these results. If you are a mother who chooses to breastfeed, it’s likely that you’ve chosen to breastfeed because you believe it’s healthier for your baby. Research says that even low-income women are choosing to breastfeed not because it saves money, but because they want what’s best for the baby.
My contention is that mothers who make this choice make a whole series of other choices, too, throughout their babies’ and children’s lives, that have health benefits for the children. It’s entirely possible that a mother who breastfeeds also encourages healthy eating, exercise etc. So if there is an association between having been breastfed and being less obese, it’s not at all clear that the association is because of the breastfeeding. It’s the same thing with IQ. There’s a connection between breastfeeding and higher IQ, but maybe it’s the result of the environment that a mother who has chosen to breastfeed creates for her baby; if you engage your baby and read to your baby, you’re going to raise a smarter baby. So there are benefits that appear to come from breastfeeding that could just as easily come from behavior surrounding breastfeeding – behaviors that anyone, formula feeders included, could adopt.

What about the emotional bond?

We don’t have any compelling evidence that breastfeeding causes children to be emotionally healthier. It’s anecdotal. The assumption is that there’s something in the breast milk or the breastfeeding process that establishes emotional health. This hasn’t been demonstrated. It’s entirely plausible that it’s something else resulting in emotional health – that it’s the behavior surrounding breastfeeding.

You’ve said you’re interested in how breastfeeding gets in the way of leveling the playing field between men and women and how it gets in the way simply because we assume that it’s best. But what’s the downside?

The truth is that in terms of the decision to breastfeed, it’s not all gains. There are costs to breastfeeding – the costs are a mother’s time, the mothers own emotional and physical health, the long term economic consequences that come from not working or choosing to have a more marginal job so that you can breastfeed. None of these costs get talked about. What we hear is that breastfeeding is free. And from a woman’s perspective, I think that this is offensive. If men had functioning mammary glands, my sense is that we’d get a very different discourse about breastfeeding. We would have a sense of how small the benefits probably are and we would say that formula feeding is fine.

Why would the medical establishment – and many parents themselves – overstate the case for breast feeding?

We are a risk-obsessed society. We are consumed with the idea that we should be preventing any risks that we can identify, and we are particularly focused on health risks. We’re also a society that believes that mothers have a certain responsibility to do anything for their children. Mothers are responsible for eliminating any risk to their baby, no matter how small, unlikely or poorly understood; no matter what the cost is to the mother. We care about the children but we define what is best for the children often according to what mothers can do to alleviate risk. But on the other hand we’re willing to allow our children to be in risky situations, when to eliminate that risk would require sacrifice from fathers or communities or governments.
In the book, I talk about “total motherhood,” which is the idea that we expect mothers to essentially disappear – when it comes to taking care of their children – as individual autonomous beings. All of their needs, wants, and desires are subjugated to their baby or children.

Why would the medical establishment – and many parents themselves – overstate the case for breast feeding?

We are a risk-obsessed society. We are consumed with the idea that we should be preventing any risks that we can identify, and we are particularly focused on health risks. We’re also a society that believes that mothers have a certain responsibility to do anything for their children. Mothers are responsible for eliminating any risk to their baby, no matter how small, unlikely or poorly understood; no matter what the cost is to the mother. We care about the children but we define what is best for the children often according to what mothers can do to alleviate risk. But on the other hand we’re willing to allow our children to be in risky situations, when to eliminate that risk would require sacrifice from fathers or communities or governments.

In the book, I talk about “total motherhood,” which is the idea that we expect mothers to essentially disappear – when it comes to taking care of their children – as individual autonomous beings. All of their needs, wants, and desires are subjugated to their baby or children.

Baby Einstein Music and Discovery Travel Mirror

Essential Toys for Babies Six Months and Younger

Even young babies can enjoy the benefits of play. We love these toys for their ability to offer sensory stimulation, to teach cause and effect, and their overall cuteness, of course.

A potty training toddler sitting on a comode

The 5 Best Potties for Picky Toddlers

Potties come in a dizzying array of types, shapes and sizes. We’ve done the research and come up with five potty picks, one for every type of toddler.

It may seem like you’re going to be changing diapers forever, but the day will come when your toddler is ready for potty training. Every child matures at his or her own rate, so don’t let (not-so) well-meaning parents of precocious toddlers pressure you into starting your child on the potty too early. Instead, look for signs that your baby is eager to take that next step:

  • Follows you to the bathroom
  • Imitates your toileting
  • Pulls off diaper when it’s dirty or tells you when it needs changing
  • Can undress or pull down pants independently
  • Stays dry for at least three hours

Even if your child isn’t totally ready to start, you probably want to start potty shopping so you can be ready for that momentous milestone. Potties come in a dizzying array of types, shapes and sizes, and choosing the right one for your child can be difficult. No sweat. We’ve done some of the research to save you time and come up with five potty picks for every type of toddler.

For Bathroom Readers and Older Toddlers – Prince Lionheart pottyPOD

View on Amazon

Toddlers like how the soft, cushiony seat on the Prince Lionheart pottyPOD cradles the tush and feels comfortably soft, no matter how many potty songs you sing together and books you read. The pottyPOD is also the only anti-microbial potty on the market, as the seat is treated to inhibit the growth of microorganisms that can cause odors and mildew – a big selling point for us. Like most potties, the bowl and optional deflector shield remove easily for clean-up; but the pottyPOD’s foam seat is also removable so you can give it a deep-down clean. This one’s great for older toddlers, as the non-skid base flips over to add height for a little more legroom. On the other hand, this can make it a little big for the youngest tots. Comes in green, blue and pink.

For the Easy-to-Bribe – Safety 1st Smart Rewards Potty

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The Safety 1st Smart Rewards Potty is the ideal choice for gadget-loving toddlers. This interactive trainer helps guide the just-ready child through each training stage with all kinds of bells and whistles, rewarding her with phrases, songs and stickers as she develops new potty habits; she’ll hear a greeting when she sits down, a song when she goes and a reward and flushing sound after she’s done. When your tot’s ready to move to the grown-up toilet, the trainer seat lifts off for an easy transition. This potty’s bowl is removable for fast and easy clean-up; there’s also an optional deflector shield. We love this potty’s bells and whistles, but it’s easy to see how the music can drive some parents – and their kids, too – crazy after a while. Note to Safety 1st: Add a volume control!

For Big Kid Wanna-bes – BABYBJÖRN Toilet Trainer

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The BABYBJÖRN Toilet Trainer is perfect for when your child is ready to transition to a grown-up toilet. The ergonomic design of the Toilet Trainer ensures your child is correctly and comfortably seated, while keeping him safe and secure. The seat has a built-in, angled splash guard to keep things neat and tidy, and a smaller opening that leaves plenty of room for wiping. This adapter seat soared to the top of our list because it fits toilets of all sizes and requires adjusting only before the first use. Built-in handle makes it easy to remove and store.

For Mod Tots (and very early trainers) – Hoppop Donut Potty


View on Amazon

We love the Hoppop Donut Potty not just for its sweet name, but also because it’s simple and beautifully designed – in fact, it won a 2011 red dot design award, joining the ranks of products like the Apple iPad and Dyson vacuum cleaners. The Donut Potty sits low to the ground and has a wide base that won’t topple over easily, so it’s great for little ones who are just starting out on their potty-training journey. On the flip side, there is a chance your baby will outgrow it before she’s fully trained. The one-piece bowl/seat lifts out easily for cleaning and has a built-in splash guard to keep messes to a minimum. Comes in lime, aqua and fuschia.

For Creatures of Habit – My Carry Pottypotty my carry

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Perfect for the type of tot who will only go in his or her own potty, My Carry Potty is a lightweight, portable training toilet that’s leak- and odor-proof. My Carry Potty (we think this neat invention should be called the iCarryPotty) is designed to fold up neatly with a watertight seal so toddlers can tote it around to the park, the beach, on car trips or even from room-to-room – even after they’ve used it. We love that this ingenious model doesn’t require liners or bags, unlike other portable potties, so you’ll save money and the environment, and never be caught off-guard when your child needs to go. Comes in yellow, blue and pink.

baby looking at wipes

10 Must Have Baby Products

As you’re stocking up the nursery, it’s hard to know exactly how much to get of each item. But there are some things where the rule is: you can never have enough. Below are 10 baby items you should make sure to buy in great supply, so that your first few months can start off without constant trips for restocking.


a pile of diapers

Expect your newborn to pee at least five times a day and poop anywhere from once a day to eight to 10 times a day. So an ample supply of diapers is key. Until you know your baby’s size, don’t get more than a package of the newborn size, because once they hit 10 pounds, they’re ready for size 1. If you’re using reusable diapers, make sure you have at least a dozen on hand—if you plan to do laundry every day. If you are doing laundry every other day, then double it.


a pair of socks

If you think your dryer likes eating your socks, just wait until it gets a taste of your baby’s. Baby socks disappear at an alarming rate, not only in the wash, but also by working their way off your little one’s kicking foot as you’re wheeling her down the sidewalk. So make sure to stock up.

Changing Pad Covers

a baby being changed on a pad

In the first few months, you’ll be surprised how many times your baby will pee, or even poop, mid change. Even when that doesn’t happen, a newborn’s soft poop tends to get all over the place when you’re changing her diaper. If you don’t want to constantly change your changing pad, you can also put a waterproof liner or cotton baby blanket on top and just change that.

Burp Cloths

a burp cloth

Expect your wee one to spit up continually—most likely at least once after every two-hour feeding. Since you don’t want to me changing your clothing as often as you change the baby’s, burp cloths are key. Choose designs you like, since they will be part of your wardrobe for the next three months.


two baby onesies

Burp cloths only work when you’re burping the baby. The rest of the time, your baby will be spitting up all over his or her onesie (plus the crib sheet and, possibly the swaddling blanket). There’s also the explosive poops that reach up their backs and leaky diapers. So expect to be changing your baby’s onesie several times a day.


baby looking at wipes

As we mentioned above, it’s perfectly normal for a newborn to poop as much as 10 times a day and you’re going to need plenty of wipes to clean it up. You’ll also find yourself using the wipes to clean spit-up from your baby’s face and neck and from your own clothes when you don’t have the time (or energy) to change. If you want to save money, a wet paper towel or washcloth works just fine.

Crib (or Bassinet or Co-sleeper) Sheets

a baby sleeping in a crib

You’ve probably got the idea by now, but you’re going to be going through an awful lot of sheets for your baby’s crib, bassinet or co-sleeper, thanks to errant pee, poop and spit up. Have an ample supply on hand.

Diaper Cream

a dad changing his baby's diaper

To prevent and treat diaper rash, you’re going to be using a lot of diaper cream, especially between 9 and 12 months. Diaper cream is nothing you want to stint on, so make sure you have plenty at every changing station in your house, as well as in your diaper bag.


a mom washing her baby's face with a wash cloth

You’re only going to want to bathe your newborn about three times a week in the beginning to protect his delicate skin from drying out. However, you’ll find yourself using washcloths for everything from cleaning her face, neck and hands after feedings to cleaning your own neck and hands after a spit up.

Swaddling Blankets

a baby wrapped in a swaddle blanket

Most newborns find being swaddled incredibly comforting, so you always want to have a clean one on hand. You can get specially designed blankets, such as the Miracle Blanket, or SwaddleMe, or wrap your little one up burrito style in a lightweight square-shaped blanket, but either way, most parents find swaddling to be a late-night lifesaver.

Little boy eats his meal while being entertained by a tablet computer

Should You Hide the Veggies?

Lots of parents exhausted by negotiating meals with their children try to make sure their little ones get their daily dose of veggies by sneaking ’em into other foods. What a kid doesn’t know can still help them, right? And recently, snack food makers have jumped on the bandwagon by offering parents kiddie products that masquerade as regular junk food but in fact have a secret veggie ingredient. But if you’ve been hiding peas in your kid’s burgers or buying sneakily healthy snack foods in the supermarket, listen up: A new study says hiding vegetables may be a useless and unnecessary practice.

Critics of the vegetable hiding method say it doesn’t exactly encourage healthy eating habits. If you hide the good stuff, how are kids supposed to learn to choose them for themselves as they grow up?

Now researchers say that hiding veggies might not even be a factor in whether or not the kid eats them.

In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, researchers tested children’s preferences for vegetable-laced sweets versus regular sweets. What the kids in the experiment didn’t know was that the sweets they were tasting were both the same – both the chocolate chip cookie and the chickpea chocolate chip cookie actually contained chickpeas, but only one batch was in a labelled package that said clearly “chickpea.” Then they did the same with “broccoli ginger spice cake.”

What the researchers found was that the more familiar the child was with the vegetable (for example, broccoli), the more likely she would like the labeled broccoli ginger spice cake pretty much the same as the one that pretended it was just ginger spice cake. But if the child was unfamiliar with the hidden vegetable (for example, chickpeas), she would prefer the unlabeled “chocolate chip cookie” over the labelled “chickpea chocolate chip cookie.” What does that tell us? It says that children are neophobes – they afraid of new foods. If the food is familiar and tastes pretty much like a sweet, there’s no fear factor and no benefit in hiding it.

Bottom line: Your kid’s going to get over neophobia if you introduce him to a variety of veggies. Once that’s done, you can go ahead and buy the broccoli-cauliflower chocomarshmallow ice cream Sunday and he’ll eat it. Maybe.

Have you ever tried hiding vegetables in you child’s food?

Baby feeds his mother cereal at breakfast

You Know You’re a Mom When…

Of course, I was a mom the minute the little plus sign appeared on the stick, but I didn’t feel like it yet. I was still the same old Rachel, I was just getting wider (which I’d been doing anyways, ha!). And, of course I was a mom when they laid Sydney on my chest the first time, but I didn’t feel like one yet. I was just someone who had gone through an unimaginable amount of pain, and was then handed a newborn. What?

I guess I associate being a mom with what I’ve seen on television or movies. The real “bam” moment will be when Sydney tugs on my hand and says, “Mommy, I want a Popsicle.” For some reason, that’s my ultimate”‘Mom” moment. If my kiddo doesn’t like Popsicles, I don’t know what I’ll do.

Back to my recent mom breakthroughs, though, these moments have really given me a tug at the heart strings and just made my day. They’re so silly and ridiculous and make absolutely no sense, but they just mean something to me.

A few days ago, I looked down and realized my yoga pants were stained with snot, peanut butter, and milk drops, but I had taken a shower and put on clean clothes that morning! It was one of those days, and it felt like a mom moment. Like, what are you going to do?

Mom moment.

Then, a few hours later I was on my hands and knees, shining my phone’s light underneath the couch to look for an errant piece of plastic food. I was missing the triangle piece of pie, and I refused to let her Christmas toys become scattered already. Bam. Mom moment.

Later, as I was coming around the couch, I STEPPED on said triangle piece, and had to muffle my screams, while my brain screamed at me, “Mom moment! Mom moment!”

As my daughter becomes more and more toddler-like, and less baby (sniffle sniffle), I feel like more and more of these moments are going to crop up.

Let the Lego puncture wounds begin!

Have you felt any Mom moments recently?

Young Girl in Camping Tent

The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping With Kids

Camping with babies and toddlers? Yes! It’s an affordable, low-stress, fun family vacation if you do it right. We asked Helen Olsson, author of the new book, “The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping With Kids,” for her top tips.

The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids
The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids by Helen Olsson

It all started with one nightmarish airplane ride when her son was a toddler. “He got really sick during the flight,” Olsson remembers. “High fever, double ear infections, stomach flu … I vowed I would never fly with really little kids again.” Olsson kept that vow – which is why the now mother-of-3 had plenty of experience to draw on when she wrote “The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping With Kids.” A super-fun read that’s packed with useful info, the book covers everything from family-friendly campsites to how to dispose of a dirty diaper in the woods. We asked Olsson for a few extra tips on hitting the trail with “really little kids” – i.e., babies and toddlers.

Is there any age you consider too young to go camping?

Well, I wouldn’t want to camp with a brand new colicky infant who’s waking up every hour, but once parents feel their babies are sturdy enough, camping with babies is great. There’s nothing cuter than a little baby snuggled up in a nest of blankets in a tent. In many ways babies are easier to camp with than toddlers – especially before they get mobile. A baby can cuddle in a car seat while you’re setting up the tent. Babies can be easily contained in a Pack & Play or a portable high chair. And when you’re hiking, you can carry a baby in a front-loading baby carrier and they’ll nap for hours. Toddlers, on the other hand, are constantly on the move. They want to explore but aren’t self-sufficient yet. When you’re camping, you have to watch toddlers every minute. I’ve taken many a hike with a toddler strapped to my back (in a baby backpack carrier), but they’re much heavier than infants and they swing their feet and lean over. Often toddlers get antsy in the carrier, yet they don’t have the longevity to walk a long way on their own.

What type of camping trips do you recommend for babies and toddlers?

That depends on how adventurous the parents are. There are plenty of folks who backpack with small children, but it’s a pretty big endeavor. For most people with babies and toddlers, it’s wise to start with car camping. That way, you can keep food, milk and formula cold in a big cooler. You can pack the car to the rafters with all the requisite gear and have it all at your disposal. Plus, when you car camp, you can make a quick getaway if things go south. We decided to wait until our kids were big enough to carry a small pack themselves before we went backpacking with them. My son was 7 when I took him on his first backpacking trip.

What absolute essentials would you pack for this age group?

Front-loading baby carrier or a baby backpack carrier, depending on the size of your child. This is an essential piece of gear if you want to hike with babies or toddlers, but also handy if you need to get something done around the campsite and your child wants to be carried.

Portable crib or Pack N Play. When we car camp, we bring a huge family sized tent that’s big enough to put a pack and play inside. When our kids were babies and toddlers, this was so critical at night as they slept better in the familiar crib-like environment. It was great for naps during the day and if we needed our little ones to be contained and safe while we worked on some camp job like setting up the tent or making dinner.

Portable potty or potty seat. This is so key! Kids need to pee all the time and some little kids (my kids, anyway) don’t like porta-potties. This is understandable! Even once our daughter was potty trained, we kept a little potty chair inside the vestibule of the tent and she used it all day and—even better—at night.

Battery-powered night-light. Especially if you’re camping during the new moon and your kids are afraid of the dark, a portable night-light is a great thing to have along. You can’t really expect kids who sleep with nightlights at home to sleep in the pitch black (not to mention in the woods…).

Kid-friendly headlamps. Hands-free is really helpful when you’re camping and kids love headlamps.

Any pint-sized pitfalls to watch out for when camping with wee ones?

It’s advisable to choose kid-friendly campsites. While water features are fun for kids, when it comes to camping with babies and toddlers, I advise against camping near water. Unless you can have one parent committed to watching your toddler every millisecond of the day (and that’s a tall order), you’re better not camping on the banks of a fast-moving river. It’s just not worth the angst. Same goes for campsites near cliffs, ravines, and rocky drop-offs. Parents should look for campsites with family friendly hiking and biking trails nearby. Kids also love interpretive trails and visitor centers.

One major pitfall that’s best to avoid when camping with kids is arriving at a campsite after dark, around dinnertime. The witching hour, we call it. Everyone is hungry and crabby and you have to set a tent up in the dark. This is a scenario best avoided on any camping trip, but especially when you have little ones in tow.

As far as stuff not to forget, I can tell you from experience, you don’t want to forget the following: ketchup, diapers, marshmallows, maple syrup, and tent poles. I’ve forgotten all of these items on one camping trip or another, and the results have been near disastrous.

Women's handbag acting as a diaper bag with items to care for the child

Top Picks for Cool Diaper Bag Alternatives

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am ready to ditch my diaper bag. My baby is officially a toddler, which means I don’t need to carry around massive amounts of diapers, multiple outfit changes and a slew of travel-size infant products. In fact, sometimes I can get away with throwing a diaper and a small pack of wipes in my purse. I feel so liberated!

I’m also really excited to start carrying around something that’s a little “cooler” than my totally obvious mommy diaper bag. Diaper bags have a time and a place and my trusty old diaper bag got me through some tough times, but now I’m ready to give it the boot. I’m ready to reclaim some of my Mama Style!

The trick to ditching your diaper bag is to choose a purse that is still roomy enough to carry your personal items, as well as the essentials you need for your toddler. You also want to choose a fabric that is easy to clean, wipe down, or wash. Finally, your new bag should also be easy to throw over your shoulder or in the undercarriage of your stroller.

If you’re thinking of ditching your diaper bag but aren’t ready to go completely cold-turkey, here are my top picks for diaper bag alternatives to get you through the next phase of motherhood:

Water-resistant diaper/messenger tote from ikabags, $173.19Stockholm Gray geometric nautical striped Leather diaper bag

Backpack from Baggu, $44


Shoulder bag from Forever 21, $45

Autumn Reversible Tote, $44


Metallic Shopper from Kohl’s, $992303958

Are you ready to ditch your diaper bag and reclaim your Mama Style? Which bag is your favorite?