By Maura Keating
It is terribly ironic that for decades, mothers (the women who most deserve a boost to their self-esteem and ego) have dragged around oversized, cutesy bags that match their charges. No more. There is whole new crop of bags that will take Mom beyond diapers, and the Zosephine diaper bag is one of the newest contenders.
Zosephine bags come in four styles named after points on the map: Kyoto, Seattle, Minneapolis, and St. Paul. Each bag is made from a solid, durable fabric complemented with a playful print that recalls the destination. The bags are lined with a white nylon fabric that wipes up easily and keeps bottle leaks from dripping all over your car. The bright white interior makes it easy to see objects inside. The nylon is a little stiff, and I worry that crumbs might collect in some of the seams of the smaller pockets. Zosephine bags come with a changing pad made of the same white nylon fabric that lines the inside of the bag. The changing pad rolls up to fit easily inside the bag and ties with an attached ribbon. I found that the changing pad was too small for us. My son is rarely still, especially during a diaper change, and I am nervous when I lay him down on the cleanest diaper-changing stations. I like to have plenty of room to roll, just in case.
The Zosephine bag is styled like a narrow messenger bag. Two magnetic snaps close the front flap. A small cell-phone pocket is well-placed just under the opening flap. Inside there are more pockets: two long narrow pockets hold long bottles (but not wide sippy cups); a wide back pocket is big enough for plenty of diapers and wipes; a zippered compartment is deep enough to hold things that baby shouldn’t touch; and three smaller pockets sewn into the top front inside hold smaller items–lotions or creams, a pacifier, or a small snack. Also sewn into the front inside is the best key hook that I’ve ever seen in a bag–large enough for the biggest key rings and easy to manipulate. A zippered pocket (edged with contrasting fabric) in the back is big enough for your wallet or other Mama items. Zosephine’s website suggests that a novel would fit in this pocket perfectly. I can daydream about carrying novels in a diaper bag (and about having the time to read a novel), but I’m more likely to carry a board book in this pocket. The wide, adjustable shoulder strap is long enough to wear across your body–or make the handle shorter to sling the bag over one shoulder. The bag hangs like a purse instead of a bulky diaper bag, thanks to straps that are sewn into the back of the bag (instead of the sides).
I love that the Zosephine bag is handmade in North Carolina by Mom and entrepreneur Maria Winslow. Tired of other options, Maria knew that she could do better. Her well-made bags are a testament to that. The Zosephine bags are great to carry for errands with baby when you only need to bring the essentials and you don’t want to look or feel like a pack animal. After Baby leaves diapers and bottles behind, take the Zosephine bag with you as you transition to a life beyond diapers. That day will come . . . sometime before Baby turns eighteen.
The Details: Zosephine Diaper Bags, $116.00. Dimensions: 14″x12″x5″. Available at www.zosephine.com.
Tell us “Who is the diaper bag named after?” and we will randomly select one person to win a blue St. Paul Zosephine diaper bag (pictured above). Enter to win.
– One entry permitted per person; only US entrants welcome to enter.
– Entry period closes at midnight EST, Monday, July 7, 2008.
– The winner will receive a blue St. Paul Zosephine diaper bag.